Home > Parent Perspective, Seasonal Flu, Testimonials, Vaccine Myths > Friday Flu Shot: Personal Experience

Friday Flu Shot: Personal Experience

October marks the official start of influenza season.  To  highlight the dangers of the flu and the benefits of vaccination, I plan to incorporate a new feature called “Friday Flu Shots” throughout the course of the next few months.

Today’s Friday Flu Shot focuses on personal experiences.

Just last week I was chatting with a neighbor at the bus stop.  She was talking about the health problems of her asthmatic son.  When I casually asked if she had gotten him his flu shot yet, she matter-of-factly explained that her husband had the shot once before and then he got really sick with the flu.  Somehow that “experience” has since kept all three of her children, as well as herself and her husband, from getting an influenza vaccine each year.

Now, I can’t say that I was surprised by her responses.  Unfortunately, I’ve heard these similar objections before.  As well as many others.

To be honest, if people are looking for a reason NOT to vaccinate for the flu, there are plenty of excuses to be used.

There are those that say,

“I survived the flu before, so why should I bother being vaccinated.”

Or others who claim,

“I’ve never gotten the flu before, so I don’t see why I would need to get the vaccine.”

Of course, there will always be a few who say,

“I got the flu shot once before and it gave me the flu.”

Then there are those who mistakenly believe,

“Healthy people don’t die from the flu.  I’ll just take my vitamins and I’ll be fine.”

Typically, I try to respond in a caring way; sensitive to the fact that no one appreciates being criticized or questioned.  I do my best to acknowledging their objections, yet I still find a way to suggest that the information that they are basing their decision on is often misunderstood or inaccurate.  In this particular conversation with my neighbor, I first addressed the health concern of her asthmatic son, who could suffer greatly if he were to fall ill with the flu.  I did my best to explain how the flu shot would not have been responsible for her husband getting the flu, and I offered her specific resources that she could visit to verify the scientific explanation of this.  With each attempt I made to suggest the importance of vaccination, she had yet another objection.  (“It’s so hard to get all the kids to the doctor,” and “Besides, my husband is always leery of something that the government wants to force you to do.”)

Don’t get me wrong.  It was a very friendly conversation.  However, I wasn’t sure I was really making a difference in her opinions.

However, as we began to part ways and the conversation was drawing to a close, I happened to mention a personal experience, where a personal friend had died from the flu.  He was a healthy, vibrant and active Marine, in his early 30s, married only a few short years and enjoying being a new dad.  Sadly, the flu came upon him suddenly.  He fell into a coma and died within about 72 hours of the onset of his illness.

This one story…this touching account of a life lost too soon…seemed to sway her just a bit.  Rather than apologetically offering excuses as to why they wouldn’t vaccinate, she began to ask me questions.

What I found most interesting about that conversation was that sometimes, something you say can make a difference when you least expect it.  To be honest, I almost didn’t share that story, concerned it was too anecdotal to make an impact.  But the truth is, no one wants to see bad things happen.  Sometimes we just need to be reminded that we can do something that can help prevent bad things.  And sometimes, reminders from parents like Amanda’s mom and dad in this video featured by Shot by Shot and produced in conjunction with Families Fighting Flu,  will help to remind us of the potential dangers of the flu and the importance of flu vaccination.

If you have a personal story about someone who has suffered with the flu, feel free to share it in the comments below.  Perhaps you have treated or cared for someone with the flu.  Perhaps you too have known the pain of losing someone you love to influenza.  We encourage you to share your stories so that others may know that the flu is a serious illness and be reminded to get vaccinated today.

  1. Susan
    October 8, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    I used to work in heathcare and so I always had gotten my flu vaccine. My husband, on the other hand, big tough Navy guy that he is, didn’t think it was such a big deal and never got vaccinated.

    That is, he didn’t think it was a big deal until he took his aged mother to the emergency room one winter. It turned out that she was fine, but the two of them spent 17 hours in the emergency room and he wound up getting the flu – no doubt from someone in the emergency waiting room who had the flu.

    He was sick in bed for two weeks, miserable and really cranky. His mother, who had gotten vaccinated, was fine. I had been vaccinated, so I was fine.

    That experience really drove the point home to him, why get so sick when there is an alternative? Now he gets his flu shot every year.

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  2. Steve Michaels
    October 10, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    I just wonder if I am the only reader who recognizes the hypocracy demonstrated in these articles. I have pointed out previously that there were over 18,000 VAERS complaints and 68 reported deaths from the HPV vaccine. Generally speaking, the vaccine pushers maintain that these are ‘merely’ anecdotal and do not constitute evidence because the investigators (who virtually all have conflicts of interest because of pharmaceutical industry payments and having been trained by a system created by the industry) claim there are no patterns. Yet these articles almost uniformly wish to ‘prove’ the worth of these toxic brews by promoting anecdotal evidence. It really is mind boggling. Incidentally, it also absolutely impossible to determine whether anyone has had the flu without a blood test. Many bacterial infections cause flu like symptoms but the other assumption of Christine and others is that you are sick, it MUST be the flu. It is completely unsubstantiable conjecture passed off as ‘common’ knowledge.

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  3. publichealthgal
    October 10, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    There is a BIG difference in using anecdotal information as fact and using anecdotal information to illustrate facts that might otherwise seem abstract. VAERS data are scrutinized because they are flawed and must be investigated to substantiate. Most VAAERS reports are not life-threatening, but can be coincidental. Got flu shot later got a stomachache–or was that because of the hot dog I ate? In contrast, personal stories of people who suffered vaccine-preventable diseases are verifiable from medical testing of the disease. I also know about “the statistics.” But when I talk to my friends, I tell them about when my dad and I both caught flu from my dying grandmother. Dad went to the hospital and I got pneumonia. We were both “healthy.” That makes people think; it makes it feel real–which it is.

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  4. Nathan
    October 10, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    You may be the only reader to recognize this “hypocracy” [sic], because you conjured it up in your mind.

    I have pointed out previously that there were over 18,000 VAERS complaints and 68 reported deaths from the HPV vaccine. Generally speaking, the vaccine pushers maintain that these are ‘merely’ anecdotal and do not constitute evidence

    Well, no, the vast majority are minor reactions like arm soreness, which are known to be caused by vaccines, but no reason not to get the vaccine. There have been only a small number of serious medical reports.

    the investigators (who virtually all have conflicts of interest because of pharmaceutical industry payments and having been trained by a system created by the industry)

    Fantasizing again. You have no evidence that the investigators into the Gardasil deaths receive pharmaceutical industry payments (in particular from Merck), and neither the CDC nor medical education was created by the drug industry.

    Yet these articles almost uniformly wish to ‘prove’ the worth of these toxic brews by promoting anecdotal evidence.

    The difference between an influenza death anecdote and a VAERS report is that the medical examiner has examined the body and reviewed all the available labs and evidence and confirmed that the death was caused by influenza. In addition, there are centuries of data in influenza mortality. We know that influenza kills, we know the mechanisms and pathological processes that it uses to kill.

    By contrast, the deaths following HPV vaccine have also been reviewed by a medical examiner and were not believed to be HPV vaccine related, and subsequent investigation by the CDC shows that the evidence is not consistent with causation. And short of fatal anaphylaxis (which has not been reported to my knowledge), there is a lack of plausible mechanism by which a the vaccine could cause death.

    Now, I would grant you that this is an anecdote of a flu death, and by itself, or even in aggregate, it does not prove that the vaccine is safer than infuenza disease. You need studies to do that, and fortunately a ton of them have been done and show that yes, the vaccine is far safer than the disease. But one of the tactics of the antivaccine movement is to act as if these diseases aren’t dangerous, and this is worth combating. This is simply a reminder that people of all kinds can be killed by a vaccine preventable disease like influenza.

    Incidentally, it also absolutely impossible to determine whether anyone has had the flu without a blood test.

    Steve, haven’t you learned not to make bold statements concerning things you know nothing about? There are many ways to diagnose influenza disease, and the generally accepted “gold standard” isn’t a blood test, it’s a viral culture from a respiratory swab. If you grow influenza, you definitely have influenza. I continue to be amazed that you make these “misspeaks” (as you like to call them) with such consistency.

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  5. Chris
    October 10, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Influenza and human papillomavirus are two separate diseases, Please do not confuse them.

    To repeat: VAERS is a passive reporting system, essentially a self selected survey. a class in basic statistics would educate you on the unreliability that kind of data. Please read this page:
    http://vaers.hhs.gov/data/index

    It says:

    A report to VAERS generally does not prove that the identified vaccine(s) caused the adverse event described. It only confirms that the reported event occurred sometime after vaccine was given. No proof that the event was caused by the vaccine is required in order for VAERS to accept the report. VAERS accepts all reports without judging whether the event was caused by the vaccine.

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  6. Serese Marotta
    October 11, 2011 at 9:59 am

    My story is similar to that of the Kanowitz family. I lost my beautiful, healthy, five-year-old son Joseph to influenza (H1N1) in October 2009. After Joseph was diagnosed with H1N1, even the doctors (who had practiced medicine for 30+ years) told me that “it was just the flu”. Those same doctors sat at a table with me several days later discussing my son’s autopsy results after he died suddenly from complications of the flu. Healthy children and adults can die from influenza. Let’s not focus on statistics because each life lost is a tradegy. The fact is that it can happen to you and your family. Please vaccinate yourself and your children. It could truly save the life of someone you love.

    Like

  7. Steve Michaels
    October 11, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Please, please. Earlier this year Christine linked to another site with exactly the same bent as this article. Tug on the heart strings about a preventable death of a child or adult. But let’s not let the facts get in the way of a good tear jerker now. It is absolutely tragic that this little girl died. She died after contracting the flu. Her parents admit that they recognized the cough as ‘strange’ yet they did not seek medical care. They called the doctor almost 3 days AFTER continued decline and the doctor gave them bad advice. Now then, what really caused this little girl’s death? The flu? Or the lack of appropriate response to an illness at several different points in the progression of that illness?

    The main problem with these emotional stories is that when they are closely examined, it turns out that poor medical care is the real culprit, but because of the emotional issues, anyone who points this out will likely be vilified for not going along with the emotional blackmail that hides the true message. Remember, the Cochrane Library review of thousands of influenza vaccine studies found that, at best, vaccination reduced infection rates by less than 1%.

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  8. Kelly
    October 11, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    I am very sorry to hear of the death of your son, Serese. My deepest sympathies to you and your family. I can only imagine the depth of your grief and I know that my imagination pales to your reality. I will definitely be getting the flu shot for myself and my family. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Like

  9. Nathan
    October 11, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Serese,
    Thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry for your loss as well. I also appreciate your bravery in the advocacy efforts you have done.

    Like

  10. Kelly
    October 11, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    I finally had a chance to watch Amanda’s story. How incredibly said. As a mom, my worst nightmare is to put my child to bed and not have her wake up in the morning. I cannot even imagine the horror Amanda’s parents live every day. My deepest, heartfelt sympathies for your tremendous loss.

    I offer my deepest sympathies for all those that have lost loved ones due to infectious diseases. If a vaccine can save just one, all the effort fighting the misinformation of the anti-vaccine movement is worth it.

    Like

  11. Kelly
    October 11, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Ugh, that should be incredibly sad. Proof-reading is tough when there are tears in my eyes.

    Like

  12. October 11, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    Steve – “what really caused this little girl’s death? The flu? Or the lack of appropriate response to an illness at several different points in the progression of that illness?”

    THE FLU!

    You callous irresponsible piece of infectious irrelevance.

    And you have been schooled many times about that Cochrane study. You are misreading it.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15266445

    “Influenza vaccines are effective in reducing serologically confirmed cases of influenza. However, they are not as effective in reducing cases of clinical influenza and number of working days lost. Universal immunisation of healthy adults is not supported by the results of this review.”

    “Twenty five reports of studies involving 59,566 people were included. The recommended live aerosol vaccines reduced the number of cases of serologically confirmed influenza by 48% (95% confidence interval (CI) 24% to 64%), whilst recommended inactivated parenteral vaccines had a vaccine efficacy of 70% (95% CI 56% to 80%). The yearly recommended vaccines had low effectiveness against clinical influenza cases: 15%(95% CI 8% to 21%) and 25% (95% CI 13% to 35%) respectively. Overall the percentage of participants experiencing clinical influenza decreased by 6%. Use of the vaccine significantly reduced time off work but only by 0.16 days for each influenza episode (95% CI 0.04 to 0.29 days); Analysis of vaccines matching the circulating strain gave higher estimates of efficacy, whilst inclusion of all other vaccines reduced the efficacy.”

    For anyone out there more capable of reading that stevie (and lets be honest, that’s a big number), what they are saying is that while the yearly influenza vaccine is not as effective as we would like against clinical influenza (that’s cases of the flu identified by symptom, not by serological testing) AND while the level of effectiveness may in fact not make sense from a financial stand point, NONE OF THIS SUPPORTS ANYTHING STEVE HAS SAID!

    Sorry for yelling. But his inanity is getting to me.

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  13. Steve Michaels
    October 13, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Serese Marotta :
    My story is similar to that of the Kanowitz family. I lost my beautiful, healthy, five-year-old son Joseph to influenza (H1N1) in October 2009. After Joseph was diagnosed with H1N1, even the doctors (who had practiced medicine for 30+ years) told me that “it was just the flu”. Those same doctors sat at a table with me several days later discussing my son’s autopsy results after he died suddenly from complications of the flu. Healthy children and adults can die from influenza. Let’s not focus on statistics because each life lost is a tradegy. The fact is that it can happen to you and your family. Please vaccinate yourself and your children. It could truly save the life of someone you love.

    As sad as the loss of your son was, again, it wasn’t the flu, it was the misdiagnosis and the lack of appropriate response. You should be suing the pants off of your doctor/medical group/hospital.

    And Gattarian, here is your comment: “You callous irresponsible piece of infectious irrelevance.”

    REALLY????? Let me quote above, ” After Joseph was diagnosed with H1N1, even the doctors (who had practiced medicine for 30+ years) told me that “it was just the flu”. Those same doctors sat at a table with me several days later discussing my son’s autopsy results after he died suddenly from complications of the flu.”

    I have yet to find a testimonial of flu/measles death linked to on this site that did not involve either a misdiagnosis or a mistreatment by the medical profession. Yet at the same time, we are told to ‘trust’ the vaccination advice of this very same profession. And let us not forget that ‘complications’ from an illness are NOT the illness. Most complications occur from lack of appropriate medical response. In the case of H1N1, it is almost always heart failure as a result of dehydration. It is the untreated dehydration, NOT the flu itself, that is killing children.

    I am not unsympathetic to the loss of a child. I have two small children myself, and I know how devastating it would be to lose either of them. That is why I investigate and research for myself and NOT take the word of my doctor as Gospel. Unfortunately, many proponents of modern ‘medicine’ on this site promote a view that if you vaccinate, you’ve done your bit. Not true. Investigation of the effects of vaccines is also required.

    http://www.vaccineinjury.info/vaccinations-in-general/health-unvaccinated-children/survey-results-illnesses.html

    I know this will be pilloried as an ‘anti vaccination’ source, but this site is a pro vaccination site so this is to be expected. That criticism does not negate the results of the research, although some will make that very claim.

    Again, my question to parents of children lost to these illnesses is this;

    Where is your anger at the medical establishment that misdiagnosed and mistreated your children????

    Like

  14. Chris
    October 13, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    I have yet to find a testimonial of flu/measles death linked to on this site that did not involve either a misdiagnosis or a mistreatment by the medical profession.

    And your qualifications to make that determination is…? And you were actually given access to the medical records of Ms. Marotta’s son?

    From the “About this site” of the website you cited:

    But within a couple of years the site grew bigger and bigger and is now one of the most visited German Anti-vaccine website.

    Its data is collected this way:

    Core of the site are hundreds of reports of vaccine damages submitted from individuals. Anybody who is reading these reports will think about twice about getting vaccinated.

    Just like VAERS, only without bothering to actually check the anecdotes.

    Like

  15. Nathan
    October 13, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Steve, you may not think you are unsympathetic to the loss of a child, but you are indeed acting callous towards people who have lost children to influenza.

    You have absolutely no knowledge of the medical cases of these children and there is nothing in either Ms. Marotta’s comment nor Amanda’s video upon which you can base your claim of malpractice or misdiagnosis. In Amanda’s case, it is perfectly reasonable to watch a child at home who has a cough. It is also reasonable to advise conservative treatment at home for a febrile illness. The trouble with influenza is that, as you know, most people survive it just fine, but if you are one of the unlucky ones that develops a life-threatening complication, things can go downhill before anything can be done about it.

    I’m not even sure what part of what you quoted from Ms.Marotta that you think implies misdiagnosis, but I don’t really want to discuss it out of respect for her. You are grasping at straws in a desperate play to blame others on a death from a disease that is vaccine preventable.

    And let us not forget that ‘complications’ from an illness are NOT the illness. Most complications occur from lack of appropriate medical response. In the case of H1N1, it is almost always heart failure as a result of dehydration. It is the untreated dehydration, NOT the flu itself, that is killing children.

    The most common causes of death from H1N1 were viral pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome. http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/302/17/1896.full.pdf+html And, “Most complications occur from lack of appropriate medical response?” Oh, are you a doctor now? Can you tell us what the appropriate medical response would have been to save Amanda’s life, Doctor? Does it involve other pharmaceuticals? Are they more trustworthy to you than vaccines?

    I can’t believe you even went so far as to imply that Amanda’s parents were at fault. You know, even if you think that is the case, you should keep it to yourself. Please, Steve, be so kind as to not disrespect these parents with your speculation and accusations.

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  16. Nathan
    October 13, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    http://www.vaccineinjury.info/vaccinations-in-general/health-unvaccinated-children/survey-results-illnesses.html

    I know this will be pilloried as an ‘anti vaccination’ source, but this site is a pro vaccination site so this is to be expected. That criticism does not negate the results of the research, although some will make that very claim.

    What does this have to do with anything we are talking about? Regardless, the major criticism here is not the source, it’s that it is an internet survey, which is the lowest of the lowest forms of data, and certainly nothing compared to the numerous scientific studies that show that vaccinated children are as healthy or healthier than their unvaccinated peers. The survey does not even have a control group of vaccinated individuals.

    The fact that it is an internet survey done by an antivaccine webpage of course introduces extreme bias into data that would be worthless anyway, and that certainly doesn’t help. But the fatal flaw is that it is an uncontrolled internet survey.

    More reading on this survey, in case anyone is interested:
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/08/an_anti-vaccine-administered_survey_back.php

    Like

  17. Steve Michaels
    October 14, 2011 at 7:08 am

    You have no idea how amusing I find it that I can predict virtually EVERY response to my comments in advance. Am I clairvoyant? No. You all act in a conditioned response realm that indicates a complete lack of original thought and parroting of propaganda as fact.

    “What does this have to do with anything we are talking about?”

    Risk/benefit is what it has to do with. If children who receive vaccines have a 1% lower chance of dying from a VPD yet have an 800% chance of life long misery and general unwellness as a result of the vaccine… you know where this is going. You just don’t want to go there.

    Your problem, Nathan, is one of delusion. You claim that you cannot study vaccinated versus unvaccinated children. When anyone does, you claim it is biased. I have pointed out multiple times direct conflicts of interest (financial) between researchers/institutions and the vaccine industry, not to mention the revolving door between the industry and regulators. You seem to think that none of that has any influence on research results. You still probably think that Offitt is beyond reproach when he is demonstrably reprehensible.

    Where do you expect a study like this to come from? A university hospital/research center bought and paid for by a ‘donation’ from the industry? From the CDC? Where the chief doctor is given the directorship of Merck International Vaccine SALES after playing ball with the faked swine flu ‘pandemic’? Yet you take their ‘research’ at face value knowing full well that they would lose out substantially if they torpedoed one of the biggest profit makers of their benefactors trade. So YES, it is an antivaccine site. Yes, this was stated by me up front. Yes, I predicted your lame response.

    And, predictably, you accuse me of callousness. Hardly. Accuse me of promoting personal responsibility for education. Then you would be correct.

    “I’m not even sure what part of what you quoted from Ms.Marotta that you think implies misdiagnosis.”

    How about this: “After Joseph was diagnosed with H1N1, even the doctors (who had practiced medicine for 30+ years) told me that “it was just the flu”.”

    There was no excuse, given the amount of publicity about the dangers of H1N1, for a doctor to be so cavalier in their assessment. Let us not forget that the entire terrorizing of the population about H1N1 was contingent on the widely promoted fear of ‘complications’. Contrary to what you are attempting to imply, I did not pull my statement out of thin air. And out of respect for the child, the doctor should be brought to task. Stop treating the medical profession like they are gods. They are human, they are flawed and they can, and often are, wrong. That is why they call it a doctor’s “practice”. Nobody should ever forget that they are practicing on YOU!

    Like

  18. October 14, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Steve – “And Gattarian, here is your comment: “You callous irresponsible piece of infectious irrelevance.”

    REALLY????? Let me quote above, ” After Joseph was diagnosed with H1N1, even the doctors (who had practiced medicine for 30+ years) told me that “it was just the flu”. Those same doctors sat at a table with me several days later discussing my son’s autopsy results after he died suddenly from complications of the flu.””

    Yes, stevie, really. Nothing the doctors did was inappropriate or in any way malpractice. Your claim otherwise is nothing more than snipping from a willfully ignorant, irresponsible internet idiot.

    “I have yet to find a testimonial of flu/measles death linked to on this site that did not involve either a misdiagnosis or a mistreatment by the medical profession.”

    This is because you do not understand the words you are using. You have no understanding of medicine, medical practice, nor even basic science. You make that clear very often here.

    The facts as laid out before us are simply that this child caught a virus. He developed a disease which was indistinguishable from the flu until it became much more serious. By then it was too late. Your hypocrisy is claiming that something should have been done earlier before there was good reason to do something. I find that incredibly intellectually dishonest coming from a person who regularly tries to dissuade others from using vaccination as a means to avoid this type of event. Especially given all of the superior to the medical establishment nonsense you so often spout.

    Like

  19. October 14, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Steve – “Risk/benefit is what it has to do with. If children who receive vaccines have a 1% lower chance of dying from a VPD yet have an 800% chance of life long misery and general unwellness as a result of the vaccine… you know where this is going. You just don’t want to go there.”

    Congratulations, stevie, finally you’ve said something correct. You just have to try to keep your focus on the word “if”. It is indeed true that IF vaccines introduce more problems than the amount of disease they are preventing, then they are by definition more risky than beneficial. It is also true, however, that either choice (to vaccinate or not) entails risks. It would behoove us, therefore, to evaluate the evidence for such risks very carefully. You certainly have not done so in this case.

    “How about this: “After Joseph was diagnosed with H1N1, even the doctors (who had practiced medicine for 30+ years) told me that “it was just the flu”.”

    There was no excuse, given the amount of publicity about the dangers of H1N1, for a doctor to be so cavalier in their assessment. ”

    There is nothing cavalier about this. The very danger that H1N1 poses is that it looks just like the ordinary flu until it is not. I am curious, what would you propose as a medical protocol to overcome this cavalier attitude you seem to believe in? Will you hook every child with the sniffles up to iv drips? Will you hospitalize every child with flu symptoms? Perhaps you would simply ask for DNA tests to isolate the specific virus? What exactly, you have to be specific, would you have had the doctors (who did not have your hind sight at the time) do?

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  20. Kelly
    October 14, 2011 at 9:14 am

    What have you predicted Steve? You know you are making a callous, ignorant statements and several people have rightly pointed that out to you? The only reason you know the response is that you keep making these statements over and over again. The one that is parroting propaganda is you, and the science debunking your statements is still correct.

    So once again you use ad hominem to distract from the fact that you don’t have any evidence to support your position. Nathan has clearly explained why that “internet survey” is bogus and you think he is delusional? Can you not think for yourself and evaluate that study on your own or are you just going with what others have told you? The methodology in the survey is horribly flawed but you couldn’t pick that out on your own? You really think that shows us how capable you are of original thought?

    So once again you bring up the conspiracy theory of how everyone is in the pockets of big pharma without providing a shred of evidence to support that statement.

    If you are promoting personal responsibility for education, why not start with yourself? You have been repeatedly been told you are completely ignorant of science over and over again. And once again you neither acknowledge your errors or take responsibility for them. You have been asked repeatedly to educate yourself on various topics but sure enough, you are back again spewing the same misinformation and misconceptions even after your mistakes have been explained numerous times to you. You even admit that you know that you are wrong and that you will be corrected, but you don’t learn. Why is that Steve?

    The doctors did everything they could for Joseph and sadly that was not enough. That is Ms. Marotta’s whole point, Steve. That was her reason for sharing her experience. Joseph died before there was a vaccine for H1N1. Prevention is the best approach to flu because treatment is not always successful. You know the saying Steve, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure? Do you not think it applies here?

    You also continue to apply blame to the doctors without explaining what they should have done differently. You are critical of the “fear mongering” of the complications of the flu and other vaccine preventable diseases, but yet when doctors take your approach that flu is not something to be scared of, you are critical of that too.

    This blog post is about the tragic consequences of flu. Perhaps you should show some respect for those that have lost loved ones and spew your nonsense on some other thread. I thought your silence over that last few weeks was due to you finally realizing you are way out of your league here and I had respect for that. Your resurfacing to make callous remarks is a new low for you Steve. If you weren’t embarrassed and humiliated before, you should be now. Shame on you Steve.

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  21. Chris
    October 14, 2011 at 10:45 am

    You have no idea how amusing I find it that I can predict virtually EVERY response to my comments in advance. Am I clairvoyant? No.

    No, because you keep repeating the same stupid stuff. Even after you have been told why it is wrong and stupid.

    It is because you refuse to open up your closed mind and actually learn.

    Like

  22. Nathan
    October 14, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    I could care less about your predictive powers, Steve, as they haven’t actually helped you come up with rational responses to my points. And I couldn’t possibly claim the same ability as you, because you come up with such far-out crazy nonsensical claims that they boggle my imagination.

    Your problem, Nathan, is one of delusion. You claim that you cannot study vaccinated versus unvaccinated children.

    Steve, the delusion is entirely yours. I know this because of your habit to replace my actual claims with strawman claims that fit your delusion.

    I do not claim that you cannot study vaccinated versus unvaccinated children. I do claim that you cannot ethically do so in a prospective placebo-controlled fashion, because you would be denying the standard of care to a large number of individuals in the placebo group. And no one on either side of the issue would sign their kids up for that kind of study in the first place.

    On the other hand, it is not a simple matter to retrospectively do a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study either, because 1.) there is a relatively small number of fully unvaccinated children, who are spread throughout the country, and 2.) there are a lot of confounding factors that go along with not vaccinating. For a simple example, if you found a large number of unvaccinated children in an Amish community, you would also have to find a way to deal with the numerous other differences in exposures and lifestyles in that community vs. the general population.

    But it can still be studied. In fact, it has. This study has, predictably, a low number of unvaccinated people compared to the vaccinated people, which reflects the reality of unvaccinated vs. vaccinated in the population. But people who understand statistics know that there are appropriate statistical methods to apply when analyzing populations with discrepant sizes. The study found no statistically significant difference in illness, allergic disease, or other chronic disease in the vaccinated vs. unvaccinated populations, except, of course, that the unvaccinated have more vaccine preventable diseases.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3057555/

    So YES, it is an antivaccine site. Yes, this was stated by me up front. Yes, I predicted your lame response.

    No, you didn’t. In fact, you still don’t understand my response. You still think my major objection is that it is on an antivaccine site. That is not the fundamental flaw. The fundamental flaws are that 1.) it is an internet survey, not a study, and 2.) it does not compare vaccinated to unvaccinated people. It only looks at the unvaccinated. It has no vaccinated control group. In fact, what they do is try to compare their internet poll to the KiGGS study above, which already has an unvaccinated control group Why is that? There is no reason that they could not have opened it up to vaccinated individuals. Do you wonder why?

    If you do not understand why you can’t compare an internet survey meaningfully to a controlled scientific study, then that is just another example of how little you understand these matters, and should stop pretending you do.

    How about this:

    How about what? I read the quote earlier. Requoting it doesn’t help. I said I had no idea what about your quote implied misdiagnosis. There is nothing there. You have no idea how the child presented nor the course of the illness and the development of complications. Just because something is “just the flu” one day does not mean that serious complications cannot develop the next. You are, indeed, pulling assumptions out of thin air, and it is despicable.

    I don’t think doctors are gods, nor do I think they never make serious mistakes. I do think that they are infinitely better at diagnosing and managing influenza than a scientifically illiterate internet troll with 20/20 hindsight and a bone to pick.

    I am becoming increasingly disgusted with the way you are treating people who have lost loved ones to influenza. They courageously put aside their pain to advocate for immunizations which could have prevented these deaths and you slap them in the face. I’m finished discussing this out of respect for them.

    Like

  23. Steve Michaels
    October 15, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    “It is because you refuse to open up your closed mind and actually learn.”

    Actually, I started on the same side of the fence as you. It was open minded research which changed my mind. I am 45 years old and could count on one hand the number of chronically ill children in my entire school of 2,300 students. Now every classroom has multiple chronically ill and developmentally challenged kids in it. This has changed in only 20 or 30 years. Why don’t you ask yourself why? I never did until I had my own kids. Both are now considered prodigies because they are both well ahead of their peers. Yes, that is anecdotal, but if I vaccinated my kids now and they were damaged, I could never forgive myself. And please don’t tell me vaccines don’t damage kids. VICP has paid out over $1 BILLION in compensation for cases that PROVED a causal relationship between a vaccine and damage or death since 1986. You may wish to let your children be guinea pigs for the profit of an industry or play Russian Roulette with their future; I will not.

    Like

  24. Steve Michaels
    October 15, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    “There is nothing cavalier about this. The very danger that H1N1 poses is that it looks just like the ordinary flu until it is not.”

    Really? Read the quote AGAIN!

    ” “After Joseph was diagnosed with H1N1, even the doctors (who had practiced medicine for 30+ years) told me that “it was just the flu”.”

    He wasn’t ‘just’ diagnosed with the flu. He was diagnosed with H1N1 yet NO additional precautions were taken by the doctors in monitoring or treatment options. No, just a cavalier ‘it was just the flu’. I stand by my comment based on the quotation provided.

    Like

  25. Chris
    October 15, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    The plural of anecdote is still not data. I am also sure you are not personally apprised of the status of every child in the school over the past thirty years.

    Like

  26. October 16, 2011 at 7:03 am

    “He wasn’t ‘just’ diagnosed with the flu. He was diagnosed with H1N1 yet NO additional precautions were taken by the doctors in monitoring or treatment options. No, just a cavalier ‘it was just the flu’. I stand by my comment based on the quotation provided.”

    And I did not say he was diagnosed with the flu. I know you stand by your comment, stevie, you always do ESPECIALLY when you are wrong. You are wrong here. I ask again, what additional precautions (which are as thoroughly vetted as you complain vaccines aren’t) would you have done were you the doctor. Seriously, I’m curious. Your pomposity comes from such a deep ignorance, I am curious how deep it goes before you can recognize it.

    In this case, stevie, you have once again missed the point entirely. That point being a perfectly healthy person can indeed die from this disease.

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