Home > Expert Insights, Science & Research, Vaccine Myths > Can Infants Really Handle 10,000 Vaccines At a Time? Dr. Harrison Explains

Can Infants Really Handle 10,000 Vaccines At a Time? Dr. Harrison Explains

journalsEvery Child By Two is pleased to launch another article in their Expert Commentary series featuring guest writer Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH, a retired epidemiologist who has worked in the areas of preventive medicine, infectious diseases, medical outcomes research, and evidence-based clinical practice guidelines.  His articles are summarized here on Shot of Prevention with links to the full response on the Every Child By Two website.

Today we will feature Dr. Harrison’s latest paper,

by Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

A recurrent concern among parents is that the mounting number of vaccines now administered to babies is a major challenge to the infantile immune system. Leading advocate of childhood immunizations, Dr. Paul Offit, has sought on numerous occasions to reassure parents by emphasizing how robust and effective babies’ immune systems are at responding to the daily threats from the enormous number of bacteria and viruses they are exposed to. He has illustrated this by showing how – in theory – a baby’s immune system could cope with the number of epitopes (parts of a microbe recognized by our immune system) represented by 10,000 vaccines at one time. While 10,000 seems like a lot, as Dr. Offit explains, even this number is small compared to the capacity of our immune system and, yet, it is exponentially greater than the epitopes represented by all the vaccines given to children.

Well-organized, well-funded groups have sprung up trying to persuade parents of the alleged dangers of vaccines. Their arguments are mistaken, confused, lacking in scientific rationale and logical cohesion. There is one claim, based on one statement/sentence made by Dr. Paul Offit, repeated umpteen times all over the blogosphere, that I think encapsulates their flawed thinking. This claim takes one sentence out of context, ignoring the entire lead in to it. However, even without the context, antivaccinationist’s use of it contradicts common sense. Rather than doing their homework, they amplify each other in a near hermetically sealed self-reinforcing closed circle.

I believe that there is not a single book or paper that I couldn’t find one or two sentences that I could take out of context in order to prove any point I wish to. The purpose of this paper is to once again explain how our  immune systems work, how vaccinations fit in the picture, and to show just how flawed antivaccinationist thinking is.

For those who actually either read Dr. Offit’s article or listened to his talk, it should have been obvious that his “10,000” or “100,000” vaccines, when taken in context, was clearly referring to the number of antigens (the small part of a microbe that the immune system recognizes) that our immune systems can deal with at one time. In fact, the actual quote in his article: “then each infant would have the theoretical capacity to respond to about 10,000 vaccines at any one time (obtained by dividing 107 B cells per mL by 103  epitopes per vaccine),” makes it quite clear by including B cells and epitopes per vaccine. If this wasn’t obvious, then for both those who read the article and/or listened to the talk and those who solely read quotes of only the out-of-context sentences, common sense should have made it obvious. First, just using ones imagination should have made it quite clear that one could NOT give 10,000 or 100,000 vaccines to an infant at one time. It would be impossible, whether one gave it as separate injections for each vaccine or even packed 20 vaccines per injection, impossible except for antivaccinationists such as Linda1. Secondly, there are only 17 vaccines mandated or recommended for infants and even their administration is staggered. Not even in ones wildest imagination could we jump from 17 to 1,000 or 10,000 or 100,000.

Research in vaccine development focuses on the microbes that pose the greatest risk. In fact, there are only 27 currently approved vaccines against distinct pathogens and 19 in development (other vaccines are in early stages of development, various different formulations for the same microbe, or for treatment of cancers). These numbers include vaccines for microbes that don’t exist in the US or UK, only given when traveling abroad, or are not a risk for infants. So, Dr. Offit’s cited 10,000 or 100,000 vaccines doesn’t pass the common sense muster. Reasonably intelligent people would ask what he is talking about? Unfortunately, antivaccinationists, in their fervor to attack anyone who promotes vaccines, in their lack of logic, in their lack of rationality, in their deficient understanding of immunology, microbiology, infectious diseases, historically and currently in the world, in their deficient understanding of epidemiology and in their LACK OF COMMON SENSE, jump at whatever seems to confirm their rigid ideology, display incredibly poor scholarship by not taking even the least time to investigating further. Why should they given that they know they are right.

Stone, a major contributor to Age of Autism, believes that the more antigens per shot the greater the risk. However, besides the fact that even the antigens from 20 microbes would be far below what our immune system is capable of, he is NOT aware that multivalent vaccines reduce the pain from multiple shots and usually the amount of additional ingredients such as stabilizers and adjuvants. In other words, exactly the opposite of his fears.

Monitoring antivaccination websites, it becomes obvious that they represent a near hermetically-sealed self-reinforcing circle. Someone cited Dr. Offits “10,000” vaccines and, without thinking, the antivaccinationists have been repeating it ever since. One example of just how absurd their thinking is.

I welcome parents questioning. Not only do they have the right to; but they should. However, when they do this, they should listen, their questions should not be rhetorical ones, and they should do the research, take the time to learn some of the basics, starting with, perhaps, Sompayrac’s excellent little book, “How the Immune System Works”, not relying on articles found on websites such as Age of Autism, articles deficient in so many ways.

Click here to begin reading Dr. Harrison’s latest expert commentary, Ignoring Context and a Lack of Common Sense: Antivaccinationists Absurdly Misusing Dr. Paul Offit’s “each infant would have the theoretical capacity to respond to about 10,000 vaccines at any one time”

Check out Dr. Harrison’s previous articles as well, to include;

You can read Dr. Harrison’s complete Biography and Mission Statement here.

Subscribe to Shot of Prevention to receive updates when Dr. Harrison publishes future articles to the Every Child By Two Expert Commentary series.

Please note: The opinions in this article reflect the views of the author who is not an employee of Every Child By Two and do not necessarily reflect the views of Every Child By Two.  Dr. Harrison volunteers his time to provide in-depth, well-researched analysis of articles which ultimately make false claims about the safety of vaccines.  His articles are summarized here on Shot of Prevention with links to the full response on the Every Child By Two website.
  1. reissd
    March 24, 2016 at 9:10 am

    This is probably one of the most misused quotes by anti-vaccine activists. Thank you, Dr. Harrison, for working through this and explaining it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Deb
    March 24, 2016 at 11:07 am

    This is ironic isn’t it? Seems like I am being told over and over again that I am not a Doctor, I am not a scientist, how can I understand or know anything?
    And yet this article states that every non Doctor/scientist type should understand specifically what “then each infant would have the theoretical capacity to respond to about 10,000 vaccines at any one time (obtained by dividing 107 B cells per mL by 103 epitopes per vaccine),” means, and not to take it out of context.
    The irony.

    Like

  3. MI Dawn
    March 24, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Deb: maybe if you don’t take the statement out of context, it wouldn’t be misunderstood. And if you don’t understand the content, you can always ask someone who does.

    How about this instead – “a baby is exposed to thousands more toxins and bacteria in his/her daily life than is contained in the all vaccines given at a visit. Since a baby isn’t constantly sick, it is evident he/she has the ability to respond to more vaccines than they currently receive, therefore the current schedule is NOT too many, too soon.”

    Does that make more sense to you?

    Like

  4. Deb
    March 24, 2016 at 11:24 am

    It’s not me you have to worry about, it’s all of those anti-vaxers that aren’t Doctor’s and scientists that don’t understand anything.

    Like

  5. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
    March 24, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Deb: try actually carefully reading my article. It clearly explains the absurdity of believing one could actually stick an infant with 10,000 needles at one time or, if even up to 20 vaccines per shot, 500 needles. You don’t have to be a doctor or even have attended college to realize that this would be physically virtually impossible. And anyone aware of how many shots kids get would find it hard to go less than 25 to 10,000. My guess is that your comment reflects a typical problem with most antivaccinationists, simply you comment without taking the time to actually carefully read what is written. Do you really think that is a sensible approach to deciding on whether one should vaccinate their kids or not? I guess it is simpler to believe something, avoid carefully considering other points of view, and commenting all the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Deb
    March 24, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    @Joel
    Nobody believes that one could literally be given 10,000 shots at one time.
    If you believe that that is what anti-vaxers believe, then you are the one who is off the mark.

    Like

  7. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
    March 24, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    @Deb: Really, no one believes it? Once again you show that you didn’t bother to read my article. It gives several quotes, including one from Linda1 where she makes it quite clear that she believes it. And, if they don’t believe it, why do they continue to quote it as if they believe that Dr. Paul Offit believed it? Read my article or stop making a fool of yourself!

    Like

  8. Deb
    March 24, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    @Joel
    I just read your bio and I found this interesting.

    “And, despite claims by anti-vaccinationists, numerous credible scientific studies have found no association between vaccines and/or their ingredients and Autism Spectrum Disorders!”

    and this

    “scientists seldom if ever make claims of absolute certainty, whereas many anti-vaccinationists assert a level of certainty that no scientist would make. There are a number of explanations for this, among them is “Confirmation Bias.” “Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s beliefs or hypotheses.”

    Like

  9. Deb
    March 24, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    @Joel

    No, nobody believes it is literally possible to do. They are speaking of the idea of the amount of toxins in 10,000 vaccines being given at once.

    Like

  10. Deb
    March 24, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    @Joel
    We can’t have a conversation without you insulting me by calling me a fool with exclamation points? I have not insulted you, if you can’t accept some criticism or feedback on your articles, then maybe you shouldn’t be writing them. I can assure you that I know many, many, anti-vaxers and not one of them believes that one can literally receive 10,000 vaccines at one time. So I was passing that on to you. I will refrain from commenting any more.

    Like

  11. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
    March 24, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    @Deb I just love dealing with irrational people. Yes, that’s an insult. According to you: “No, nobody believes it is literally possible to do. They are speaking of the idea of the amount of toxins in 10,000 vaccines being given at once.” Please explain how they can separate the two? How would an infant be exposed to the toxins in 10,000 vaccines being given at once?

    Once more, try to carefully read my article. You might actually learn something. And, I stand by the quotes from my bio, so what? What do they have to do with my pointing out that all over the blogosphere are posts quoting one sentence from an article or talk by Dr. Paul Offit and discussing in depth, with extensive references, the absurdity of taking one sentence out of context? And, yes, if you actually understood epidemiology, immunology, and microbiology, there are “numerous credible studies that have found no association between vaccines and/or their ingredients and Autism Spectrum Disorders.” I will be writing additional articles in the future; but, besides reading my current article, take the time to read carefully ALL of my articles for ECBT. Some of them have 150 references. I actually read much more than that, sometimes reading articles several times, making notes, etc. I guess it would be easier to just read one or two articles and rattle off my own article; but that is NOT what I do.

    By the way, I am not responding to you in the hopes that you will actually learn anything; but I assume there are others following this blog who are open-minded and it is them I am writing for.

    Like

  12. Deb
    March 24, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    @Joel
    “Please explain how they can separate the two?”
    Uh – one is literal and one is figurative. When your friend Offit made the comment, people took it as figuratively speaking.

    I’m glad you are not responding to me to teach me anything. You have already shown your true colors, and nothing more needs to be said.

    Like

  13. Deb
    March 24, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    @Joel
    “there are “numerous credible studies that have found no association between vaccines and/or their ingredients and Autism Spectrum Disorders.””

    How do you prove there is no association when you don’t know what autism is? Why don’t you “open your mind” a bit and follow your own advice, “scientists seldom if ever make claims of absolute certainty.”

    Like

  14. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
    March 24, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    @Deb: Really, can’t you read? First, I did NOT make an absolute statement. I simply pointed out that there are numerous studies. Don’t you understand the difference. As for claiming I don’t know what autism is, what do you base that on? In addition, there is NO such thing as autism, there are autismS. Just as there is NO such thing as cancer, there are cancerS. Both bring diverse symptomatologies together, that is, group by similarities, ignoring major differences. For many years, leukemia was considered an infectious disease because an increase in white blood cells was a sign of an infection. When they discovered it was not and included it under cancer, well, the number of cancers increased; but not really.

    Imagine that one created a class of flu-like symptoms, e.g. fever, aching muscles, headache, nausea. Some people would, of course, have classic influenza; but others could have other viruses, bacteria, protozoa, chemical toxins, and even radiation poisoning; but they would have a core of similar symptoms. This is part of the problem with the so-called autism statistics, people think that autism rates are increasing whereas it is autism spectrum disorders that are being reported. and the categories and criteria keep changing.

    In your first comment you wrote: “Nobody believes that one could literally be given 10,000 shots at one time.” So, I guess you think you know what everyone believes? Sounds a lot like delusions of grandeur. When I pointed out that my article, which you obviously didn’t read, included direct quotes, you wrote: “I can assure you that I know many, many, anti-vaxers and not one of them believes that one can literally receive 10,000 vaccines at one time.” Well, many isn’t ‘nobody’ and you continue to ignore the quotes from antivaccinationists in my article. So, then you change to: “No, nobody believes it is literally possible to do. They are speaking of the idea of the amount of toxins in 10,000 vaccines being given at once.” So, I pointed out that whether 10,000 vaccines or the toxins in 10,000 vaccines is equally absurd. Now you change to: “Uh – one is literal and one is figurative. When your friend Offit made the comment, people took it as figuratively speaking.” “People” again you know what everyone was thinking? And how does that make sense? What does the toxins in 10,000 vaccines have to do with the real world, even figuratively? And, by the way, I disagree with your use of the word “toxin.” For instance, formaldehyde is a normal product of our bodies metabolism, so the trace amounts in vaccines would not cause a problem. Yes, in large quantities it would; but the amount in vaccines is minuscule, certainly less than our bodies deal with on a daily basis.

    Let’s summarize:

    1. you claim to know what everyone thinks
    2. you then change to toxins rather than vaccines with the absurd thought that 10,000 vaccines, that is, the equivalent in toxins, makes any sense
    3. then you change to figurative; but that doesn’t make any sense either.
    4. even your use of the word “toxins” is wrong
    5. I mention numerous studies and you think it an “absolute” statement
    6. You accuse me of not understanding autism with NO basis and you probably don’t understand that autism is actually autismS

    Did I miss anything? I find it frightening that so many people think or better don’t think just like you. Not once have you given any indication that you carefully read my article. I guess it much easier to just fantasize comments based on your world of make-believe.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Deb
    March 24, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    I do know what people think as I am very active in the so-called anti-vax groups. And I will assure you again that nobody believes that 10,000 vaccines can be given at one time. What world do you live in? If you don’t believe me then why don’t you go to some of those groups and ask them directly? I am sure that Offit didn’t mean it literally either.

    You don’t make an absolute statements on autism?
    What do you call this?… “And, despite claims by anti-vaccinationists, numerous credible scientific studies have found no association between vaccines and/or their ingredients and Autism Spectrum Disorders!”
    Why use an exclamation point if you aren’t trying to convey an absolute message?? You sound pretty sure of yourself not to be “absolute” about your message.

    You can call it autism or autism(s) it makes no difference. You still don’t know what it is, so again, how can you prove there is no correlation between vaccines and autism when you don’t know what autism/autism(s) is??

    Like

  16. Lawrence
    March 24, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    You obviously haven’t spoken to the editors of Age of Autism, who have plainly said, on multiple occasions, that they believe Offit said that a baby could get 10,000 vaccines at once.

    It is a standard anti-vax talking point. If you don’t know that, then you certainly haven’t spoken to the standard anti-vaxer.

    Like

  17. Lawrence
  18. Chris
    March 24, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Joel, Phd MPH:

    Let’s summarize:

    1. you claim to know what everyone thinks
    2. you then change to toxins rather than vaccines with the absurd thought that 10,000 vaccines, that is, the equivalent in toxins, makes any sense
    3. then you change to figurative; but that doesn’t make any sense either.
    4. even your use of the word “toxins” is wrong
    5. I mention numerous studies and you think it an “absolute” statement
    6. You accuse me of not understanding autism with NO basis and you probably don’t understand that autism is actually autismS

    Did I miss anything? I find it frightening that so many people think or better don’t think just like you. Not once have you given any indication that you carefully read my article. I guess it much easier to just fantasize comments based on your world of make-believe.

    That was a beautiful and perfect description of that clueless person and her friends. Thanks so much. Yesterday she telling me what I “believe” even though I posted links to the contrary. I have decided to ignore her, especially since she has no clue about both the “Rawhide” song and Htrae (though to be fair, it may have to do with her being too young for those 1960s cultural reference — I guess she also can’t figure out how to use Google).

    Like

  19. Deb
    March 24, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    @lawrence,
    When did I say that they (AofA) never believed Offit said it?? Of course they believe it, because he did say it. Where in the link you provided does it say they believe that literally somebody could get 10,000 vaccinations at once? Please point that out to me, I didn’t see it.

    Like

  20. Deb
    March 24, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    @Chris
    I assume you are referring to Joel not knowing what autism is? That is actually telling him what he doesn’t know, rather than what he does know.

    Like

  21. Chris
    March 24, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    That would be hilarious if it was not so sad and idiotic.

    Like

  22. Deb
    March 24, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    @Chris
    I wouldn’t want to tell you what you know. So here’s your chance to clear it up one more time even though I asked you directly several times.
    So do you believe that vaccines come with risks?
    I won’t hold my breath for an answer, you’ll instead more than likely change the subject and go with some straw-man argument.

    When I said that vaccines do come with risks, you said…. “Prove it. Prove it for the MMR vaccine. Prove it by posting the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers on those injuries.”

    Sounds like you don’t believe vaccines come with risks, but to be fair, I’ll wait for your answer.

    Like

  23. Lawrence
    March 24, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    Deb, you aren’t even making sense anymore. Anti-vaxers believe that Offit said that a child could get 10,000 vaccines at once.

    Are you contesting that?

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
    March 24, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    @Deb

    You wrote “nobody”. That implies you know what everybody believes, not just your personal experience. Had you written that no one that you have personally interacted with believe it, that would be a reasonable statement; but that assumes that everyone at such meetings clearly stated they didn’t believe it. If you took the time to read my article, it contained, for instance:

    More importantly, I think Paul Offit envisions himself “placing a child in some type of chamber as in some old Vincent Price movies, pushing a lever, and 500 to 5000 needles darting out at once, while the excess fluid spurted everywhere”.
    That’s about right.
    Very perceptive of you, Dr. Harrison. You get one point.
    Posted by: Linda1 | January 06, 2016 at 03:30 PM

    You write: “You don’t make an absolute statements on autism?
    What do you call this?… “And, despite claims by anti-vaccinationists, numerous credible scientific studies have found no association between vaccines and/or their ingredients and Autism Spectrum Disorders!”
    Why use an exclamation point if you aren’t trying to convey an absolute message?? You sound pretty sure of yourself not to be “absolute” about your message.”

    There is a difference between being “pretty sure” and being absolutely certain. Obviously you don’t understand this. I am quite confident; but not absolutely certain, based on almost 50 years of learning research methods, statistics, causal theory construction, meetings, and reading a huge amount that the association is highly unlikely.

    And neither myself nor anyone else that I know has claimed that vaccines have no risks. Let’s be clear, I am not claiming that no one in the world exists who denies that vaccines have risks, just no one I know and nothing I have read. However, having studied the risks from actual diseases, both historical and current in the world, the risk from vaccines is infinitely smaller. I actually found a case of someone who was killed by their seatbelt, albeit they were drunk and put it on wrong. I have also found numerous cases of people with bruised kidneys from seatbelts. However, I choose to wear one and would even if it wasn’t required by law because the risks of injury and death without one is far far greater. If you took the time to read the Vaccine Information Sheets given with each vaccination, they not only list minor adverse events and rare serious ones; but give the contact information for both the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting system and the Vaccine Court. The CDC Pink Book, available on line for free, lists all the scientifically validated risks from both the natural diseases and the vaccines.

    I find it despicable how antivaccinationists continue to claim that no one admits there are risks. However, the research also has not found some of the risks that you want to believe exist.

    I will say one more time that it is completely dishonest and foolish to comment on an article that you have not taken the time to carefully read. I guess if you were on a jury in a criminal trial, you would listen to the prosecution and tune out the defense or if a civil trial would listen to one side and tune out the other. Not one of your comments has shown any indication that you read my article.

    And the fact that you don’t understand the difference between absolute and numerous. Do you understand the difference between a large number and infinity?

    As for stating I don’t understand autism without any basis, just proves you live in a fantasy world. Going to meetings of like minded doesn’t prove anything. I can go to meetings of various religions and each will congratulate each other for following the true path. And having a child on the spectrum doesn’t make someone an expert. There is a long history of people certain they are right based on individual perceptions reinforced by like-minded individuals. Try reading Michael Shermer’s “Why People Believe Weird Things”; Carl Sagan’s “The Demon Haunted World”; Ben Goldacre’s “Bad Science”; Robert Park’s “Voodoo Science” and I could give an additional dozen books or more.

    Today is a perfect day for me to amuse myself by posting comments. I have a common cold and don’t really feel like doing much else, otherwise I would be working on my next ECBT article. Thanks for the entertainment; though as amusing as your inability to understand nuances of language and your avoiding actually reading my article, at the same time it is frightening that so many people display the same deficient science, irrationality, illogic, poor scholarship, and lack of common sense.

    Like

  25. Lawrence
  26. Deb
    March 24, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    @Joel
    “but not absolutely certain” If not, then don’t go off on people with opposing views and you may not want to use exclamation marks when you are not absolutely certain. Oh and act condescending to them.

    As for autism, you still haven’t told me what it is are what causes it. I won’t hold my breath either, because you have had your chance but choose to avoid it. It’s irresponsible to say that vaccines can’t possibly contribute to autism when you don’t know what autism is.

    I think your PHD has gone to your head, typically, educated people don’t need to insult others to make their points. But again, you have shown you’re not a very nice guy, so it is what it is.

    Like

  27. Deb
    March 24, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    For Lawrence:

    “First, just using ones imagination should have made it quite clear that one could NOT give 10,000 or 100,000 vaccines to an infant at one time. It would be impossible, whether one gave it as separate injections for each vaccine or even packed 20 vaccines per injection, impossible except for antivaccinationists”

    No one believes that “giving 10,000 or 100,000 vaccines to an infant at one time” is literally (physically) possible. We know “it would be impossible.”

    Like

  28. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
    March 24, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    @Deb

    The fact that you want me to give a simplified cause to autism is just one more example of your deficiencies. As I wrote, there is NOT autism but autismS, so a better question would be what causes the different autismS? But even that is a poor question because currently the science gives a number of contributing factors and most experts believe it is multifactorial; but just because one can’t pinpoint clearcut causes doesn’t mean that vaccines are involved. Can you explain the causes of schizophrenia? Prior to the late 19th century schizophrenia didn’t exist; but people throughout history have had symptoms that would today be considered schizophrenia. As a noted autism researcher Lorna Wing once wrote: “something doesn’t exist until you name it.” There is compelling evidence of cases of autism based on extensive descriptions from long before Leo Kanner’s 1943 article and long before vaccinations.

    As for my using an exclamation point, yes, it means that the evidence is quite strong; but, except in your pea brain, for rational people it doesn’t mean absolute certainty. How dense are you?

    I don’t insult others based on my PhD. One of my favorite authors, Eric Hoffer, who wrote “The True Believer” had only high school. What I insult is people who don’t understand simple differences such as “absolute” vs “numerous studies” or people who comment on articles they haven’t read. If not suffering fools gladly defines me then so be it; but if someone actually read my article, then critiqued certain aspects with both logic and with references to actual studies, I might disagree with them; but would respect them. If someone read my article and raised questions because they didn’t understand something, I would NOT insult them; but simply do my best to explain.

    Though I obviously can’t be certain; but given how you argue, I would bet that I have read exponentially more of the literature on autism that you have. But, no, I don’t consider myself an expert; but I certainly know enough to understand the history of the ever expanding definition, funding, and recognition of autism spectrum disorders.

    I am just finishing a fascinating book by David Hand, “The Improbability Principle,” which gives numerous examples of how people’s thinking, including estimating risks, contradicts actual probability theory and reality. You should read it. And I am currently proof-reading a new edition of an undergraduate microbiology book. I try to keep busy.

    Like

  29. shay
    March 24, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    Deb, if you believe antivaxxers don’t make that ‘ten thousand vaccine’ claim about Dr. Offit, you haven’t been paying attention to your fellow-travelers.

    Or you’re, shall we say, misrepresenting?

    Like

  30. Verna
    March 25, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Deb, when antivaxxers make the threat that they want to give Dr. Offit, or in this case his grandchildren and the children and grandchildren of his supporters, 10,000 vaccines at once, do you think they are just proposing that action in theory?
    “A research vaccine trail [sic] with 10,000 vaccines injected into Dr. Offit’s grandchildren AND the FDA and CDC head honchos children and grandchildren over a course of 3 days because it may be impossible to do it in one injection. I think the above would prove the validity of the Offit statement and settle once and for all what would happen to children who receive 10,000 vaccines. I think vaccine inventors must prove their statements scientifically before government health agencies parrot them and peer review journals publish them. Where’s the recall of the Offit statement article from the Journal of American Academy of Pediatrics since there is no scientific proof?”

    Like

  31. Lawrence
    March 25, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    I would like Deb to explain how images like that one above – circulated widely among anti-vaxers, does anything to further the conversation about vaccines?

    If anything, it merely makes them appear even more crazy than they are.

    Like

  32. Deb
    March 28, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    @Joel

    “The fact that you want me to give a simplified cause to autism is just one more example of your deficiencies. As I wrote, there is NOT autism but autismS, so a better question would be what causes the different autismS? But even that is a poor question because currently the science gives a number of contributing factors and most experts believe it is multifactorial;”

    Again, you avoid the question. Why? because you can’t answer it. How do you disprove a correlation when you don’t understand what autism is? Answer: You cannot.

    If you had any understanding of what regressive autism is you would not have a hard time connecting the dots and understanding why vaccines play a part.

    Like

  33. Lawrence
    March 28, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Regressive autism is very much like the onset of Schizophrenia…the person can appear to be normal one day, and then suffer from a descent into the condition.

    It isn’t rocket science, it is genetics.

    Like

  34. Deb
    March 28, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    Genetics and environmental factors.

    Like

  35. Deb
    March 28, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    And Lawrence, I would put The Truth Kings in the same category as Natural News, it’s not a reputable source for good information.

    Like

  36. Deb
    March 28, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    @Joel
    I read your article and critiqued it, but since you didn’t like my feedback you decided to insult me over an over again.

    Here is my critique:

    You said,
    “First, just using ones imagination should have made it quite clear that one could NOT give 10,000 or 100,000 vaccines to an infant at one time. It would be impossible, whether one gave it as separate injections for each vaccine or even packed 20 vaccines per injection, impossible except for antivaccinationists”

    My response:
    No one believes that “giving 10,000 or 100,000 vaccines to an infant at one time” is literally (physically) possible. We know “it would be impossible.”

    Like

  37. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
    March 28, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    @ Deb

    First my article was NOT about studies looking at a possible association between autism and vaccines. Second, Laurence is correct in that there exist a number of genetically determined disorders that appear normal and regress, e.g. Rett Syndrome, Landau–Kleffner syndrome. This is a bait and switch strategy, that is, if Deb can’t martial a reasonable critique of my article, she changes the subject. Yes, I mentioned the above studies; but only in passing, they weren’t crucial to my paper.

    Deb’s first comment was: “This is ironic isn’t it? Seems like I am being told over and over again that I am not a Doctor, I am not a scientist, how can I understand or know anything?
    And yet this article states that every non Doctor/scientist type should understand specifically what “then each infant would have the theoretical capacity to respond to about 10,000 vaccines at any one time (obtained by dividing 107 B cells per mL by 103 epitopes per vaccine),” means, and not to take it out of context.
    The irony.”

    I guess Deb either is too lazy or just doesn’t understand how to do searches in Google. I typed in the Google search box cells and epitopes and found tons of articles. Long before the Internet, if I didn’t know something I was reading, I went to the library and tried to find it in Encyclopedia Brittanica and if that didn’t work, asked the librarian for help. If I were trying to make a decision as to the best approach to my child’s health, I certainly would put in the time and effort. However, as my article clearly pointed out, it was NOT just those who actually read Dr Offit’s article or listened to his talk on YouTube, which, of course, Deb could have (and if she did, she would understand what B-cells and epitopes are); but problems with simple common sense.

    Deb claimed that nobody believed that Dr. Offit was really claiming that infants could actually be given 10,000 vaccines at one time. She didn’t bother reading my article which cited a half dozen blog postings that took it literally. Note the two additional blog posts in the comments. According to Deb, she has been to many meetings and nobody believes it. Wow! Did she actually walk up to every single person at the meetings and ask their opinion? And were these meetings attended by every last antivaccinationist? Deb seems to suffer from delusions of grandeur where she speaks for everyone. I guess all the posts that I included in my article and the two in the comments weren’t written by nobody? Then Deb claimed they weren’t talking about vaccines; but the toxins in 10,000 vaccines. Gee, I didn’t see the word “toxin.” I guess Deb is telepathic and knows what was in their minds. In any case, how would one inject an infant with the toxins from 10,000 vaccines?. Makes no sense. Finally, Deb then changes again to the quotes were meant to be taken figuratively. Well, figuratively means standing for something else and that something else is the microbes that our immune systems deal with on a daily basis. So, what is the problem?

    Deb also seems to have a problem with distinguishing between someone being confident about something and absolutely certain. I can test a random sample of 900 lots of a drug for purity and amount of ingredients. If I also inspect the plant where they are manufactured, I can be confident that the drugs pass the test; but never 100% certain.

    And back to Deb’s asking me to define autism. I repeat what I wrote earlier, there is NO such thing as autism, there are autismS; just as there is NO such thing as cancer, there are cancerS. Yes, those on the spectrum have some symptoms in common; but just as many or more symptoms and histories that differ, same as with cancerS. And I repeat also that I would be willing to bet that I have read much much more on autism than Deb; but that is irrelevant.

    One last thing, my PhD. I am proud of it. I worked long and hard to earn it; but my approach to knowledge has not changed since my undergraduate years or even since high school. I had to write term papers and it was required that I back up what I wrote with original articles, so, as there was no Internet, I had to go to the library, find articles, and take notes (photocopy machines did not exist at the time). And I had to find more than one or two articles to back any claims I made. Since it is unlikely that Deb actually read my article, had I critiqued a book or article as she does, I would have received a failing mark. This has nothing to do with my PhD; but whether someone puts in the time and effort or not. In addition, if I wrote that I knew what everyone thinks or what someone meant by what they wrote with no other evidence than my own fantasy world, it would have been the end of my student career as the instructor would have suggested I pursue other areas of interest.

    Unfortunately Deb thinks or better doesn’t think along the same lines as many others, poor scholarship, illogic, irrational, deficient understanding of science (not even bothering to look up things in Google search) and a lack of common sense. No Deb, you don’t need a doctorate, just putting in the time and effort and avoiding claims based on your fantasy world.

    By the way, my training and degrees are in behavioral and social sciences, biostatistics, and epidemiology. This included three semester courses in Philosophy of Science, basically how one makes causal arguments. What I know about Microbiology, Immunology, and Infectious Diseases is based on reading all relevant articles in Scientific American and other journals as well as several undergraduate textbooks and even free courses available on the web. So, my PhD, though well-trained in science and research methodology, has little to do with what I wrote about the Immune System in my article. However, I was pleased that several of the people I asked to critique it e-mailed me that my knowledge of immunology was quite good; but I learned it on my own.

    I gave a list of books in my article; but I will repeat one that I highly recommend:

    Lauren Sompayrac’s “How the Immune System Works, 5th Edition”. It is about 150 pages, inexpensive and not only highly informative; but written in an engaging entertaining style. Read it Deb. You might actually learn something.

    Like

  38. Deb
    March 28, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    @Joel

    “First my article was NOT about studies looking at a possible association between autism and vaccines.”

    So, you engaged in the conversation, I didn’t force you. You have free will and chose to talk about it. But now that is somehow my fault?

    I still stand by this….
    “Deb’s first comment was: “This is ironic isn’t it? Seems like I am being told over and over again that I am not a Doctor, I am not a scientist, how can I understand or know anything? And yet this article states that every non Doctor/scientist type should understand specifically what “then each infant would have the theoretical capacity to respond to about 10,000 vaccines at any one time (obtained by dividing 107 B cells per mL by 103 epitopes per vaccine),” means, and not to take it out of context.
    The irony.”

    “Did she actually walk up to every single person at the meetings and ask their opinion? ”
    No different than you claiming this… “First, just using ones imagination should have made it quite clear that one could NOT give 10,000 or 100,000 vaccines to an infant at one time. It would be impossible, whether one gave it as separate injections for each vaccine or even packed 20 vaccines per injection, impossible except for antivaccinationists”

    I don’t recall you asking me, and I guess according to you I am an “antivaccinationists”.

    “Deb also seems to have a problem with distinguishing between someone being confident about something and absolutely certain.”
    I don’t have any problem distinguishing between the two. I believe you have either really bad communication skills or bad writing skills. I have noticed that half the time you don’t even bother to get people’s names right. You either confuse them with someone else or you completely butcher the spelling. How can you be so good if you can’t even pay attention to details?

    ” I repeat what I wrote earlier, there is NO such thing as autism, there are autismS;”
    Great then you can’t disprove a connection between autismS and vaccines.

    And I really don’t care about your PHD, it alone doesn’t qualify you to do anything well. There are many “educated” people with many initials after their names that do there jobs very poorly.

    Like

  39. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
    March 28, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    @ Deb

    You write: ““Did she actually walk up to every single person at the meetings and ask their opinion? ”
    No different than you claiming this… “First, just using ones imagination should have made it quite clear that one could NOT give 10,000 or 100,000 vaccines to an infant at one time. It would be impossible, whether one gave it as separate injections for each vaccine or even packed 20 vaccines per injection, impossible except for antivaccinationists””

    First, as I wrote in my article, there were clear examples of people who, at least from their writing, believed 10,000 vaccines at once. So, your claim that nobody believes it was patently wrong. As for my “it would be impossible,” unless you can come up with how one physically could stick a small infant with 10,000 needles at one time, it is as close to an absolute as one can get. Yes, if I say it would be impossible to survive falling from 2,000 feet, it would be as close to an absolute as one can get, although there was one incident where someone skydiving, the parachute failed to open, they fell 2,000 feet, through a tree where the branches slowed their fall and survived, albeit with many broken bones. Apparently, you just don’t understand the difference between physical things that would be as close to impossible as one could imagine and a person claiming to know what everyone is thinking.

    And I did answer your question about autism. And you are right, one can’t disprove it because research doesn’t prove or disprove anything. Research sets up hypotheses and alternative hypotheses and either confirms that a hypothesis wasn’t rejected or not. However, when numerous studies done in numerous countries by numerous researchers on different populations with varying methodologies ALL have similar results, then one can be confident in them. YOU CAN’T PROVE A NEGATIVE, something you don’t understand. If 100 more studies found no association between vaccines and autism, it still wouldn’t “prove” there was no association. If 1000 studies, etc. YOU CAN’T PROVE A NEGATIVE. Just one more example that you don’t understand science. However, at some point when enough studies have been carried out, one can be quite confident. And something else you don’t understand is that every single study has minor weaknesses. There does not exist the perfect study; but again, when numerous studies, each with their own weaknesses, result in similar results, that is how science advances. I could suggest books and articles that explain this; but I really doubt you would take the time to read them.

    Really, half the time I don’t get someone’s name right? I’m sure my typing skills don’t always work; but half the time???

    And once more you show you really don’t read carefully. I made it quite clear that my approach has little to do with my PhD; but to skills developed as far back as high school and certainly as an undergraduate. In addition, one of the required courses my Freshman year was logic. You are the one who didn’t bother to Google certain terms, didn’t read my article, and didn’t read Dr. Offit’s article or listen to his talk on YouTube or, at least, you give NO indication you did. You continue to defend the indefensible, namely your lack of putting in the time and effort and to understand basic logic. And you missed what I wrote about Eric Hoffer, one of my favorite authors who only had high school. It isn’t your lack of credentials, it is your inability to argue rationally.

    I don’t know if you are an antivaccinationist or not; but you certainly think a lot like them. Typical how you ignore my comments on switching to toxins in 10,000 vaccines and then only figurative. Don’t you understand that without corroborating evidence you can’t claim what people meant when it isn’t what they wrote? How do you justify saying “nobody” when there are numerous blog posts that make clear statements that contradict you?

    Read Sompayrac’s book. You might actually learn something. And, though he writes quite clearly, if there is some word you don’t understand, Google it!

    Like

  40. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
    March 28, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    @ Deb

    You wrote: “And Lawrence, I would put The Truth Kings in the same category as Natural News, it’s not a reputable source for good information.”

    So does that make them nobodies? Whether you consider them reputable or not, some people do and thus what they say is listened to whether you like it or not. So their posts clearly indicates they took Dr. Offit’s 10,000 vaccines seriously. And, again, you ignore the half dozen examples in my article which you claimed to have read.

    You claim to have read my article; but your so-called critique gives little to no indication you did as you missed numerous points. It would be like questioning one witness in a trial as proof the prosecutor has no case and ignoring DNA evidence, fingerprints, etc.

    Like

  41. Deb
    March 28, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    @Joel

    “there were clear examples of people who, at least from their writing, believed 10,000 vaccines at once.”

    You said it yourself, “It would be impossible, whether one gave it as separate injections for each vaccine or even packed 20 vaccines per injection” And that is exactly what I told you. Nobody believes it is possible. The “anti-vaccinationists” as you call them are talking about the amount of toxins etc. in 10,000 vaccines and NOT the reality of physically getting 10,000 all at once as you state. BECAUSE as you state, that would be impossible.

    “And, despite claims by anti-vaccinationists, numerous credible scientific studies have found no association between vaccines and/or their ingredients and Autism Spectrum Disorders!”

    “However, when numerous studies done in numerous countries by numerous researchers on different populations with varying methodologies ALL have similar results, then one can be confident in them.”
    So please explain exactly what all of these studies were studying to prove there is no correlation with vaccines if they don’t know what “autismS” is?

    I suggest you read up on toxic-overload and its effects on the human body, the mthfr gene mutation and similar mutations and the gut-brain connection.

    Like

  42. Deb
    March 28, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    @Joel
    Get over yourself. My purpose was not to critique your entire article. I have not the inclination to do so, unless you want to pay me for my time.

    Like

  43. Deb
    March 28, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    “you ignore the half dozen examples in my article which you claimed to have read.”
    I didn’t ignore your examples, I used my brain and I have been in many, many discussions with the “anti-vaccinationists”. Sadly, it is you missing the point about all of this.

    Like

  44. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
    March 28, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    @ Deb

    You use your brain? You have got to be kidding? So, once again, if they mean the toxins in 10,000 vaccines, how is that relevant and how is that even possible? The studies used cases included on the Autism Spectrum and some did additional subgroup analyses. And once again you use a word that has NO meaning in science, “prove.” As for toxic overload, yep, in large amounts just about anything can be toxic. Try drinking a gallon of water at one sitting. Try taking an entire bottle of iron tablets. Try taking an entire bottle of aspirin. However, the amounts of ingredients in vaccines, not toxins, are minuscule, even if one gets several vaccines at once and certainly not remotely close to the ingredients in 10,000 vaccines. Formaldehyde is a normal metabolic result in our bodies. Aluminum is in everything, the air we breath, the water we drink, the food we eat, and soil, etc. I really don’t care if studies show that high levels of anything are toxic.

    You wrote: ““you ignore the half dozen examples in my article which you claimed to have read.”
    I didn’t ignore your examples, I used my brain and I have been in many, many discussions with the “anti-vaccinationists”. Sadly, it is you missing the point about all of this.”

    But you claimed that nobody and obviously the half dozen examples were people so you are wrong. And you have spoken with many, how many, 100, 200, so you conclude from these that nobody. Your illogic and arrogance speaking for everyone doesn’t need me to insult you as you do a good job yourself.

    Like

  45. Deb
    March 28, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    @Joel
    “toxins in 10,000 vaccines, how is that relevant and how is that even possible?”
    It is relevant because that is what Offit said. The “anti-vaccinationists” as you call them are not out to prove that 10,000 vaccines can’t be literally/physically given at one time as your statement alludes to in your article. It is humorous that you would make that as one of your points.

    “The studies used cases included on the Autism Spectrum and some did additional subgroup analyses.” This is your answer? So you are confident that there is no correlation between vaccines and autism because, “The studies used cases included on the Autism Spectrum and some did additional subgroup analyses.” Wow.

    “As for toxic overload, yep, in large amounts just about anything can be toxic. Try drinking a gallon of water at one sitting. Try taking an entire bottle of iron tablets. Try taking an entire bottle of aspirin. However, the amounts of ingredients in vaccines, not toxins, are minuscule, even if one gets several vaccines at once and certainly not remotely close to the ingredients in 10,000 vaccines.”
    This is why I told you to read up on the mthfr gene mutation and others like it. Why do you assume we all have the same genetics and all detoxify the same way?

    “Aluminum is in everything, the air we breath, the water we drink, the food we eat, and soil, etc. I really don’t care if studies show that high levels of anything are toxic.”
    So that makes it good for you and OK to ingest more of it?

    “I really don’t care if studies show that high levels of anything are toxic.”
    Maybe you are not as bright as I thought you were.

    Like

  46. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
    March 28, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    @ Deb

    Offit did not say the toxins in 10,000 vaccines. And once again you think you are the spokesperson for ALL antivaccinationists. Again delusions of grandeur? You seem to continuously lack the ability to understand simple English. Whether 10,000 vaccines or the toxins in 10,000 vaccines, neither makes any sense since the number of vaccines given, including various ingredients, are infinitesimally smaller than 10,000. What would force feeding an infant 10 gallons of water do? Since we don’t do that, so what? As for being confident that there is no correlation between vaccines and autism. First, correlation is NOT causation. One can find correlations between lots of things without them actually having a causal connection and as I pointed out, it is impossible in science to ever PROVE A NEGATIVE. As I wrote, there could be literally 1000s of studies and you could ask the same question; but at some point one has to make decisions and the decision that I make is that vaccines are safe based on the best current science. I am confident that gravity holds everywhere on the planet Earth; but is it possible that some weird confluence of cosmic forces could nullify gravity somewhere? Yes; but extremely unlikely.

    Its it possible that some rare genetic mutation makes someone susceptible to low levels of some substance. Yep; but so what? The amount of ingredients in vaccines are so minuscule that if someone has such a mutation then their normal exposure to the same ingredients would overwhelm their system. You keep ignoring the fact that the amount of various substances in vaccines is so minuscule that either our bodies can handle them or can’t handle the amounts we get daily from our environments. Our bodies take care of a range of substances not an exact amount. And if such a rare genetic mutation does make vaccines a problem, without an easy test to determine who has it or not, do we risk literally 100s of thousands of kids to prevent a risk to an extremely small number? If a vaccine saves 10,000 lives but harms 2 children, would you sacrifice the 10,000 to save the 2, especially given that if they are vulnerable to any of the ingredients in a vaccine then even a slight exposure increase in the environment would end up with the same effect.

    Our bodies are the result of eons of evolution developing systems and redundancy to deal with numerous problems. In years past, organisms were exposed to much higher levels of mercury in the environment than today and developed ways of dealing with this. Is mercury good? No; but falling down isn’t all that great; yet, our bones are resilient and most of the time we don’t break them. You look for the exception to be the rule rather than the exception proves the rule.

    Whether I am as bright at you think I am or not, I use whatever intelligence I have to carefully and logically weigh things. You should try it sometime.

    As I wrote earlier, I have no illusions that anything I write will sway you; but such exchanges give me ideas for future articles that, hopefully, will be read by people with a modicum of logic and reason.

    Like

  47. Deb
    March 29, 2016 at 11:23 am

    @Joel
    “Offit did not say the toxins in 10,000 vaccines. And once again you think you are the spokesperson for ALL antivaccinationists. Again delusions of grandeur?”

    And you claim that antivaccinationists believe this… “First, just using ones imagination should have made it quite clear that one could NOT give 10,000 or 100,000 vaccines to an infant at one time. It would be impossible, whether one gave it as separate injections for each vaccine or even packed 20 vaccines per injection, impossible except for antivaccinationists” What’s the difference, I say we don’t believe that and you say we do. So you are speaking on behalf of all antivaccinationists????

    “As for being confident that there is no correlation between vaccines and autism. First, correlation is NOT causation”
    I never mentioned correlation and causation, why are you even bringing it up? Oh, because you won’t or better yet can’t answer my question.

    “As I wrote, there could be literally 1000s of studies and you could ask the same question; but at some point one has to make decisions and the decision that I make is that vaccines are safe based on the best current science.”
    I have simply asked you what they were studying in the 1000’s of studies? If you don’t understand what autism is, then what are you studying???????????? You are right, you cannot prove a negative, you cannot say that xxxxx (vaccines) doesn’t contribute to xxxxx (autism), if you don’t understand what xxxxx (autism) is.

    “Its it possible that some rare genetic mutation makes someone susceptible to low levels of some substance.”
    Obviously you didn’t look into the mthfr gene mutation and other similar mutations. First of all, it is not rare, 2nd of all, it has a direct affect on how well your body can deplete toxins.

    “You keep ignoring the fact that the amount of various substances in vaccines is so minuscule that either our bodies can handle them or can’t handle the amounts we get daily from our environments. Our bodies take care of a range of substances not an exact amount”
    It’s not all about vaccines, they play their part, it’s about the accumulation of all environmental toxins together. Once your body hits the tipping point, depending on your own specific genetics, you will have different types of health issues (autismS). Many of those health issues cause behaviors identical to what they diagnose as (autism) behaviors.

    Like

  48. Lawrence
    March 29, 2016 at 11:37 am

    @Deb – if your body could not eliminate “environmental toxins” – you wouldn’t get autism, you’d just be dead (and very quickly).

    Like

  49. Deb
    March 29, 2016 at 11:43 am

    Are you speaking in absolutes Lawrence? You don’t know the difference between absolute vs other variations leading up to absolutely not? Ever heard of a tipping point?

    Like

  50. Lawrence
    March 29, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    @Deb – you made the claim, now you provide the evidence. Because if your body can’t eliminate environmental toxins, you die. End of story.

    Like

  51. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
    March 29, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    @ Deb

    Yep, I read Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point;” but it said nothing new. There are dose-response effects where the effects increase with the increase dosage and there are threshold effects where nothing happens until one crosses some threshold. However, as I made quite clear, our bodies deal with numerous substances on a daily basis and our bodies ability to deal with these substances allows for a range, so, if on a daily basis we get on average so many micrograms of something, on some days we get more, on some days we get less. The miniscule amounts of substances contained in vaccines would hardly count. However, as I wrote above, if some rare subgroup in the population were susceptible to such minor increases, then they would also be susceptible to any fluctuations in the amounts received from the environment. What’s more, unless there was some inexpensive easily done test to find these individuals, the choice would be to take the risk or expose the vast majority of the population. And some of these substances such as formaldehyde and albumen are normally found, produced in our bodies. As I wrote earlier, take a bottle of iron tablets, aspirin, or a number of other substances, even beneficial ones, or try drinking several gallons of water, and see the results. It is absurd, illogical, irrational to conflate high doses of anything with minuscule amounts of substances that our bodies deal with on a daily basis. And no reasonable person would focus on the exceptions when dealing with the health of a population. If there were simple easy to use tests, fine; but otherwise one would end up sacrificing literally 10s of thousands for a hypothetical handful.

    And Deb, you asked if I think you are an antivaccinationists and the answer is YES. The fact that you focus on ingredients in vaccines as toxins and harp on it is typical antivaccinationists. Yep, most say they aren’t against vaccines, just want safer ones which seems to fit you. However, they took thimerosal out of all but flu vaccine and one can get thimerosal-free flu vaccine and the antivaccinationists just go on to the next thing. Seems there will never be a 100% safe vaccine so that it is better to sacrifice the vast majority.

    You keep stating that one can’t study vaccines and autism if one doesn’t understand what autism is. So, you understand it; but all the researchers in numerous countries don’t? Again delusions of grandeur. So, please, give us your definition of autism, including how one could objectively determine it so that other researchers could replicate it.

    I can’t answer your question because it would take a monograph. There are standardized tests that have been developed to evaluate children to determine if they fall on the autism spectrum as well as specific observational approaches, and there is a debate whether some of the categories should have been included. I realize that simple-minded people want simple answers; but the world doesn’t work that way.

    You wrote: ““As for being confident that there is no correlation between vaccines and autism. First, correlation is NOT causation”
    I never mentioned correlation and causation, why are you even bringing it up? Oh, because you won’t or better yet can’t answer my question.”

    No, you didn’t mention correlation and causation; but you certainly kept mentioning correlation and if you didn’t believe it meant some causative relationship between vaccines and autism then why would you even mention it?

    You wrote:

    “You can call it autism or autism(s) it makes no difference. You still don’t know what it is, so again, how can you prove there is no correlation between vaccines and autism when you don’t know what autism/autism(s) is??”

    “Again, you avoid the question. Why? because you can’t answer it. How do you disprove a correlation when you don’t understand what autism is? Answer: You cannot.”

    “So please explain exactly what all of these studies were studying to prove there is no correlation with vaccines if they don’t know what “autismS” is?”

    ““The studies used cases included on the Autism Spectrum and some did additional subgroup analyses.” This is your answer? So you are confident that there is no correlation between vaccines and autism because,”

    And several more.

    So, you continuously bring up correlation, implying causation. Wow, you really are quite dishonest.

    You wrote: ““toxins in 10,000 vaccines, how is that relevant and how is that even possible?”
    It is relevant because that is what Offit said.”

    Nope, he said 10,000 vaccines, no mention of toxins. Again, are you a mind reader. And you claim to have read my article which explained quite clearly that the sentence on 10,000 vaccines was part of a larger explanation of how our immune system works. As I wrote, one can take just about any phrase or sentence from some article or book and use it to prove anything; but taking things out of context is a very dishonest type of argument and given that you claim you read my article; yet continue to use the one sentence is just additional proof that you are dishonest.

    You continue to claim that you speak for everyone which is what “nobody” implies, so again delusions of grandeur.

    So dishonest and suffering from delusions of grandeur. Wow!

    Like

  52. Deb
    March 29, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    @Joel,

    I never mentioned Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point”. You criticize me for not reading your whole article or having bad comprehension skills? You are the poster boy for bad reading comprehension and attention to details.

    “However, as I made quite clear, our bodies deal with numerous substances on a daily basis and our bodies ability to deal with these substances allows for a range, so, if on a daily basis we get on average so many micrograms of something, on some days we get more, on some days we get less. The miniscule amounts of substances contained in vaccines would hardly count”
    You “made it quite clear”, so you are the authority and all knowing?
    Wonder why you find it so absolutely crazy impossible that some don’t deplete toxins like they should? Oh because you made it quite clear our bodies (everyone) CAN do it properly.

    Why does thimerosal have to be the only ingredient that people may be concerned with? Nobody has a right to question any other ingredients?

    So you admit that autism diagnosis is based on observation and sets of behaviors. And yet you confidently can say that vaccines don’t contribute to this behaviors? Based on what? How could you make such a claim?? Especially when you are not even open to the idea and possibilities that toxic build up could cause the health issues that cause these behaviors? You think you can discover anything with a closed mind?

    “So, you continuously bring up correlation, implying causation. Wow, you really are quite dishonest.”
    I don’t continuously bring up correlation, that would imply that I stated that somebody got autism after they got vaccinated. It’s not that simple and it’s not all about vaccines, and there is much more information than simple observation.

    “Nope, he said 10,000 vaccines, no mention of toxins.”
    I know, that’s what I have been telling you. People are concerned with the amount of toxins in 10,000 vaccines, not what Offit “literally” said “10,000 vaccines”

    Like

  53. Deb
    March 29, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    @Lawrence
    I never claimed that people wouldn’t get sick and die if they couldn’t eliminate toxins.

    Quite the opposite, my claim is that if your body can’t deplete toxins normally you will get sick and have many health issues.

    If you can’t deplete toxins at all, you probably would get sick and die quickly. That would only be a guess.

    Like

  54. Verna
    March 29, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    It is obvious from the back and forth of comments that Deb is not here to talk about the original point of contention. As soon as she was presented with evidence showing that antivaccine advocates do indeed take that 10,000 vaccines at once literally, she started dragging the goal posts all over the playing field and bringing up new antivaccine talking points with every move. She is likely patting herself vigorously on the back for being such a clever pigeon chess player.

    Like

  55. Lawrence
    March 29, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    Well, it should be easy to test for that, right?

    I wonder why no one has ever found anything like that….perhaps because it doesn’t exist?

    Like

  56. Deb
    March 29, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    @Verna
    It takes more than one person to have a conversation and drag goal posts.

    And by the way, there has been no proof of what us “antivaccinationists” believe. Unless you, a provaccinationists, want to speak on my behalf as well?

    Like

  57. Deb
    March 29, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    @Lawrence

    What doesn’t exist? People who don’t detox normally as your body should?

    Like

  58. Lawrence
    March 29, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    People with kidney failure, yes.

    Vaccines don’t cause that.

    Like

  59. Deb
    March 29, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    Tell you what Verna, the next time you see a meme about “10,000 vaccines” why don’t you ask the person directly if they are trying to prove that it is impossible to actually, physically get 10,000 shots in the arm at one time? Or if they are concerned with the amount of toxins that 10,000 vaccines represents?

    Like

  60. Deb
    March 29, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    So what doesn’t exist Lawrence? You lost me.

    Like

  61. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
    March 29, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    @ Deb

    No, you didn’t read Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point,” nor did I say you did. I simply pointed out that I had read the book whose author coined the phrase “the tipping point”, so I was simply making it clear that I understand the concept and pointed out that the concept is nothing new. You are the one who should read more carefully.

    You write: “Wonder why you find it so absolutely crazy impossible that some don’t deplete toxins like they should? Oh because you made it quite clear our bodies (everyone) CAN do it properly.”

    Golly gee. I wrote several times that there could be people with rare genetic problems who can’t detoxify things like they should. However, I also pointed out that this would put them at risk for minute changes in the substances in the environment so that the miniscule amounts in vaccines would pose no greater problem than the environment. Of course, one can make the case that the miniscule amount in vaccines tipped the scale of some particular day and that fluctuations in quantities in the environment may not have happened until later; but again, as I continue to mention, one can’t design public health based on rare events. Once more you show your inability to understand or just plain dishonesty by claiming I didn’t recognize that some may have problems, albeit a small subset of the population.

    You write: “Why does thimerosal have to be the only ingredient that people may be concerned with? Nobody has a right to question any other ingredients?”

    Since I already discussed aluminum, formaldehyde, albumin, that the trace amounts in vaccines again would at best pose risk to a small subset of the population, that some are naturally produced in our bodies and I made it clear that this is exactly what antivaccinationists like you do, just keep finding one more thing. One more example of your inability to understand what people write and/or your dishonesty. I did discuss ingredients other than thimerosal!

    You write: “So you admit that autism diagnosis is based on observation and sets of behaviors. And yet you confidently can say that vaccines don’t contribute to this behaviors? Based on what? How could you make such a claim?? Especially when you are not even open to the idea and possibilities that toxic build up could cause the health issues that cause these behaviors? You think you can discover anything with a closed mind?”

    I follow the peer-reviewed scientific literature and, yes, I have an expertise in evaluating epidemiological methods and biostatistics. It is not an example of open-mindedness to continue to reject all the studies with your meaningless statement that they haven’t proved as I discussed several times nor to continuously raise the ridiculous question requiring a definition of autism. Each of the medical journal articles clearly explains how they determined/defined autism or autism spectrum disorders for their studies. I suggest you actually read all the studies. I could give references on how autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed, including both journal articles and book chapters; but it would be a waste of my time since you, in your delusions, are certain you know the definition

    You write: ““Nope, he said 10,000 vaccines, no mention of toxins.”
    I know, that’s what I have been telling you. People are concerned with the amount of toxins in 10,000 vaccines, not what Offit “literally” said “10,000 vaccines”

    Why would people be concerned with the amount of toxins in 10,000 vaccines? That is just plain STUPID as the ingredients in the 20 or so vaccines, not given at once, are so miniscule compared to what would be in 10,000 vaccines that it makes absolutely NO sense. How about 10,000 iron pills or 10,000 aspirin tablets or 10 gallons of water? What in the world would such large quantities have to do with the real world? The fact that you continuously state this is just one more example that you are delusional! And as I mentioned before, you claimed that you read my article which clearly explained what Offit’s statement meant in context and clearly explained how dishonest it is to take things out of context, yet you continue!

    My cold is about over with and I am waiting for some information requested before starting on writing my next paper. My papers take several months to write, involve extensive reading and note taking, then requesting honest critiques and suggestions from usually 10 or more people, something you probably don’t understand. Once I receive the needed information I won’t have time to exchange comments with someone clearly as dishonest and delusional as you.

    Like

  62. Deb
    March 29, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    @Joel
    More insults. That’s all you’ve got?
    Makes me wonder how confident you actually are with your opinions. Seems to me if you were really confident in what you were saying you wouldn’t have to insult a layperson like myself. But go ahead and blame me for your actions, it’s all my fault for the way you choose to act. Good luck on your next piece, you will need it.

    Like

  63. Lawrence
    March 29, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    Deb, you are just plain wrong.

    Anti-vaxers truly believe that Offit said that babies could get 10,000 vaccines at once….beyond that, you seem to be arguing in circles.

    We know what Offit said (and he was talking just about antigens, not vaccines themselves, not ingredients, etc) – but neither you nor other anti-vaxers seem to understand or care, for that matter.

    And Deb – your assertions that there are people who can’t “detox” is correct in only one way – people with kidney problems, like Kidney failure, require dialysis…..

    There is no “detox” problems when it comes to vaccines.

    Like

  64. Lawrence
    March 29, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    And you’ve certainly proven yourself to be a “layperson” based on your innate misunderstanding of basic science.

    Like

  65. Verna
    March 29, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    Deb: Response to memes? Been there, done that. More than once. Started out with the definition of theory, quoted from the actual article, explaining it in terms of number of antigens, and even did a calculation of the amount of liquid in 10,000 vaccines. Just kept getting the parroted response along the lines that Dr. Offit is a monster and that Paul Offit needs to be injected with 10,000 vaccines. That is a far cry from any understanding that it was a theoretical calculation. The 3,876 people who signed this petition, also seem to think that Paul Offit is to be taken literally. https://www.change.org/p/public-challenge-to-dr-offit-take-10-000-vaccines-at-once-to-prove-the-inherent-safety-of-vaccines
    What was your as yet to be supported claim again? “Nobody believes that one could literally be given 10,000 shots at one time.” I think the 3876 people on that petition alone prove otherwise.

    Like

  66. Verna
    March 29, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    Edit to last comment: quoted from the actual Offit article

    Like

  67. Deb
    March 29, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    @Lawrence

    “Anti-vaxers truly believe that Offit said that babies could get 10,000 vaccines at once….beyond that, you seem to be arguing in circles.”

    Yes they believe he said that and they argue about how bad having that amount of toxins in your body all at once. They don’t argue about whether or whether or not you could physically inject somebody with 10,000 at one time.

    “We know what Offit said (and he was talking just about antigens, not vaccines themselves, not ingredients, etc) – but neither you nor other anti-vaxers seem to understand or care, for that matter.”

    I read Joe’s article and now understand what Offit meant.

    “And Deb – your assertions that there are people who can’t “detox” is correct in only one way – people with kidney problems, like Kidney failure, require dialysis…..”

    A simple blood tests will show you are absolutely wrong.

    Like

  68. Deb
    March 29, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    @Verna
    This right from the link you provided…. ” then Dr. Offit should be fearless enough to show us what his reaction to 10,000 harmless vaccines at the same time looks like! ”

    Notice the words, “what his reaction” in other words, how would the crap in 10,000 vaccines affect him.

    Like

  69. Lawrence
    March 29, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    You’re really off the reservation now, Deb….what “blood tests?” And specifically, what conditions are you talking about?

    Like

  70. Deb
    March 29, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Blood tests showing high levels of toxins and in people without kidney issues.

    Like

  71. Lawrence
    March 29, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    Sorry, be specific.

    Like

  72. Deb
    March 29, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    I was very specific. You claim that only those with kidney issues have trouble detoxing properly. My response is that a simple blood test will show high levels of various different toxins in people without kidney issues.

    Like

  73. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
    March 29, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    @ Verna

    Thanks for the URL to the petition. I wish I had known about it as I would have included it in my article.

    @ Deb

    You write: “More insults. That’s all you’ve got?
    Makes me wonder how confident you actually are with your opinions. Seems to me if you were really confident in what you were saying you wouldn’t have to insult a layperson like myself. But More insults. That’s all you’ve got?
    Makes me wonder how confident you actually are with your opinions. Seems to me if you were really confident in what you were saying you wouldn’t have to insult a layperson like myself. But go ahead and blame me for your actions, it’s all my fault for the way you choose to act. Good luck on your next piece, you will need it.. Good luck on your next piece, you will need it.”

    Not one thing I wrote has to do with you being a layperson; but your inability to understand simple reason and logic. You keep harping on 10,000 toxins when I clearly pointed out in a way that even someone in grade school could understand that it is irrational to discuss huge quantities of anything as examples of what minuscule quantities could do; but you just keep on. And you continue to assume that you speak for everyone and know what people were thinking. Well, I take them at their word. If they meant only the toxins then they should have said so. Keep in mind that Andrew Wakefield’s original claim which has been amply refuted was that it was having three different microbes in one shot, Measles, Mumps, and Rubella, that was the problem, not any of the other ingredients. I guess Wakefield really meant the other ingredients as I’m sure you read his mind.

    And delusions of grandeur as you wrote: “But go ahead and blame me for your actions, it’s all my fault for the way you choose to act.”

    Really, you think I support vaccines, that I have gotten every possible vaccine, that, when they were alive I encouraged my parents and grandparents, and continue to encourage everyone I know and write my articles is a reaction to you. I think you need to seek professional help. I think you may be psychotic?

    @ Lawrence

    While the kidneys play a major role in detoxification, not the only role. Various metabolic processes can transform substance. The body can sequester some substances, depending on the levels, just as the sea around us absorbs excess carbon dioxide, and some substances can be excreted through sweat and feces and the liver also plays a role.

    However, Deb keeps displaying her ignorance if she really believes any blood test would should high levels of anything based on vaccines. If someone has high levels, then something else is going on and the person would show signs of either acute or chronic problems.

    Like

  74. Deb
    March 29, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    @Joel
    You really are dense.

    This comment…. “But go ahead and blame me for your actions, it’s all my fault for the way you choose to act.” if you go back and actually read it, pertains to you whirling insult after insult at me. Those are the actions I am speaking of. I have know idea how you concluded that it had something to do with you getting vaccinations. Your reading comprehension skills are worse than I thought.

    “If someone has high levels, then something else is going on and the person would show signs of either acute or chronic problems” Ever hear the word autismS before?

    Like

  75. Lawrence
    March 29, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    Except that they don’t. High levels of “what” exactly?

    Please, be specific.

    Like

  76. Deb
    March 29, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    High levels of toxins. Pick a toxin.
    Ever heard of of the expression “Danbury shakes” or “Mad Hatter disease”?
    Many of those guys had mental and emotional confusion and other health issues without necessarily having any kidney issues. They definitely had toxic-overload.

    Like

  77. Lawrence
    March 29, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Exposure to high levels of lead or mercury – elemental mercury, as in the silver stuff you see in Thermometers….in the 18th & 19th Centuries!

    Now, please tell me which vaccines on the US Pediatric schedule contain elemental mercury.

    Like

  78. Lawrence
    March 29, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    And your use of the word “toxin” just shows that you are nothing more than a rabid anti-vaxer who has little to know actual knowledge of biology or chemistry.

    Like

  79. Lawrence
    March 29, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    And do you know what else is “toxic?” Water – in high enough doses, it kills.

    Like

  80. Deb
    March 29, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    I never said anything about elemental mercury and vaccines.
    I actually asked you to pick a toxin, but you couldn’t understand the question, so I threw something out. Again, not mentioning vaccines what so-ever. You are the one claiming that only people with kidney issues have trouble detoxing. I told you that a simple blood test will prove you wrong. My child had very high levels of lead, determined by a simple blood test, and no kidney issues what so ever. Don’t tell me that people don’t detoxify differently and that it is not much harder for some to do so unless they have kidney issues. That is complete non-sense.

    Like

  81. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
    March 29, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    @ Deb

    I repeat what you wrote: “You write: “More insults. That’s all you’ve got?
    Makes me wonder how confident you actually are with your opinions. Seems to me if you were really confident in what you were saying you wouldn’t have to insult a layperson like myself. But More insults. That’s all you’ve got?
    Makes me wonder how confident you actually are with your opinions. Seems to me if you were really confident in what you were saying you wouldn’t have to insult a layperson like myself. But go ahead and blame me for your actions, it’s all my fault for the way you choose to act. Good luck on your next piece, you will need it.. Good luck on your next piece, you will need it.”

    Again you miss the main point, that is, it is not you being a layperson; but your inability to respond to simple rational logic. If I explained to a 10 year old that there is a difference in how the body responds to a few aspirins and to five bottles of aspirin, I think they would get it; yet, you continue to harp on the 10,000 toxins. And my opinions stem from my article and previous experience and knowledge, though, obviously, duh, I express them in response to the irrational, illogical, unscientific statements you make.

    The mention of “Mad Hatter’s disease” is just one more nail in your coffin. The levels they were exposed to were thousands fold greater than in vaccines. If I put you in a room with 20% carbon dioxide you will die; but not from the levels in normal air. Yes, Lawrence is correct in that there are different forms of mercury; but in high enough doses they are all toxic, the same with many substances in daily life; but in low doses our bodies are designed to deal with them.

    Deb wrote: ““If someone has high levels, then something else is going on and the person would show signs of either acute or chronic problems” Ever hear the word autismS before?”

    First, a number of claims of high levels are being made by practitioners who make money “detoxifying.” Not to be trusted. Second, as I have written numerous times, the amounts in vaccines are miniscule. If someone on the Autism Spectrum has high doses of any substance in a blood test then it isn’t due to vaccines; but to some overall inability to deal with such substances. Even if the total amounts from vaccines remained in the blood, almost an impossibility, the total even after six months would not approach the amounts from the environment. Take aluminum, it is in breast milk, so if at six months an infant has high levels of aluminum almost all would be from breast milk or formula and the environment from the previous six months. You just don’t get it.

    You keep mentioning you are a layperson which means you are admitting that you have not studied the relevant areas; yet you refuse to even admit that you may be wrong. Seems contradictory to say you haven’t learned, don’t understand certain things and then stand by your opinion. I know lots of lay people who have opinions. When I explain they are incorrect, they may ask me to explain it more clearly; but they don’t just keep saying the same things. So, I don’t insult lay persons; but I do point out when someone like you displays such blatant irrational, illogical, and delusional thoughts. Once more, no rational person would claim that nobody believes something and no rational person would assume that people mean just the toxins. As I explained above, Wakefield was quite clear that it was the combination of three microbes that was the problem; but, of course, you have read his mind and he really meant the other ingredients in the MMR vaccine.

    And you continue to use the word “toxin.” Some things are highly toxic at very low levels and somethings are actually either beneficial or neutral at low levels only to become toxic at high levels, e.g. iron, aspirin, water. Just about anything can be toxic at some level; but not at low enough levels, something you continue to fail to understand. Talking about DENSE!

    I am retired and have lots of time on my hands and currently await e-mails with requested info. Even so I devoted part of my day editing/proof reading a new edition of an undergraduate microbiology book and some other readings. If you have so much time on your hands, why don’t you actually try to learn something instead of continuously claiming being a lay person. As I wrote in a previous comment, I taught myself immunology and microbiology by reading Scientific American over the past 30 years and several undergraduate textbooks on each subject. Apparently, you are not interested in actually learning anything, just continuing with your unscientific, irrational, illogical comments. Once more, start with Lauren Sompayrac’s “How the Immune System Works, 5th Edition,” a delightful informative little book of 150 pages. You might really be in for a pleasant surprise; but I doubt you would be interested in devoting the time.

    Like

  82. Stuartg
    March 30, 2016 at 2:36 am

    @Bev

    “A simple blood test…”

    OK. What are you measuring with the test? Name a specific “toxin” to be measured. How much will that test cost? What levels of that “toxin” will indicate a “vaccine injury”? How does that “simple blood test” demonstrate the “vaccine injury”? Tell us the mechanism by which the “vaccine injury” changed that “simple blood test” from the normal range – reliable, peer reviewed references, please.

    Don’t worry about the complexity of your reply, I trained in Pathology and will understand the science. So will most of the readers of this blog. …but we won’t understand an answer using pseudoscience.

    Like

  83. Stuartg
    March 30, 2016 at 2:49 am

    Damn. 7 hours ahead.

    I’ve been a lurker too long without realising the time difference. Never mind, Bev can let me have a good night sleep and a day at work. Maybe she can actually use that time to let us know what her “simple blood test” is going to measure? And maybe its relationship to vaccines?

    Like

  84. March 21, 2017 at 5:47 am

    When he said 100,000 vaccines at once, maybe he meant 100,000 molecules of vaccine, or 100,000 atoms? It’s possible that’s what he meant, isn’t it?

    Like

  85. Lawrence
    March 21, 2017 at 5:53 am

    No, he was specifically speaking about antigen load.

    Anyone with even a basic understanding of immunology knows that the theoretical limit of immune response is huge, which is what Dr. Offit was speaking about.

    Read the article.

    Like

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