Home > Expert Insights, Testimonials > The Nurse’s Role in Immunization Services

The Nurse’s Role in Immunization Services

August 18, 2011

To begin our introductions of the Every Child By Two Scientific Advisory Board, I had the pleasure of interviewing one of our distinguished members Mary Beth Koslap-Petraco, DNP, PNP-BC, CPNP.

Dr. Koslap-Petraco is the coordinator for child health at the Suffolk County Department of Health Service in New York, where she is also a primary care provider.  She is a clinical assistant professor and preceptor for graduate and undergraduate students at the Stony Brook University School of Nursing, as well as a fellow of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP).

“ Knowledge is not knowledge until it is given away.”  Dr. Koslap-Petraco 

What first motivated you to begin working in the field of immunizations? 

Immunizations became my life’s work almost by accident. I worked in the Emergency Department for years where I gave lots of tetanus shots.  Since it has always a passion of mine to keep up with the most current literature,  I remember reading a CDC article which supported the use of tetanus-diphtheria (Td) vaccine for wound prophylaxis rather than tetanus toxoid.

When I left the ER, I took a position as a Public Health Nurse for Suffolk County Department of Health Services (SCDHS) in New York, where I was assigned to the Treatment Room to administer vaccines.  Since the only vaccine I had ever administered was Td, it was time to hit the books again, and I turned to my trusted resource, the CDC.

Eventually, I went back to school to become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.  Soon after I graduated, the CDC’s National Immunization Program began to offer Immunization Action Plan (IAP) grants to local health departments to promote immunizations to the underserved, and I was given the opportunity to develop the plan for Suffolk County.

At this time Walter Orenstein, MD, MPH, director of the National Immunization Program, was developing a course in vaccinology and immunology aimed specifically at health care professionals, and most notably nurses.  Dr. Orenstein believed that if the nurses were to be giving vaccines, then they should have the education to do so.  He also believed, along with William Atkinson, MD, MPH, medical epidemiologist from the CDC, that immunization programs could not be successful unless the nurses were behind them.

As a result, all of the managers of the IAP grants were asked to take the CDC’s vaccinology-immunology course.  To this day, that course is one of the best courses I have ever taken in my life!  Dr. Orenstein and Dr. Atkinson both spoke with such passion about this mission that it became my mission too.  I was hooked for life!

Can you explain your current job responsibilities?  

In short, I  am responsible for making sure that every question about immunizations in Suffolk County – whether from lay person, parent, child, or provider – is answered using the most current, scientifically supported information.  The goal is to ensure that everyone in Suffolk County receives all of the age appropriate vaccines they need to stop vaccine preventable diseases.

Have you ever had any personal experiences with diseases that are now vaccine preventable? 

Dr. Koslap-Petraco with her mother, Mildred Bliss Koslap, on her 90th birthday.

Unfortunately, I have.  Both of my sisters and I had measles, rubella, and mumps, and one of my sisters developed measles meningitis and almost died.  I can remember my mother rocking my sister in her arms in a darkened room and praying out loud for her survival.  Also, my mother developed polio when she was three years old and now suffers from post polio syndrome.  I’m so grateful that my career path has brought me in this direction, because I can help prevent other families from experiencing what my family has experienced.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?

I love sharing my knowledge of vaccines with others.  Whether it is parents, nurses, or providers, each group gives me a tremendous sense of satisfaction, knowing that I have contributed to their education and ultimately their confidence in immunizations.  Parents hear so many things about vaccines and they truly want to do what’s best for their children.  By taking a few minutes to anticipate their questions, and then responding in a thoughtful, sensitive manner, I help them resolve their concerns.  It’s also an honor to help so many nurses and providers and it’s gratifying to know that I’m able to expedite answers to their questions and clarify immunization information with detailed sources.

What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?

I would have to say that it’s in addressing vaccine refusal.  Well meaning parents who have heard so much negative information about vaccines will sometimes refuse one, or all, of the ACIP
recommended vaccines
.  My job is to address parental apprehensions and explain that there is no scientific basis for their concerns.  Most parents ultimately choose to vaccinate their children, but it’s the families – and some nurses too – who are not vaccinated that I worry about the most.  I worry about the health of their children, who may end up with first-hand knowledge of vaccine preventable diseases. I worry about my nurse colleagues, who not only put themselves and their colleagues at risk, but our patients as well.  Some may say that there is nothing you can say or do to change the mind of a vaccine refuser, but I say we must continue to try.

What is the single most influential thing you have learned over the years?

I have learned a great deal about communication and some of the most useful information I have learned has come from Alison Singer, president of the Autism Science Foundation.  Alison taught me to start the conversation by finding common ground with the person with whom you are conversing.  Alison has developed a communication paradigm called CASE, which I have been privileged to share with literally thousands of nurses through the internet and through continuing education programs sponsored by the American Nurses Association.  It’s rewarding to know that thousands of nurses have now learned and can apply Alison’s CASE method of communication, especially when addressing immunization questions.

What would you consider to be a highlight of your career?

I had once assumed that everyone knew what I knew about immunizations, but Dr. Bill Atkinson once told me to “Assume others know nothing about immunizations and start from there”.  I took this advice and found it to be extremely helpful, especially when I was working on a free, web-based, continuing nursing education (CNE) program with ECBT for the ANA.  I would have to say that working on this project has been the highlight of my career so far.  It was truly a labor of love and a gift to my fellow nurses.  I can’t tell you how I nit-picked over everything – and I’m certain that I drove everyone who had to work with me absolutely crazy – but I wanted the nurses to have all of the tools they need to make their jobs rewarding, easy, efficient and fun.

Dr. Mary Hibberd talks about her love for Public Health by explaining that when we care for individual patients we influence individual lives, but when we practice Public Health we care for and influence entire communities.  This is what made this CNE so satisfying for me.  I was able to influence an entire community of nurses who will now use the knowledge they have gained to influence entire communities of patients.

What drives your passion for immunizations? 

My passion is driven by my sincere desire to prevent the ravages of vaccine preventable diseases for all families.  For example, I’m honored to work with Lynn Bozof and Frankie Milley, two moms who lost their sons to meningitis.  Neither mom knew there was a vaccine available to prevent meningitis before their sons had died.  To honor them, I’m determined to vaccinate every child I can to prevent another mom from having to lose a child.

Knowledge is power, and giving moms the knowledge they need to make the decision to vaccinate is very important to me.  I went into nursing because I wanted to help others become healthy and stay healthy, and that continues to be my personal and professional goal.  I do not just see this work as a job, but as a mission…a mission to arrest vaccine preventable diseases and thereby improve the quality of life for all.

What are your ambitions for the future of immunization practices?

My desire is to continue educating, speaking and writing about immunizations and the role of the professional nurse in providing immunization services.  I have heard others say “Nurses own immunizations”.  That’s because nurses are able to take the time to teach our patients and their families about immunizations and vaccine preventable diseases. I believe nurses are the driving force behind immunization programs and I want to share that message with nurses and give them the tools they need to keep promoting and administering vaccines.

Dr. Koslap-Petraco is the recipient of numerous awards and honors for her work.  Dr. Koslap-Petraco is widely published, speaks nationally, and has authored chapters on immunizations in two textbooks.   She received the Doctor of Nursing Practice at Stony Brook University where she also received an MS in child health and pediatrics.  Dr. Koslap-Petraco received a BSN from Excelsior College in Albany, New York and earned a diploma from the Bellevue School of Nursing in New York City. She is the past chair of NAPNAP’s Special Interest Group on Immunizations and a past member of the Advisory Board of the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC).  She served on the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and continues to be a consultant for the CDC.  Dr. Koslap-Petraco is also a member of the Advisory Board of Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases (PKIDS) and is the PKIDS on line Advice Nurse. We are thrilled that she is now also a member of the Every Child By Two Scientific Board.

If you have any questions you would like to ask Dr. Koslap-Petraco, feel free to include them in the comments below.

  1. Cindy
    August 18, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Hope your vaccines don’t give you arthritis like they did me. An orthopedic surgeon just told me Monday that my tetanus booster “most likely” was the cause of my arthritis even though my family physician got mad at me for even asking if it could have been a trigger. All I know is that every time I’ve had a flu shot my shoulder has swollen up and become immobile, and then the pain, arthralgia and arthritis has spread to every bone and joint in my body. Both times I got a tetanus and pneumonia shot together (in 1997 and 2007), both arms swelled up and the pain and inflammation spread all over my body for months, and then years. My allergy doctor finally told me he didn’t think I should take vaccines anymore (he was the one administering them). And finally, just this week, at least one professional was professional enough to admit that not everyone can “safely” take these shots.

  2. RitaMarie RN
    August 21, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    My son received a contaminated vaccine that was eventually recalled, in 1994. He is severely brain injured as a direct result of this particular vaccine. I am a Registered Nurse also. It is ridiculous that the vaccine programs do not even acknowlege the reasons why so many people refuse vaccines, and that is because the large number of vaccine injuries that DO occur. We can sweep them under the carpet, as the medical establishment does….for “public safety reasons”…but it doesnt change the fact that vaccine injuries are occuring in record numbers, and being completely denied or called coincidental of other factors. We need to look at the population of people who are not vaccinating, and it is because they have suffered vaccine injury. Until the medical establishement starts acknowleging THAT population….The vaccine policy will always have compliance issues…Period!

  3. LAS
    August 21, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    My son is also recovering from a severe vaccine injury. I wonder how you would feel looking in to the eyes of a previously vibrant, healthy, beautiful child, now vacant, who self injures, who no long speaks, or walks, knowing that you injured him by administering a vaccine. Every time you jab a kid, you take that risk. Living with that the rest if your life is not easy. I’m a mother who knows that all too well. Explore the dangers too. They can make better vaccines, they choose not to. Take the junk out. Merck knows their vaccines cause demyelination, their website says so, but nurses don’t share the REAL risks, shame on you.

  4. Michelle Parsons
    August 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    I also am a health care professional with 3 totally un vaccinated children, (20, 17 and 16 next month), who will remain so, I have seen the damage and carnage of mass childhood vaccination chalked up to SIDS or simply Unknown Death…I have seen and worked with the Vaccine Brain Injured….”Well Meaning Parents”??? Stop with the condescending speech…we KNOW what we are doing and it is the BEST thing any parent can do for their children…NOT VACCINATING THEM WITH DEADLY NEURO-TOXINS.

  5. Kelly
    August 21, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Claiming that there are deadly neurotoxins in vaccines indicates you don’t know what you are doing, Michelle. Perhaps you should take Dr. Koslap-Petraco’s course to learn about the ingredients in vaccines?

    I think it is sad that there are nurses that spread misinformation about vaccines. Isn’t there a code of ethics against such behaviour?

  6. Kari
    August 21, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Kelly, have you gone to the CDC’s website and read the ingredients/excipients found in vaccines today? Read them and you will see that there are, in fact, deadly neurotoxins in vaccines.

  7. Kelly
    August 21, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Yes, I have read them Kari. And I also know what they are and what they do. That’s how I know there are no deadly neurotoxins in vaccines.

    The tetanus vaccine, on the other hand, does protect against the deadly neurotoxin, tetanospasmin. I think someone that was worried about neurotoxins would be all over that vaccine. The TDaP and Tdap vaccine also protects against toxins produced by Corynebacterium diphtheria and Bordetella pertussis. Those toxins are not neurotoxins but can be just as deadly.

    I’m glad my family has some protecting against those real toxins by vaccinating rather than the fantasy toxins created by anti-vaxers as an excuse not to be vaccinated.

    To have a nurse fail to understand vaccine ingredients that badly is really a shame and a real professional would know not to speak out with authority on things they know nothing about.

  8. Cindy
    August 21, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Kelly, is your brain comprehending what your hands wrote to Kari? You’re telling her there are no neurotoxins in vaccines, then you negate that by saying the tetanus vaccine, TDaP and Tdap have toxins in them that can be just as deadly as neurotoxins. Personally, I’m glad for you that you and your family can take vaccines safely. I thought I was too — I even argued about not being able to take the flu vaccine anymore. But let me tell you what, once you’ve lain in bed thinking you’re going to die, and that illness begins with, and is triggered by the vaccine you just got, you’ll change your pedantic tune about “anti-vaxers.” Both my children were fully vaccinated with no adverse events that I know of. But I never would have guessed that would be me whose arms swelled and seeped, whose shoulder joints would freeze and not move, and whose body would be writhing in pain for weeks, then months, then years because of vaccines. It’s like this: I’m not allergic to peanuts… yet … but I would NEVER ridicule someone who is allergic to peanuts for not eating them, nor would I petition the government to force people with peanut allergies to eat peanuts. The analogy is the same — some people can safely take vaccines, some can’t. Saying that it’s different would be the same thing as telling people who get anaphylaxis from peanuts that there’s no real connection, that it’s all in their heads, or that it’s “coincidence.” I know what happened to me the last time I had the tetanus vaccine — and I wasn’t sure I was going to live, beginning within an hour of receiving those shots. And today I’m really sick and tired of people in the medical profession swallowing the vaccine safety-for-all propaganda, hook, line and sinker, and then lecturing someone whose experience may be similar to mine.

  9. Kelly
    August 21, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    No Cindy, you are the one not comprehending. The vaccine protects against the toxins produced by the bacteria that cause the disease. The vaccine contains toxoids which are inactivated toxins. The toxoid stimulates an antibody response so if the body ever comes across the real toxins, the body is protected.

    Absolutely Cindy. Allergy is a contradiction to vaccination. I wouldn’t expect you to get that vaccine again, but that doesn’t negate the safety and effectiveness of vaccines for others. It sucks for you that you can’t have the protection of the vaccine. I hope you never get tetanus, pertussis and diphtheria because you couldn’t have the protection of the vaccine.

    I haven’t seen anyone “swallowing the vaccine safety-for-all propaganda hook, line and sinker” because I haven’t seen such propaganda. I only use credible sources for information and every source I have looked at acknowledges a risk to vaccination.

    Falsely assigning causation to temporal correlated events is a very common mistake because our brains are hard wired to do this. People should be rightly skeptical of assigning causation just because Y happened after X. We should demand stronger evidence before determining causation, such as scientific studies, rather than anecdotal stories like yours.

  10. Cindy
    August 21, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Anecdotal vs. science: I get the vaccine. The injection site turns angry red, is hot & feverish. The muscle becomes swollen and the inflammation travels to my shoulder, which with an hour or two of the vaccine becomes so painful I can’t even lift my arm to comb my hair. The whole arm then swells up, beginning at the injection site. Then it spreads to the rest of my body and my joints. My asthma begins kicking in, and I lie in bed weeping real tears because everything hurts so bad. After about a week I get better but the arthralgia stays, and I have months and then 3-4 years of pain and swollen joints before it begins to subside. Then I get the vaccine again, 10 years later because it’s time for the booster. And guess what? It all happens again, same way, same order, only sooner and faster and worse than before. In the meantime I get flu shots because now I have autoimmune problems and of course people with immunocompromised systems NEED flu vaccines, right? So I get them and the same thing happens again, only instead of lying in bed thinking I was dying, I get so sick I lie in bed wishing I were dead. btw, I’m allergic to thimerosal so I can’t take most flu shots now anyway. But when the doctor first told I could take these vaccines anymore, I staged a protest. But he was adamant I can’t take them. So what I do take is 5000 IUs of vitamin D3 a day. Plus I keep my hands away from my face, nose, ears and mouth when I’m outside my home. I keep my hands washed with plain soap & water OFTEN, and if I’m around who’s sick, I either get away from them or ask them to please cough somewhere else. And guess what? When I used to get flu shots, aside from the adverse reactions, I also was guaranteed of getting the flu at least once anyway (which they told me was probably a flu not covered in the shot). Since I gave up flu shots and take D3 and concentrate on cleanliness, I haven’t been sick once. NOT ONCE since 2007.

  11. Cindy
    August 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    that’s when the doctor (above) first told me I could NOT take the vaccines anymore, I protested.

  12. Kelly
    August 21, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    I’m so glad that you have not got the flu, and maybe it was the D3 that was responsible or maybe it is because you are more aware of hand-washing and staying away from sick people or maybe you just haven’t been exposed to the flu.

    I’m read the anecdote, but I missed the science in your post? Allergic reactions are a known risk and your doctor agreed. I’m not seeing how your story illustrates your outrage about so called safety-for-all propaganda.

  13. RitaMarie RN
    August 22, 2011 at 10:24 am

    When anedotes start creating a huge trend…….hhuummmmm? should the science start considering it a trend? or is it all just a mere coincidence? Vaccine injury is becoming a very real trend, that people need to open an eye to. Pharma protects it’s investment at every angle, and funds a lot of the studies. These large trends in childrena nd adults who are being injured by their vaccines….need a lot of attention. There are no diagnostic tests to determine vaccine injury, so most doctors just diagnose a set of post vaccine symptoms as any thing else, and the numbers of vaccine injured are grosly skewed by the fact that there are no diagnostic tests prooving any thing. Vaccine injury trends need a lot of attention. Most every one knows at least someone who was injured by a vaccine. The population of children today….cant be more sick or ailing …..1:10 ADHD, autism, allergies, exczmas chronic ear infections,autoimmune diseases, DM . With the numbers of childhood disability and disease through the roof…out of control, higher than we have ever seen as Americans. We can not continue to equate “good health” because of vaccines, it is just not happening, and defending the overly aggressive vaccine schedule…is wrong on so many levels. More children are injured by the vaccines, than actually acquire the diseases….there is a big problem with this system. I highly suggest you look into the reality of this program through The National Vaccine Information Center, who has taken on the pharma industry for the vaccine injured kids

  14. Cindy
    August 22, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Here’s an anecdote for you: I worked in an office with about 50 people in it. Everybody, and I mean everybody except me and the secretary got sicker than sick with the flu. I’m positive that 2 of them had whooping cough too, even though they denied it. Well, what made me and the secretary different? We were the only ones who did NOT get the company flu shot when the nurse came, and we became almost OCD in keeping our hands clean, our desks wiped with cleaners AND we took vitamins and supplements. (D3) for me. Oh, gee, what was that about the flu shot everybody got? One of my co-workers’ arms swelled up like mine used to do, and she was really really sick, but her doctor told her it couldn’t have been from the shot. Everybody else’s doctors told them they probably got a different strain of flu or something like a bad cold. The 2 whooping cough suspects refused to talk to me about what their doctors said, so I just stayed away from them. But the bottom line is since I quit taking flu shots and began supplementing and practicing good hygiene, etc. I have NOT gotten the flu.

  15. RitaMarie RN
    August 22, 2011 at 10:53 am

    When I worked in an inner city hospital, I was always amazed at the numbers of people hospitalized with the flu or pneumonia….who were vaccinated for those. I had a bad allergic reaction to a flu shot about 15 years ago. I have not had a flu shot since. I have had 1 illness that may have been the flu in that time period, but I was not sick enough to go to the doctor, so I am not sure if it was or not. I find that with flu shots….people who refuse them, mainly health care workers….so so, because they have had a serious issue with tolerating the after effects of the flu vaccine. Ever notice the campaign to get hospital staff vaxed? If people did not have significant issues with it in the past….it would be no big deal….but, it is….people know weather they can tolerate the flu shot….and are not lining up to get another one if they had a bad issue in the past. No one should be forced to under go a medical proceedure against their will, and they should not have their jobs held over their head if they dont get a flu shot. The “science” needs to start realizing that vaccination is a one size fits all policy….and Humans, are not one size! Proud to be an RN with REALISTIC views.

  16. Kelly
    August 22, 2011 at 10:59 am

    That’s nice Cindy. I’m happy for you. I hope you continue to remain healthy for this upcoming cold/flu season.

    I hope you’ll forgive me when I take scientific studies with a sample size larger than 50 and proper controls with more weight than your anecdotal story. Anecdotes are not appropriate when making objective choices in regards to health care.

  17. Kelly
    August 22, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Correlation equals causation is one of the most common logical fallacies that despite her education, Rita is not immune too.

    Vaccines do not cause autism, so those people are not vaccine injured. http://www.aap.org/immunization/families/faq/vaccinestudies.pdf

    Vaccines don’t cause chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, chronic arthritis, hay fever, and asthma. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/111/3/653.full

    These anecdotes have been considered by science and have no merit. As a RN, RitaMarie, don’t you have a professional obligation to stay current on the medical literature and provide accurate information to your patients? Were you not taught how to evaluate sources of information and thus realize NVIC is not a credible site to send people too?

    While the claim “more children are injured by the vaccines, than actually acquire the disease” is technically true, it is very misleading. The reason this claim is true is that vaccines have practically eliminated the diseases from countries with public immunization programs. History has shown us that if we cease using vaccines, much more children would be injured or killed by the diseases than ever were by the vaccine. Again, RitaMarie, do you not have a professional obligation as a RN to represent the medical literature in a complete and truthful manner?

    Personally, I would be embarrassed to call myself a professional like you have and then exhibit such an incompetence. You should be ashamed of yourself. Perhaps you should enroll in Dr. Koslap-Petraco course and learn something about vaccines before embarrassing yourself and your profession in this way?

  18. Kelly
    August 22, 2011 at 11:26 am

    I think that if you cannot properly protect your patients by getting a flu vaccine, a responsible person would withdrawal from professional activities that put others at risk.

    I would not want a nurse that refused the flu vaccine because I would feel he/she was incompetent in their profession.

  19. RitaMarie RN
    August 22, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Refusing a flu shot because you have had issues with it in the past….is not a measure of incompetence. Not understanding that every one can’t tolerate the medical proceedure…IS INCOMPETENT. When you look at the sheer numbers of patients admitted who had the flu shot…and you see the amount of staff who get the flu who had the flu shot….you will see it is a crap shoot. The protection is very sketchy, at best! I find it to be complete incompetence to not recognize vaccine injury, and the mass reports of unwellness. when you cant compare the current unhealth of the citizens, and the very aggressive vaccine policy…something is wrong with your competence.Perhaps skewed by some Pharma bucks?

  20. Kelly
    August 22, 2011 at 11:42 am

    This document outlines the professional responsibilities of RNs in Manitoba, Canada.

    http://cms.tng-secure.com/file_download.php?fFile_id=140

    From that document:
    “Use research-based information from nursing, other health care disciplines, and other pertinent sources to increase and enrich knowledge base and guide nursing practice.”

    “Support clients to make informed decisions.”

    “Use critical thinking to perform interventions safely and accurately, evaluate outcomes, and
    modify interventions according to evaluation.”

    ” Acknowledge limitations in knowledge, judgment and/or skills, and function within those limitations.”

    “Assume responsibility for maintaining competence in own nursing practice.”

    I don’t know where RitaMarie is licensed and how her professional responsibilities compare to those of RNs in Manitoba, but I can’t imagine the standards to be too much different. Your pride in your incompetence disgusts me, RitaMarie. You are probably glad I’m not a RN, because it would be my professional responsibility to report you and unlike you, I take professional responsibilities seriously.

  21. Kelly
    August 22, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Nobody says the flu shot is 100% effective, RitaMarie. Again, you lack of ability to objectively evaluate the literature is really astounding.

    Nobody denies legitimate vaccine injuries, but an illness that happens after receiving a vaccine is not necessarily a vaccine injury. Again “correlation does not equal causation”.

    And calling me Pharma shill, just confirms that you have nothing to support your position.

    Please go back to school and learn about vaccines RitaMarie. You don’t know what you don’t know.

  22. RitaMarie RN
    August 22, 2011 at 11:54 am

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2011/08/hdnet-world-reports-looks-at-vaccines-and-autisms-mixed-signals-823.html The Government has paid out Billions in settlements for vaccine -induced autism. Why? Because those children did not develop autism? My son was injured by a vaccine and has a subsiquent autism diagnosis, that he did not have prior tot he vaccines he received at 3 years old. So many parents are reporting this…it is a huge trend, to continue to sweep it under the carpet, especially when the Government is paying out on the autism cases…is wrong. All of the Pharma literature and studies you refer to… are bought and paid for by Pharma. Every child by 2…your orginization…Hey Pharma owns it….Follow the money trail! paul offit, the AAP, even the CDC takes huge amounts of kick backs from pharma. Pharma lobbiests push and push…and the antedodes…grow and grow.

  23. RitaMarie RN
    August 22, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2008/08/every-child-by.html Every Child By 2…..is brought to you by Weith Pharmaceuticals…..No wonder why the ‘studies” done by AAp and Pharma dont tell the truth. It is ridiculous….Look at the trends, the epidemics…follow the money. If vaccines were with out risks as you say…why are so many people having issues with them? Why does the science have to come up with all kinds of Bologna propaganda to get kids in compliance? Ever stop to think that people are not vaxing cause they have had injury or post vaccine issues? You dont see that, nor do you care. As long as you keep collecting yourPharma kick backs…you will keep telling people what you are told to.

  24. Kelly
    August 22, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    RitaMarie…please, you are embarrassing yourself. First of all a health science blog written by people with less formal health science education than yourself should not be something you would consider a valid source of information if your were a competent RN. Furthermore, court cases have nothing to do with science, especially vaccine court cases. Plaintiffs in vaccine court have a lower standard and they do not have to show causation to be awarded compensation.

    Your son’s autism was not caused by vaccines, because vaccines do not cause autism. You are sweeping 28 scientific studies under the carpet that by insisting that vaccines cause autism. You are committing the logical fallacy “post hoc propter ergo hoc” or “correlation does not equal causation”.

    You are also committing the logical fallacy “ad hominem”. The scientific studies are not faulty and should not be dismissed merely because of how that study was funded.

    Also, RitaMarie. Here is a video of a thread from “Great Mothers Questioning Vaccines” threatening physical harm to frequent posters on this blogs Facebook page “Vaccinate Your Baby”.

    Asking these people to help defend your position against me makes you no better than them. You should be completely embarrassed by the misinformation, misconception and logical fallacies you are writing her while claiming to be a nurse. You should be completely appalled to be part of a group like “Great Mothers Questioning Vaccines” that threatens physical harm and death because people like myself can better support our pro-vaccine position better than your crowd can support your anti-vaccine position.

    If you want me to continue pointing out your incompetence by continuing to post, I will, however, I suggest you stop now. I don’t know where you work, but maybe one of your colleagues will recognize you.

  25. Kelly
    August 22, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    RitaMarie, the “pharma shill” gambit is really, really lame. I am not paid by a pharmaceutical company or this blog to correct your misinformation, misconceptions and logical fallacies. You are an incompetent nurse and an embarrassment to your profession.

  26. Ellielle
    August 22, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    MSG is a neurotoxin.

  27. Kelly
    August 22, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Not in the concentration in the vaccine, Ellielle, unless you have a citation that shows evidence to the contrary?

  28. RitaMarie RN
    August 22, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    “Informed decisions” never seem to include the vaccine injury data, so how are YOU TRUELY INFORMING THE PATIENTS? “Acknowlwge limitations”…like those who can safely tolerate medical proceedures and those who can not?
    I am out standing in my profession, and I dont need Kelly, to say other wise. I am use to people shaming the vaccine injured kids. I am a leader in their voice….and ya know….It is growing. My son was injured by a contaminated….yup, recalled vaccine. Do you think I was ever notified by the doctor or pharmaceutical company following his brain injury? Nope. I just listen to idiots like you who throw these kids out to the wolves. Shame on you…and your blind eye! You are a disgusting disgrace bought and paid for by the Pharma industry. Until you even get a tiny bit real about vaccine injury…this conversation is CLOSED on my part. again…I ask you, WHAT ABOUT THE KIDS WHO ARE VACCINE INJURED? THE GROING POPULATION OF VACCINE INJURED KIDS? WHAT ABOUT THEM? CAN YOU EVEN ANSWER THAT? PLEASE TELL ME WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT THE KIDS INJURED BY VACCINES….I BET THE ANSWER IS NOTHING. READ OVER SOME VARES REPORTS, AND HAVE SOME COMPASSION…AND GET REAL ABOUT VACCINE INJURY!

  29. Kelly
    August 22, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    And in case you don’t have time to watch the video. This is what our caring nurse RitaMarie would like to do when asked the question “If you could vaccinate one character from VYB site, who would it be and what would you vaccinate them with?”

    “Mercury…a big dose of Mercury…to Paul Offit, the suspected ring leader of these sites”.

    “J-Lo..give her a Pertussis dose, a contaminated one, like the one that injured my son” (wait, I thought your son got autism from his vaccines? I guess when you lie, it is hard to keep your stories straight, eh RitaMarie?)

    and after more members of the group share how they would like to harm or kill other people associated with VYB, RitaMarie exclaims

    “This is my FAVORITE FB Group! You guys make it awesome!”

    Yup, it really is awesome to threaten harm and death to people that disagree with you, isn’t it RitaMarie? You really think you are a credit to your profession when you threaten to harm people? What do you have to say for yourself, RitaMarie?

  30. RitaMarie RN
    August 22, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    I want to add a comment fot the above post. My son suffered a brain injury post vaccination, from a (later recalled, contaminated) vaccine….yet…for years and years I kept going back and telling the doc his brain injury was the day he was vaccinated. When the drug company finally recalled the vaccine lots(both of them)I was never notified. I was never instructed that they were, indeed recalled…yet I went back to the doctor many times about this. I was referred and referred…over and over. No one ever took responsibility, no one ever cared….and this is happening, big time…and we dont even want to acknowlege any of these kids….cause their injuries….are for the greater good? especially when the rate of reported injuries exceeds the actual disease cases? REALLY

  31. Kelly
    August 22, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Here is a link to the VIS sheets supplied by the CDC. The risks are clearly there.

    http://cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/

    And if you don’t like the CDC, you can read Health Canada’s Immunization Guide. Also clearly explains the risks. http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/cig-gci/index-eng.php

    I think RNs would be embarrassed to be associated with you after your behaviour on the weekend which is documented by the YouTube video I linked to. If you are a leader in harming people because they disagree with you, you belong in jail.

    I’m not an idiot, RitaMarie. I’m the one that is pointing out how incompetent you are. How dangerous you are. You may want to have a good think about who you are and what you represent. The shame clearly rests on your shoulders.

  32. August 22, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    The number of spammers coming to this site arguing their slanted view of vaccines is not only disrespectful towards the interviewee, but is also alarming in the number of nurses who are claiming to be anti-vaccines. Opposing personal vaccines due to a medically noted reaction is allowable and reasonable. However it is irresponsible and irrational for a nurse to publically oppose vaccines for the community without proper or credible statistics to support their assertions. Real nursing is established with Evidence-based-practices and using credible data from reliable sources. Thankfully, the numbers of vaccine-opposed nurses are insignificant compared to the educated and intelligent nurses that advocate and encourage immunizations among patients, colleagues and their families.

  33. RitaMarie RN
    August 22, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    I am not harming any one, because I tell people the truth…really Do you lie to your patients and tell them there are NO RISKS associated with vaccinating, when the VAERS data says differently? How is providing the REAL INFORMATION harming any one? I think Every Child By2 needs transparancy….again. WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN WHO WERE INJURED BY VACCINES? DO THEY NOT COUNT? WHY WITH MEASLES MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE CHILD WITH VACCINE INDUCED ENCEPHALOPATHY? THE FACT IS…THE CHILD WITH MEASLES WILL MOST LIKELY RECOVER, THE CHILD WITH VACCINE INDUCED ENCEPHALITIS WILL NOT…..LETS TALK ABOUT THE VACCINE INJURED KIDS…OK…LETS HEAR IT, DONT THEY DESERVE TO HAVE A VOICE?

  34. August 22, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Kelly, excellent job refuting the false claims and exaggerated adverse affects from vaccines. Way to hold down the fort!

  35. Cindy
    August 22, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Kind of confused here… if vaccines are so safe and good for you and do not cause harm and death, then why is it a bodily injury threat to suggest that you or Offit or anybody else get these vaccines?”

  36. Cindy
    August 22, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Let it be clear, though, that I oppose violence in any form and would never support harming someone just because they disagree with my views.

  37. Kelly
    August 22, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    No, RitaMarie. You are spreading misinformation and calling the people here pharma shill. Typing all in caps does not make your assertions any more true. Threatening harm to others is criminal behaviour.

    People can find links to real information about vaccines here: http://www.who.int/immunization_safety/safety_quality/approved_vaccine_safety_websites/en/

  38. Kelly
    August 22, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Watch the video Cindy. The members of “Great Members” were not threatening people with licensed vaccines. RitaMarie threatened Dr. Offit with a syringe full of mercury (which is not in childhood vaccines) and J-Lo with a bacterial contaminated solution that would cause illness. Licensed vaccines do not contain live bacteria.

  39. August 22, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Every time doctors and public health officials use the mantra, correlation isn’t causation, to in effect discount the likelihood that reported vaccine reactions are indeed related to the suspect vaccinations, they cross an ethical line. The truth is, they don’t know, on a case-by-case basis, whether there is a relation or not, yet they make such statements, knowing full well the implications, and the great weight of their influence on public opinion. Certainly, there will be cases in which there is no relationship, but the reactions were reported because they followed the administration of a vaccine, a logical, indeed, unavoidable, reason to suspect causation, and there’s absolutely no reason to assume differently. Thus, said health authorities put themselves in the unenviable position of recommending vaccines, while simultaneously discounting, without proof or justification, reactions such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, epilepsy and death, reported in association with those very vaccines.

    There have been almost 500,000 adverse vaccine reactions reported to the CDC’s VAERS database. It is a matter of fact that not all reactions get reported – JAMA, the magazine of the AMA, once estimated less than 10%. Reality, then is that many millions of reactions have actually occurred.

    Parents are ultimately responsible for the medical treatment of their kids, and ethics demand they be given full information, not assumptions.

  40. Kelly
    August 22, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    That is true, Shawn. Epidemiological studies are on a population level rather than an individual level. We cannot predict how an individual will react to a vaccine just like we cannot predict how an individual will suffer from an infectious disease. Most children get through the diseases we vaccinate for just fine with no serious consequences, but some have permanent harm or die. On a population level we know that the risks from the disease is much, much greater than the risk associated with the vaccine. But yes, we don’t know if it will be your child that is harmed by either the disease or the vaccine.

    There is also most certainly, adverse events due to improper handling and administration of a vaccine. This is human error rather than a fault of the vaccine or vaccine manufacturers. This is why properly trained HCP that administer vaccines is so important and why Dr. Dr. Koslap-Petraco’s work is so admirable.

    There are several studies that show that vaccines don’t cause lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or epilepsy. If you follow the links in my above posts, you can find these studies. Death can occur after an anaphylactic reaction to a vaccine, which is why it is important to remain in the doctor’s office 15-20 minutes after receiving a vaccination so that they may perform life-saving measures if needed. These reactions are incredibly rare.

    VAERS is a passive reporting system and merely records events that occured after receiving a vaccine. It says right on the VAERS website that reports to VAERS cannot be used to indicate causation.

    I agree that parents are ultimately responsible for the medical treatment of their kids and why I so passionately defend against the spreading of information that may mislead parents into making the wrong decision. Groups that spread misinformation, like “Great Mothers Questioning Vaccines”, ban people, like myself, that correct their misinformation. Instead of modifying their position when shown to be wrong, the Great Mothers threatened to kill their opponents. What do you think of the ethics of censoring and threatening harm to those that disagree with you Shawn?

  41. Cindy
    August 22, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Aside from the fact that the pertussis mutated making the current vaccine less than effective, it appears that the CDC has found that, one, immunity lasts for only a short time, and two, fully vaccinated children can carry it around and spread it like little Typhoid Mary’s, to the unvaccinated — meaning that the now less-than-effective vaccine may very well be the cause of the latest breakout.

    http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol6no5/srugo.htm

    pertussis in fully vaccinated children; the vaccinated can carry the virus and give the disease to the unvaccinated; immunity doesn’t last — sometimes not even beyond young childhood. “Our results indicate that children ages 5-6 years and possibly younger, ages 2-3 years, play a role as silent reservoirs in the transmission of pertussis in the community.”

  42. Kelly
    August 22, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Natural immunity to pertussis only lasts for a short time as well. How can you expect a vaccine to work better than natural immunity?

    Do you have a citation for the CDC paper that shows that vaccinated children carry around the mutated strain more than unvaccinated children and that the vaccine is ineffective against this strain? We discussed something similar in a previous thread on this blog, and the opposite was true. That getting the adult booster was very important in achieving high immunity to prevent transmission and serious cases of pertussis. The link you provided is for DTP which is no longer used. The current vaccine is DTap for children and Tdap for adults/teenagers.

    The pertussis vaccine is by no means 100% effective, but it is clearly better than no vaccine at all. This study showed that unvaccinated children were 23X more likely to get pertussis!

    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/123/6/1446.abstract

    But anyway, this is off-topic here, as this blog post is honoring Dr. Dr. Koslap-Petraco and the work she does in vaccine education. Perhaps you could search the blog for previous discussions on pertussis and add your citations there, Cindy?

  43. August 22, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    You just made the same assumption, Kelly, when you stated that on a population level we know that the risks from the disease is much, much greater than the risk associated with the vaccine. We know no such thing – that was one of the points I was making. That is an assumption on your part, just as is the rationale, correlation isn’t causation, when it is used to imply that there’s no reason to suspect that vaccine damage is a palpable threat, when the truth is, the doctors and others so saying flat out do not know. Nor do you. To be perfectly clear; there are almost a half million such reports, and many more unreported, and there’s not a doctor one who can tell you with certainty whether 1% of the reported reactions are related to the vaccines, or 91%.

    Ethics of censorship vary with the forum. Facebook pages are run by administrators, who establish their own guidelines, rules and deletion protocol. There is hardly an ethical question involved. The line blurs when it comes to the media.

    Threatening harm to those that disagree with you is particularly inappropriate in a digital setting. It loses the substance.

  44. RitaMarie RN
    August 22, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    There are no diagnostic tests to determine most VAERS Reported vaccine injuries. VAERS is a passive reporting system, because the system only acknowleges anaphlaxis & seizures. Yet, it states in the vaccine literature that so many other things can occur(you have read it , I am sure)….but when these things ARE INDEED reported, they are rushed to dismiss any relation to the vaccine the patient had. They do this over and over. Why do you think so many parents have issue with vaccination? because they have not been injured? Really?
    When the decressionary opinion of a doctor is the only diagnostic tool to determine the vaccine injury….dont ya think the results of the actual numbers of who is injured are going to be grossly inaccurate?
    When the complaints…dont match the actual data…..there are so many post vaccine events that doctors RUSH to discredit….Look at Gardasil, Merck should be ashamed of themselves, and any one rushing to mandate that one is dead wrong to do so! But vaccine defenders continue to defend it, not haveing any reguard for those who lost their life, or theri mobility. Rush to discredit the teen, and call the vaccine injury a coincidence of any thing else….sick, really sick!

  45. Kelly
    August 22, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Yes, we do know that the disease is much more risky than the vaccine on a population level, Shawn. I haven’t assumed anything. This table from the Canadian Immunization Guide summarizes our knowledge nicely.

    http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/cig-gci/cedv-cemv-tab-eng.php

    To assume causation just because two events occur together is a logical fallacy. The reports to VAERS are investigated using the scientific method and from there we are able to say that there is no causation. Can we know absolutely with 100% certainty? No, because science cannot prove a negative, but we do know that it is very, very, very unlikely that vaccines caused these injuries even though the injury occurred after the vaccine.

    You are rejecting vaccines based on the assumption that these reports do reflect causation. That would be a mistake because correlation does not mean causation.

  46. Guest
    August 22, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Cindy, you are the company you keep.

  47. Kelly
    August 22, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    RitaMarie – once again “correlation does not equal causation”.

    I’m assuming by “vaccine literature” you mean the package inserts? Package inserts are legal documents and their content is determined by laws not science. Side effects listed in the package insert are not an admission that vaccines cause these side effects, merely that these side effects were correlated with administration of the vaccine.

    What vaccine injury does not have a diagnostic tool, RitaMarie?

    There have been no deaths caused by Gardasil, so I have no idea what you are talking about there. VAERS has several reports of deaths after the vaccine, but subsequent investigation found that the vaccine did not cause those deaths. http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/302/7/750.long

    And do you have no shame? You threatened to harm people that support this blog with violence and yet here you are spreading more misinformation and demonstrating your incompetence as a RN? What’s wrong with?

  48. August 22, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Yes, and one doctor proved how accurate VAERS is by submitting a claim that the flu shot turned him into the Incredible Hulk.

  49. Cindy
    August 22, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    let’s see… Fifteen people get stung by a wasp. One collapses on the spot. A couple others start wheezing and have trouble breathing the rest of the day. Two swell up in the house later while they’re watching TV, then start wheezing. The rest all get sore arms. But the next time they get stung they all get anaphylaxis and nearly die. But hey, the corollation doesn’t mean causation, does it? So of course bees didn’t cause this. It was coincidence, that’s all.

  50. Cindy
    August 22, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    I guess you really aren’t going to leave room for anyone to be civil here, are you?

  51. Cindy
    August 22, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    You know what? There is always going to be someone who is harmed by some drug, including vaccines. Besides my very unfortunate adverse events from the vaccines I took, I had a severe allergic reaction recently to a cancer drug, a pill. My doctor, who has been an oncologist for 40 years, said no one else he’d treated had ever had the reaction I had — breaking out in a severe rash from head to toe, so bad that I had to be treated with shots in my stomach, oral anti-itch medicine, oral steroids and topical anti-itch meds for 2 weeks. The real truth is that it’s science that some people have bad reactions to some medicines. So what make vaccines exempt, or so special that no children could possibly have bad reactions to them, like people do to other medicines? The bottom line is some children are being harmed by vaccines, just as I was by the cancer pill and the tetanus and flu shots — and I’ll bet you that the so-called “anti-vaxers” would calm down if somebody would just validate their concerns and admit that vaccines can, and do, cause harm in some instances.

  52. Kelly
    August 22, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    It could have been coincidence or it could be causation, but you don’t know until you do the controlled study. What you have to look at is not the reports to VAERS but the results of the controlled studies.

    Let’s say that in the controlled study, we have 100,000 people stung by wasps, and 100,000 people matched to the people stung by wasps in every way except that they were not stung by wasps. We observe both groups for 24 hours. In the wasp-stung group – 50 people die of anaphylaxis. In the control group – 50 people die of anaphylaxis. Bee sting did not cause the anaphylaxis. If we had results that should that 1,000 bee sting victims died of anaphylaxis and only 50 died of anaphylaxis in the control group, then yes, bee stings likely caused the anaphylaxis.

    Does that help you understand this better?

  53. Kelly
    August 22, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Would you advocate that nobody should have that cancer drug because you had an adverse reaction to that drug, Cindy? Would you rather have other people die of cancer because of your rare adverse event?

    Nobody denies that vaccines can cause harm in some instances.

  54. Cindy
    August 22, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Yes it does. It’s crystal clear. Thank you! And it very much reinforces a theory I’ve had for some time. Just one question and then I’ll go for good: did bee keepers do the study showing bee stings don’t cause anaphylaxis? One thing is certain here, and only one thing: the only one who’s going to win this argument is the company that sells epinephrine or benedryl. And the vaccine companies.

  55. Kelly
    August 22, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Would it matter if the bee keepers did the study or not, if there data is reported accurately and the same results are obtained by other bee keepers in other countries and by studies done by those that were not bee keepers? What if that data is also consistent with what other scientists know about human physiology and bee biology?

    Showing that epinephrine or bendryl are a way to prevent anaphylaxis from bee stings is another problem. First the company would have to show that it works in the lab than in phase II and III clinical trials. If they could do this, they would benefit financially, but wouldn’t you be glad that so many folks weren’t dying from bee stings any more? Do you suggest that the company should not profit from the risk they took in developing the drug and that their scientists and other employees should not be compensated for their hard work?

  56. Charlie ORoark
    August 22, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for your post. Maybe you have saved a child from death or injury.

  57. Charlie O
    August 22, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    GET YOUR HEAD OUT OD THE SAND !!!!! Michelle is RIGHT !!!! You are the one turning a blind eye to what vaccines are made of and the injury they are doing.

  58. Kelly
    August 22, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    What are the neurotoxins in the vaccines, if Michelle is right?

    If my head is in the sand, educate me Charlie. Show me the evidence that says I’m wrong.

  59. Kelly
    August 22, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    I just remembered this video that explains the scientific method really well and may help to answer you questions Cindy.

  60. August 22, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    It certainly would be a logical fallacy to assume correlation equals causation, Kelly, and nowhere did I say that. I said doctors and public health authorities use their influence by stating correlation isn’t causation, the implication being that the public has nothing to fear, when in fact they are merely assuming, or even proposing, in each individual case, that there is no relation, when they have no proof or justification for so saying.

    And no, we do not know that it is very, very, very unlikely that vaccines caused these injuries even though the injury occurred after the vaccine. That doesn’t make sense. To repeat from a previous comment, the reactions were reported because they followed the administration of a vaccine, a logical, indeed, unavoidable, reason to suspect causation, and there’s absolutely no reason to assume differently. Notice, I didn’t say there was reason to assume causation, but, rather, no justification for assuming no causation. If we don’t know on an individual case basis whether there is or is not a relation, then we certainly don’t know on a group basis; this is simply a repeat of the same assumption.

    The latest figure I’ve seen re tetanus, as an example, in the U.S., puts the annual incidence at 50, with around 20% – 10 or so – dying as a result. Meanwhile, the VAERS statistics for the year 2009, for DTaP and DTP, are:

    Death 12
    Life Threatening 39
    Permanent Disability 34
    Hospitalized 132
    Hospitalized, Prolonged 11
    Emergency Room 760

    with the same prejudice thrown into the mix; few reactions get reported. I would think it likely that a few of the 760 resultant emergency room visits might have ended in death without emergency treatment, and 34 ended up (reportedly) with permanent disabilities.

    This horse is dead and buried. Literally, neither one of us can prove anything, and I understand why the many who have vaccinated and believe no harm was caused, and believe they were protected, continue to support the paradigm. As for me, I believe neither. Once you learn of the many examples of obviously purposeful misdirection and misinformation on the part of our public health authorities, it becomes an issue of trust, and, to say the least, I don’t trust ‘em.

  61. Kelly
    August 22, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Shawn, doctors and public health authorities are assuming nothing. The studies have been done to show that causation is very, very unlikely. These studies are not perfect, but to deny their existence is a mistake. These studies provide the justification to dismiss causation.

    Again, the reports from VAERS mean nothing without further investigation. There are reports in VAERS turning folks into the Incredible Hulk and Wonder Woman. If you believe VAERS reports indicate the harm vaccines cause then you would also have to admit that vaccines have the benefit of turning you into a superhero to remain consistent. Are you willing to do that? Or will you acknowledge that you are using the data from VAERS incorrectly? Either way, it makes your position very weakly supported.

    I can provide evidence for my position and I have. Thank you for admitting that you have no evidence for your position and that your position is based on a belief in a conspiracy theory.

    I prefer to base health decisions on the reality of an evidence-based scientific system rather than a fantasy-belief system, but your unsubstantiated, uneducated opinion is duly noted.

  62. RitaMarie RN
    August 23, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Because the industry does not take vaccine injury seriously, VAERS is the only tracking method out there. Not like the CDC or The Pharma industry are giving a hoot, until it becomes legal….then they scream coincidence all the way to court. The mere fact is that with out adequate vaccine injury testing, the system is letting all of the families down. No wonder the vaccine safety folks are all over things. The reality of WHY people dont vaccinate, has nothing to do with following Jenny McCarthy, like you all say, and every thing to do with personal injuries they, or a family member, possibly a child have had, negatively post vaccine. Until the industry opens a blind eye, and stops shoving the vaccine injured under the carpet, the vaccine public health program will continue to have lots of folks who dont want it, some of it, or any of it. To keep insisting that it is “safe” and that the Pharmaceutical paid studies say so….is putting the entire public health program in further jeopardy. Cant blame people for not rolling up a sleeve when they have had a terrible reaction in the past…and forcing them to do so is wrong. No one should be forced to undergo a medical proceedure for the benefit of someone else….when the “so called protection” comes with very serious risks. When an adverse event happens to you, or your child personally, your risk is 100%. No one protected my son, or even gave a hoot following the injury. The industry turned it’s back on him, and now you are telling me it is my responsibility as a parent to continue to vaccinate him? He has serious brain injury from the vaccines he received in 1994. I think he has been a sacrificial lamb to the industry, and we cant further risk what limited cognitive ability he has left. PERIOD….My point~ People stop vaccinating because they have had significant issues and the industry rushes to discredit, before asking to help!

  63. Cindy
    August 23, 2011 at 9:53 am

    The parents of vaccine-injured children know what it means to be “collateral damage for the common good,” ie, a risk for herd immunity. And they’re not alone. Across the ocean, thousands of miles away, parents in India and Africa cite the same reasons that parents here cite for not vaccinating their children. There have been recent stories of thousands — not hundreds, but thousands — of children dying in India while they were part of vaccine clinical trials. In Africa, they have to vaccinate at gunpoint because parents are gun-shy of the polio vaccine, which can actually give children the disease it’s supposed to be vaccinating against. No evidence of vaccine harm? What’s that again about the Trovan trials and that $75 million Pfizer’s having to pay? This same story is being played over and over again, around the world, more and more every day. I only pray that those people who are defending vaccines to the death never have to go through what I’ve gone through as a result of flu and tetanus vaccines, or what other parents and children have suffered because of the infant/childhood vaccines the children received. It’s funny that it’s OK to say, hey, so-and-so is allergic to a component in a vaccine, but by golly you better not dare to call it a vaccine injury. What’s the difference? The bottom line is some people can take vaccines with little or no evidence of harm, and others can’t. And those who can’t are getting tired of being the sacrificial lambs for the rest of you.

  64. Kelly
    August 23, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Once again RitaMarie displays her incompetence and spreads misinformation.

    The CDC does take vaccine injuries seriously and monitors vaccines for safety continuously.

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Vaccine_Monitoring/Index.html

    Go to this site to learn more about how the CDC monitors vaccines for safety:

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Activities/Activities_index.html

  65. Kelly
    August 23, 2011 at 10:32 am

    If the vaccines offered no benefit to the vaccinated child, then you have a point about a vaccine-injured child being collateral damage.

    However, the primary reason to vaccinate your child is to protect him/her from diseases that have a much, much higher chance of cause permanent damage and death than the vaccines. Herd immunity, for the diseases that are spread person-to-person, is a bonus and a further reason to consider immunizing your child. Not only is your child better protected, but so are the children around him/her. And if those children are vaccinated, your child is better protected.

    Do you have a citation for the hundreds of thousands of children dying in India as part of vaccine trials? I would like to put your comment in context, because I suspect you are just repeating some nonsense your read on an anti-vaccine website.

    Trovan was an antibiotic that Pfizer was developing to treat meningitis. In 1996, Nigeria was experiencing a severe epidemic of meningococcal meningitis and Pfizer offered the drug to help. “The fact is that results of the trial plainly proved that Trovan helped saved lives. With a survival rate of 94.4%, Trovan was at least as effective as the best treatment available
    at Kano’s IDH.” http://www.pfizer.com/files/news/trovan_statement_defense_summary.pdf

    “Pfizer donated over N18 million to Kano State in medicines, equipment and materials to help fight the concurrent epidemics involving associated diseases, such as cholera and
    measles, ongoing at the time.”

    How dare those evil pharmaceutical companies donate resources to save lives! Those bastards!

  66. August 24, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    “Correlation equals causation is one of the most common logical fallacies that despite her education, Rita is not immune too.”

    Unfortunately, this seems like it is one of the harder myths to combat.

    I saw a child recently at a well check who was totally fine. She was unfortunately hospitalized later that night when she woke up with trouble breathing and a barking cough – classic croup symptoms.

    I’m sure many people would have blamed her situation on the vaccines she received – only she didn’t get any. She was up-to-date on her vaccines, so didn’t get any shots that day.

    The case illustrates just how easily the whole correlation and causation thing can confuse some people though. What if she had gotten vaccines and had woken up later that night with fever and trouble breathing? Would people still blame it on croup, which was going around at his daycare, or on the vaccines?

  67. August 24, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    “So of course bees didn’t cause this. It was coincidence, that’s all.”

    No. It was a coincidence that the ones who were watching TV didn’t get sore arms.

    Anaphylaxis to wasp venom is a well-studied, real thing. It kills people.

    Or is your point about coincidence supposed to be because you mentioned a wasp stung them the first time and then started talking about bees? Cross-reaction allergies are possible, so I don’t think that most people would consider that a coincidence either.

  68. Ryann
    August 24, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Kelly- You must be some kind of very high paid scientific genius to have all of that knowledge at your finger tips! I saw many times where you, without a doubt, stated that vaccines do not cause autism, lupus, or any other types of diseases or cancer. I find it fascinating that you can know those things since vaccines in general have not actually been tested for those causes, and frankly, haven’t been around long enough to show due causation. Only certain ingredients have been tested, many not in conjunction with others, and I also believe that the damage that the ingredients (I have read from the actual CDC/and pharmaceutical websites) can do to the human body far outweighs any positive/temporary immunity effect they may have for us. You are blinded by the big government propaganda, and I am sorry that you the need to be so vicious and close minded. There are parents with real children, who were VERY injured by vaccines, whether you like it or not. And they will be around to educate others on the very REAL risks to vaccinating.

    Do you know how many doctors, nurses, and nurse practitioners spout false information in their offices to sway parents in the “right” direction of vaccinating? (Hypothetical question, I am sure you could not possibly know that answer, as I do not) Do you not find it appalling for a healthcare professional to outright lie to a patient and their family? It’s all for the greater good though eh? In a bit of their defense, some of the lies are out of ignorance, but it’s always been my position to be honest and say I don’t know if I do not know the answer, I do not lie and make something up to help my cause.
    I also find it disturbing that you would call a nurse with opinions that differ from yours a “disgrace” to her job. Medicine is NOT a perfect science, maybe you can compare the time when doctors promoted smoking as a stress reliever and were sure that it did not cause any harm……We will always improve on medicine and learn new ways, but for you to say that for sure vaccines do not cause long term problems is only making you look ignorant. I can appreciate your passion and your stance on the subject, but you need to agree to disagree and know that we, Mothers QUESTIONING vaccines are not spreading false information, only questioning the validity and the intent of the science.

  69. Kelly
    August 24, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    Why thank you Ryann. I am a scientific genius and reasonably well-paid. I’m also very open-minded. I don’t think you really know what that means. See, there are numerous studies to say with some confidence that vaccines do not cause autism. You can find them here:

    http://www.aap.org/immunization/families/faq/vaccinestudies.pdf

    It would be very closed-minded to ignore those studies, like you seem to be doing.

    Furthermore, here is a review on the association between vaccine and lupus.
    lupus here: http://www.discoverymedicine.com/Hedi-Orbach/2010/02/04/vaccines-and-autoimmune-diseases-of-the-adult/

    I agree that data is pretty preliminary, but initial studies are showing no association. If additional data came out to show causation, then I would most certainly revise my statement.

    I did not claim that vaccines did not cause cancer, and you have to be more specific than “any other types of diseases”, because I didn’t say that either. So vaccines have indeed been tested for the things I mentioned and I provided links to those studies. I find ii fascinating that you say studies haven’t been done, when I give you direct links to those studies.

    Furthermore, safety studies are done on the whole vaccine, which is the correct approach. Why would we test individual components when it is how those ingredients work together in the vaccine that is important? You can believe whatever you like Ryann, but I prefer to base my decisions on reality rather than some fantasy belief about “toxins” in vaccines.

    I do find it appalling that a health care provider would spread misinformation. That’s why I support the work of Dr. Koslap-Petraco in providing education so that HCP can provide the best information for their patients/clients. That is also why I call RitaMarie a disgrace to her profession because she is spreading misinformation. She may have done it unintentionally because she was ignorant, which is why I suggested she look into Dr. Koslap-Petraco’s course.

    Rita-Marie also threatened violence to people that disagreed with her misinformed opinion and laughed along with people that were making similar threats. You don’t find that type of behaviour disgraceful? Well, of course not, because you are one those “great” mothers aren’t you?

    I also did not say for sure that vaccines don’t cause long term problems. I find it fascinating that you have to fabricate things that make me look ignorant. Is that so you can feel better about your position? Have you read about cognitive dissonance? I find it fascinating. My understanding is that cognitive dissonance occurs when someone comes across a new idea that deeply conflicts with a previous held idea. The person cannot hold on to both ideas at the same time, so the person must dismiss one idea in order to eliminate the cognitive dissonance. The new idea is usually the one to go. Perhaps you need to see me as ignorant and less educated then yourself so that you can maintain your belief that vaccines are bad?

    I also find it interesting that you say we will always improve on medicine and learn new ways. Vaccination is based on our knowledge of the immune system, germ theory, epidemiology and pathogenesis. What do you think is going to be learned to totally reject vaccines? I think we will learn how to make more and better vaccines with less side-effects. What information would you need to change your mind about the safety and efficiency of vaccines?

    Not all opinions are created equal, Ryann. The opinions of the experts that recommend vaccines are backed by mountains of scientific evidence. Opinions of anti-vaxers are generally based on beliefs without absolutely no evidence to substantiate those beliefs. I will not agree to disagree because the two positions are mutually exclusive and frankly, the anti-vaccine position based on misinformation, misconception and logical fallacies. The superior position is pro-vaccine backed by scientific evidence. I’m sorry that you feel inferior because you are anti-vaccine. That was your choice to make, but I will not agree that the position is legitimate without some evidence to back it up.

  70. Melody Butler
    August 25, 2011 at 12:51 am

    Kelly Awesome job. It would be too easy to sit back and ignore these nonsensical claims blaming vaccines for the end of the world. However its so important to properly refute these false statements that can potentially persuade a parent to hold back
    their child from receiving immunizations. If I were a fence sitter your clear and credible data to back up your points would sway me towards the side of science.

  71. Kelly
    August 25, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Thank you Melody. Despite my scientific genius (still feeling flattered about that), I don’t pretend to know all things about vaccines. That’s why I ask for citations when people make claims. This allows me to learn what supports their position and re-evaluate if I need to change mine. Sadly, vaccine refusers never seem to be able to provide citations. They usually change the topic or resort to distraction.

    I like these two videos. The first explains what science is – http://youtu.be/zcavPAFiG14
    The second talks about what it means to be open-minded – http://youtu.be/T69TOuqaqXI

    I also came across this textbook chapter on vaccines talking about misinformation:http://www.immunizationinfo.org/files/nnii/files/misinformation_about_vaccines.pdf

    “The most effective misinformers, however, are parents who truly believe that their child has been injured by vaccines”.

    I think RitaMarie, Cindy, and Ryann have really demonstrated the truth in that quote. I frequently see people that have been swayed by their stories and that’s why I think it is very important to counter this misinformation so that parents can make an informed choice about vaccinations.

    The chapter goes on to say “Unfortunately there are barriers to responding to misinformation including innumeracy on the part of the public and poor communication skills on the part of vaccine spokespersons.”

    I totally agree with this statement, so I’m really thankful for the work of Dr. Koslap-Petraco so that I, as a vaccine spokesperson, can learn how to better communicate the benefits of vaccines and address the concerns of vaccine refusers. I value the participation of vaccine refusers on this forum because it allows me to gain first hand knowledge on what confuses them and needs to be addressed.

  72. Cindy
    August 25, 2011 at 11:57 am

    You may have missed that I told you my children were fully vaccinated with no adverse events. I’m the one who was injured by vaccines, affirmed by two physicians, my allergist and my orthopedic surgeon. My oncologist also said I “probably” was but didn’t want to make a real commitment. And as far as citations go, I sent you some but apparently you’ve chosen to put them on permanent “awaiting moderation” mode. I’m sure you’ll be extremely pleased to hear that I won’t be visiting or posting here again. Sayonara

  73. Nathan
    August 25, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Cindy, Kelly is not a moderator here, and neither am I. If your post contains more than two links, it automatically goes into moderation until a moderator happens to pop in and let them out. It happens to me all the time. Vaccine opponents assume this is censorship whenever this happens, but this is not the case.

    In addition, no one here is arguing against medical exemptions. If your doctors believe that your symptoms were caused by vaccines, then you should be able to get an exemption, and that is appropriate. However, this does not entitle you to misrepresent the true risks of vaccines.

  74. Karen
    August 28, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    It is possible for someone who has had a flu shot for that year to get the flu still. Flu shots have to be remade every year because the virus mutates and changes. The vaccine is made based on research to what the most prominent form will be. So the vaccine protects against what the strongest and most likely form of the virus will be. It cannot however, protect against every form of the virus.

    Keep up the handwashing and fantastic hygeine! That definitely helps keep illness from spreading!

  75. September 6, 2011 at 3:45 am

    Thank you Kelly For that excellent article. I’ll be sharing that on my Nurses who Vaccinate fb page! Communicating the benefits of vaccines and addressing the concerns of vaccine oppenants is vital in encouraging cooperation.

  76. Tiffany
    September 7, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    I give hundreds of vaccinations daily to infants and children and have received all of them that I can get myself I believe 100 % that not vaccinating a child is neglect…period…end of story. For parents who choose not to vaccinate…imagine if your child became infected with Polio, Pertussis, Hib..etc..when they were old enough to find out that it was all because you as their parent who’s job is to protect them, refused the vaccine. Imagine having to go to your child’s funeral because they died from a vaccine preventable disease. Obviously the people who refuse vaccines or who “don’t believe in them” have never had to see these diseases “up close and personal and watch these babies and children suffer and die… I have. In all of my years of administering vaccine I have NEVER seen a child die from a vaccine…and on that note, I would rather see my child have a “bad reaction” to a vaccine than to have to bury them and know that I could have prevented their death with a vaccine. I could never live with that guilt.

  77. Tiffany
    September 7, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    I totally agree! People who are against vaccinating NEVER have evidence to back up their opinions. They go off of what they read online, watch on TV (celebrities who think they have MD after their name), from friends,etc. They do not want to hear the FACTS from highly trained medical staff and it is very sad that the children are the ones that will suffer from their parents ignorance.

  78. Thomas
    September 7, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    The CDC has admitted that there is correlations between vaccines and the ever increasing numbers of autoimmune diseases. They have and continue to fund studies regarding this correlation. I do not take vaccines much to the chagrin of my employers; health care providers. It always amazes me how easily they accept grant money to study such illnesses while they simultaneously attempt to bully their employees and patients into taking vaccinations. Health care is a self promoting double dipping system. At the same time they promote vaccinations they are accepting grants to find their link to autoimmune diseases and syndromes. Kelly, poster above, you need to dig deeper and look wider before you make the type of statements you have presented.

  79. Thomas
    September 7, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    Tiffany, I wouldn’t let you near my child. You have the same type of institutional myopia I see every day in health care. I am wondering how you would feel if autoimmune diseases continue their rise towards the most prevalent diseases affecting Americans. They have risen to third on the list as of this comment. Why do you think that is Tiffany? What do you think immunizations/vaccinations elicit in the human body? They elicit immune responses from the human body. What happens over time when the body is subjected to some many immune responses? Want to bet it eventually is unable to function normally in an ever increasing number of people as they age or if they have a genetic predisposition toward autoimmunity? Lastly, how would you feel if you found our that some percentage of the hundreds of children you vaccinated were debilitated at some time in their lives by what you did? Oh, I guess you could claim ignorance because nobody told you it would happen. Think about it Tiffany. What drives medicine these days? Could the answer be money first? I was totally crushed when I figured that out. It was like a kid finding out that Santa Clause was truly the Grinch that stole Christmas.

  80. Thomas
    September 7, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    Tiffany, I wouldn’t let you near my child. You have the same type of institutional myopia I see every day in health care. I am wondering how you would feel if autoimmune diseases continue their rise towards the most prevalent diseases affecting Americans. They have risen to third on the list as of this comment. Why do you think that is Tiffany? What do you think immunizations/vaccinations elicit in the human body? They elicit immune responses from the human body. What happens over time when the body is subjected to some many immune responses? Want to bet it eventually is unable to function normally in an ever increasing number of people as they age or if they have a genetic predisposition toward autoimmunity? Lastly, how would you feel if you found our that some percentage of the hundreds of children you vaccinated were debilitated at some time in their lives by what you did? Oh, I guess you could claim ignorance because nobody told you it would happen. Think about it Tiffany. What drives medicine these days? Could the answer be money first? I was totally crushed when I figured that out. It was like a kid finding out that Santa Clause was truly the Grinch that stole Christmas.

  81. Chris
    September 7, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    I am wondering how you would feel if autoimmune diseases continue their rise towards the most prevalent diseases affecting Americans.

    Could you please share with us the scientific literature that shows that vaccines are the cause? Thank you.

  82. September 8, 2011 at 2:45 am

    Yeah. I would like to repeat Chris’ question. Can you show a single reputable source for your wild accusations?

  83. Kelly
    September 8, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    OK Thomas, how about you help me to “dig deeper” and post the primary literature that supports your claims that vaccines cause autoimmune diseases? If my statements are incorrect, I’ll be glad to correct them.

  84. kerri
    September 15, 2011 at 12:03 am

    Kelly, I have grave reservations about what you have written, I currently studying my refresher in endorsed RN immuniser, your aggression towards those people that have stated they have actually had family members affected by vaccinations goes against our code of ethics here in Australia, that you should be sympathetic to their concerns.? shame on you.
    Also you need to access a current addition of law and the health care practice, as legally you not disseminating correct information regarding the law. and adverse events we just had a case here in Australia where a child died from the flu shot, it was later found that the department of public health hid the documents to this case and were aware of such a death but denied this in the newspapers, this is going to court.As for you denying their are toxins in vaccines , well it is clearly written in the evidence based literature which i am currently reading, in fact you should know that some vaccines are cultured in Formaldehyde, a cancer causing agent?….I THINK YOU NEED TO REVIEW YOUR EVIDENCE, before you end up in court with a malpractice case against you, because nurses are liable as you know for negligence…?

  85. kerri
    September 15, 2011 at 12:25 am

    kELLY for your information i will endevour to copy and paste links for you to review from current evidence based literature that i have in my possession from University I am currently attending for you too read at your leisure, citing chemicals used , in vaccines, some have been removed from some vaccine but their is a list of adjuvants named in vaccines that are still being used…Also just wondered are you a trained immunised endorsed nurse, because there is a difference , or did you just do a two day course, it is evident in Australia that those nurses who only do 2 day courses are horribly inadequate in the areas of law of torts, negligence, malpractice. I am university based and our course is extensive.

  86. kerri
    September 15, 2011 at 12:44 am

    One more thing Kelly, you should refrain from calling your self a scientific genius, thats PROFESSIONALLY dangerous, not recommended code of practice for nurses or any health care professional, thats delusional speech, you must never as a nurse put down, defame or regard any claims a parent puts forward , there are genuin cases of very sad stories on here that makes me very sad for these parents that have directly suffered from immunisations, as you would know if you actually had studied cold chain management, a break in the chain can cause terrible consquences for the person, involved…and tiffany it is NOT neglect if a parent refuses to give there child vaccination its their RIGHT…and we as health care professionals should accept that…read the literature on informed consent….?? Children under 16 can give their own consent to treatment if deemed FRASER competent?….Consent in Law refers to the right of the individual in law to determine what shall be done to his/her own body”” ( Schloendorff v Society of New York Hospital (1914 ) cited in Rogers 2000. This includes ight of individual to refuse treatment, even if the outcome of this is detrimental and may cause death. The practical significance of obtaining the law of consent is that encourages a patients trust, co-operation and confidence and protects practitioners eg, nurses, gps from criminal charges and civial claims when they treat patients ”
    (Lord Donaldson 1992, cited Hendrick 2000) Paeddiatric nursing journal, june 2007, vol 19 issue 5, p 34-36….

  87. Chris
    September 15, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    It might be quicker if you just post the journal, title, date and authors of the studies. Sometimes too many links puts a comment into moderation.

    Another option is to use the PMID, the identification number the paper has at the PubMed index.

  88. Michelle Parsons
    September 28, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Kelly and her CDC Brainwashed mind-set, as she says she is rather WELL-PAID to spout this non-sense and defend the CDC, WHO, AAP and multi-billion $$$$$ Pharma, she can’t see the forest for the tree’s….

  89. Chris
    September 28, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Could you try something more original than the old and tired Pharma Shill Gambit? It would be wonderful if you provided some actual evidence instead of just making unsupported statements. Thank you..

  90. Kelly
    September 29, 2011 at 1:17 am

    No Michelle. I do not receive a single penny for sharing my knowledge. I think it is an important service to my community to counter the misinformation, misconception and logical fallacies found within the anti-vaccine movement so that parents can make an informed decision.

  91. Kelly
    September 29, 2011 at 1:23 am

    Kerri, you are confused. I am not a nurse. RitaMarie is the RN that is spreading misinformation on this thread and violating her code of ethics.

    Also, Ryann was the one that called me a scientific genius. I’m very aware of the limitations of my knowledge which is why I respect people like Dr. Koslap-Petraco and her efforts on educating others.

  92. May 9, 2012 at 11:54 am

    We love nurses. They care for our HBV+ and HCV+ kids and still have time to talk to and soothe parents. Of course, at PKIDs, we have a special place in our hearts for Mary Beth. She cares about her patients and is one of the most ethical people we know.

  93. lilady
    May 9, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    @ Trish Parnell: And, I love your website. I often link to PKIDS when I post on science and medicine websites. I even refer and link to PKIDS when I post on popular media sites.

    I had the pleasure of meeting Mary Beth, when I worked as a public healthy nurse in a nearby county. She truly exemplifies what public health nursing is all about.

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  1. December 7, 2011 at 12:03 pm
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