Home > Get Involved > Dealing with Our Differences

Dealing with Our Differences

August 24, 2011

Have you ever realized that things are just not going in the direction that you had hoped they would?  What do you do then?  Perhaps it’s best to take a moment to pause and hit reset!

Every Child By Two has devoted a great amount of effort in support of two open vaccine forums on the internet. The first is this blog and the second is the growing Vaccinate Your Baby
Facebook
page.

Admittedly, the intent of each of these forums is to post content regarding the benefits of vaccination to a diverse audience.  While we speak out in favor of vaccines, we pride ourselves on maintaining a vaccine forum that allows everyone (no matter whether they agree with our position or not) the opportunity to comment and engage in the conversation.  We believe this open dialogue is essential to stimulate thought provoking discussions, and we hope that it helps contribute to a community where people of all interests and backgrounds can benefit from one another’s education, experiences and perspectives.

It should come as no surprise that the majority of our support comes from doctors, nurses, scientists, public health workers and even victims of vaccine preventable diseases. However,
we recognize that people who remain undecided about vaccines also participate on our sites to gain a different perspective or seek out answers to their questions.  Then there are even those people who visit the site to instill fear, start controversy and inject doubt.  While vaccine refusers are welcomed as a way to present the sound scientific evidence that has proven vaccines to be safe and effective, we understand why some supporters may not appreciate the fact that they are allowed to post unsubstantiated negative comments about vaccines.  It is no secret that vaccine advocates are not granted similar courtesies and are blocked from posting information on sites that speak out in opposition to vaccines.    In contrast, when pro-vaccine supporters attempt to make a comment on  anti-vaccine sites, their comments are almost immediately removed and the person commenting is then blocked from further participation.

While we understand how frustrating this is to loyal vaccine advocates, we also understand why these other sites operate in this manner.  In a nutshell, it is much easier for them to administer a page where everyone agrees.   In fact, by completely controling who is allowed to comment, there is very little need for any moderation at all.  People either show their support or they are not allowed to participate.   While we can not change the way in which these anti-vaccine pages choose to operate, what we can do is continue to offer something different for those who choose to participate on our sites.

From their inception, the Shot of Prevention blog and the Vaccinate Your Baby Facebook page have always allowed open conversations and participants are consistently encouraged to present scientific evidence that supports their beliefs.  Admittedly, this type of forum can require a great deal of moderation, and every once in a while, a bit of reflection and correction.

In light of this past weekend’s extensive comments on our Vaccinate Your Baby Facebook page, we realized that it may be time, once again,to pause and reset.   This weekend illustrated how quickly conversations can escalate into controversy, and how emotions can sometimes interfere with rational dialogue.  In a few instances, insults began to replace evidence, and neither clarity nor value was added to the discussion in the end.

Sadly, the problem quickly extended beyond our site and eventually we were alerted to threats of violence and injury against our most active vaccine supporters.   In fact, the information was documented in a Youtube video in which several people who had recently commented on our sites went on to threaten our supporters by name on another (anti-vaccine) Facebook page.

It is one thing to joke around and find humor in our differences. However, it is completely inappropriate and unacceptable to threaten violence to specific people who happen to voluntarily speak out in support of vaccines on a public forum such as Vaccinate Your Baby. While we will continue to allow differences of opinion on our sites, we must insist that everyone remain respectful of one another and refrain from vulgarities, personal attacks and of course, threats.   Additionally, those people who we have witnessed launching threats will no longer be granted permissions on our sites.  Their comments are disgraceful and we are saddened that they feel that their immature behavior was in any way justifiable.

We want to once again thank our supporters for their continued patience and understanding as we work to resolve this most disappointing situation.  We can only hope that this will strengthen our resolve to make Shot of Prevention and Vaccinate Your Baby a welcoming community where individuals with questions about vaccines can engage in a fruitful dialogue.

With sincere appreciation for your continued cooperation, Every Child By Two

  1. Laura
    August 24, 2011 at 9:05 am

    The type of people who refuse vaccines are living in a fantasy world in which they are not responsible for their actions or how their actions affect others. I am not surprised at the violent threats against people who go against their delusions. I hope that this will be taken seriously. Mental illness is no joke.

  2. August 24, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Kudos to VYB for taking the high road and remaining an open forum for people from all walks of life. What a disappointment that the opposition chooses to resort to name calling and threats of violence. When the science and truth are not on your side, desperate measures are all you have left. On behalf of your fans in Texas, I want to congratulate ECBT and VYB for the excellent work you do. This incident has served to strengthen our loyalty and support for all you do.

  3. August 24, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Thank you for making your forums and discussion board a professional and peaceful place for vaccine advocates and those with questions. ECBT and VYB remains high on my list of recommended websites for immunization information, and I am glad they will remain in place. The two sites offer much for health-care professionals, parents and those seeking credible scientific information, and I am relieved that Every Child by Two is taking a firm stand against those who created those threats! Thank you!!!

  4. Twyla
    August 24, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    I really object to those who have concerns about vaccines being called “vaccine refusers”. Most of those who are actively lobbying for better understanding and acknowledgement of vaccine injury did vaccinate their children and became disillusioned because of their experiences with vaccine reactions. The response to vaccine safety concerns needs to be more than, “Diseases are dangerous,” and a lecture on the importance of vaccinations. Is this all that modern medicine has to offer?

    And, again, as I have said before, most who have vaccine safety concerns are not “anti-vaccine”, just like those who work to prevent car accidents and plane crashes are not anti-car or anti-airplane. If a plane crashes, it would be a completely inadequate response to say, “We did a large study which showed that people who aren’t on planes are as likely to die as people who are on planes.” There would be a tremendous outcry if that were the only response. The crash would be investigated to try to determine the cause and prevent similar crashes from happening in the future.

    Yes, some people are actually anti-vaccine, but to boil down all vaccine safety concerns to all-or-nothing, pro-or-con, is as misguided as calling concerns about surgery complications anti-surgery.

    I do appreciate your allowing open dialogue on this forum. I am totally in favor of civil discussion, and you certainly have every right to block and/or delete comments from people who make crude, rude, or violent comments.

    The comments on the Facebook page you referenced are terrible, although I don’t believe those people are actually threatening violence, but just venting anger. These comments are not representative of most people with vaccine safety concerns. Furthermore, there is vitriole on both sides of this debate.

    Clearly, there is a lot of anger among parents who saw their children regress after a round of vaccines, developing serious long-term immune and cognitive problems. I believe this anger needs to be channeled constructively, but I also believe it needs to be responded to by our govt agencies and mainstream medicine who are responsible for understanding and treating vaccine injuries.

  5. Shannon
    August 24, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    How is it not harassment to visit a page that you know has completely different view points, “screen print” alleged threats made in comments, then record yourself reading the group member’s postings and post on you tube with the single goal of attempting to have that group removed? The group in the video is a private group and if individuals don’t like what is being said, then they may leave. People have different opinions, that doesn’t mean we all have to hold hands and sing kumbaya. People disagree, such is life.

    I also take issue with the “vaccine refusers” name. We are all parents who merely question the safety of vaccines, yet we are considered lepers by people who don’t question the safety of vaccines.

    I apologize for nothing when it comes to the safety and health of my child. If that means that I don’t “vaccinate my baby”, then that is my choice as a parent. To criticize my informed decision is ridiculous and backwards.

    This post further infuriates me because, once again, the parents who question vaccines hold all the blame while somehow the pro-vax people come out completely innocent. Trust me this is not the case, and in most instances I have found that pro-vax parents/people are far more insulting and threatening once you disagree with them.

  6. Evidence-Based Mother
    August 24, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Twyla- Autism isn’t a vaccine injury. Neither are long term immune problems. You can point to “83 canaries” or the Pace Law review or whatever else you’d like, but you have misread those sources and it has been pointed out to you numerous times (civilly). I noticed you contribute articles to Age of Autism, whose tactics include pictures of Paul Offit and others made to look like they are eating a human baby. I think this discussion is important. Integrity is important. And that extends not only to the way you approach those with a differing view, but the company you choose to keep, and most importantly, the integrity of the information you advocate on public forums. It also smacks of lack of integrity to say that most on your “side” are not “Vaccine refusers” or Anti-vaccine. That is just completely disingenuous.

  7. Evidence-Based Mother
    August 24, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    Correct me if I’m wrong, Shannon, but the group in question has approximately 3000 members and has numerous times accepted people with differing views into the ranks. They asked to be admitted and were. My question is that with 3000 members, why did none of the others step in and say that such language was not appropriate? Were you all too busy singing kumbayah to have any concern for the fact that your content was offensive, graphically violent, cruel and inappropriate and that in a forum where nearly everyone is admitted, with ranks numbering 3000, there should be no expectation of privacy? If what is said there reflects poorly, then perhaps those people should not have said them, period.

    Many of those group are also fans of a very mediocre musical group called “The Refusers” who blend antivaccine lyrics with music they have written. Might I suggest, if the term “vaccine refusers” is so offensive to those of you who in deed refuse vaccines, that you contact that group and let them know?

    Your choice as a parent is one you may be proud of, but it is more than a personal choice- it is a choice that impacts public health, which is why it is of utmost importance that medically accurate information, such as is offered on the VYB page, is available to parents.

    People disagree, but people who state in a forum visited by 3000 people and open to accepting new members that others should receive a battery acid douche or be stabbed in the eye is beyond disagreement. And beyond any measure of good taste.

  8. Snoozie
    August 24, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Twyla, about your plane crash scenario: If people continued to take flights on airplanes, they would not be called anti-airplane or airplane refusers. If there were a crash, and the cause was found to be something other than a problem with the airplane (say, birds flew into the engine, for example), and people demanded that before boarding airplanes, others were properly “informed” about the dangers of airplanes and these same people refused to take flights and posted blog posts decrying airplanes and made insidious violent comments about people who did fly on airplanes and started organizations such as SaneTravel, I think *then* it would be fair to call them anti-airplane or airplane refusers.

  9. Twyla
    August 24, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    re: “a very mediocre musical group called ‘The Refusers’ who blend antivaccine lyrics with music they have written. Might I suggest, if the term ‘vaccine refusers’ is so offensive to those of you who in deed refuse vaccines, that you contact that group and let them know?”

    They are vaccine refusers. They do not label everyone with vaccine concerns “vaccine refusers”.

    It is understandable why Michael Belkin, who runs this group, is a refuser when you read his story:
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/10/hepatitis-b-vaccine-an-unmitigated-disaster-.html

    His infant daughter died after receiving the hepatitis B vaccine. Hepatitis B is communicable like AIDS by exchange of bodily fluids. Generally the only infants who are at risk for hep B are those whoe mothers are carrying this virus. They used to only recommend this vaccine for babies of women who were known carriers, but they found that a lot of arriers did not admit to this or did not get tested. So they decided to give all newborns this vaccine. My autistic son received this vaccine on the day he was born, and at the time it contained thimerosal (mercury._

  10. Evidence-Based Mother
    August 24, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Since you are not “antivaccine” or a “vaccine refuser” but rather someone who advocates for those with vaccine safety concerns, Twyla, I can only assume that you support those who have worked actively, tirelessly and successfully to investigate and reduce the rates of vaccine injury and continue to research and endeavor to improve the vaccines we have and those to come in the future? So you support the CDC, WHO, vaccine manufacturers, infectious disease specialists and other scientists? They are, after all, the people who have actually investigated vaccine safety, and amended the vaccine formulas, manufacturing methods and recommended schedule to maximize the safety of vaccines while maintaining the vast benefits of vaccinating.

  11. Evidence-Based Mother
    August 24, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Then it’s certainly reassuring to know that thimerosal has not been shown to be harmful, even to newborns.

  12. Twyla
    August 24, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    (cont.)
    Our son turned blue and stopped breathing a while after receiving this vaccine and had to be resuscitated — whether this was a vaccine reaction we will never know for sure.

    The Hep B vaccine is in my opinion an example of the skewed weighing of risks and benefits of our vaccine program. Most babies don’t need this vaccine as they are not at risk for Hepatitis B. Yes there are rare cases of Hep B from unknown sources, and there are women who do not want to disclose they are at risk. But the risks of this vaccine are unknown for a newborn baby whose health status is unknown. This baby could have allergies, or a kidney or liver which are not fully functioning.

    Sorry for the typos in the first part of this comment which I posted before fully proofing.

  13. Laura
    August 24, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    People are showing up here to defend their right to wish harm and violence on another person? My word, that is telling.

  14. Twyla
    August 24, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Evidence Based Mother, I certainly do have faults, but lack of integrity isn’t one of them, and I am not disingenuous.

    Sometimes autism is a vaccine injury. Sometimes long-term immune problems are caused by vaccines.

    I have not misread the Pace Law review or other sources. If your best argument against the information I put forth is the company which you imagine I keep, that’s weak.

    I love the Age of Autism web site because they have the courage to put forth so much important information which is not picked up by most mainstream media. This doesn’t mean that I agree with every single thing that is posted there, although I actually thought that Thanksgiving portrait was quite brilliant.

  15. Evidence-Based Mother
    August 24, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    I have great empathy for Michael Belkin, as I do for any parent who has lost a child to SIDS. But the studies in the link you posted are simply bad science. The first, for example is an animal study done (poorly) by Andrew Wakefield whose license was revoked and research removed from journals due to his utter lack of ethics, financial fraud, and maltreatment of children. The studies in that list have been repeatedly discredited and dozens of other studies have demonstrated that the Hep. B vaccine is safe and effective and in deed, has reduced the number of children who die if liver cancer due to chronic Hep. B.

  16. Evidence-Based Mother
    August 24, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Twyla. Autism is not a vaccine injury. We can discuss the Pace Law review if you’d like to see where it is that you have misinterpreted. You thought that a picture of doctors and vaccine advocates feasting on the flesh of a human child was “brilliant”? I find that very alarming as the image I saw was violent and disturbing and the implications cruel. Not the least of which is that it is a picture that graphically depicts a horrific act of violence upon a child. I’m very surprised that you found that to be “brilliant”. I’m afraid, my response to such a thing was quite different from yours.

  17. Twyla
    August 24, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    EBM, SIDS is like autism in that there is said to be no known cause, but if someone says their baby died from a vaccine reaction they are told that the death was actually “SIDS” as if that is an explanation, but that is actually not any kind of explanation as there is no known cause. All that any “experts” knows about the cause of SIDS or autism is “ABV” – anything but vaccines.

  18. Twyla
    August 24, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    “People”? So far only one person.

  19. Twyla
    August 24, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Actually, it does not “graphically depicts a horrific act of violence upon a child”. It shows a baby happily lying in a basket on a table. It is political satire, making the point that those sitting at the table are unwhittingly hurting babies. It does not make violent threats against anyone.

  20. Evidence-Based Mother
    August 24, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    You’re right, Twyla. Clearly I do not find the implied cannibalism of infants as clever or appropriate as you. I find it rather crass, disturbing, inappropriate, and for the purpose of inciting hatred and escalating the vitriol of the dialogue. But to me, your repeated support for such a thing gives me great pause.

  21. Nathan
    August 24, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Again, you ignore all the research. Though we don’t know the true cause of all SIDS or autism, there is much that is known about risk factors and much that is being investigated concerning possible causes. It is not “anything but vaccines,” as well, because other possible causes have been ruled out, for example, that SIDS occurs independent from suffocation.

    However, the reason that we conclude that SIDS is not caused by vaccines is because tons of studies show that vaccinated children have less SIDS. Similarly, we conclude that autism is not caused by vaccines because logic and evidence demonstrate that this is the case.

  22. Shannon
    August 24, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    I didn’t realize it was my job as a mere member of a group to police the group. Furthermore, it appears it was a joke that was completely taken out of context.

    I don’t condone violence of any manner, which is why I don’t vaccinate. ;)

    VYB is medically accurate? Are you sure it isn’t just more pharmaceutical funded propaganda to keep their billion dollar industry going? Ignore all of the side effects of vaccines, just keep on getting them. Somehow people want to believe that the pharma companies only want to do good by offering vaccines and if they happen to make a little money, well then that is just a little bonus. As a society we toss aside the very real “anecdotal” (as you call them) stories of children injured by vaccines as just a casual coincidence and we are made to believe that vaccines are safe. Why isn’t it anecdotal though when people talk about how their kid received the (insert vaccine here) and didn’t get the illness?

    I am completely sick of this “your kid needs a vax to protect my kid, to protect the public” crap. Show me anything that actually proves this ridiculous theory of herd immunity? If it exists, then why are you afraid of the small percentage of non-vaxed kids?

    Call me a vaccine refuser, call me anti-vax, call me anything you want but what you can’t call me is an uninformed parent.

  23. Nathan
    August 24, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    No, not “unwittingly.” It shows them sitting down at the thanksgiving table with forks and knives and a baby in plain sight on a platter, and smiling. The clear implication is they are intending to eat the baby and they are happy about it. Regardless, it is vulgar and indefensible.

  24. Evidence-Based Mother
    August 24, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Shannon- I won’t call you an uninformed parent because what you are is misinformed. Yes, Vaccinate Your Baby provides medically accurate information because the information they discuss is based on scientific evidence, consensus, and reason.

    I’m sorry you don’t like to hear the “unvaccinated children put others at risk ‘crap’”, but it is a well studied phenomenon. Here is a link that I think you should read. http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p2069.pdf It is titled “Personal belief exemptions for vaccination put people at risk. Examine the evidence for yourself.” and gives brief analysis and explanation of 14 separate studies showing that unvaccinated people do, in fact, increase the risk for all. I’m sorry if you do not like that ‘crap’, but it is nonetheless well supported by evidence. Though you may prefer it to be a matter of individual choice that does not extend beyond yourself, it is a public health issue.

    I’m also sorry that you did not feel comfortable or motivated to speak up in your group when they were speaking inappropriately about others. I teach my children not to be a bystander when they can behave otherwise. But I understand that your situation within the group is dynamic and personally defined. I do hope that perhaps in the future you or a fellow member among the 3000 will advocate for civil and productive discussion in lieu of fantasy violence.

    “Why isn’t it anecdotal though when people talk about how their kid received the (insert vaccine here) and didn’t get the illness? ”

    Very simple- because the anecdote is supported by separate, non-anecdotal evidence.

  25. Evidence-Based Mother
    August 24, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    That was my interpretation as well, Nathan, and I think it is clear. The image is also highly inflammatory.

  26. August 24, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    Wow. I have now watched the video detailing what was posted on the GMQV site and read the guidelines on their Facebook page. The violence advocated against those who are science-based about vaccines is quite disgusting — and quite in opposition to the site’s stated guidelines.

    Age of Autism is certainly at fault for whipping up ill-feeling against those (like myself) who support a science- and evidence-based approach to vaccination.

    As I have found, both at my own website and The Thinking Person’s Guide to autism, strong moderation of comment streams is required. This seems especially true at Facebook, for some reason.

  27. Melissa
    August 26, 2011 at 3:36 am

    Immunize.org is a collaboration from the CDC. Those studies are not independent scientific studies.

    One is even laughable: Exemptors were 22.2 times more likely to acquire
    measles and 5.9 times more likely to acquire pertussis than were
    vaccinated children. At least 11% of vaccinated children in measles
    outbreaks acquired infection through contact with exemptors.

    I happen to read that as 11% of vaccinated children, did not INFORM others around them that they had gotten the vaccination, got the measles themselves, and passed the measles onto those that are unvaccinated.

    If those who vaccinate are concerned about those who cannot vaccinate, then you shouldn’t expose your children to us.

  28. Shannon
    August 26, 2011 at 8:34 am

    I have replied but my comment is awaiting moderation. I’m assuming it is because of the fantastic links I posted within my response. http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/commissionchildvaccines.htm

  29. August 26, 2011 at 11:56 am

    As a mother who has lost a child to a vaccine preventable disease and who has seen the devastation and death some of these vaccine preventable diseases cause, I am of course for vaccination. Ryan had all of his shots, at least, the ones, I knew about. I just did not know about the one that could have saved him.

    When something bad happens to our children we need to find a reason. I totally get that. We automatically feel guilt. I am compassionate to the parents who have autistic children and those who believe vaccines caused it. We need a reason. We don’t want to even begin to think it could be something we did or didn’t do, something genetic, something we could have prevented. We are parents. We all love our children. Yes, even those who produce and recommend vaccines and those who are afraid of vaccines.

    But we must be open to truths and real science when it comes our way. The dialogue between us must remain compassionate, open and with a willingness to see the truth even if we don’t like it. For me the truth was a vaccine could have prevented Ryan’s death. I am always happy to sit/discuss with any parent who has fear or resistance to vaccines. I am not willing to hear untrue accusations or threats against anyone especially those who fight everyday like myself and those at ECBT to stop preventable disease from debilitating or killing our children.

    It is time, all of us start working together to protect our children from deadly diseases, find the real causes of autism and continue to work with our FDA and CDC to make sure our vaccines are as safe and effective as they are now and even more in the future.

    We must protect our children not act like children.

  30. Grownup
    August 26, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    What utter BS! First of all, this thread which yes was in POOR taste, does not reflect the ENTIRE community! Do ALL provax people hold the same views of those who post malicious things on Vaccinate Your Baby? Should we hold all of your members accountable to those postings? That’s absurd! This does NOT reflect the entire community. It reflects the immaturity of THOSE MEMBERS who participated! A very small number of them compared to the total number of members, whom also have apologized and regretted their mistake.

    Furthermore, there are no “leaders” either, simply admins to keep the group flowing (obviously they had a brain fart this day) but they do not “lead” anyone. We are all individuals with our own thoughts, opinions and beliefs which ‘gasp’ all differ, we do and say what we please. They do not ‘Direct’ anyone to do or say or follow ANYTHING! Or even if they did does not mean that anyone does or agrees.

    Regardless of your thoughts on the content of that post, it was in a closed group and not an open face book page such as yours where members do say hateful/nasty things. But again regardless of that, the video is in CLEAR VIOLATION of Youtube privacy policy and your promoting it is even more distasteful and pathetic.

    Grow up and stop all this childishness ALL OF YOU! If you really want to help your side then just do it and stop all this childish crap! And that is for everyone on BOTH sides! This is immature and ridiculous on all sides. And only makes all of you involved look ridiculous.

    As another poster mentioned you are painting the picture as if you all never do wrong or say anything derogatory or rude or have vented your frustrations to anyone before. Stop trying to lump everyone in one boat. This has NOTHING TO DO WITH VACCINES CHOICES and has everything to do with immature individuals! ONE situation which is being blown completely out of proportion to make yourselves look like the “better” people, again lumping “all” provax people in your boat. This is simply YOUR slanted view from your side to make you look like the better side.

    Pathetic all of it! Grow up the whole lot of you!

  31. Nathan
    August 26, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    You would be wiser to assume that when you post numerous links, it goes in to the moderation filter like every other post that has multiple links. This happens to my posts frequently, which tend to have lots of links. Assuming that it did not have content that violates the comment policy, it should be let out at some point.

    The link you just posted did not work for me, BTW. Maybe hrsa.gov is conspiring against you as well.

  32. August 26, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    My only child died from vaccine preventable meningococcal disease. I have proof. Unfortunately it comes from an ER report that states time of death cause form Meningococcemia and an autopsy report. I stood helplessly and watch my beautiful healthy son bleed to death from every orifice of his body.

    With all of my heart, I feel compassion for and want to understand the parents who claim vaccine injury. Many times, I hear how vaccines harmed an infant but I don’t hear what the injury was. I am a need to know person. I would like to hear exact vaccine injuries that can be proven. My concern is that many of the problems infants develop or start to show are at the same time as the immunizations are being given.
    Thus the blame.

    I am not uneducated enough to think that there are very rare cases just like any other drug, food, environmental agents that can cause a serious allergic reaction. I am allergic to many things. In fact, every time I get the tetanus vaccine my arm swells, turns red becomes hot, painful and the last time, I took it, it was worse than ever, my doctor said, I should probably not take it again. That is for me. I still think that all should be vaccinated against this horrible disease. I will tell you, if I am injured/wounded or in a circumstance where the risk is high for tetanus I will most likely risk the vaccine again. Because for a fact, I know without a doubt the risk of dying from tetanus is much worse than the possible side affect of the vaccine. My grand father died from tetanus. My mom said, it was a horrible, painful death. Sadly vaccines to prevent tetanus were not available then.

    My heart screams for any parent or child who faces a day of illness and debilitation no matter the cause. Many of our kids at Angels live day to day with the risk of dying from the after affects of 3 forms of vaccine preventable meningitis. Many have amputations, severe brain damage, organ failure, blindness, deafness, neurological problems, forms of autism syndrome, learning disabilities, paralysis and more. They have double digit surgeries to rebuild faces, skin and limbs taken by the disease. We know, for a fact, that vaccines could have prevented this.

    We must look at the whole of our environment, food additives, artificial foods, pollution, things we do to our bodies that we know cause harm such as smoking, drinking alcohol and recreational drugs. Some of this done even during pregnancies and prior to, by both parents. Then our infants are once again exposed once they are born.

    To those who are fearful or resistant to vaccines, I say to you, if I knew, it was a proven fact that vaccines were dangerous, I would be in front of the line to fight with you. However the evidence proves just the opposite.

    We must all be ready to be accountable when people listen to what we say that what we are saying is truth, not speculation, not taken out of context, not based on propaganda but what we know from the science and facts.

    You will not see or hear me be mean to you because we disagree, instead I welcome factual, serious, civilized and compassionate discussion. It is the only way we will all come together for the protection of our children’s health.

    We must all work together to make sure our vaccines are and remain as safe as they can be. We must work hard to encourage more research and prevention of autism, SIDS and other disease that plague our children.

    I believe the FDA and CDC are the best watch dogs for our safety and health in the world. We have to trust that they who are not only experts in their field, but also parents and grand parents too make decisions on proof of the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.

    We have to trust something for me it is proof and truth of the value of vaccines for over 50 years.

    One simply has to walk around an old cemetery to see the value of vaccines. For me it is an endless on stream of infants, children and young adults who are debilitated or dead due to diseases that could have been prevented by vaccine. It is that never ending vision of Ryan dying on that table in the ER and watching him being put in a body bag for autopsy, the never ending pain and the emptiness left by Ryan’s death in my heart, my soul and mind.

  33. Nathan
    August 26, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Immunize.org is a collaboration from the CDC. Those studies are not independent scientific studies.

    According to immunize.org, the Immunization Action Coalition is a nonprofit that has worked on projects with the CDC; it is not a collaboration from the CDC (which to me means that the CDC helped create it – though if you have evdience for this please share it). It does receive some funding from the CDC as well as other sources.

    Regardless of how you feel about that, immunize.org did not do the studies listed. They are a combination of studies from a variety of sources, including independent studies. The study you listed was authored by a respiratory doctor from the CDC. Most people would consider it a good thing that the CDC is investigating the efficacy of vaccines. Other studies on that list were done by independent health research groups and public health centers.

    One is even laughable: Exemptors were 22.2 times more likely to acquire
    measles and 5.9 times more likely to acquire pertussis than were
    vaccinated children.

    You find that funny? I find it distinctly sobering.

    I happen to read that as 11% of vaccinated children, did not INFORM others around them that they had gotten the vaccination, got the measles themselves, and passed the measles onto those that are unvaccinated.

    You read it in a biased manner. It simply says that out of all the cases of measles that have occurred in vaccinated individuals, 11% came directly from unvaccinated individuals. It has nothing to do with INFORM Informing others of your vaccinated status would not likely affect that; though informing others of being unvaccinated might, since it would give people the opportunity to stay away.

    If those who vaccinate are concerned about those who cannot vaccinate, then you shouldn’t expose your children to us.

    We try. We want children who cannot be vaccinated (such as immunocompromised children) away from deliberately unvaccinated people if at all possible. The problem is that unvaccinated children cannot be identified by sight, and can be contagious even when not having symptoms.

  34. Chris
    August 26, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Melissa:

    If those who vaccinate are concerned about those who cannot vaccinate, then you shouldn’t expose your children to us.

    How do you propose to safely accomplish this? Make sure those kids with medical reasons against vaccination stay in quarantine? Do you want to make sure that no unvaccinated by choice child is kept away from hospitals that treat pediatric cancer?

    I live ten blocks from a Children’s Hospital, and its Ronald McDonald House. It is common to see kids with no hair, medical devices and other hints that are are being treated at the hospital. Do you propose that they be kept permanently at the hospital and never be allowed to go home or outside? Or wouldn’t it be easier to stick to the actual science and promote high herd immunity?

    What is your solution?

  35. Chris
    August 26, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Nathan:

    The problem is that unvaccinated children cannot be identified by sight, and can be contagious even when not having symptoms.

    Plus some diseases like measles linger long after the infectious person has left. How is someone supposed to know that a child with measles but has no symptoms was at the toy store an hour before?

  36. Melissa
    August 27, 2011 at 5:50 am

    Those who vaccinate should stay in quarantine themselves for at least 30 days.

    There is always much talk about how the non-vaxers are the ones putting un-vaxable children are risk. However, those that DO vax are doing the same, by not quarantining your children after vaccinations.

    Many children get the diseases for which they have been vaccinated, including measles and chicken pox. If you truly care about the un-vaxable then you would be spreading the word to the those that ARE VACCINATING and stop putting all the fault/responsibility on the non-vaxers.

  37. Melissa
    August 27, 2011 at 6:01 am

    When a child immediately begins seizing after receiving a vaccination, this is not a coincidence. It was the vaccination, plain and simple. And when a neurologist confirms to the parent that he also believes, and has seen MANY cases the same, it was the vaccine.

    The pro-vaxers need to stop thinking that parents are just making up these vaccine injuries or are delusional. There is plenty of evidence out there that shows that vaccines are causing these injuries.

    How would feel as a parent if you were on that side? If you knew the truth about your own child and no one listened to you?

    How would you feel if you knew something was wrong with your child and no one listened to you? How would you feel if a doctor yelled at you in front of a waiting room full of people, telling you that were STUPID for thinking a vaccine injured your child?

    How you would feel to find out that many of the higher ups years ago and probably even now from the CDC are in the back pockets of the pharmacy companies?

    How would you feel? What would your life be like?

    Please think about this.

    And then consider the possibility that this is you…the parent .. and these things are TRUE.

    Because they are. True that is. There is plenty of independent scientific evidence out there that shows how vaccines are harming our children. Just because pro-vaxers like to throw out “science and facts” does not make it less true. Just because you want to quote CDC and pharmacy research over and over, still does not make it less true.

    I appreciate the passion that each pro- and non-vaxer has. We should always question that which is before us. I have read about these issues for almost 10 years. There is much derision from the pro-vax side. More than the other. There truly is. Non-vaxers are trying to protect their children and many, many non-vaxers are those with vaccine-injured children. A little more compassion would be appreciated.

  38. Melissa
    August 27, 2011 at 6:04 am

    I’m sorry, Frankie, that wasn’t directed directly towards you. I’m sorry to learn that your son died from a horrible disease.

  39. Melissa
    August 27, 2011 at 6:14 am

    The IAC lists 3 sites that they run and they specifically say that one is funded completely by the CDC, the rest are in coalition with the CDC. Look under About Us.

    Also, deliberately unvaccinated people are not the ones walking around as a hotbed for disease. Those getting the vaccines are. All of the un-vaxers I know are careful and deliberate about the health of their children. We aren’t walking around trying to spread disease. On the other hand, vaxed childen do just that, by getting vaccines and then walking amongst us. Some vaccines are live, and can give you the disease or SHED the disease from which you are getting the vaccination. I’d like to see pro-vaxers become more aware of this and take more care.

    I find it awful when I read that a child who has been vaccinated, gets pertussis, but no one will admit it is pertussis (it’s just an infection!!), and then that child is spreading that disease everywhere he/she goes. Please do not try to say this doesn’t happen. I can give you two case studies, from personal friends, where doctors wouldn’t even test for it because the children were vaccinated against pertussis. Mild case .. yes .. but still.. these individuals spread that disease to a newborn and to other unvaccinated children.

    It is late and I will stop as I’m getting ready to off on a tangent and that really wasn’t my intent. My intent was to point out that I’m tired of hearing about non-vaxers being the threat against those that cannot vaccinate. Vaxers also and you should take responsibility for it.

  40. Nathan
    August 27, 2011 at 8:54 am

    Are you referring to viral shedding? If so, your impression of the risks of viral shedding to the immunocompromised is entirely overblown. Only a few vaccines shed, they don’t shed much much if at all, and they don’t shed the wild virus, making them much less of a risk to the immunocompromised than the wild virus.

    It is infeasible to quarantine all children vaccinated with a live virus on the rare chance that they may encounter an immunocompromised individual. And immunocompromised individuals are greatly protected by the herd immunity provided by vaccination. The risk presented by non-vaxers is massive by comparison.

  41. Nathan
    August 27, 2011 at 9:07 am

    The IAC lists 3 sites that they run and they specifically say that one is funded completely by the CDC, the rest are in coalition with the CDC. Look under About Us.

    This is consistent with what I said, is it not? They work with and receive some funding from the CDC> I’m not sure why that is a bad thing.

    Also, deliberately unvaccinated people are not the ones walking around as a hotbed for disease. Those getting the vaccines are.

    No, they aren’t. They are preventing the spread of disease. The non-vaxed are the ones facilitating its spread.

    All of the un-vaxers I know are careful and deliberate about the health of their children. We aren’t walking around trying to spread disease.

    No, not deliberately. It’s just that being unvaccinated makes people much more likely to catch and spread disease. And since you are usually contagious before you are symptomatic, and some diseases linger long after you’ve left, being “careful” is inadequate. Being “vaccinated” is better.

    On the other hand, vaxed childen do just that, by getting vaccines and then walking amongst us. Some vaccines are live, and can give you the disease or SHED the disease from which you are getting the vaccination. I’d like to see pro-vaxers become more aware of this and take more care.

    Ah, you are talking about shedding. Please see my earlier comment.

    I find it awful when I read that a child who has been vaccinated, gets pertussis, but no one will admit it is pertussis (it’s just an infection!!), and then that child is spreading that disease everywhere he/she goes. Please do not try to say this doesn’t happen.

    It might happen, but it didn’t happen from the vaccine, because the vaccine does not contain a live bacteria. It contains four little pieces of a bacteria and toxoid, and it is simply impossible that it could cause pertussis, any more than four hairs of a horse could pull a cart.

    I can give you two case studies, from personal friends, where doctors wouldn’t even test for it because the children were vaccinated against pertussis. Mild case .. yes .. but still.. these individuals spread that disease to a newborn and to other unvaccinated children.

    That’s unfortunate, even vaccinated people can get pertussis, though it is usually mild and much less likely to infect others. But these anecdotes are not strong for your argument.

    My intent was to point out that I’m tired of hearing about non-vaxers being the threat against those that cannot vaccinate. Vaxers also and you should take responsibility for it.

    We are, but we do not spread wild disease, or at least we spread it far less often. We vaccinate, so that we limit the spread of disease that is facilitated by non-vaxers. We take the small risk of vaccination to protect the vulnerable against those who are misinformed and choose not to.

  42. Nathan
    August 27, 2011 at 9:29 am

    When a child immediately begins seizing after receiving a vaccination, this is not a coincidence. It was the vaccination, plain and simple.

    No, not the case. It may be from the vaccine, or, since seizures are common, it may have occurred independently from the vaccine. You would not say “When a child begins seizing immediately after playing a board game, this is not a coincidence,” would you? Because in that case, it is almost certainly not from the board game. In this case, it may or may not be, but a febrile seizure is a known complication

    And when a neurologist confirms to the parent that he also believes, and has seen MANY cases the same, it was the vaccine.

    This certainly makes it more likely in my mind, but the evidence in the literature should also be considered. But no one is arguing that a seizure cannot be caused by a vaccine, particularly a febrile seizure. And if a neurologist believes that a vaccine or vaccines are contraindicated in such a patient, then they should not get them again. No argument here.

    The pro-vaxers need to stop thinking that parents are just making up these vaccine injuries or are delusional.

    Nobody should think that. However, we do think that in some cases, parents can simply be mistaken. An event that occurs at some point after a vaccination may not be because of a vaccination. This is the case with the development of autism.

    There is plenty of evidence out there that shows that vaccines are causing these injuries.

    What injuries are you referring to? We know that vaccines have the extremely rare potential to cause an injury. But it is vastly outweighed by the injuries caused by the wild disease.

    How would feel as a parent if you were on that side? If you knew the truth about your own child and no one listened to you?

    I’m again not sure what you are referring to. If you are referring to a seizure caused by a vaccine, then I don’t know why no one would listen to you. If you are referring to autism, then in fact it cannot be said that anyone knows the “truth,” only what they perceived.

    How would you feel if you knew something was wrong with your child and no one listened to you? How would you feel if a doctor yelled at you in front of a waiting room full of people, telling you that were STUPID for thinking a vaccine injured your child?

    I would feel awful. No doctor should do that, and those that do should be reprimanded. However, that is not to say that they should ignore all the literature that indicates what is and is not a vaccine reaction, or lie to parents by telling them something is a reaction when it isn’t.

    How you would feel to find out that many of the higher ups years ago and probably even now from the CDC are in the back pockets of the pharmacy companies?

    Probably about the same as I feel now, as I know it is common for government workers to leave and go into the private sector. But I have never seen any evidence the CDC is “in the back pocket” of the companies, certainly none that makes me think that studies, as a whole, are unreliable and really means the opposite.

    How would you feel? What would your life be like?
    Please think about this. And then consider the possibility that this is you…the parent .. and these things are TRUE.

    I do, often. Though I have had grief in my own life, I can’t imagine exactly what it would be like to be exactly in the situation you describe. But that does not change reality. What I like about science, is that it is able to look beyond our individual biases and look for what is most likely to be the truth. Many times I have had to look past my own biases and accept reality instead.

    Because they are. True that is. There is plenty of independent scientific evidence out there that shows how vaccines are harming our children.

    No, there is not. The evidence that vaccines are harmful beyond the rare serious risks we know if is weak and unreplicated, and overwhelmed by the reputable research that supports vaccinations. Again, whether vaccines can cause harm is not the question. The question is whether it causes more harm than the disease. But it causes far, far less.

    I appreciate the passion that each pro- and non-vaxer has. We should always question that which is before us. I have read about these issues for almost 10 years. There is much derision from the pro-vax side. More than the other. There truly is.

    I disagree. I think if we objectively look at the derision that actually comes from the groups in question (not by internet commenters), such as Age of Autism, we find much more in the non-vax camp. But neither of us are unbiased observers.

    Non-vaxers are trying to protect their children and many, many non-vaxers are those with vaccine-injured children. A little more compassion would be appreciated.

    I agree, there is too much vitriol on both sides. Likewise, pro-vaxers are trying to protect their children and unvaxed children from death or disability from infectious diseases. Compassion is essential, however, I find that when a person like myself points out the evidence, it is perceived as not compassionate. The truth is far more important, and it is certainly not compassionate for me to lie. I have great compassion for people whose children have been hurt or devastated for any reason. Yet compassion simply does not mean acknowledging something is a vaccine injury when it is clear from the evidence that it isn’t.

  43. August 27, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Dear Melissa:

    I appreciate your kindness about Ryan. I truly also feel and read your frustration and passion about your beliefs.

    You said, ” When a child immediately begins seizing after receiving a vaccination, this is not a coincidence. It was the vaccination, plain and simple. And when a neurologist confirms to the parent that he also believes, and has seen MANY cases the same, it was the vaccine.”

    My response: I can not argue with this in this circumstance.
    If this is what happened then I would probably think the same thing. In my post, I was trying to make the point that I would like to hear exact cases such as this one. Sadly, most of the time, I hear, “government conspiracy theories, government and pharma are out to kill our kids, that everyone who is pro vaccine is in the pocket of big pharma and other ridiculous accusations.” I think this causes an unfair opinion of the general public to think that all who are anti-vaccine are just crazy. However, You should know, I don’t think they are all crazy. I think many like you, like myself are caring parents who want to protect their kids from all harm..

    This last summer, on a cross country public meeting tour, hosted by CDC on infant meningococcal disease, I met many parents who were fearful of vaccines or even anti-vaccine. You would be surprised to know that the meetings were actually held in cities that have high rates of vaccine resistors/refusers .
    I found that when we sat down together with mutual respect, without accusations and most of all as parents who wanted what was best for their children we accomplished many things. Several of the parents even though they would not vaccinate against any other disease voted to recommend vaccinations against meningococcal disease. It was understanding the disease and the vaccine that made the difference. It was that mom to mom conversation about loving and protecting our kids from what we were most fearful of and not condemning each other. Some of those moms even though we don’t agree on everything I will forever hold dear. Because like me they fight for what the believe is the right thing to do.

    You said: “How would you feel if you knew something was wrong with your child and no one listened to you? How would you feel if a doctor yelled at you in front of a waiting room full of people, telling you that were STUPID for thinking a vaccine injured your child?”

    My response: I am very sorry you have had to experience this. No parent who is trying to do the best for their child should be subjected to this. On the other side, I have also said, How many must die or be debilitated before they listen? I am talking about those in the medical field and public who don’t keep up with CDC recommendations and ALL vaccine updates. I am talking about our parents who bring their sick child to an emergency room and no one will listen to them as they scream for help. They are missed diagnosed because meningitis often mimics the common symptoms of other less deadly diseases. Their child’s body deteriorating or dying in their arms. They too are sometime screamed at and sometimes told to take their child home only to be brought back again when it is too late. I am talking about parents who see other kids dying from meningitis all around them but physicians refuse to give the vaccination, even though the parent is willing to pay for it and the vaccine approval is indicated and safe for the age group of the child. I am talking about the public and yes even some medical providers who never read a vaccine package insert or truly researche each vaccine or the disease they prevent but yet they make all kinds of false and misleading accusations and decissions about vaccines.

    All of these problems can be solved by all of us being truly being educated on each disease and the vaccine that prevents them.

    I think it is wrong for any of us to assume that all who make decisions or produce pro-vaccine materials are in pharma pockets. Just like it is wrong for the pro vaccine side to assume all on the other side are stupid. .
    I have spent the last 13 years of my life since Ryan’s death trying to make sure no other child died the horrible death that Ryan died or was so debilitated that any quality of life was missing. I have set at the side of a friend whose baby died from pertussis because she was not old enough to be vaccinated and he and his dad unknown to them had pertussis. They thought it was just a cold. I cry for my friend, a virgin when she married at 22, who contracted HPV from her husband and ended up with cervical cancer at the age of 29.
    I weep for my friend who fought for chicken pox vaccine after her son died from it and in fact to the day she died, she fought. I weep for the hundreds of kids in our net work who suffer horrible after affects of pneumococcal, meningococcal and Hib meningitis each day. My heart breaks for those children who died in a measles outbreak several years ago in the Amish community where they refused to vaccinate. My heart screams for the parents of a 5 year old who died in our community from influenza. He was not able to be vaccinated for medical reasons and many around him just chose not to vaccinate and became ill. I am sad to think about my friend whose twin brother died from polio and she too contracted it and still suffers greatly today. I think about a friend who was a doctor in the Korean war who told me he saw whole army barracks taken out from meningococcal disease in just a few days. I think about two parents who refused vaccines and both lost their child to the diseases the vaccine would have prevented. All of this we know could have been prevented by vaccine.

    Some of us are too young to remember the devastation of disease pre vaccines. But for those of us who do remember we celebrate we no longer have to live in fear of them.

    We must all remember that CDC recommendations do not mean mandates. They give all of us the choice of vaccinating or not. They give all of our children not just a few access. They insure that all medical personal and the public have access to education of the good and the real adverse reactions of the vaccine, if they choose to read it.

    I totally understand and have heart for some of those parents like you Melissa, who really believe/know that vaccine harmed their child or may be on the fence. However my fear as more and more parents op out of vaccines because of some of the false claims made that we will see a resurfacing of disease like never before. Because of the population size, a mobile world generation and heavily populated events we attend, outbreaks even epidemics will begin to happen. We are seeing this already in parts of the country where measles, mumps, meningitis, influenza and pertussis are causing major outbreaks.

    What is the answer? This is my opinion and that and $5.00 will get a cup of coffee at that coffee place, is that we must all make sure that what ever we say can be supported, that we know ourselves it is true, that we have done the research, trusted in the experts and that we make sure that all public heath and safety is in our work. I think when there is truly an adverse reaction of a vaccine we must investigate and find out why so it does not happen again. Most of all we all work hard to protect our children, keep the dialog open, friendly, compassionate and make sure we are willing to hear both sides when it comes from truth and proof.

    Respectfully, Frankie

  44. Chris
    August 27, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    What is your evidence? Especially on “viral shedding”? How does the DTaP and Hib cause viral shedding.

    How do you protect a child who you do not know has an immune disorder like Julieana Metcalf?

    And this time, provide something other than blatant assertion, please provide some actual evidence for your statements.

  45. Chris
    August 27, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Melissa;

    Also, deliberately unvaccinated people are not the ones walking around as a hotbed for disease. Those getting the vaccines are. All of the un-vaxers I know are careful and deliberate about the health of their children. We aren’t walking around trying to spread disease. On the other hand, vaxed childen do just that, by getting vaccines and then walking amongst us.

    Cites please? Because that seems to go against common sense, and recent news reports. Especially in recent measles outbreaks, and schools that needed to be closed due to pertussis outbreaks:
    http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/282419

    Something like:

    Pediatrics. 2009 Jun;123(6):1446-51.
    Parental refusal of pertussis vaccination is associated with an increased risk of pertussis infection in children.
    Glanz JM, McClure DL, Magid DJ, Daley MF, France EK, Salmon DA, Hambidge SJ.

    Am J Epidemiol. 2008 Dec 15;168(12):1389-96. Epub 2008 Oct 15.
    Geographic clustering of nonmedical exemptions to school immunization requirements and associations with geographic clustering of pertussis.
    Omer SB, Enger KS, Moulton LH, Halsey NA, Stokley S, Salmon DA.

    Pediatrics. 2010 Apr;125(4):747-55. Epub 2010 Mar 22.
    Measles outbreak in a highly vaccinated population, San Diego, 2008: role of the intentionally undervaccinated.
    Sugerman DE, Barskey AE, Delea MG, Ortega-Sanchez IR, Bi D, Ralston KJ, Rota PA, Waters-Montijo K, Lebaron CW.

    N Engl J Med. 2006 Aug 3;355(5):447-55.
    Implications of a 2005 measles outbreak in Indiana for sustained elimination of measles in the United States.
    Parker AA, Staggs W, Dayan GH, Ortega-Sánchez IR, Rota PA, Lowe L, Boardman P, Teclaw R, Graves C, LeBaron CW.

  46. Chris
    August 27, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Because they are. True that is. There is plenty of independent scientific evidence out there that shows how vaccines are harming our children.

    Melissa, having had a child have seizures over twenty years ago due to a now vaccine preventable disease and who is still disabled: I really really want to know what data you have that seizures are caused more often by vaccines than diseases.

    And, please, no more “I know someone it happened to” kind of stories. Just give us something like this:

    Encephalopathy after whole-cell pertussis or measles vaccination: lack of evidence for a causal association in a retrospective case-control study.
    Ray P, Hayward J, Michelson D, Lewis E, Schwalbe J, Black S, Shinefield H, Marcy M, Huff K, Ward J, Mullooly J, Chen R, Davis R; Vaccine Safety Datalink Group.
    Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2006 Sep;25(9):768-73.

    And when a neurologist confirms to the parent that he also believes, and has seen MANY cases the same, it was the vaccine.

    Not my experience with a neurologist! The report (which goes into about a dozen pages) says “static encephalopathy which may or may not be associated with seizures.”

    You seem to find some interesting doctors. First a neurologist who actually diagnoses seizures as vaccine induced, and a doctor who yells in waiting rooms.

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