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Vax stories November 23, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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I’ve got to admit that reading the SBP this weekend and its investigation into Regret, the lobby group against the HPV Gardasil vaccine, I’ve a certain degree of sympathy for Liberius and his proposal that those who make false claims as regards the dangers of vaccination should have airtime denied them [I misremembered his original proposal hence comments below]. Whether that’s constitutionally possible I do not know.

Meanwhile the SBP has done some service in pointing to an organisation that refuses to answer basic questions of reporters – including whether statements it has issued publicly that half of 400 girls it claims to represent are on a 24 hour a day suicide watch, and whether they’ve been assessed by doctors registered with the Medical Council. Nor would it reply to questions as to its funding which is raised from the public, or why it has not registered as a charity. Further more claims raised by it that HPV vaccine might cause premature ovarian cancer have not been sourced by it, and it doesn’t provide any evidence of a causal link between Gardasil and the symptoms of those it claims to represent.

This is fairly devastating (and worth noting that these claims are getting an airing in the Dáil). And yet – and of course one has to preface this by pointing to the basic fact that all vaccines carry some element of risk, albeit in this instance very minor, where is the evidence for significant problems? The SBP reports studies that suggest that fewer than one in one thousand report ‘adverse events post vaccination’. Worth noting too that the consensus supported by WHO amongst others is one that the vaccine is safe.

The other side of this is the very real danger from cervical cancer – and as the SBP notes, ‘the second most common cause of death due to cancer in women aged 25 to 39 years of age’.

Comments»

1. ivorthorne - November 23, 2016

Vaccination programmes are always an exercise in risk management. It’s unlikely that there is any vaccine that is absolutely safe given that individual differences at – for example – the genetic level may mean that some react in an unpredictable manner.

This doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t be vaccinated. It just means that the risks of not vaccinating are much, much higher.

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soubresauts - November 23, 2016

“… the risks of not vaccinating are much, much higher.”
It’s amazing how leftists, almost to a man or woman, will trot out that mantra of the western medical establishment and Big Pharma.
What are the risks of not vaccinating? Well, it’s obvious that for people like me, brought up in the 1950s and 60s without extreme poverty and without vaccination (except the polio and TB ones, both useless), the risks were negligible. Apart from my own generation I know hundreds of younger people who have never been vaccinated, and they’re all utterly healthy. Having given it careful consideration I’m convinced that nobody actually needs vaccination.
I also considered the public money spent on vaccination. Back in the 1960s it was a negligible amount, a few million per year in Ireland. Now it’s a few billion, and we’re not supposed to question it?
And those Regret parents? They’re all either chancers or idiots, as the Government, the journalists and the leftists would have us think? I don’t buy it, and nor should you.
All you vax fanboys are suckers for the compulsory vaccination measures coming to Ireland, as they have already done in California and Australia.

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Joe - November 23, 2016

“except the polio and tb ones, both useless”. Yes indeedy, as is clear from the sanitariums which remain to this day all full of consumptive coughers dying slowly of tb and all those boys hobbling around on crutches, stricken with the polio.
Janey, soubresauts, I could go on but there’s probably no point. You’re plain wrong on this.

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WorldbyStorm - November 23, 2016

My uncle wasted years in a sanitarium with TB, thankfully he’s still with us in his 80s. soubresauts, you’re someone I respect enormously, but I don’t think my uncle or many others would agree with you in this regard.

As to being a fanboy for vaccination, I’ve a kid under 10. I felt some some pang of disquiet when she went for vaccinations, but then I thought of how if it were ten or twenty years earlier I’d have had no qualms at all. Somehow my generation and that before it and those after have managed to get through with vaccinations without the sky falling on our heads, and as Joe says, with polio and TB being eradicated to all intents and purposes. It’s not just coincidence.

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soubresauts - November 24, 2016

Polio has disappeared from the western world, and that wasn’t because of vaccination. There’s no point in vaccinating for it.

The BCG vaccine (for TB) is useless as any well-informed doctor will tell you. And TB has not been eradicated.

The waste of public money in vaccination is outrageous.

The health authorities in Ireland have been talking about compulsory vaccination for years, even though the medical ethical principles they signed up to expressly forbid it. Now they are emboldened by what has happened in Australia and California, with unvaccinated people being denied welfare payments or schooling. It’s fascism, pure and simple. Why can’t you see that?

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yourcousin - November 24, 2016

“Polio has disappeared from the western world, and that wasn’t because of vaccination. There’s no point in vaccinating for it”

I have to bite. Why is polio gone from the western world if not for vaccines?

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Alibaba - November 24, 2016

The facts are necessary to this argument.

soubresauts you say: ‘The health authorities in Ireland have been talking about compulsory vaccination for years, even though the medical ethical principles they signed up to expressly forbid it. Now they are emboldened by what has happened in Australia and California, with unvaccinated people being denied welfare payments or schooling.’

These claims would, if true, would be extremely worrying. Additionally, I am not aware of any proposals or efforts by health authorities to impose compulsory vaccination here and if so, I would vehemently oppose it. Either I am very ignorant or you are very mistaken. Have you some source for your statements? If so, please can I be told this.

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RosencrantzisDead - November 24, 2016

I would be in favour of compulsory vaccination for the same reasons I would be in favour of the confinement of those who pose a health risk or have a serious communicable disease: the benefits to the population at large greatly outweigh the cost to the individual.

Herd immunity is an important concept in vaccination. A certain percentage of vaccinations will not take or will not confer immunity, so the only way to minmise or eradicate a virus is to ensure that the vast majority are immunized. This reduces the chance of the vulnerable person contracting the disease and spreading it to others.

Taking the lower estimate, smallpox killed about 300 million people in the 20th century alone. It was declared eradicated by the WHO in 1979. Vaccination made that happen.

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Alibaba - November 24, 2016

I can buy into the notion as put by ivorthorne that vaccination programmes ‘only work properly when the vast majority are vaccinated.’ You also argue persuasively about the way in which smallpox was eradicated by vaccination. In my view, this emphasises the necessity to urge people to take the issue seriously and to ensure vaccination happens. It also necessitates the need to popularise the explanatory materials. I will not countenance coercive measures to gain compliance and will therefore resist compulsory vaccination. It’s wrong in principle and it’s wrong in practice.

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Alibaba - November 24, 2016

This article outlines how new vaccines will be introduced next month.

http://www.irishhealth.com/article.html?id=25634

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soubresauts - November 24, 2016

Alibaba, I saw various newspaper reports over the years quoting Irish health authorities considering compulsory vaccination. Of course they wouldn’t use the word “compulsory”; they talk about “incentives”. What they mean is what has come to pass in California and Australia:

Australia: Up until recently, the Federal Government required mandatory registration of vaccination status to receive child care and/or family benefits. Those who cannot or will not follow the vaccination schedule were being encouraged to register as a Conscientious Objector or obtain a religious or medical exemption. More recently however, the Federal Government announced ‘No Jab – No Pay’ removing Conscientious objection and Religious exemptions, effective January 2016.

California: See
http://www.nvic.org/Vaccine-Laws/state-vaccine-requirements/california.aspx
“The county office of education or the governing board of the school district of attendance shall exclude any pupil who has not been immunized properly pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 120325) of Part 2 of Division 105 of the Health and Safety Code…”

About polio, Dr Suzanne Humphries expertly debunks the popular myths:

We are not at risk from polio, but we are at risk from the vaccine.

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2. CMK - November 23, 2016

Much as I hate to quote a FG TD but Dublin South East TD Kate O’Connell has argued that the drop in vaccinations for HPV arising from this group’s efforts will result in around 40 preventable deaths. Will Regret around when these come to pass?

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RosencrantzisDead - November 26, 2016

Regret will blame that on fluoride in the water, no doubt.

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3. Liberius - November 23, 2016

I’ve a certain degree of sympathy for Liberius and his proposal that those who make false claims as regards the dangers of vaccination should be be subject to charges

I don’t think I said charges, I was talking about denying them airtime and political support, which isn’t as severe as charges, though I suppose attempts to breach that denial of airtime might require charges for cynical journalists out for sensational headlines and copy; and populist TDs fishing for votes.

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Alibaba - November 23, 2016

I was just about to post this and am pleased to see your clarification first; but not happy about ‘denying the airtime’ for the reasons I give below:

I have to admit I’m not comfortable with the idea ‘charges’ being used against those who seek to upend social reality with daft notions and imply that those who don’t side with their views are putting lives at risk.

The very same Regret lobbyists would be the first to hurl accusations of suppressing freedom of speech and expression at us, and not without some cause. In the midst of angst-ridden claims and counter claims, the question of policies and action for best practice and implementation get forgotten. Think about that.

Here’s my tuppenceworth. Find ways to offer scientific explanations and considered views and validation of the state programme of vaccination in literature given out in schools. Make the truth as vivid and as interesting as the misguided notions and the lies. And use the journalistic investigations such as SBP has done to discredit those who decline to give us sources nor credible testimonies for their stated beliefs. It’s a fertile ground for investigative journalists and moreover one in which they should keep on keeping on.

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WorldbyStorm - November 23, 2016

Yes, apologies, I misremembered Liberius.

+1 Alibaba.

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Liberius - November 24, 2016

I have to admit I’m not comfortable with the idea ‘charges’ being used against those who seek to upend social reality with daft notions and imply that those who don’t side with their views are putting lives at risk.

The very same Regret lobbyists would be the first to hurl accusations of suppressing freedom of speech and expression at us, and not without some cause. In the midst of angst-ridden claims and counter claims, the question of policies and action for best practice and implementation get forgotten. Think about that.

I know my suggestions are towards the more draconian end of the spectrum, however I’m not convinced that there is any other method that can be used. During the discussion in October with Wbs I made the point that evidence countering the anti-HPV crowd has been a feature of almost all news and television pieces about this issue that I’ve seen, and yet it hasn’t stopped the numbers being vaccinated declining. I’d love the public in total to be rational, however that is not the case, and for many people they don’t have the specialist knowledge nor intellectual tools to be able to make a judgement on this topic that isn’t based on the faith that they are being told the truth. While the majority are likely to see through the anti-vaccination propaganda spread by REGRET and others, there will be a vulnerable minority that are at a danger of believing their propaganda because it has been elevated to the point of quasi-validity by giving them a platform either in the media, or by raising anti-factual content in the Dáil (see Clare Daly third of February). That is what happened with Wakefield’s MMR/autism link, elevated to validity by both the lancet (which has owned up to its errors), and the media (who still haven’t accepted culpability for spreading fear).

While I do accept that denial of airtime and political support might create accusations of suppressing freedom of speech, I’m not convinced that best practice and implementation would get forgotten as I think that already occurs when they are let propagandise with impunity (best practice is to provide evidence). The scientific arena is quite different to other arenas as it is an evidence-based one where you have little to no legitimacy without that evidence. The way I see it is that they can have their freedom of speech when they provide scientifically valid evidence, in that way it’s not a denial of freedom of speech but rather a quality control on speech specific to evidentially-based arenas. Granted I’m probably not going to get most people to accept that nuance, but at the very least I think the point needs to be made.

I meant to reply last night but got side-tracked by some vodka enriched strawberries, sorry for the delay.

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Alibaba - November 24, 2016

Yes, ‘there will be a vulnerable minority that are at a danger of believing their propaganda because it has been elevated to the point of quasi-validity by giving them a platform’. But making freedom of speech subject to the provision of  ‘scientifically valid evidence’ is a thorny one: who will adjudicate that? Nothing better examplifies this than the very things you have fingered: the media, the Dáil and even the prestigious The Lancet who can all get it wrong.

Yes, ‘many people they don’t have the specialist knowledge’. But it’s up to the Left to get it out there. The problem isn’t the lack of ‘intellectual tools to be able to make a judgement on this topic’. When confronted with worrisome declarations, some people rationally conclude that they won’t subject their loved ones to vaccination which, in their view, might be dangerous or over promoted by a pharmaceutical industry in the search for higher profits.

It strikes me that some forces have done such a good job of demonising vaccination that many now feel unable to retreat from these positions without serious loss of face. I can see what you are getting at, although I have to defend freedom of expression, even for those I seriously disagree with, all the better to enable rebuttal.

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4. Gewerkschaftler - November 23, 2016

In Trumpworld vaccination is achieved through chemtrails. Or so I read on the internet.

Easy peasy, who needs this elite sciencey stuff.

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5. Éilis Ryan (@eilistweets) - November 23, 2016

Susan Mitchell, the SBP health correspondent, is really exellent, and its a good thing, since health is one of the areas of Irish politics and life most urgently in need of decent investigative journalism.

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6. ivorthorne - November 24, 2016

When talking about vaccination programmes, it is important to note that these programmes only work properly when the vast majority are vaccinated. If the vast majority of people are vaccinated, the risk to a person who is not vaccinated is minimal.

Time and time again, we see that when scares happen, vaccination levels drop and outbreaks happen leading to increases in deaths/hospitalisations.

https://theconversation.com/mondays-medical-myth-childhood-vaccinations-are-dangerous-10872

“As a result, the rate of vaccination dropped from 81% to 31%, triggering the most horrendous epidemic of whooping cough. In one year, 21 children died and thousands were hospitalised with severe pneumonia and, sadly, brain damage from the infection.”

Similarly, following the Andrew Wakefield fraud linking autism to the MMR, vaccination levels dropped and we saw close to 10 fold increases in Measels in Mumps in the UK.

In Dublin, back in 2000 (2 years after the Wakefield fraud), there was measles outbreak. It was probably not a conincidence. Vaccination rates were much lower in the catchment area that they were nationally. Over 6 months, 111 children were hospitalised and three died.

This year in Romanaia, following a high profile anti-vax campaign last year, there has been a pretty massive increase in measles. In 2015, there were 7 cases of measles. In 2016, there have been over 1000 and 7 deaths (in October).

None of this means that every vaccine is reliable or that we should not look carefully for side effects, but if the media treats things like the MMR/autism myth in the same way that , say, the BBC treated the question of whether or not the UK could veto Turkey’s entry to the EU, then vaccination levels will drop and children will probably die.

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soubresauts - November 25, 2016

Why do you trot out that mythical misapprehension on “the Wakefield fraud”? Do you not know that the famous Wakefield paper “always was and still remains a perfectly good small case series report”, as Ben Goldacre put it. See: http://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/11/02/good-bad-and-ugly-side-medical-science

And could you explain why measles, mumps, rubella and pertussis, which were “mild” diseases (ref. the medical textbooks) contracted by every child in the 1960s, somehow became “deadly” or “dangerous” diseases in this century? Having experienced them (as patient and carer) I can confirm that they are mild. Or should that be “were mild”? If the mildness belongs in the past, can anyone find a scientific explanation or evidence for how they mutated into something deadly?

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RosencrantzisDead - November 25, 2016

This leaflet might answer some of your questions, soubresauts.

Measles, Mumps and Rubella kill between every 1 in 2500 to 1 in 5000 (depending on age). Bear in mind that, prior to vaccination, a measles outbreak could affect hundreds of thousands. There are other complications from these diseases which are much more frequent.

Number of deaths from the MMR vaccine: 0

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soubresauts - November 25, 2016

Measles deaths almost invariably occur in extreme poverty or seriously disadvantaged areas. Where children are properly cared for, with decent food and clean water, there is no threat (as the medical textbooks used to make clear).

The vaccine on the other hand… (noting that adverse events are grossly underreported):
http://www.nvic.org/vaccines-and-diseases/Measles/measles-vaccine-injury-death.aspx
Extract:

Serious adverse events following MMR vaccination include seizures, severe headaches, double vision, vomiting, joint pain, or pain in the digestive system. 1,2

Other more rare but serious complications reported by Merck in MMR vaccine post-marketing surveillance include:3

brain inflammation (encephalitis) and encephalopathy (chronic brain dysfunction);
panniculitis (inflammation of the fat layer under the skin);
atypical measles; syncope (sudden loss of consciousness, fainting);
vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels);
pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas);
diabetes mellitus;
thrombocytopenia purpura (blood disorder);
leukocytosis (high white blood cell count);
anaphylaxis (shock);
bronchial spasms;
arthritis and arthralgia (joint pain);
myalgia (muscle pain);
polyneuritis (inflammation of several nerves simultaneously).

Using the MedAlerts search engine, which facilitates an online search of the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) database, as of March 3rd, 2016 there have been 7692 serious adverse events Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) in connection with measles vaccine since 1990, with over half of those occurring in children three years old and under. Of these events 397 were deaths with over half of the deaths occurring in children under three years of age. Adverse events following MMR vaccination reported to VAERS include:

lupus (autoimmune connective tissue disorder);
Guillain-Barre syndrome (inflammation of the nerves);
Encephalitis;
aseptic meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain);
deafness;
cardiomyopathy (weakening of the heart muscle);
hypotonic-hyporesponsive episodes (collapse/shock);
convulsions;
subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE);
ataxia (loss of ability to coordinate muscle movements);
parathesia (numbness, burning, prickling, itching, tingling skins sensation indicating nerve irritation)
Transverse Myelitis
Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM)

In both its MMRII and ProQuad product information inserts4, 5 Merck also notes that during MMR vaccine post-marketing surveillance, there have been post-vaccination reports of:

pneumonia;
erythema multiforme (skin disorder from an allergic reaction or infection);
urticarial rash (hives, itching from an allergic reaction);
measles-like rash;
burning/stinging at the injection site;
nerve deafness;
otitis media (ear infection);
retinitis (inflammation of the retina of the eye);
optic neuritis (inflammation of the optic nerve);
conjunctivitis.

Merck also gives the following warnings in their product insert about vaccine strain measles virus infection and shedding: 6

“ Measles inclusion body encephalitis (MIBE), pneumonitis and death as a direct consequence of disseminated measles vaccine virus infection have been reported in immunocompromised individuals inadvertently vaccinated with measles-containing vaccine;” …

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RosencrantzisDead - November 25, 2016

I link to the NHS. You link to an anti-vaccination group. I do not think these groups are equal.

The CDC have a list of sude effects of MMR. Death is not one of them. I am sceptical of this ‘medalerts’ as I can find no other source claiming the same death rate (or any death rate).

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WorldbyStorm - November 25, 2016

Soubresauts, at its kindest that’s a misrepresentation of Goldacre and the point he was making…and he wrote that in 2005 ahead of most inquiries. It would be necessary to see what he says today to get a credible read on his thoughts rather quoting something that is so easily open to question.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2005/sep/08/badscience.research

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soubresauts - November 25, 2016

No, it’s not a misrepresentation of Goldacre (and it’s still on his website: http://www.badscience.net/2005/09/dont-dumb-me-down/). I’m sure he would say the same thing today.

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WorldbyStorm - November 25, 2016

It’s total misrepresentation even in the context of the original quote. He says in 2005 that the study couldn’t bear the weight of extrapolations made about it. And clearly Wakefield was central to that latter process.

I do find it odd S that you seem wedded to the idea that per definition vaccinations are bad. No one here is arguing any vaccine has no side effects, everything potentially has side effects. What we are arguing is that the negative outcomes from not vaccinating are worse than those side effects. What you by contrast appear to be doing is not merely diminishing the reality of the diseases being vaccinated against but also arguing there are no negative aspects to those diseases, or none worth mentioning. I know personally people whose lives were devastated by polio, and I mentioned my uncle who had TB. I know from their lived experience how terrible the impacts of those diseases on them. I find your approach strange. It’s as if you cannot accept humans have any agency in improving their lot, as if we are incapable of making positive medical advances, as if we just must suffer. Sheer logic alone suggests that’s incorrect.

If I were bitten by a rabid dog on the continent I know that I would demand the anti rabies shots, that if I did not take them I would die. I know that certain illnesses will be beaten back by anti biotics, that if I do not take them I will prolong my discomfort and potentially put my life at risk (and I am utterly opposed to too profligate use of antibiotics). I’ve seen this in action for myself and others. I guess what I’m saying is your views are so at variance with the way the world appears fundamentally to function that I have to wonder why?

I get a healthy scepticism but when everything is suspect I think it is counterproductive and it just doesn’t ring true as a credible model for how the world works.

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ivorthorne - November 25, 2016

Mythical?

Here’s what the editors of the BMJ had to say:

“Clear evidence of falsification of data should now close the door on this damaging vaccine scare … Who perpetrated this fraud? There is no doubt that it was Wakefield. Is it possible that he was wrong, but not dishonest: that he was so incompetent that he was unable to fairly
describe the project, or to report even one of the 12 children’s cases accurately? No. A great deal of thought and effort must have gone into
drafting the paper to achieve the results he wanted: the discrepancies all led in one direction; misreporting was gross. Moreover,
although the scale of the GMC’s 217 day hearing precluded additional charges focused directly on the fraud, the panel found him guilty of
dishonesty concerning the study’s admissions criteria, its funding by the Legal Aid Board, and his statements about it afterwards.”

In addition, Wakefiled had financial interests in an alternative vaccine which he failed to disclose.

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2007/01/01/surprise-surprise-andrew-wakefield-was-p/

And even if you believe that there is some sort of conspiracy within the scientific community that led the medical council to attack Wakefield, look at the data for Japan (where the MMR is banned).

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15877763

The notion that the MMR is responsible for increases in autism rates is flat-eath stuff. Wakefield’s claims have been utterly debunked.

With regard to measles and mumps changing from mild to deadly, They’ve always been deadly.. They wiped out large portions of native communities in the “new” world back in the 1500s. At one point , 2/3rd of the native population in Fiji were wiped out by measles. If you get something like measles, most people will be fine (in a society with good healthcare) but complications are common during outbreaks. It’s not deadly on the individual level (death is improbable) but larger outbreaks lead to deaths.

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soubresauts - November 26, 2016

WbS, I’m not in any way suggesting that polio and TB are not awful; I know plenty about them. And I don’t think people should lump measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox and pertussis in with polio or TB. I’m making the point that polio is gone as a threat and whatever threat TB poses for us, the vaccine makes no difference.

As for improving our lot, I could go on at length about how the absence of war and the provision of healthy food, clean water and sanitation have made all the difference in western countries in the 20th century. And would make all the difference to the majority of the world’s population in this century if the western world would prioritize those services over vaccination. Instead, philanthropists like Bill Gates want to vaccinate the destitute people and control their farm seeds before even providing them with clean water.

I don’t know why you seem to think that I would disagree with you about antibiotics. One of my scientific heroes was Albert Schatz who discovered Streptomycin, which made all the difference in the TB epidemic.

You are convinced that “the negative outcomes from not vaccinating are worse than those side effects.” That’s the current meme alright, and I certainly diverge from it. Considering polio, if you look at what the Institute of Medicine (US medical establishment) says about the vaccines, you must wonder why any parent would want to subject their child to them: https://www.nap.edu/read/2138/chapter/8

As for Wakefield (and Goldacre’s take on it), you seem wedded to the MSM’s meme of “great science fraud” as in Time magazine (http://healthland.time.com/2012/01/13/great-science-frauds/slide/andrew-wakefield/). Goldacre’s view is quite different from that.

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soubresauts - November 30, 2016

WbS, I don’t see the scientific consensus that you see in relation to vaccination. Unlike climate change, it’s not a tiny cohort of dissenters; it’s significant differences in scientific opinions about the function and effect of vaccines, and that’s before we even consider the economics and the ethics.

On the ethical issues, it seems to me that leftists are reluctant to express outrage when it comes to eliminating the right to informed consent. Is it not hypocrisy to copy the US and Australia in public “health” measures while wanting to be part of the continental EU, where such measures (forced fluoridation and forced vaccination…) are generally regarded as abhorrent? Is it not obvious that such measures benefit only Big Pharma and their friends?

The current reality in Ireland is that people who question vaccination (and it should be questioned!) get almost no hearing in the mainstream media, while they are subjected to constant vitriol in the social media, to the extent of being branded as “child-killers”. Meanwhile they are threatened with forced vaccination and all that entails. All the while they are forced to pay part of the cost of measures they see as unnecessary, unscientific, and unjust.

How many brave people does it need to stand up for human rights, civil rights, and freedom of speech, before people get the message? Edward Snowden is eloquent on this issue:

Compare the view of Andrew Young on fluoridation:
http://fluoridealert.org/news/andrew-young-letter-oct-6-2016/

In contrast, here’s an example of the ridiculous pro-vaccination propaganda that permeates the MSM:
http://www.independent.ie/life/health-wellbeing/mental-health/dr-ciara-kelly-on-antidepressants-sometimes-we-must-shout-the-drugs-do-work-35245427.html
Quote: “… And doctors like me need to become more forthright.
“We need to stop being afraid to say a vaccine is safe or a drug is beneficial just because there is angry noise out there to the contrary.
“In this post-truth world we need to still speak in facts even if what we have to say is unpopular.”
Doctors afraid to say a vaccine is safe?? Give me a break.

There’s more of this propaganda in the Irish Times today:
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/hpv-scare-triggers-negative-ripple-effect-for-other-vaccines-1.2886573
It’s all the fault of those pesky parents in the Regret group, whereas the wonderful Gardasil vaccine is entirely innocent. Yeah, sure.

Note that HSE staff don’t want the wonderful flu vaccine: “The report says numbers taking the flu vaccine among its staff last winter were also significantly down on expectations. Just 22.5 per cent of hospital staff, and 27 per cent of nursing home staff, received the jab last winter, against a target of 40 per cent.” What would they know?

Also note how the IT report, with all its shocking figures of waiting lists and hospital overspending, carries the headline “HPV scare…”

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soubresauts - November 26, 2016

Ivorthorne, we obviously disagree fundamentally on what the BMJ did about Wakefield. As I see it, they blundered mightily by running with Brian Deer’s articles, and then just brazened it out when Wakefield and others pointed out the faults. After all, the defrocked Wakefield was out of the country and wouldn’t be listened to, they obviously reasoned. There’s more about why the BMJ acted as they did in this overview:
http://www.ageofautism.com/2011/01/faqs-about-the-bmj-wakefield-editorial-and-the-launch-of-vaccine-epidemic.html

You can see in the comments on this page that the BMJ editor Fiona Godlee sets out to defend her position and then abandons the struggle when the details start to stack up against her:
http://www.ageofautism.com/2011/02/email-the-bmj-editor-asking-these-questions-re-andy-wakefield-editorial.html

If you don’t think Wakefield was scapegoated by the medical establishment and big business interests, you should wonder why his colleague Professor Walker-Smith had his reputation restored by a British court.

I’m not surprised you refer to David Gorski (aka orac), the oncologist-blogger who is Supreme Leader of the “anti-anti-vaxxer” movement, and the go-to man for most of the western medical establishment (including Big Pharma) when it comes to “alternative” treatments. Gorski and his followers call themselves “skeptics” but they have absolutely no scepticism about vaccination. For them there can be no valid questioning of vaccination. As Hillary Clinton put it:

As for measles and mumps, they are not “deadly”, and you ought to know that. Why resort to such hyperbole and emotive language? I know, you’re only quoting what the “public health experts” say. Now why have they changed their tune on these viruses which were only “mild” before the vaccines arrived?

Are these the same “public health experts” who perpetuate the fluoride fraud? Why, the very same! I have been studying the fluoride issue for over 20 years and I have seen nothing but lies from those experts. One more reason to be sceptical about vaccination.

In the future we won’t be allowed to be sceptical any more, and we’ll all be force-vaccinated, just as we are all force-fluoridated now.

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WorldbyStorm - November 26, 2016

Measles aren’t deadly? Really?

“In 2015, there were 134 200 measles deaths globally – about 367 deaths every day or 15 deaths every hour.”

WHO.

Or this.

“You are convinced that “the negative outcomes from not vaccinating are worse than those side effects.” That’s the current meme alright, and I certainly diverge from it. Considering polio, if you look at what the Institute of Medicine (US medical establishment) says about the vaccines, you must wonder why any parent would want to subject their child to them: https://www.nap.edu/read/2138/chapter/8

Really, the current meme? Vaccines have been used across many many decades, it’s not just big pharma, it is about genuine dedicated people attempting to ameliorate appalling human suffering. And you can diverge all you like, but there’s a consensus amongst medical experts that the good vaccines do mightily outweighs the admitted negative effects. But this isn’t just their consensus, it’s the historical record. Now you can dissent from that but there’s nothing you’ve offered that contradicts it on any serious scale.

I assume, though I have to wonder if my assumption is incorrect at this point, that you agree with the consensus on climate change. Why would you differ in respect of vaccines?

And I’d go further. What you seem to want is certainty. But that is impossible. I used to be terrified of flying because one cannot be certain the plane won’t fall out of the sky. And that still holds but I realised that all things considered while I might be on a plane in that situation the mathematical probability was that I would be on a plane that made it safely to its destination. Doesn’t mean my number woudln’t/won’t come up. But at some point one has to accept a degree of risk. And the same is true of vaccines. I cannot guarantee my daughter’s safety. But, in order to guarantee as many others daughter or son’s safety one should vaccinate. And yes, that could work out badly for my daughter or someone’s daughter but equally and much more likely they might be felled or badly injured by a disease they were unvaccinated against.

Flouride is the same. No one dies from it. Human lifespans broadly speaking keep going up. And yet there you are plugging away as if it’s the worst in the world. At the worst, and this is the very worst, it may cause some minor issues. But nope, it has to be an existential threat.

I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of this stuff is really unworked through fear of death – that the fretting about vaccinations or this or that is really an effort to fend off the inevitable. Well, for all the sympathy I have about that, because I share it and sheesh, I don’t want to die either and at my age it’s a feck of a lot closer than it used to be, one way or another, there’s the reality that there’s nothing that can be done about it and that there are other factors – such as ensuring that broadly speaking other people get a fair crack of the whip. So for all your stuff about fanboys of vaccinations I’ll go with what is a prevailing scientific consensus and simply accept that sooner or later I’m out of the picture. Life is full of risk, vaccines and so on lessen that but they can’t take it away entirely. There are other issues more deserving IMO of our attention. There really are.

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Alibaba - November 26, 2016

I suppose it is fair to say there can be massively conflicting statements and sources of evidence about vaccination. But I am not sure that a blog is the best way to entertain them. Good to see that posts are being challenged and better still in a measured way. But frankly who has the time, expertise and inclination to address them in a thought-provoking and conclusive way? Not I. Still, great to see much stuff for our consideration. However, as you say ‘There are other issues more deserving IMO of our attention. There really are.’

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WorldbyStorm - November 26, 2016

That’s a lot of fair points Alibaba. I don’t want to sound utterly dismissive of concerns about vaccines. It’s impossible not to reflect upon the potential side-effects if one thinks about them. But I think soubresauts and many of us here do have radically different views of risk. What I would say is that engagement on this is always welcome – even taking into account many of us have deeply rooted views, and in a way engagement is very important because nothing is beyond question.

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soubresauts - November 27, 2016

WbS, you wrote “I assume, though I have to wonder if my assumption is incorrect at this point, that you agree with the consensus on climate change. Why would you differ in respect of vaccines?”

It seems you want to think that vaccine sceptics are the same as climate change sceptics, but that’s very wide of the mark.

Getting back to the main subject, consider the HPV vaccine. Now perhaps half of Irish families are opting out of it. The three-shot vaccination costs around €300. If half of the families don’t want the shots, it’s obviously unjust to expect them to pay for the other people’s shots.

The same injustice prevails for the other vaccines. For any vaccine, there is a significant number of people who don’t want it. Yet they are expected to pay their share of the cost.

The Government takes the attitude of “Oh yes, we gotta have that” whenever a new vaccine comes on the market. If vaccines are so wonderful, why not let the people who want them pay for them? And if vaccines are so safe, why not let the manufacturers carry the risk of vaccine damage? At present they cannot be sued.

The Government and a lot of the people (most of them most of the time) have fallen for the simplistic credo that:
— Vaccination is the answer to disease. (It’s not.)
— Vaccination is the greatest breakthrough of modern medicine. (It’s not.)
— Vaccination is safe. (It’s not.)
— Vaccination is effective. (It’s not nearly as effective as people are led to think.)
— Anyone who questions vaccination should be ridiculed. (Wrong again.)
— Anyone who refuses vaccination is a threat to public health. (Wrong again.)
— And so on…

The people who accept all that are presumably ready to accept compulsory vaccination, a fascist measure.

Since Ireland is the only democracy in the world with compulsory water fluoridation (another fascist measure) and since Ireland slavishly follows the health practices of the big English-speaking nations, we can expect the imposition of compulsory vaccination soon. Medical ethics be damned. Principle of informed consent be damned. Outrageous cost to the taxpayer be damned.

The main demand of the unfortunate Regret parents is that all parents be given full information about the vaccine (it wasn’t given to them), and that the Minister and the health authorities treat them with fairness and respect. Varadkar as Minister refused to meet them and cast them as troublemakers, and that attitude continues. The chance of a vaccine-damaged child receiving compensation is close to zero.

As for fluoridation… You are allowed to be wrong. But you’re not allowed to avoid fluoride.

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WorldbyStorm - November 27, 2016

WbS, you wrote “I assume, though I have to wonder if my assumption is incorrect at this point, that you agree with the consensus on climate change. Why would you differ in respect of vaccines?”
It seems you want to think that vaccine sceptics are the same as climate change sceptics, but that’s very wide of the mark.

I’m simply wondering why it is you accept a consensus in one area of science and not in another.

Getting back to the main subject, consider the HPV vaccine. Now perhaps half of Irish families are opting out of it. The three-shot vaccination costs around €300. If half of the families don’t want the shots, it’s obviously unjust to expect them to pay for the other people’s shots.

The same injustice prevails for the other vaccines. For any vaccine, there is a significant number of people who don’t want it. Yet they are expected to pay their share of the cost.

Exactly the same argument is used by the right in respect of social and other services that individuals don’t avail of and it’s as unconvincing in this instance as it is in those instances. Societies pool together resources to cover costs – it is done in transport, education, health, welfare and so on. I access myself none of those previous ones (bar briefly a visit to A&E last month which cost me 50e or the odd bus and tram trip and a broader transport infrastructure. My daughter benefits from education and health.). I still pay my taxes without hypothecation because if the society is stable and benefits I benefit indirectly (and perhaps directly). This is basic stuff in regard to left wing thinking.

The Government takes the attitude of “Oh yes, we gotta have that” whenever a new vaccine comes on the market. If vaccines are so wonderful, why not let the people who want them pay for them? And if vaccines are so safe, why not let the manufacturers carry the risk of vaccine damage? At present they cannot be sued.

The concept of herd immunity is part of the reason that vaccines are made available widely. Simply using some on small groups isn’t going to work (obviously in other instances it will – I’m not likely to have any of the issues the HPV vaccine prevents).

Regarding the openness of vaccine makers being sued that’s a different argument which I’m not unsympathetic to.

The Government and a lot of the people (most of them most of the time) have fallen for the simplistic credo that:
— Vaccination is the answer to disease. (It’s not.)
— Vaccination is the greatest breakthrough of modern medicine. (It’s not.)
— Vaccination is safe. (It’s not.)
— Vaccination is effective. (It’s not nearly as effective as people are led to think.)
— Anyone who questions vaccination should be ridiculed. (Wrong again.)
— Anyone who refuses vaccination is a threat to public health. (Wrong again.)
— And so on…

No one has said vaccines alone are the answer. No one has said they’re the greatest breakthrough. No one has said vaccines are without some risk. People have said they’re effective – that’s clear from diseases that have faded away. No one is ridiculing, what is being asked of is a basic standard of evidence that frankly hasn’t been provided. As to the last it depends. In some instances people are only a threat to themselves. In others they are a potential threat to others. I have to note you haven’t addressed or engaged with any of the issues that the SBP raised in relation to the sheer opacity of Regret in its public dealings. Are they beyond question, their bona fides so strong that we must simply accept because they are ‘sceptical’ that they don’t have to match a basic yardstick of information and decency in their dealings with others they purport to represent?

The people who accept all that are presumably ready to accept compulsory vaccination, a fascist measure.
It depends. If the benefits were demonstrably much greater than the negatives perhaps compulsory vaccination would be necessary. If there was an outbreak of a disease that had a very high mortality perhaps compulsory vaccination would be necessary. But let’s not engage the hyperbole drive before there’s any need ot.

Since Ireland is the only democracy in the world with compulsory water fluoridation (another fascist measure) and since Ireland slavishly follows the health practices of the big English-speaking nations, we can expect the imposition of compulsory vaccination soon. Medical ethics be damned. Principle of informed consent be damned. Outrageous cost to the taxpayer be damned.
The main demand of the unfortunate Regret parents is that all parents be given full information about the vaccine (it wasn’t given to them), and that the Minister and the health authorities treat them with fairness and respect. Varadkar as Minister refused to meet them and cast them as troublemakers, and that attitude continues. The chance of a vaccine-damaged child receiving compensation is close to zero.
As for fluoridation… You are allowed to be wrong. But you’re not allowed to avoid fluoride.

Yes but it works both ways. If Regret sets itself up as expert and representative in these matters it ill-behoves it not to respond to the very basic questions put to it. As to the rest, I’ve studied fluoridation for years now, I’m not unsympathetic to the calls for it to be removed from water, and yet, and yet, I cannot see any sustained evidence that there are serious negative effects. And if not fluoride well why not other chemicals used to treat water before it is pumped into homes. Isn’t that fascist as well? Or why does that get a free pass if it is okay?

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7. CL - November 27, 2016

“A new report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 20.3 million deaths have been prevented by the measles vaccine between 2000 and 2015.”
http://www.sciencealert.com/the-measles-vaccine-has-saved-more-than-20-million-lives-since-2000-new-report-finds

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CL - November 27, 2016

“While the federal government currently has little involvement in vaccination mandates, which are largely determined on a state-by-state basis, Trump and many of his supporters’ anti-science fervor could still lead to troubling outcomes. Such possibilities include Trump’s appointing of a vaccine skeptic or anti-vaxxer to the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, or Food and Drug Administration. Such a decision would not only be bad news for vaccine research, but also for our longstanding commitment to empirical evidence as the foundation for public health recommendations.”
http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2016/11/22/trump_reportedly_assured_vaccine_skeptics_of_his_support_at_a_donor_event.html

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