Home > General Info, Get Involved, Preventable Diseases, Science & Research > Don’t Just Vaccinate Your Kids, Teach Them the Science Behind Vaccines

Don’t Just Vaccinate Your Kids, Teach Them the Science Behind Vaccines

In the past week, Marco Arturo has become an internet sensation.

As a young science enthusiast, he posted a video in hopes of spreading a viral message and preventing  viral infections.  He is a proclaimer of truth (that’s right, there is no evidence linking vaccines to autism), and a clever entertainer as well (mic drop!).  He’s young, he’s hip and he’s obviously got some great adult influencers who’ve taught him a thing or two about evidence-based research.

In case you’ve missed the video, you can check it out here or on Marco’s Facebook page.

The truth is that we need more kids like Marco to speak out about the benefit of vaccines.  But first, as adults, we need to help ensure that kids today understand the science behind vaccines.

Do our children realize the dangers of infectious diseases?  Do they know the basics about how our immune systems work?  Do they have a good understanding of how vaccines help to provide immunity, and can they appreciate the impact that immunity can have on global health?  

As the school year wraps up, you may be wondering how you can continue to impart some knowledge on your children this summer. Marco’s video message can serve as a source of inspiration.  This is not about encouraging your child to be a famous scientist.  This is about making sure they understand their own immune system and how vaccines can keep them healthy.   After all, what child wouldn’t want to learn about nasty infectious diseases that invade our bodies and threaten to turn us all into zombies? Oh, sorry, I meant to say turn us into sick people with cooties!

If you’re a parent, grandparent, caregiver or teacher who would like to introduce a young child, preteen or teen to important scientific concepts related to infectious disease, check out the following resources:

Children’s Literaturevaccine-activity-book-thumb-240x320

Activity Booklet:  For the kids who don’t want to catch the cooties, but who are very interested in learning more about them, CHOP’s Vaccine Education Center offers a fantastic 16-page activity booklet that is available in both English and Spanish.  This book teaches younger children about vaccines, how they work, and a little about some of the scientists who helped to develop them. You can download the booklet here.

Books:  There are lots of books that address the subject of vaccines.  One example is The Shots Book, an illustrated children’s book written by teen author Ethan Posard. In this delightful story, author Ethan and his puppy become community immunity superheroes after getting their vaccines.  Their experiences help explain how vaccines work, how they protect our health, and how they help protect the health of others in our community.    The book is also the basis of several public service announcements being utilized by the Florida Chapter of the AAP as seen below.

Comics:  d902f23dca4f9f166eec59e84b173f70Cimaza comics help educate kids about virology in an entertaining and creative manner. In their featured book The Adventures of the Regatjes, readers discover the fascinating story of an 18-month-old unvaccinated boy who dies as a result of a measles infection.  In this engaging story, readers are introduced to amazing characters and end up learning a great deal about virology and vaccination.

In the weekly comic book series Zanzare, readers follow the global mystery of the Zika virus where we meet the mosquitoes implicated in its spread. The story is told through the lens of world mythology, but the virology presented comes straight from reputable journals such as NEJM and The Lancet. Thrilling and intriguing, Zanzare is a visionary mixture of ancient legend and up-to-the-minute fact.

Games for All Ages

The Vaccine Education Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has developed several educational initiatives.

Trivia Game:   While today’s teens may not be familiar with the once popular game Trivial Pursuit, they probably do remember when Trivia Crack was all the rage.  After all, who doesn’t love testing their trivia knowledge?  Kids of all ages, and even adults, can test their knowledge of vaccines and learn more about vaccine history, safety and science by playing The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) “Just the Vax” Trivia game.

Vax Pax Hero:  Vax-Pack-Hero-Twitter-imageThe Vaccine Education Center also offers a web-based video game designed for elementary and early adolescent-aged children called Vax Pack Hero.  In this game children can explore different parts of the body, learn more about different germs and help patients to overcome one of 21 vaccine-preventable diseases.  To defeat the germs and return patients to good health,  players must choose from one of 50 real-life Vaccine Heroes. The heroes come from many backgrounds, to include doctors and scientists who have developed vaccines, as well as engineers, authors, politicians, philanthropists, diplomats, a milkmaid, and even two small children.  As players learn more about the real-life accomplishments of each Vaccine Hero, they learn how each of these individuals can be effective in beating different germs in the game. There’s even a way for kids to win free prizes

Solve the Outbreak App: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed a clever app called Solve the Outbreak which is a fun, interactive game that helps kids learn about disease outbreaks and  what it takes to contain them.  Players receive clues and analyze data in order to solve a case and save lives.

solvetheoutbreak_355px

As they work their way up to the title of Disease Detective they must ask themselves, “Do I quarantine the village, talk to people who are sick or ask for more lab results?”  While simulating what it’s like to work on the front lines of public health, kids learn to appreciate what it takes to keep a population safe.  You can download the app for free here.

Teachers’ Resources & Kids’ Websites

BAM! Body and Mind:immune-platoon

This online destination created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is specially designed for kids 9-13 years old. BAM! Body and Mind gives them the educational information they need to make healthy lifestyle choices.  By using kid-friendly lingo, games, quizzes and other interactive features, the site teaches kids all about their body and mind.  Of course, learning how to prevent disease is important to maintaining our health.  In the Disease section, students can learn about CDC “disease detectives” and follow the “Immune Platoon” as they battle against the enemy diseases in the Disease Database.  There’s plenty for kids to explore on this site and lots of activities to engage in.

Share Your Suggestions in the Comments Below

These are just a few of the many education materials and resources that can be found on the subject of immunity and infectious diseases.  We hope you will take a moment to share your own suggestions in the comments below so that we can all do our best to inspire young minds.  

By providing children with a good understanding of the science behind vaccines, we can help prepare them to make critical health decisions throughout their lifetime as patients, parents and public health advocates.  

 

 

 

  1. reissd
    June 3, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Great resources, thank you for putting this together.

    Like

  2. Steve Hinks
    June 5, 2016 at 4:02 am

    The HPV vaccine has never been proven to prevent a single case of cancer and it will be decades before we find out. Cases of cervical cancer in developed countries using Pap screening are 9/100,000. Deaths have come down from 8 to just 2/100,000 over the last 40 years with no vaccine and current uptake of screening of just 80%. Screening is still necessary even after vaccination. There are over 100 strains of HPV and some scientists expect other strains to replace those that are targeted by the vaccine.

    In the meantime thousands of girls are being seriously disabled and their lives ruined by the adverse reactions. In the UK 20,503 adverse reactions have been reported by Yellow Card, including 5 with fatal outcome (data obtained by FOIA request to MHRA). Even the manufacturers admit huge numbers of serious adverse reactions during the clinical trials.

    Like

  3. steve479
    June 5, 2016 at 4:03 am

    In its conclusion to the safety review on HPV vaccine the European Medicines Agency stated ‘reviews of the reports did not show a consistent pattern regarding time-to-onset following vaccination, they appear to have totally ignored the evidence provided by the UK Association of HPV Injured Daughters (AHVID) which reported that a questionnaire completed by 94 member families indicated that:
    • 27 girls (31% ) had adverse reactions on the same day as the vaccination, many of them suffrering immediately, within minutes.
    • 12 girls (14%) had adverse reactions after just 1 dose
    • 19 girls (22%) had adverse reactions after just 2 doses (some of these had reactions also to the 1st dose
    • 14 girls had adverse reactions after the 3rd dose (and some of these had earlier reactions)
    • At least 4 girls (4%) had adverse reactions after each of 3 doses. Health professionals had indicated that the vaccine is safe and the adverse reactions suffered were not recognised as side effects of the vaccine. Initial symptoms were often ‘generally unwell, flu-like, tired, aches and pains’. With each dose the severity increased and day-by-day the severity increased. With some it was eventually several weeks before these symptoms developed into collapse with total fatigue and sleeping up to 23 hours each day.

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  4. Steve
    June 5, 2016 at 6:25 am

    It is a good day when the pro-vax have to recommend that we listen to immature children for advice about our and our children’s health care. It is beautifully consistent with the immature arguments of the pro-vax adults. No one, adult or child, can possibly support “vaccine science” when top CDC researchers are turning into whistle blowers about CDC fraud and corruption. The class action lawsuit against Merck for falsifying mumps efficacy results has yet to be heard but the evidence of multiple mumps outbreaks in multiple US universities among fully vaccinated students is certainly supporting evidence in that case. Sites like this which blindly support corrupt science are either intellectually deficient or part of that very corruption. In the case of this site, it is funded by the very establishment which has been shown to be a huge part of the corruption.

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  5. Chris
    June 5, 2016 at 10:20 am

    Steve: “In its conclusion to the safety review on HPV vaccine the European Medicines Agency….”

    Link? Because you have given us no reason to believe you.

    Like

  6. Lawrence
    June 5, 2016 at 10:55 am

    http://www.ema.europa.eu/ema/index.jsp?curl=pages/medicines/human/referrals/Human_papillomavirus_vaccines/human_referral_prac_000053.jsp&mid=WC0b01ac05805c516f

    I’m not sure where “Steve” is getting his info, but the EMA does not support his contentions….

    Like

  7. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
    June 5, 2016 at 11:11 am

    @ Steve

    There is an old joke about an elderly Jewish woman who returns from a holiday in the Catskills. One of her friends asks her how the food was. She answers it was terrible and such small portions. Yes, it now seems that Merck withheld that the mumps vaccine conferred a shorter duration of immunity. However, without the vaccine, since most, close to 100% eventually got mumps, they would have gotten it anyway. More importantly, because of Merck’s possible criminal actions, people were not aware they should get a booster. The simple solution now that we know is to encourage people to get the booster shots while working on a more effective vaccine. Though no vaccine is absolutely safe, the risks from vaccines is miniscule compared to the natural diseases. I love it how antivaccinationists first condemn vaccines, then complain that they don’t work as well or as long. Yep, the food was terrible and such small portions.

    As for Thompson, the so-called Whistleblower, not much more than a disgruntled employee venting and now caught in a web that is difficult to extricate from. The analysis done by Hooker in a retracted article took data collected for a case-control study and analyzed it as a cohort study. There are numerous articles and books that clearly explain how this leads to bogus results. Imagine doing a lab test to find some toxin, but using a reagant that reacts to some common harmless substance and then claiming you found the toxin. In addition, Hooker changed the range of months to get a minimum of 5 in each cell in his chi-square analysis. In other words, he looked at the data first, then designed his analysis. This is sometimes referred to as the Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy. Shoot at the broadside of a barn, then draw the target. Gee, great shot. There is more; but the above should suffice. The CDC researchers designed their analysis and data collection first, before seeing the data.

    As for ECBT being funded by the “very establishment;” yes, they received a small grant from a drug company, clearly stating no strings attached. They also receive money from the CDC and many others. If you mean the CDC is “a huge part of the corruption,” see above on the Whistleblower. During my career, prior to retiring, I have known many who work for the CDC, went to school with some of them, great people and, as far as I know, all have vaccinated their own children. Are there some at the CDC less unbiased, sure, it is a large agency; but one can say the same about every entity. Next time there is an outbreak of some strange microbe in your community, thank your lucky stars that the CDC exists.

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  8. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
    June 5, 2016 at 11:46 am

    @ Steve479

    I went to the European Medicines Agency and found only one press release that they were going to look further into the safety of the HPV, “EMA to further clarify safety profile of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines” (2015 Jul 13) [Available at: http://www.ema.europa.eu/ema/index.jsp?curl=pages/news_and_events/news/2015/07/news_detail_002365.jsp%5D and then “HPV vaccines: EMA confirms evidence does not support that they cause CRPS or POTS” (2015 Nov 20) [Available at: http://www.ema.europa.eu/ema/index.jsp?curl=pages/news_and_events/news/2015/11/news_detail_002436.jsp%5D Lawrence posted a comment that gives another EMA article with URL.

    As for the UK Association of HPV Injured Daughters, adverse reactions can be as mild as a sore arm and slightly elevated temperature. When I was a kid I used to scream and cry prior to receiving any shot. My dad told me to look away, so I did. I kept asking when was the doctor going to give me the shot and was told he already did. In other words, some of the pain, fever, faintness, etc. my be just psychological. But, yes, some is real. A few times I have had a sore arm, slight fever for a few hours, easily dealt with by a couple of ibuprofen. And I really prefer this to getting the flu, which I have experienced a few times before making sure I always get vaccinated. And, no, the vaccine doesn’t guarantee I won’t get the flu; but, if I do, it will hopefully be less than severe. In any case, since the flu vaccine is safer than the foods I buy, it is worth the effort. Compare a sore arm, slightly raised fever, loss of appetite, etc. for a few hours to a day to natural measles that lasts a week, high temperatures, anorexia, extreme inching, loss of school, and, in the US, prior to the vaccine, 400-500 deaths, 50,000 hospitalizations, and up to 2,000 permanently disabled, e.g. loss of hearing, seizure disorders, and retardation.

    I would also point out that many of the reported symptoms can be found in kids who have not been vaccinated. Kids do get fevers, suffer from periods of anorexia, periods of extreme fatigue. There is a logical fallacy called post hoc ergo prompter hoc, basically after something, so because of the something. Unfortunately, a lot of things precede something. We just happen to focus on the most noticeable. In 1976, a professor calculated the number, percentage, of seniors in a nursing home expected to die in any given week. Because of this, vaccinations were not carried out at nursing homes. There were, of course, other problems with the swine flu program; but, if, say, in a nursing home with 200 residents, an average of 4 died every week, even if only 3 died the week following the vaccination, many would blame the vaccine.

    As for the “with some it was eventually several weeks before these symptom developed into collapse with total fatigue and sleeping up to 23 hours,” from a questionnaire of family members suing because they believed the symptoms were caused by the vaccine. As Neil deGrass Tyson said in the conclusion to the new series Cosmos: “Just because you believe something doesn’t make it true.” Though unlikely, there is a remote possibility that some are hurt by the vaccine, a remote possibility, if so, compare this to the number of women who avoid getting cervical cancer, genital warts, etc.(see below)

    The Yellow Card in the UK is similar to our Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System. It states on the website: “Report a suspected problem or incident.” By analogy, police often interview, bring in for questioning someone previously called a suspect, now a person of interest. Should we forego further investigation, simply throw these people in prison, just because they are a person of interest? The Yellow Card is simply what someone believes. In most cases, they will be wrong; but in some they will be right. I guess you believe that anyone brought in by the police for questioning must be guilty?

    There are about 100 strains of human papilloma virus; but only a handful have been shown to lead to cancer. The current vaccines protect against about 80% of them, 4 or 5 strains. And I’m not going to write a review article about the effectiveness of the vaccine in reducing the risk of cancer.

    Just one study:

    “Prophylactic HPV-vaccination programs constitute major public-health initiatives worldwide. We assessed the global effect of 4vHPV vaccination on HPV infection and disease. PubMed and Embase were systematically searched for peer-reviewed articles from January-2007 through February-2016 to identify observational studies reporting the impact or effectiveness of 4vHPV vaccination on infection, anogenital warts, and cervical cancer or precancerous lesions. Over the last decade, the impact of HPV-vaccination in real-world settings has become increasingly evident, especially among girls vaccinated before HPV exposure in countries with high vaccine uptake. Maximal reductions of ∼90% for HPV 6/11/16/18 infection, ∼90% for genital warts, ∼60% for low-grade cytological cervical abnormalities, and ∼90% for high-grade histologically-proven cervical abnormalities have been reported. The full public-health potential of HPV vaccination is not yet realized. HPV-related disease remains a significant source of morbidity and mortality in developing and developed nations, underscoring the need for HPV-vaccination programs with high population coverage.”

    Garland SM, Kjaer SK, Muñoz N, Block SL, Brown DR, DiNubile MJ, Lindsay BR, Kuter BJ, Perez G, Dominiak-Felden G, Saah AJ, Drury R, Das R, Velicer C (2016 May 26). Impact and Effectiveness Of the Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus Vaccine: A Systematic Review of Ten Years of Real-World Experience. Clinical infectious diseases

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  9. Chris
    June 5, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    Thank you both. My assumption about why Steve did not post a link was correct.

    Like

  10. Steve
    June 5, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    @Joel A Alphabet soup. I am a firm believer in people doing their own research and coming to their own conclusions. If you had done any meaningful research on my comment, you would realize that the issue involving Merck’s mumps vaccine had nothing to do with “duration of immunity”, it had to do with adding animal antibodies to the blood samples to fake ANY efficacy. The level of antibody titers was far lower than the final results indicated. In any other industry this would be criminal, but vaccine manufacturers enjoy their own immunity…. from prosecution for damage from their wares. It is also rather lame to claim that the only people who would blow the whistle on corruption are “disgruntled employees”.

    I will however agree with you that there are many good people at the CDC. At the lower echelons. When it comes to final decisions on what is published and with what spin, I do not believe that those good people make it to those levels as they are not scientific. They are political, regardless of their original backgrounds.

    Remember this, there are numerous studies of individual vaccine ingredients, excipients and adjuvants which individually cause adverse effects including autoimmune diseases, neurological damage and ASD. The only studies the CDC has to show that there is no link between vaccines and autism are epidemiological studies. Epidemiological studies by their very nature can NEVER show causation because they merely look for statistical correlations. So to quote the Danish studies, et. al. is a pro-vax red herring at the outset. You can use an epidemiological study to “prove” that sperm do not cause pregnancy based on the number of sperm produced and subsequently injected into a woman versus the number of pregnancies. Epidemiological study terms, the number of pregnancies compared to the number of sperm is statistically insignificant, thus the conclusion (in CDC style) is that sperm does not cause pregnancy.

    The proof is in the pudding, as they say, in keeping with your food analogy. This generation of children is the sickest in terms of chronic illness of any on record. The US has one of the worst childhood mortality rates in the developed world. Vaccine failures are appearing everywhere with measles, mumps and pertussis, just to name a few. From day one of vaccine marketing, they were sold as a safe and effective equivalent to natural exposure without the risk of the actual disease. This position has been backtracked at every failure. And remember this, I am fully vaccinated in that I received something like 5 vaccine doses as a child, not the 70 plus now required, and that is probably also true of your friends at the CDC.

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  11. Steve
    June 5, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    Just as an additional note Joel, the pro-vax lobby has never actually produced a study which proves that vaccines have prevented anything. In fact, I recall many pundits on this site in particular who have argued about the reduction in reported measles cases after vaccine implementation. Since there are no studies to rely upon, they have said if you can’t explain it, it MUST be the vaccines. It’s a funny argument because it is exactly the argument rejected when it comes to adverse reactions. “If you can’t prove it’s vaccines, it MUST be something else”. The contradiction of logic is glaring. I have researched vaccines for a very long time. I know that my knowledge surpasses that of my doctor and even he will admit this. I have found that there are very few categories of people who support vaccination as blindly as this site: the complicit, the ignorant and the blind followers of the former and latter.

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  12. Gray Falcon
    June 5, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    Steve, if you have proof, present don’t. Don’t just say “do the research yourself.” See this:
    http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users/

    That’s the number of people on the Internet right here, right now. You’re one in over three billion people. Why should I listen to you?

    Like

  13. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
    June 5, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    @ Steve

    First, you are absolutely wrong about not being able to draw causal inferences from epidemiological data. I suggest you begin by reading Kenneth Rothman & Sander Greenland’s “Modern Epidemiology (2nd ed)”, especially Chapter 2: Causation and Causal Inference and Merwyn Susser’s “Causal Thinking in the Health Science: Concepts and Strategies in Epidemiology.” The former is easy to get, even used copies; but the latter is long out-of-print. Amazon Marketplace has copies once in a while and most university libraries have a copy. I am not about to write several thousand words just to respond to one person. The Susser book, though only one of many I have read (I’ve had three grad level courses in Philosophy of Science and Causal Inference) is my all time favorite, though a couple of other books come close, including Rothman’s.

    As for the generation with the highest level of chronic illness, depends how one defines chronic illness. Conditions that many years ago would have been considered minor discomforts are nowadays diagnosed and treated. We tolerate less. Also, you ignore:
    Over 80,000 new chemical compounds have been released into our environment since World War II
    Low birth weight, very low birthweight, premies, who would have died years ago, now survive.
    Our processed foods have chemical additives, high levels of sugar, little fiber.

    You ignore all of the above and more and would like to blame vaccines.

    You write: “From day one of vaccine marketing, they were sold as a safe and effective equivalent to natural exposure without the risk of the actual disease.”

    If you were to study the risks from the natural diseases, you might change your tune. And no one has claimed vaccines as sold are absolutely safe and effective equivalent to natural exposure.” Natural exposure does, if one survives, with some microbes give a much stronger and longer lasting immunity; but there is NO immunity and no treatment for tetanus and no treatment for polio or smallpox. The five vaccines you received probably included the smallpox vaccine which contains more antigens than almost all other current vaccines combined. It is the number of antigens, not number of vaccines, that our immune systems react to, something you apparently don’t understand.

    You write: “Just as an additional note Joel, the pro-vax lobby has never actually produced a study which proves that vaccines have prevented anything.” How about the real world?. Prior to the WHO push to eliminate smallpox, an estimated 500 million people died from it just in the 20th Century. One can follow the WHO country by country as they were vaccinated and smallpox disappeared. Same with polio, country by country. Unless you can come up with some other reason these two diseases disappeared country by country, I’d say that is pretty good proof. And both the Salk trials in the US and the Sabin trials in the Soviet Union found significant, not just statistical; but clinical (far less disease) in those who received the polio vaccines. I could go on.

    You write: “I know that my knowledge surpasses that of my doctor and even he will admit this.” If that is true, I suggest you change doctors.

    As for your: “I am a firm believer in people doing their own research and coming to their own conclusions.”

    First, virologists Krahling and Wlochowski – claim that over the years the effectiveness of
    the Jeryl Lynn mumps vaccine declined because of its repeated passage through eggs. Initially it was over 95%; to continue the license, say the relators, Merck had to convince the FDA that the effectiveness stayed at a similar rate over the years. In 1997 the FDA required Merck to conduct effectiveness testing of MMRII. The relators claim that Merck engaged in a variety of more or less dishonest testing practices to bump up the vaccine’s effectiveness
    they reported. These included:

    Using the vaccine virus to test effectiveness rather than the wild virus.
    Using animal antibodies to help manage the testing rate.
    Faking the result of the tests that used animal antibodies.

    The judge dismissed Merck’s attempt to end the lawsuit; but, as far as I can tell, it hasn’t been decided yet. Just because someone claims something, doesn’t make it true. Whistleblowers have been proved right and have also been proved wrong. But, as I wrote in a previous comment, you probably think that everyone questioned by the police is guilty and should go directly to prison, no need for a trial. If they are right, the bottom line is Merck produced a vaccine that was less than 95% effective, exactly what I wrote. And the requirements for effectiveness of a vaccine allow for a range. However, given there are other manufacturers with possibly better effectiveness, if proven true, then Merck perpetuated a fraud on the public and should be held accountable. But their vaccine wasn’t worthless, just not as good as one would like, partly because the passage of the original Jeryl Lyn strain may have weakened over time. You would like to see the world in black and white, I don’t. If the Merck vaccine, though less effective than 95%, were the only one available, I would not hesitate to give it to children.

    As for doing your own research, you obviously don’t understand statistics, microbiology, immunology, etc. You throw out the standard bull found on antivaccinationist websites. There is a say, “don’t sacrifice the good for the perfect.” I suggest you read my articles on Every Child By Two under Expert Commentaries. I devote sometimes 3 – 4 months and have reference lists of up to 150. My last article had a section that focused on the robustness of our immune systems, how the few killed and attenuated microbes in the vaccines children receive are miniscule compared to how many microbes the average child experiences every day. Read it!

    “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” at: http://www.ecbt.org/images/articles/Ignoring_Context_and_a_Lack_of_Common_Sense_-_10,000_Vaccinations_at_One_Time_.pdf
    I never claim to have absolute truth or certainty; but I base what I write on over 50 years of reading, training, and experience. Having been retired for over a decade, I monitor Swedish, Canadian, French, British, CDC, and WHO websites on disease outbreaks, read books regularly on the history of various infectious diseases, have extensive training in behavioral and social sciences, epidemiology, biostatistics, and have audited courses in microbiology and immunology and read several undergraduate texts in each plus articles in Scientific American going back 40 years and other papers. In addition, I run everything I write by several experts and just friends. Experts to check for accuracy, friends to see if they can follow/understand what I write.

    Without the basic tools to do your own research, you do not, as you demonstrate in your comments, understand, apply critical thinking, to what you find.

    So, if “alphabet soup” is your shorthand for having a wealth of knowledge and skills, thanks!

    I won’t even comment on your proposed study of sperm counts and pregnancy, just plain STUPID! You know the word “epidemiology” but don’t understand what it means. Get hold of both of the books listed above, take your time reading them, they aren’t easy, then get back to me.

    Oh, one additional book you should get, though expensive:

    Stanley A. Plotkin et al (2013). Vaccines (6th edition). Elsevier Publishers.

    An excellent summary of all that is currently known about vaccines. The only think I don’t like is the reference list is online and one has to register to access it; but some chapters actually have 300 – 400 references.

    Oh, I realize that nothing will change your mind and if that was my purpose for writing these comments I would be wasting my time. I, however, use these comments as draft runs, to develop ideas, to be used in future papers. Since you know more than your doctor, you obviously know more than me, so how could I possibly influence you. LOL

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  14. autistasangeles
    June 5, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    Reblogged this on autistasangeles.

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  15. Steve
    June 6, 2016 at 12:56 am

    Gray and Joel, I am not asking either of you to believe me. You won’t. This is already a given. Joel, to come on here and refute my objection to the “correlation does not equal causation” chant that many pro-vax pundits use with a paper about drawing “inferences” is absurd. Inferences are made when facts are not present. Epidemiological studies do not provide proof of anything. In fact Joel in particular, you argument style is virtually text book from the pro-vax propaganda machine. I say, “I know more than my doctor” and you say, “get another doctor”. How much training does a pediatrician or family doctor receive in immunology? Unless it is a specialty of the doctor’s chosen path, it is next to nothing. It basically consists of learning the same canned responses that you yourself like to parrot. I learned how ill informed the medical profession really is through dentistry. I decided to have my “amalgam” fillings removed due to the mercury content. My first dentist refused parroting the “it’s perfectly safe” line based on her belief through her training that they were silver. When I provided her with the documentation that amalgam is anywhere from some 47-53% mercury, she changed her tune with the comment, “they never taught us that”. You do seem to suffer from her initial type of ignorance. If I said I was going to inject you with mercury, the most toxic non-nuclear substance known, for no reason, I suspect you would object. But in the same way that you seem to worship the medical profession in quite a dogmatic fashion, you seem to believe that some hocus pocus occurs when the same substance is used in a vaccine. Thank you very much, but I don’t “believe” in your hocus pocus.

    And as far as it goes, I have no objection to you or anyone else getting as many vaccines as you like. The more the merrier. The problem is that people like you wish to create a false sense of “informed” consent and then force me and others to partake of your unfortunate fantasy. Thanks, but no thanks. Incidentally, if vaccines truly saved us from these terrible illnesses, and we all know that vaccines fail and certainly wane over time, why do we not have outbreaks among the under 50’s in this country? People like me were vaccinated as children. There is very little chance that any assumed conferred protection is still in place yet there have been no epidemics? Why have other diseases for which there are no vaccines declined in line with supposed VPD’s?

    If you want to know at least one reason why reported disease incidence occurs post vaccine introduction, I’ll give you it in a nutshell. My dog received a kennel cough vaccine. She contracted kennel cough 2 weeks later. When I took her to the vet with a runny eye (one of the early indicators of kennel cough), the vet looked at her records and immediately discounted the chance of kennel cough due to the fact that she had been vaccinated and treated her with useless antibiotics for a non-existent eye infection. When she started coughing the next day, I took her to another vet and didn’t mention the recent vaccination. She was immediately diagnosed with kennel cough. This was then laboratory confirmed at my request. It is an empty line to say “nothing will change” my mind when I have first hand knowledge of vaccine failure, misdiagnosis through selection bias and have actually researched myself, not on blogs like this but through pouring over PubMed and other fully trusted research sources. The ones you use in fact. I just don’t selectively dismiss the negative ones as regards vaccine ingredients.

    One last point, if epidemiological studies are so great, why has the CDC so staunchly refused to compare health outcomes of fully vaccinated children to unvaccinated children? It was requested by Congress on a few occasions now and the CDC have on the record admitted they have never done this and have no intention of doing this. Yet independent researchers have found strong correlations between vaccination status and chronic illness. But like the Thompson issue, the MSM outright refuse to report it.

    Like

  16. Steve
    June 6, 2016 at 1:06 am

    “Epidemiology is the method used to find the causes of health outcomes and diseases in populations. In epidemiology, the patient is the community and individuals are viewed collectively. By definition, epidemiology is the study (scientific, systematic, and data-driven) of the distribution (frequency, pattern) and determinants (causes, risk factors) of health-related states and events (not just diseases) in specified populations (neighborhood, school, city, state, country, global). It is also the application of this study to the control of health problems (Source: Principles of Epidemiology, 3rd Edition).”

    A data driven study of the health related state of pregnancy as regards the number of sperm compared to the number of pregnancies would in a data driven statistical analysis find that there was no reason to believe that sperm caused pregnancy. There are statistics and damn statistics. And they are all worthless because they can be so easily manipulated. And that is why the CDC love them and why open minded researchers reject them. Real science shows that mercury kills. It also shows that aluminum kills. Synergistic studies also show that when applied together, the toxicity is enhanced. That’s not statistics. And they are both in vaccines. Although having said that, I do not believe that those substances are the only villains at play when it comes to vaccines. It is a highly complex science which is still poorly understood by the “experts”.

    And I do not put in links to avoid moderation delays, etc. If you really cared about researching, Gray and Joel, do it yourself. You will find what I have found if you look. It all comes from the same research sources.

    Like

  17. Gray Falcon
    June 6, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Steve: If you really cared about the truth, you’d help us find it. Aluminum is one of the most common elements in the Earth’s crust. If it was half as deadly as you say it is, we’d all be dead now.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Lawrence
    June 6, 2016 at 9:02 am

    I love it when anti-vaxers say “you do the research…” Because more than likely, they’ve never done it themselves.

    Also, Steve ignores the fact that his statement about the EMA & HPV was incorrect as well.

    Welcome to another episode of “Anti-vaxers move the Goalposts.”

    Like

  19. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
    June 6, 2016 at 10:49 am

    @ Steve

    I guess you don’t believe that smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease, etc.? I guess you won’t believe it until we forcibly take a few hundred newborn twins from their families, keep them at a lab with constantly controlled environment, exact same food, etc. and randomly expose half the infants to tobacco smoke on a daily basis. Of course, keeping them for 30 years or more. I guess you don’t believe that DES taken by a pregnant woman caused cervical cancers in young women 20 years afterwards? It is, at least today, almost impossible to develop a causal connection in individual cases, too many variables involved, how do you rule them out? Yes, if someone is shot, easy to determine cause of death; but, for instance, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, many babies die from it, most not after vaccines or any other specific event. Yet, you would like to believe it caused by vaccines.

    And statistics of one sort or another are used in almost all clinical medical studies, genetic studies, immunology studies, etc. Tissue studies and in vitro studies can contribute; but can also be wrong because tissues and cells in our bodies work together so what would affect them individually may not work when they are interacting. Animal models can contribute; but they too have problems. Thalidomide did not cause birth defects in some lab animals; but did in others. People eat chocolate, not good for dogs. In the end, even if tissue and in vitro studies and animal studies indicate some connection, it may or may not validly apply to people. And the only way to find out is to study people. Epidemiology includes randomized clinical trials; but they too have their limits. And one can derive causal inferences from case-control studies. I won’t bother to explain; but you can get the books I suggested. They do an excellent job.

    And you claimed no studies showed significant reductions in diseases following vaccinations; yet I listed several and could list 100s more if I didn’t mind getting carpal tunnel syndrome.

    Gray is right about aluminum. Infants get more from breast feeding and formula, which they get daily, than from the minuscule amounts in vaccines. What’s more, the safety standards/thresholds used by EPA and others are extremely conservative. With mercury they found what level most people not minutely harmed by, then divided by 10, and then divided by 10 one more time, so, if someone gets several vaccines at a time and back when vaccines contained thimerosal (only the flu vaccine still does), and it appeared to go over the safety threshold, it was still just a bit more than 1/100th what the actual studies found could cause minimal problems.

    I had two years of college German 50 years ago. Sometimes if I listen to someone speaking German on TV I can understand a bit; but I wouldn’t dare claim I could accurately translate it. Many years ago, Nikita Khrushchev gave a speech which someone hastily translated him saying “We will bury you.” Russian language experts later said the translation was: “We will be alive and well long after you are dead and buried.” The first translation obviously was a threat, the second a boast, wrong; but nonetheless, not a threat. The first translation took root and probably played into the hands of the US Military-Industrial complex, may even prolonging the Cold War. Once people believed the first, trying to get them to change would have been impossible.

    I had two years of German with an A three semesters and a B in one; yet, I wouldn’t dare claim to make an accurate translation of a speech or even a written text. On the other hand, you give no indication that you have actually studied epidemiology, biostatistics, immunology, microbiology, and other relevant subjects; yet, you think you can separate the wheat from the chaff, good science from deficient science. I have three semesters of calculus and one of linear algebra and some physics. I wouldn’t tell an airplane engineer which alloys would best withstand wind sheer, etc.; even if I had read a couple of articles in Scientific American; but I’m sure you would.

    Someone once defined democracy as the informed consent of the governed. The informed part has two parts: 1. availability of information and 2. the ability to evaluate that information, e.g. understanding critical thinking, scientific methodology, and probability. I doubt your vote or anything you do represents “informed consent.”

    Instead of wasting your own and others time, read the books I suggested, learn the basics, then maybe just maybe you will be able to contribute something to the conversation, In the meantime, everything you write detracts from the sum total of knowledge.

    The bottom line is you don’t want to invest the time and effort into really learning the basic skills necessary for evaluating anything. You want the world to be simple. You find websites that say what you choose to believe and that is that.

    One last example. After Benghazi, Obama gave an impromptu speech from the Rose Garden. In the speech, Obama said “This wasn’t optimum for us,” a rather clumsy phrase. Fox News and talk radio droned on and on about it, asking why he didn’t just say it was a tragedy. I went online, found the actual speech and, guess what, a couple of sentences or so before the clumsy phrase he said something like “and this tragedy” or “this tragic event.” Whatever, he did include tragedy in his impromptu talk. So, I took the time to check it out and found commentators lied. I doubt you would have done the same. When I read books and articles, I go back and forth, using post-its, to the footnotes and reference list and often search out specific referenced papers, both to check if accurately rendered and for additional information. Besides owning well over 3,500 books, I have on my hard-drive over 10,000 articles in various folders, and in filing cabinets, several thousand from the days before the internet when I actually photocopied articles. The world is complicated and it takes more time and more effort to even try to understand things than when I first came into this world. Your claiming you did your own research, given you bias and deficiencies, says nothing meaningful. Try actually putting in the effort to learn the basics.

    While I would NEVER claim absolute certainty, I have done and continue to do my homework. Just one example of your absolute stupidity is your claim that no studies have shown vaccines to reduce the incidence of disease, then ignoring what I wrote about studies that have. You obviously never admit when you are wrong; something I detest. If proven wrong, I prefer to think of myself as open-minded enough to change my mind, that is, if present with compelling evidence. The famous economist John Maynard Keynes was once confronted by a reporter after having changed some position he had previously had. Flip-flopping was’t a phrase at the time. Keynes responded by saying something like: “When I receive new facts I evaluate and use them, what do you do with new facts?

    Like

  20. Steve
    June 8, 2016 at 1:32 am

    I like all of your straw man arguments. Let’s see if I can at least point out a few…

    Lawerence:

    “Also, Steve ignores the fact that his statement about the EMA & HPV was incorrect as well.”

    I didn’t mention to EMA. That was someone else. I can’t believe that your “research” is somehow superior to my own when you can’t even follow contributors on a comment thread….

    “Welcome to another episode of “Anti-vaxers move the Goalposts.””

    It wouldn’t matter if I moved the goalposts or not in your world (and I haven’t). You can’t seem to find the goalposts in the first place.

    Gray:

    “That’s the number of people on the Internet right here, right now. You’re one in over three billion people. Why should I listen to you?”

    You shouldn’t listen to me. You should stop using your selection bias and looking at epidemiological studies for “proof” instead of, by your own admission, “inferences” which have no value except to allow you to proclaim the “inference” as “proof”. Read the studies that actually research the ingredients. Even without resort to synergistic issues, individually the ingredients are toxic. Have you ever actually gone to PubMed and searched Borax or aluminum or mercury as individual topics of “in the lab” research, or do you simply rely on glorified statisticians to form opinions?

    “Aluminum is one of the most common elements in the Earth’s crust. If it was half as deadly as you say it is, we’d all be dead now.”

    This is such a common straw man that it almost doesn’t warrant pointing out except for the fact that you’ve used it. Stable elemental aluminum is harmless. You have conveniently omitted the difference between injecting it and it simply being present. What is the one heavy metal found in spades in Alzheimer’s sufferers? Aluminum deposits in the brain. Yes, the pro-vax will say that “the dose is the poison” and “it just passes through” but non-corporate science says otherwise.

    Joel:

    “I guess you don’t believe that smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease, etc.? I guess you won’t believe it until we forcibly take a few hundred newborn twins from their families, keep them at a lab with constantly controlled environment, exact same food, etc. and randomly expose half the infants to tobacco smoke on a daily basis. Of course, keeping them for 30 years or more. I guess you don’t believe that DES taken by a pregnant woman caused cervical cancers in young women 20 years afterwards? It is, at least today, almost impossible to develop a causal connection in individual cases, too many variables involved, how do you rule them out? Yes, if someone is shot, easy to determine cause of death; but, for instance, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, many babies die from it, most not after vaccines or any other specific event. Yet, you would like to believe it caused by vaccines.”

    Your not in the same league as the other two. But I do think that it is worth pointing out the irony of your use of smoking and whether or not I “believe” it causes cancer. The cancer industry used to pay doctors to promote smoking. Remember the “My doctor smokes Camels” ads? And the tobacco industry used the exact methods or “science” to “prove” that smoking didn’t cause cancer when it obviously did. Most people who study the methodology of today’s vaccine “research” liken it to tobacco “research”. The irony is that you have completely rejected this type of research for tobacco but can’t see that it being repeated with vaccine “research”.

    And please don’t chastise me. It make you look patronizing. We can speak as equals or don’t bother replying. I have treated you with dignity and respect while disagreeing with you.

    Like

  21. Lawrence
    June 8, 2016 at 9:39 am

    You just happened to comment right after two other “Steve’s.” Right.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Lawrence
    June 8, 2016 at 9:57 am

    http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_myths_about_alzheimers.asp

    And another one of your statements debunked as well…..

    Like

  23. Lawrence
    June 8, 2016 at 10:54 am

    The “Doctor’s” ads for smoking used actors, not real doctors – another falsehood.

    You really need to stop digging Steve.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
    June 8, 2016 at 11:52 am

    @ Steve

    You love bait and switch, don’t you. You claimed one cannot draw causal inferences from epidemiology studies, I gave tobacco as one example and you switched to the tobacco industry employed doctors to market tobacco products and claiming findings based on scientific research. Just one more area you haven’t done your homework in. First, yes a few doctors did do commercials for tobacco products, so what, out of over a half million doctors, a handful took money and the AMA allowed tobacco advertising in its journals, then came the 1964 Surgeon Generals Report. Second, on discovery, it was found that tobacco industry researchers, doing the same type of research, had found the same results on tobacco’s role in lung cancer; but withheld the results. They did something rather clever and unethical, they placed one of their lawyers as principle investigator for each research project and claimed “privilege;” and finally they had a handful of scientists that claimed tobacco not guilty. By the way, the same scientists then worked for industry in denying hydrofluorocarbons were depleting the ozone layer and some, getting long in the tooth, went on to support global warming denial. Yes, the industry lied and yes, a handful of doctors sold out to make commercials, gee, surprise, and yes, a handful of scientists sold out as well; but the vast majority of researchers around the world did research that linked tobacco with lung cancer, other cancers, and heart disease. The bottom line is that epidemiology together with lab findings confirmed that tobacco is nasty. And dragging up a few who opposed this, is irrelevant and dishonest argument. As far as I remember having read a lot on this subject, none of the doctors in the commercials nor none of the scientists were epidemiologists. I refuted your claim on epidemiology being able to draw causal inferences and you bait and switched to a few doctors advertising tobacco products and a few scientist, who, by the way, based their claims on laboratory studies and, yep, just as you claimed, also claimed epidemiology couldn’t do valid research leading to causal arguments. This is plain and simple dishonest argument on your part.

    You write: “The irony is that you have completely rejected this type of research for tobacco but can’t see that it being repeated with vaccine “research”.

    I don’t reject the research from the tobacco industry scientists, I look at all the research, both lab and epidemiological. And then I draw my conclusions. A few scientists doing lab studies on animals and some in vitro cell studies vs thousands of lab studies and dozens of well-done epidemiological studies and, though weaker by itself, the increase in lung cancer with the increase in smoking in women. You are the one who focuses on the few “scientists” whose findings differ as long as their findings confirm your beliefs.

    You write:

    “Stable elemental aluminum is harmless. You have conveniently omitted the difference between injecting it and it simply being present. What is the one heavy metal found in spades in Alzheimer’s sufferers? Aluminum deposits in the brain. Yes, the pro-vax will say that “the dose is the poison” and “it just passes through” but non-corporate science says otherwise.”

    What does “it simply being present” mean, that it doesn’t enter our bodies? What an inane statement! And aluminum deposits haven’t been found “in spade” in Alzheimer sufferers (let’s exaggerate), it has been found present; but it is still just a hypothesis and you ignore that infants get far more aluminum from breast feeding, formula, food, water, and air entering into their bodies. In fact, one could make the case that the aforementioned modes of entering the body are far more efficient at getting aluminum into the body and circulating than injections in a muscle. Even if in its elementary form, once in the body, it will be transformed through various metabolic processes. I actually am planning to write an article on aluminum and have collect over 200 documents, including going to university library and photocopying chapters in up-to-date toxicology books; but there are just too many topics to write on and it isn’t a priority for me. Even if aluminum is found as one of several factors in a multi-factorial process to contribute to Alzheimers in no way does this link with vaccines. Alzheimer increases began several decades ago and that generation received far fewer vaccines and even fewer at the time used aluminum. In fact, aluminum has been used as an adjuvant in vaccines for probably 70 – 80 years. And your absurd statement “non-corporate science” is just that. Research on aluminum has been and is being conducted around the world by various nations departments of public health, universities, non-profits, etc. Do you really subscribe to such a paranoid conspiracy theory to believe that all these nations and all their various institutions are part of some vast conspiracy to further the interests of vaccines? Keep in mind that the vast majority of these researchers also vaccinate their own children. Basically, I guess if someone says aluminum is harmful, then, without actually understanding the science or doing your homework, they are the good guys, and anyone who says aluminum is safe is automatically part of corporate science. So, you are the criteria that defines good science and bad science. Sounds like delusions of grandeur to me, especially since you believe you can do this just because you are you, not needing to actually delve into the subject matter.

    One other thing regarding the increase in Alzheimers. It is quite possible that cases of dementia that today would be diagnosed as Alzheimers were not years ago because the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s barely was known. Asberger’s is an example of a new diagnostic category appearing as growing at epidemic speed. There are people in their 70s who have been diagnosed with Aspbergers, even though they had the same idiosyncratic behaviors since childhood, so they weren’t diagnosed then and neither were many others. Aspergers didn’t become a diagnostic category until the 1990s. Alzheimers is not any area I read a lot about; but I know that aluminum is just one of the possibilities.

    In one of your comments, you write:

    “Epidemiology is the method used to find the causes of health outcomes and diseases in populations. In epidemiology, the patient is the community and individuals are viewed collectively. By definition, epidemiology is the study (scientific, systematic, and data-driven) of the distribution (frequency, pattern) and determinants (causes, risk factors) of health-related states and events (not just diseases) in specified populations (neighborhood, school, city, state, country, global). It is also the application of this study to the control of health problems (Source: Principles of Epidemiology, 3rd Edition).”

    I found the above quote on a CDC webpage that refers to the book you refer to (http://www.cdc.gov/excite/epidemiology.html )

    So, assuming you actually went to the book, available for free online, I found the following:

    CDC (updated 2011 Nov) – Principles of Epidemiology in Public Health Practice (Third Edition) Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/ophss/csels/dsepd/SS1978/SS1978.pdf

    “Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events in specified populations, and the application of this study to the control of health problems . . . epidemiology also draws on methods from other scientific fields, including biostatistics and informatics, with biologic, economic, social, and behavioral sciences. (page 1-2)

    epidemiology is a method of causal reasoning based on developing and testing hypotheses grounded in such scientific fields as biology, behavioral sciences, physics, and ergonomics to explain health-related behaviors, states, and events. However, epidemiology is not just a research activity but an integral component of public health, providing the foundation for directing practical and appropriate public health action based on this science and causal reasoning.2 (page 1-2)

    epidemiology and laboratory science converge to provide the evidence needed to establish causation (page 1-13)”

    So, the very book you quote from, claiming epidemiology can’t draw causal inferences, discusses causal inferences in epidemiology. Do you cite a book without reading it? Or do you not understand what you read? Or??? And, as I pointed out in previous comments, you don’t do your homework. The book is a very low level introductory text. Do you really think that, for instance, a one semester lower division text in Physics would really cover in depth complicated issues?

    Though they don’t give near the information contained in the texts I suggested, there are a few articles available online that discuss causal inference in epidemiology, one of the best is :

    Kenneth Rothman and Sander Greenland (2005). Causation and Causal Inference in Epidemiology. American Journal of Public Health; Supplement 1, Vol 95, No. S1. Available at: http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/pdf/10.2105/AJPH.2004.059204

    You write:

    “And please don’t chastise me. It make you look patronizing. We can speak as equals or don’t bother replying. I have treated you with dignity and respect while disagreeing with you.”

    Why shouldn’t I chastise you when you ignore what I write, refuse to admit you haven’t done your homework, and practice dishonest bait and switch arguments and when you cherry pick a few articles that confirm your beliefs and exaggerate what they say. As for “speak as equals,” who knows, you may have more neurons than I and a better memory; but I back up what I write from years of study and experience and when I write on a subject I don’t just cherry pick what conforms to what I choose to believe. No, we are not equals when it comes to understanding and apply epidemiology, biostatistics, immunology, microbiology, and historical and current knowledge of infectious diseases. And with all that, I still send any paper I write to up to a dozen people, asking them to be brutal if necessary and critique it.

    When I was young I tried out for various sports and didn’t make the grade. There were fellow students who had better reflexes than I, etc.; but I have done various exercises continuously over my life, swimming, lots of walking, including always using stairs, jogging, bicycling, light weight-lifting, etc. I am an old man with minor problems such as arthritis; but am in better shape cardiovascularly and strength than probably 90% or more my age. I would be willing to bet that most of the star athletes from my school days, gifted with better genes than I, are, if even alive, in poor shape. So, not born with great genes for sports, I have used what I have as best I could. So, you might have more brain power than I do; but if you haven’t learned the basics, put in the time, you are not my equal. Having more brain power, like in sports, is just a start. The best genes in the world won’t automatically allow one to run a marathon, still have to train.

    There is a great book, short, easy read, that deals with people thinking they understand science because they can use the jargon, though usually not correctly. Add it to your list:

    Christopher P. Toumey (1996). Conjuring Science: Scientific Symbols and Cultural Meanings in American Life. Rutgers University Press.

    Like

  25. Steve
    June 8, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    It is quite obvious that you have now resorted to personally attacking me. In addition, you have conveniently changed the goalposts on epidemiological studies from “proving” no link to “providing inferences” and then treating the inferences as fact. This is incredibly disingenuous. You call my comment on aluminum presence versus injection “inane” yet it was YOU who implied that because aluminum is abundant that it cannot be dangerous. I do enjoy spirited debate, but not with condescending people who attack as opposed to interact. I do not like straw man arguments, which you employ, nor hypocritical accusations.

    The big problem with discussions such as this on a comment thread is that no resolution is possible, particularly with someone who refuses to acknowledge opposing views. I see your view and your evidence and reject it because the evidence is all statistically based. My view began as being in agreement with you. It was unfettered research which changed my mind. It is rich to tell someone who has changed their mind that they suffer from selection bias. It is, in fact, ludicrous. But again, my goal is not to convince you. You will not be convinced. Whether through strong indoctrination or financial motive, you are rock solid in your belief, dogmatic one might say. My goal is to let readers know that there is an alternative view and an awful lot of evidence that runs contrary to your view and to encourage them to not blindly follow a clearly conflicted source. By the way virtually all doctors today are like “tobacco” doctors. They have been trained and hazed by a system completely dominated by the pharmaceutical industry. Even the “independent” research facilities are funded by pharm companies and/or the CDC which is a partner of the industry, not a watchdog. Google Julie Gerberding for a start on that one.

    Like

  26. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
    June 8, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    Correction:

    I wrote: “By the way, the same scientists then worked for industry in denying hydrofluorocarbons were depleting the ozone layer and some, getting long in the tooth, went on to support global warming denial.”

    I meant “chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)”

    Like

  27. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
    June 8, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    @ Steve

    You wrote:

    “Just as an additional note Joel, the pro-vax lobby has never actually produced a study which proves that vaccines have prevented anything.”

    Absolutely WRONG; yet, you refuse to admit it.

    You wrote:

    “It is quite obvious that you have now resorted to personally attacking me. In addition, you have conveniently changed the goalposts on epidemiological studies from “proving” no link to “providing inferences” and then treating the inferences as fact. This is incredibly disingenuous. You call my comment on aluminum presence versus injection “inane” yet it was YOU who implied that because aluminum is abundant that it cannot be dangerous. I do enjoy spirited debate, but not with condescending people who attack as opposed to interact. I do not like straw man arguments, which you employ, nor hypocritical accusations.”

    Here’s a personal attack: One can’t prove causation in science. Proof is something logicians do. What one does is through various means develop hypotheses, then test the hypotheses, the tests ruling out other possible causative factors, then developing a causal inference that decisions are based on; but always aware that further research can change things.

    You don’t understand the very basics of causal reasoning in science, that is “causal inference.” I didn’t change the goal posts, I explained in the only way that someone who understands science can. You want your layman’s understanding of causation to apply and it doesn’t, which is exactly why you literally don’t know what you are talking about. I suggested several books on causal thinking and even an article available online. I also suggested a book that perfectly applies to you, how people use scientific terminology; but don’t understand its real meaning.

    It is your absolute ignorance that leads you to think that what I write is “disingenuous.” Because you don’t understand science, then I must be “disingenuous.” You are incredible!

    And I never said that because aluminum is abundant that it cannot be dangerous. I simply pointed out that the minute amounts in vaccines represent very little compared to what a fetus and later infant is exposed to. However, our bodies are marvelous organism, capable of dealing with all kinds of things. They can excrete, transform, sequester many substances in quantities under some dose in some time frame. Yes, if, by some chance, anyone were to get doses of aluminum above some amount within some time frame, they would overwhelm us; but the daily amounts with a slight increase from vaccines don’t. Once again you see either or, black and white.

    I take a baby aspirin once or twice a week. On occasion, I take a couple of aspirin if I have a headache; but if I swallowed an entire bottle of aspirin, I would die a painful death. Is this beyond your ability to understand? As a blood donor, I take an extra iron tablet every day. Iron is a natural substance needed by our bodies; but if I swallowed the entire bottle, I would have serious health problems. Do you understand?

    You wrote:

    “The big problem with discussions such as this on a comment thread is that no resolution is possible, particularly with someone who refuses to acknowledge opposing views. I see your view and your evidence and reject it because the evidence is all statistically based.”

    I acknowledged your views, then explained why they were wrong and one of the things that is really wrong is your rejection of evidence that is statistically based. Just one more example of your incredible ignorance of how science proceeds. As I explained in an earlier comment, one can’t do experiments on individual humans that would allow complete control of all variables that could affect some outcome. And even if one could, many individuals would be needed because of genetic differences even if one held all other factors constant. Thus, one looks at large groups, controls alternative variables both through methodological controls and through various statistics. If you reject this, then you will have to reject 90 – 95% of all modern science and technology.

    You don’t get it and rather than deciding to spend the next couple of years of your free time learning the basics, you prefer to make a fool of yourself.

    A different example: John Adams, a Puritan, attended a Catholic Mass. When asked what he thought, he answered: “It was awful.” I’m sure you think he was criticizing it; but he wasn’t. Language changes. “Awful” two hundred years ago meant full of awe, awe inspiring. Of course, you wouldn’t be expected to know that; but if someone explains it to you, do you reject it because it doesn’t fit how you use language? I like reading on different subjects and attending seminars, so I’ve read several books on linguistics, etc. and came across this. Actually, many years ago I had a grad course in linguistics and continue from time to time reading on the subject. Just one more example to not rely on ones own subjective world.

    You are worse that a textbook case of the Dunning-Kruger Effect:

    “The Dunning-Kruger effect, named after David Dunning and Justin Kruger of Cornell University, occurs where people fail to adequately assess their level of competence — or specifically, their incompetence — at a task and thus consider themselves much more competent than everyone else. This lack of awareness is attributed to their lower level of competence robbing them of the ability to critically analyse their performance, leading to a significant overestimate of themselves.

    In simple words it’s “people who are too stupid to know how stupid they are”.

    (RationalWiki, Available at: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Dunning-Kruger_effect)

    The article gives references, all of which I have and have read. Basically, they asked people their opinion on something or to do some task and how certain they were, how confident they were. The less they understood, the more certain they were. They then taught them some basic principles and gave them some other questions/tasks and asked them how certain/confident they were. They found the more they learned about the basics, the less confident they were. However, the subjects in the Dunning-Kruger experiments were open to learning some of the basics, so it really doesn’t apply to you. Whereas, in the beginning, they were too stupid to know they were stupid, your refusal to even consider you might lack the basics for making an informed judgment puts you into another category altogether. I won’t say; but it would be an extremely nasty personal attack.

    You are NOT my equal when it comes to vaccines. I used to go to seminars on a wide range of subjects. When I attended a seminar held by a Professor of Physics, I sometimes asked questions, especially if I had read something in, say, Scientific American; but I didn’t claim I was right and the Professor was wrong. I asked the question and listened to the answer. I used to have a friend who had a Masters in Architecture and specialized in designing earthquake resistant buildings, even went with group to Guatemala after big earthquake there. I was not his equal in the architecture of designing earthquake resistant buildings; but asked questions. A fascinating subject. You obviously don’t understand causal reasoning in science, you don’t understand epidemiology, microbiology, immunology, etc.; but you consider yourself equal to people who do. By the way, no, the average primary care physicians isn’t an expert in immunology; but certainly understand far more than you do. If your doctor doesn’t, I suggest you change doctors.

    Your calling me “disingenuous” would be like you saying John Adams criticized a Catholic Mass he attended. Too stupid to know you are stupid; but, not even willing to learn, something the participants in the Dunning-Kruger experiments were.

    You wrote:

    “Even the “independent” research facilities are funded by pharm companies and/or the CDC which is a partner of the industry, not a watchdog. Google Julie Gerberding for a start on that one.”

    No, the CDC is not a partner of industry despite what you choose to believe. And do you really believe Canadian researchers, Swedish, Danish, Australian and on and on are all part of some vast conspiracy? Maybe you should get back on your meds. Wow, the entire world except for the few you choose to believe are all dishonest, all part of a vast global conspiracy. As for Gerberding, I am aware of what she said. She had a excellent background for the job and did a number of good things at the CDC. Just as I made a typo, people being interviewed don’t always say what they intend to, just as Obama used the clumsy phrase, “Not optimum for us.” Have you never misspoken. And even if she meant every work, she is just one person. Typical how an antivaccinationist, which is what you are, basis their beliefs on a few instances. If every former and the current CDC director disagree with her, you know she is right because of your immense knowledge of all the basics and because you know what is true and what is not just because its you. Gerberding also went over to head Merck’s vaccine division. Of course, in your mind that proves she is a sell-out to industry; but, of course, it could also be because she truly believes in vaccines and Merck is the pharmaceutical company with the best research facilities and track record in developing vaccines. Yes, I know the whistleblower which as I explained, so far is an unproven accusation and even if true only means the vaccine was a bit less effective than required; but still far better than nothing.

    Like

  28. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
    June 8, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    @ Steve

    I just found Julie Gerberding’s interview with Sanjay Gupta. She did NOT say Hannah Poling had autism, she had “autism-like symptoms” and vaccines did not cause her symptoms but precipitated them, precipitated means bringing something about that would have eventually occurred anyway. If Poling had not been vaccinated her mitochondrial disorder would have resulted in any assault to her health, flu, bad cold, food poisoning from picnic, infected cut, and she would have ended up with problems. Does “autism-like symptoms” mean autism. NO!
    I can have flu-like symptoms; but do I have the flu? Maybe, maybe not. I could have a bacterial infection, a parasite in my body, protozoa, been exposed to chemicals or toxins, or even radiation. All have several symptoms in common; but further investigation could find what makes them different. Hannah Poling was brought to specialists by her father who did not diagnose her with autism. A diagnosis of any autism spectrum disorder involves tests that look at several dimensions. If one doesn’t fit all the dimensions then it is NOT autism spectrum disorder, could be an entirely different problem, just as radiation poisoning and influenza both cause several symptoms in common. Her father, as far as I can find, has refused to release her medical records and forbidden her doctors from speaking.

    In the interview Gerberding specifically said she had not reviewed Hannah Poling’s medical record, so, whatever she said was not based on careful investigation. But, I’m sure this doesn’t matter to you, you can twist her interview to fit your rigid, non-scientific, ideology.

    Like

  29. Chemmomo
    June 8, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    Steve “It was unfettered research which changed my mind”

    Exactly what research? Would you be willing to post some links and some in-your-own-words summaries which describe what did indeed bring you to hold your current beliefs?

    I am simply and genuinely curious.

    Like

  30. Patrick
    June 9, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    Joel, you are incorrect. “autism-like” is exactly how one gets diagnosed with autism.
    “precipitated means bringing something about that would have eventually occurred anyway.”
    Neither you nor Julie can state that “it would have happened anyway even without vaccinations. Also, why does that matter anyway? The fact is the vaccines brought out the issues so why turn a blind eye to it? Vaccines could be bringing out these issues in other children too, So why wouldn’t you want to find out more about it and not have these children vaccinated?

    Like

  31. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
    June 9, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    @ Patrick

    No, autism-like doesn’t mean autism. If they meant autism they would have written so. Believe what you want; but you are dead wrong. Autism Spectrum Disorders are based on specific criteria, not meeting these criteria, means not Autism Spectrum Disorders.

    When the CDC evaluates an adverse event possibly linked to a vaccine, it has four categories to choose from:

    1. Vaccine caused
    2. Poor handling of vaccine. For instance, wasn’t properly refrigerated or needles left out and contaminated. Or, manufacturing process flawed. This doesn’t mean a problem with the vaccine when correctly manufactured or handled. Otherwise, we would have nothing, since food becomes contaminated if restaurants don’t keep at proper temperature, people get food poisoning; but we don’t eliminate the food or one could get a needed antibiotic; but it wasn’t refrigerated properly or
    3. Vaccine precipitated a condition that would have inevitably occurred. Actually I can say Hannah Poling would have developed severe problems with 99% certainty because the reason she was getting catch-up vaccines was because she had already had numerous recurring health problems, she had a severe mitochondrial disorder, and, as I wrote, if a few killed and weakened vaccines overwhelmed her mitochondria’s ability to supply the needed energy, then flu, a bad cold, or, without the vaccine, any of the childhood diseases prevented by vaccines would have certainly done it. If you had any idea of just how much stress flu or measles has on our body and our mitochondria, you would understand. Why does her father refuse to release her medical records or allow her doctors to be interviewed?
    4. Vaccine didn’t cause

    Currently, there is no reliable, valid, inexpensive diagnostic test for mitochondrial disorders. And, as far as I have found, insurance companies don’t pay for them unless already suspected because of several health problems. So, we have several choices:

    1. Pay for the tests ourselves and some may
    2. Decide to err on the side of caution and delay vaccinating ones child; but this will only work if only a few decide to do this, maintaining herd immunity. If many opt not to vaccinate their children, then the risk of the natural infections increases exponentially (keep in mind that prior to vaccinations almost all kids got almost all of the vaccine-preventable childhood diseases and certainly got at least one of them). In this case, the age when the child is exposed to the various diseases decreases and those with mitochondrial disorders will face more and more severe stressors.

    However, Hannah Poling, because of catching up, did receive more vaccines than probably she should have, given that she had been ill quite often and that should have been a red flag for her doctor, so, in hindsight, he/she probably should have given a couple vaccines one day, waited two weeks or so, then given the rest. At best, this says her doctor was at fault; but says nothing about vaccines any more than someone who is dehydrated being rehydrated; but giving them more fluid than called for which would cause edema.

    Though you are wrong about Hannah Poling having an autism spectrum disorders, for sake of argument, assume she did. Nothing changes since any severe stress on her body would have overwhelmed her mitochondria’s ability to deal with it.

    I guess, if one knew she had a mitochondrial disorder, she could have been treated like David, the Bubble Boy, who spent the 15 years of his life in a specially designed plastic bubble; but I doubt most people would opt for that.

    You obviously, as Steve, really don’t know what you are talking about, don’t understand how diagnoses are made, nor what they represent and certainly don’t understand what a mitochondrial order entails.

    Like

  32. Patrick
    June 9, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Please enlighten me, how does one get diagnosed with autism?

    “since any severe stress on her body would have overwhelmed her mitochondria’s ability to deal with it.” In this case it was vaccines!

    Like

  33. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
    June 9, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    @ Patrick

    I guess you either can’t read, understand what you read, or ignore anything that conflicts with your rigid beliefs. I made it quite clear that the stress level from even several vaccines would be far less than from flu, a bad cold, food poisoning at a picnic, or, if not vaccinated, any of the vaccine-preventable childhood diseases. But, yes, based on the criteria of “Precipitated”, the Vaccine Court ruled the vaccines did bring about the inevitable. Since it may have been the next day or six months hence before one of the more potent stressors occurred, this was a reasonable ruling. But given the inevitability, whether you like or not, of any of many stressors, had she not been vaccinated, it was inevitable. In fact, as I mentioned earlier, the reason for giving catch-up vaccines, more than would have otherwise been given, was because of her continuous ill health. And I explained the choices one has if suspecting a mitochondrial disorder, none good; but the worst would be, without paying for a reliable and valid diagnosis, delaying vaccines. As I explained, in Hannah Poling’s case, given her health history, it probably would have been wise to give some vaccines, wait a couple of weeks, then give additional one or, given her health problems, get her tested for mitochondrial problems. Blaming vaccines is just wrong and will eventually lead to public health nightmares if it continues. We are only a plane flight away from many diseases still prevalent in the world, some that are vaccine preventable; but if more and more parents opt to delay vaccinations without an accurate diagnosis of a mitochondrial disorder, then the risks increase for all kids exponentially, And even if most parents still vaccinate, unvaccinated kids do travel abroad and have brought back infections and it only takes one to expose an unvaccinated child with mitochondrial disorder and, again, if the vaccines stressed their system, the natural diseases would be far worse.

    I imagine you have never up close and personal seen someone in an iron lung or someone made quadriplegic by polio, well I have and I am so grateful for the vaccine.

    Like

  34. David M
    June 12, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    Your youtube video link is dead.

    Like

  35. June 13, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    Innovative techniques now drive vaccine research, with recombinant DNA technology and new delivery techniques leading scientists in new directions. More than the science behind vaccines, these timelines cover cultural aspects of vaccination as well.

    Like

  36. dingo199
    June 18, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    @Joel
    Thanks for your patient and detailed responses to these antivaxers.
    It is greatly appreciated.

    Like

  37. June 26, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    I was so happy to find your mention about the Vaccines Comics! Grazie mille! Now we are developing a cartoon based on the same book, here is a demo in progress 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bdb3QdZGnY

    Liked by 1 person

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