Multiple Vaccine Oversight Committees Ensure Our Public Safety
Jan 11, 2017

This guest post has been written by Dr. Dorit Reiss, Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of Law.  Dr. Reiss is a regular contributor to various blogs and law journals, where she utilizing her legal expertise to examine the social policies of immunization.

Regulating Vaccine Safety, by Dr. Dorit Reiss

According to yesterday’s news reports, long-time vaccine critic Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. met with President-elect Donald Trump. 

screen-shot-2017-02-15-at-8-56-35-pmFollowing their meeting Kennedy reported that an offer was made to lead a new commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity. As one would imagine, this has caused concern for immunization advocates and elation among anti-vaccine activists. It is, at this point, unclear whether Kennedy’s statements are true, as a Trump spokesperson issued an email statement that Forbes reported as follows:

“The President-elect enjoyed his discussion with Robert Kennedy Jr. on a range of issues and appreciates his thoughts and ideas. The President-elect is exploring the possibility of forming a commission on Autism, which affects so many families; however no decisions have been made at this time. The President-elect looks forward to continuing the discussion about all aspects of Autism with many groups and individuals.”

While Trump’s intentions in meeting with Kennedy may still be unclear, this is a good opportunity for us to review the specific ways in which vaccine safety is regulated here in the U.S., and the oversight committees that monitor vaccines pre and post licensure.

To begin, it is safe to say that vaccine safety is heavily regulated in the United States, with multiple systems overseeing the vaccine enterprise.

It would be hard to hide a problem if one existed. Further scrutiny reveals that vaccines are very safe and that when problems occur, they are quickly discovered and addressed.  It is important to also note that many of the same vaccines used in the U.S. are also studied and used in other countries. Even if the U.S. apparatus was completely flawed, it would be hard to hide any dangers in this age of global communications, intra-government collaboration and oversight.

Vaccine Regulation in the United States

The U.S. is a regulatory state and vaccines are no exception. The vaccine licensing process goes through multiple stages of vaccine testing and approval, as depicted in the CDC infographic pictured at right.journey-of-child-vaccine_sm.png

However, before a vaccine can even begin the clinical trial phase in humans, a request must be submitted to the FDA in the form of an Investigational New Drug application, which requires toxicology and animal data. (For more details on this regulation, you can refer to the resource here.)

This is followed by clinical testing, which is also heavily regulated as can be seen in a review of these references here and here.

While the FDA is underfunded and understaffed, and may not have the ability to constantly monitor all trials, companies know that FDA monitoring is to be expected and they must assume their trials will be reviewed.

Furthermore, once the clinical trials are complete, there is an additional layer of review. The sponsor and FDA present the results of the clinical trials to the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC). Most members of this committee are not part of the FDA; instead the committee is comprised of consumer representatives, as well as experts in relevant fields, many of whom work in universities or hospitals.  The current roster for the Committee can be found here.  The committee is further governed by the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), which requires pre-announced public meetings.

After the licensing process is complete, there are several monitoring systems in place. 

This includes the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), which allows independent parties to report an event or injury that happened after vaccination that is believed to be caused by the vaccine. Since anyone can report anything, whether it was actually caused by vaccines or not, including things based on internet rumors,VAERS isn’t necessarily a good gauge of the frequency of vaccine harms.  However, where it is helpful is in identifying possible problems and patterns of possible injury.

Another system is the Vaccine Safety Datalink, a collaboration of the CDC and large health care organizations, that conducts additional studies.

Still other mechanisms exist, as detailed by Every Child by Two here. They include The Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, which receives results of tests and samples of specific vaccine lots before a lot is approved for release. Also included is The Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment Network, which is described by Every Child by Two as follows:

“a national network of six medical research centers with expertise in immunization safety conducting clinical research on immunization associated health risks. CISA was established in 2001 as a collaborative project between the Immunization Safety Office, six medical research centers, and America’s Health Insurance Plans.”

Experts in vaccinology and vaccine safety from the six academic medical centers convene a monthly call, during which a complex vaccine safety issue is addressed in a structured format. An investigator presents a case, which includes the history of present illness (the adverse event reported following vaccination), and detailed physical and diagnostic (laboratory and other) findings. A summary of a literature review on this subject and the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) data are also presented. The experts discuss the findings and formulate a general assessment and plan. When appropriate, these conclusions are shared with the concerned provider.”

Once a vaccine is licensed and approved by the FDA, another advisory committee conducts a thorough view of the evidence to assure safety, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the vaccine before it is ever recommended to the public. This committee is known as the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which is made up of panel of experts and includes a consumer representative.  ACIP meetings are also subject to the rules of FACA, which means meetings are announced ahead of time and open to the public.  A quick look at the ACIP’s recommendations shows how thorough they are in their deliberations.

In addition, there is still another federal advisory committee – the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) – which makes vaccine related recommendations, often related to research priorities and safety to the Assistant Secretary of Health, who also serves as the director of the National Vaccine Program Office.  NVAC  members are not government employees, but rather represent a diverse cross-section of medical, public health and consumer representatives.  The NVAC regularly seeks input from individuals and organizations who traditionally oppose universal vaccination.

In other words, there are numerous committees already involved in overseeing and ensuring vaccine safety, and the overlap ensures that it would be impossible to hide a valid concern.


In addition to the U.S. government mechanisms created to monitor vaccine safety, studies are constantly being conducted in universities and in private settings both in the United States and abroad. It is hard to believe that if a problem were left undiscovered by one of the many U.S. oversight committees detailed above, research would not reveal the problem in some other way.

The Results

There is an abundance of evidence that shows that vaccines are very, very safe.

A recent review that started with over 20,000 articles concluded that:

“Evidence was found for an association of several serious AEs [adverse events] with vaccines; however, these events were extremely rare: absolute risk is low.”

Vaccine critics like to make their case that vaccines are not safe by pointing out the compensation that has been awarded to people who claim a vaccine caused them harm.  But even if we use this measure favored by vaccine critics, the rate of compensation by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, the no-fault program set up to compensate those harmed by vaccines, remains at less than one compensation per million doses.  It should be noted that most of this compensation is made through settlements, and settlements don’t show causation.  In fact, the government routinely denies causation in these settlements.

From every direction you look, vaccines harms are very rare.

When a vaccine safety problem arises, it is transparently discussed and treated seriously. For example, when an early rotavirus vaccine was associated with a rare but serious intestinal complication in the late 1990s, at a rate of 1 per 10,000, the vaccine was quickly removed from the market.  The issue was discovered via the systems we now have in place and was clearly revealed on the CDC’s website.

There have even been concerns that vaccines could somehow cause autism, SIDS and other disorders.  While these ideas continue to be perpetuated by vaccine critics, there has been an abundance of research surrounding these concerns and no evidence showing any relation to vaccines.

Effectiveness problems are similarly addressed publicly.  For example, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recently reviewed data regarding the low effectiveness of the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), more commonly known as the Flumist vaccine.  After reviewing efficacy data from past seasons, the Committee chose to retract their recommendation of the vaccine until further studies could ensure an appropriate level of effectiveness.  The issue was not one of safety, but it serves as an example of how vaccines are closely monitored and problems openly and transparently addressed.


Vaccine safety is heavily and closely monitored here in the U.S. and abroad. Neither the structure of our current safety monitoring systems, nor the results, suggest that there is need for concern regarding the oversight mechanisms in place.


Vaccine safety is important to everyone and should remain a high priority. But there is no reason to spend additional financial and personnel resources to create complex new structures when the existing oversight committees consist of fully qualified individuals and independent experts who are successfully fulfilling their duties to ensure that the vaccines given to infants, children, adolescents and adults in the U.S. remain both safe and effective.

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126 responses to “Multiple Vaccine Oversight Committees Ensure Our Public Safety”

  1. […] of Prevention posted an interesting article in follow-up to the discussions regarding Trump/Kennedy meeting on vaccine safety.   Dr. Dorit […]

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  8. flushotscam says:

    Parental testimony on adverse reactions of vaccines is mostly ignored. You’ve cast these people as crazy and they are finally going to be heard. You cannot ignore thousands of parents who have seen first hand the effects of certain vaccines. You cannot cover up what is in plain sight.

    • Hi I’m an unvaccinated autistic (signs before 2 years, had Dr prescribe tranquilizers then that my mom didn’t like the idea and threw them out, I was seen by another psych at 4 who explained to my parents I was going to have learning disabilities and described some I’m now diagnosed having. My 1st vaccines were at age 6 years. I live in Canada. Here 1st vaccines are at 2 months of age. My youngest was missing milestones before vaccines at 1 as 2 months old. I entered the autistic online world 5 years before Jenny McCarthy went on the news and gave her uninformed personal ableist views about her son and blamed vaccines.
      I had known parents of autistic children for those years and never heard of any vaccine autism theory. My child was 12 months old when I figured out she was autistic and the day her doctor referred her to children’s rehabilitation centre was the day she received her mmr.
      The same parents who’s children were much older about 8 and up suddenly mimicked Jenny McCarthy claiming they remembered when their children received their name and changed their tune to blaming vaccines. Now seriously this was that something they were looking to blame for having children that didn’t meet their warped sense of perfection.
      I had volunteered since grade 2 unto 18 years old with disabled children. I took child care and teaching assistant courses at college. It gave me knowledge of brain development guidelines but nothing medical. With both my kids who are fully vaccinated, I followed the doctors advice and a great handy book which gave me in-depth of milestones and child development during the ages between 0 to 5. Here’s the name
      American Academy Of Pediatrics
      Caring for Your Baby and Young Child, 6th Edition: Birth to Age 5. The reason so many parents associate vaccines and delays at the 15 to 18 months timeline (give and take a few months) is that the 1st year baby’s brains develop the 2nd fastest. 1st being inside the womb. Parents either don’t know milestones not achieved or just expect their child to catch up. It’s normal some babies develop faster, most at the expected times and some are behind and do catch up. For children who are constantly deduced that 1st year is such a rapid development that most do catch up but as they get closer to the 12 month period that development shows. Suddenly the obvious milestones are hit and miss. My nonverbal child had about 8 words at 12 months. She’s got many words as a parent I have learned to interpret but is mainly nonverbal. Some children have many words and suddenly lose those skills. None of this has to do with vaccines. The risks extremely rare. Sometimes things coincide but they do not have anything to do with the other. Yes those rare moments happen just as any allergies. Someone has serious food allergy can’t go blame the company for their allergic reaction.
      Now what’s so bad about being autistic?
      I’ve heard the stories, they will never be able to take care of themselves, some don’t learn to use the bathroom, they can’t speak, etc etc etc
      So? Does this make them less of a human?
      We all have working brains otherwise we’d either be dead or on life support.
      All lives are equal. The only people who are bothered by disabled are those who want more for their children
      Wait! What about what disabled children want? Life’s not about what you want for others it’s about what we want for ourselves. So my child will need assistance making some choices but they are her choices.
      Stephen Hawking has no control of his bodily functions. He needs assistance in every part of his life. Does that make him less of a human? Does that change the great man he is today?
      Every person has their own personality. How they develop has nothing to do with who they are and the loving human being they are. Most people do not so great things. We are all just average. Yet we should be still special to our loved ones. We still should matter, be loved, and accepted as everyone else.
      Doctors know what they’re doing. There’s no link between vaccines and autism. Please stop looking for that child you wish for. Having a child does not guarantee perfection. Life happens, people may be born with genetic conditions, accidents can happen any time. You can be the best parent in the world and still not stop accidents.
      If anyone’s idea of having that perfect child is part of their future parenting life then that’s going to never happen. Having children is a loving nurturing experience no matter what.
      Anyone can say anything whether true or lie.
      I’m sure you believe in DNA that gets criminals in jail, innocent free, determine parental proof, etc. Science gives us the proof of credibility and not. Belief is just that. There’s nothing to prove belief. You obviously have been lied to, everyone has, think what was the proof of those lies, how credible are the sources? Are they just I heard, I saw it with my own eyes, etc? Great story what evidence do you have to back up what someone says? Science does not lie. Only people lie.
      Children still matter and are human beings whether disability or not.
      I hope you take the time to consider this. Who’s most important you or your loved one?

  9. reissd says:

    Parental claims of vaccine harms are not only not ignored, but studies costing millions looked at claims raised that vaccines cause autism, SIDS, food allergies – and found they’re mistaken.

    It’s always sad when a child and family suffers. But blaming vaccines incorrectly helps no one.

  10. Jojo says:

    Mistaken? Yeah, all those parents are simply mistaken. That’s why billions have been paid out for vaccine injuries.

    • reissd says:

      Vaccine compensation has actually been addressed in the post. Very rarely, vaccines can cause serious harms, like serious allergic reactions. Those harms don’t include autism, SIDS or food allergies, but they can happen, if rarely. The low rate of compensation – less than one per million – reinforces the science on that, showing how rare this is.

  11. Chris says:

    Jojo: “That’s why billions have been paid out for vaccine injuries.”

    Here is a little math story for you to work on: This is a link to the NVICP statistics, and the first table is the data from 2006 through 2014. Now look at that table and go to the very bottom where it says “Grand Total.” Take the first number which is the total number of vaccine doses for that time period (2,532,428,541 doses). Then run your finger along that row and find the total number of compensated claims (2310 compensations).

    Now here is the hard part: divide the first number by the second number.

    Please tell us that number is, and then explain what it means.

  12. Jojo says:

    reissd, you have absolutely no proof to your claim that vaccine injuries “can happen, if rarely” The billions paid out for vaccine injuries which represents a percentage of actual injuries is the proof.

    • reissd says:

      Of course there is a proof. It’s addressed in the post, with references. The tens of thousands of studies that looked at the vaccine risks are part. The other part is the low rate of compensation.

  13. Jojo says:

    Billions of dollars, really rare. Good Grief.

  14. Jojo says:

    reissd, I hope you make your peace here on earth before you meet the maker.

  15. Lawrence says:

    Let’s see….more than 2 billion vaccines given since the NVICP was enacted….over that time, about 3.5 billion dollars paid in claims – about 2500 claims, if I recall.

    Do the math….I wish everything in the world was as safe as vaccines.

  16. Lawrence says:

    In contrast, more than 200 Billion dollars are paid, each and every year, to settle claims for car accidents.

    You literally have a 100x chance of getting into a car accident every time you get in a car, than you do to have a serious vaccine reaction across every vaccine you’d ever receive.

  17. Lawrence says:

    And contrast that with the serious side effects of measles, which occur in as many as 1 in 600 to 1000 cases, which can include death.

  18. Lawrence says:

    Billions, over the course of 30 years……again, do the math.

    Your opinion lacks context.

  19. Jojo says:

    lawrence, all of your numbers are meaningless and don’t paint the whole picture. As I mentioned, the billions that have been paid out are a mere percentage of actual injuries, so you do the math. Billions does not equal rare, no matter how you want to slice it.
    I guess you think it is OK to injure children.

  20. Lawrence says:

    Lighting strikes kill a lot people every year….you have a 1 in 800,000 chance of being struck by lightning….would you call that rare?

    Because serious vaccine reactions happen much less frequently than that…..

  21. Lawrence says:

    Your comments are meaningless because they aren’t supported by any facts, at all.

  22. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH says:

    @ Prior to advent of the measles vaccine, on average during the 1950s, 400-500 children died, 50,000 were hospitalized, and up to 2,000 suffered hearing loss, blindness, seizure disorders, or mental retardation, measles just one of the “normal” childhood diseases that most of us made it through with nothing more than a week or so discomfort. So, just measles alone caused as many disabilities in one year as all the 2 billion vaccines MAY have caused in 30 years.

    When a child has a serious disability, the lifetime costs are considerable, so, though the Vaccine Court’s decisions clearly state only a potential association, not causal, the awards are generous. In addition, the Vaccine Court pays the lawyer fees, so the award amount actually goes to the family, not up to 40% to the lawyers. Without the vaccine, just measles alone would have caused, not an association, 2,000 * 30 = 60,000 disabled kids. And since measles is just as contagious today and our population has more than double, the number of children disabled would have actually been considerably higher. If one adds in all the disabilities from all the currently vaccine-preventable diseases, it would be a half million or more. And nobody got any type compensation for disabilities caused by the natural diseases. The March of Dimes tried to cover just polio and they were starting to have difficulties in the 1950s and never covered polio as well as the Vaccine Court’s awards. So, we have 2,500 children, that may or may not have been injured by the vaccine vs over half million children and families left to their own devices.

    And the preceding costs don’t take into account the hospital costs and other medical costs for kids who eventually did not end up with disabilities, the weeks of school missed, and, since nowadays about 2/3 of families, both single and two-parent work, the loss of incomes if they don’t work for a firm over a certain size where law requires paid leave to take care of sick family members.

    Jojo, do the math!

    I’m sure our maker is quite good at math, so I’m not worried about Dr. Reiss, hopefully many years into the future, voyage into the afterlife.

  23. Lawrence says:

    You’ve bought into the false anti-vaccine narrative.

    It is a perfect example of belief without facts, evidence or even a basic knowledge of the sciences involved.

  24. Chris says:

    Jojo: “As I mentioned, the billions that have been paid out are a mere percentage of actual injuries, so you do the math.”

    Funny, you have not answered my little math problem. IWhy is that? I literally asked you to “do the math.” Do you not know how to use the calculator on the device you use to interact with teh internets?

    “actual injuries”

    Do, please, provide the verifiable statistics of those injuries. Where are they kept if the not at the NVICP, which you were using for that “billions of dollars” number? Or just provide the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers that any vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule causes more harm than the disease.

  25. Busted Halo @ BK says:

    “Vaccines are very, very safe” implies that the vaccine industry, or the CDC, has conducted a safety study that scientifically supports that statement. The vaccination schedule exists, millions who vaccinate their children exist, as millions who don’t also exist, a body that can be the control group.

    No study of that magnitude and significance exists.

    Additionally, a product that is rendered so safe and effective would support its stance by providing any damage liability. Which it doesn’t, thanks to the Vaccine Injury Act of 1986.

    So that an industry that if free of fault, free of restrictions, free of best practices safety studies, is riding on scientifically unjustified hearsay. And getting away with it for decades.

    Why is it when someone wants to buy a car, or a vacuum, or a car seat, or a tool, or a coffee maker, they will go online to look for people’s “reviews” of said product…

    But when thousands of parents speak up that their child was injured or killed by vaccines, suddenly, their “review” becomes “anecdotal?”

    A review is a review is a review.

    If a parent says their child’s car seat failed and their child was killed when the seat should have saved them, people think twice about buying that seat.

    If a parent says their child was injured and changed immediately following vaccines, or died of SIDS immediately following vaccines, it’s suddenly a “coincidence.”

    Just because a car seat manufacturer says their seat is safe, doesn’t mean it is.

    Anyone who opposes scientific evidence of vaccine safety and scientific integrity is rendered medically negligent and a flagrant criminal.

    Nobody – of sound mind – buys a car that comes with no safety testing nor mfr’s warranty.

  26. Lawrence says:

    First, vaccines are required to go through the exact same process for approval as every other pharmaceutical…

    Second, you didn’t even bother to read the article above, which refutes everything you just stated.

  27. Busted Halo @ BK says:

    If vaccines were ethically tested, their ineffectiveness and danger would be obviously apparent. “Testing” is carried out by the makers only. No long-term tests have ever been conducted, (they are being conducted in other nations), no vaccine has ever been tested against 100% unvaccinated children, and using the Antibody Theory to test effectiveness is junk science.

    If you’re going to peddle me a product as-is, then you’d better provide evidence that it is safe as-is. The vaccination schedule is the as-is, and volunteers from both sides are in the millions.

    Anyone analyzing the “vaccine safety studies” done by vaccine makers and vaccine proponents can see that they were purposely designed to show safety by omitting people in the study who truly reflected the population being vaccinated and who were, by all standards of science, at risk of harm by the vaccines.

    The industry conducts these studies using as placebo controls people injected with a vaccine adjuvant. Placebos are supposed to be completely inert. The evidence shows that the greatest danger from vaccines is from the vaccine adjuvant — so, how can they use adjuvant-injected people as controls? Yet, all of their studies used such vaccinated controls — this is blatantly manipulated, and they know it.

    Safety studies on vaccinations are limited to short time periods only: several days to several weeks. There are NO (NONE) long term (months or years) safety studies on any vaccination or immunization. For this reason, there are valid grounds for suspecting that many delayed-type vaccine reactions may be taking place unrecognized at to their true nature.

    The studies that are quoted endlessly by these elite members of academia and government agencies and used to close the door on the vaccine connection to neurodevelopmental problems are purposefully designed so as to suggest no link between vaccines and any complication.

    The CDC immunization policy is disgraceful from a scientific, medical, or public policy point of view. It is a scientific disgrace because vaccines only get short-term or epidemiological tests, and not controlled tests for long-term side effects.

    The NIH, CDC, FDA, HHS, and IOM are “captured agencies”. It means that they’re so infiltrated by that one industry that they no longer serve any regulatory function on behalf of the public, but instead exist to serve the agendas of their industry masters or co-profiteers. In the case of health care, that would be the pharmaceutical industry. That would also apply to the NCI specifically related to cancer treatment.

    Up to 97% of the members who sit on the CDC’s Advisory Committee for the vaccination program have conflicts of interest. They’re either vaccine patent holders, are on the industry payroll, or both.

    The CDC buys and sells over $4 billion worth of vaccines annually, the budget is set aside and is public knowledge. The CDC creates the demand by fear-mongering with public health announcements regularly – “The flu is life-threatening, get your vaccine.”

    Add insult to all that injury, the vaccine industry has created a cocoon of denial with the nation’s mainstream media – over 70% of its advertising revenue is from the pharmaceutical industry.

    Gimme a break. You should not require a Ph.D. to know that the whole vaccine concept reeks. There is no scientific evidence that justifies the vaccination schedule – if you’re going to peddle it as a whole, then study it for safety as a whole. Perhaps that’s the reason for the NVIC Act of 1986.

  28. Lawrence says:

    Once again, you’ve proven that you haven’t bothered to read the article.

    Regurgitated anti-vax talking points aren’t facts.

  29. Busted Halo @ BK says:

    Truth withdrawn is truth denied.

    No need to accuse anyone of regurgitation from our end. The evidence is there for anyone to read and think through for themselves – read the ‘studies’, read the industry connections, read the financial statements of Fox news, for instance, read the CDC FY2016 Budget, and keep following the tangled web.

    The only ones regurgitating without a lick of evidence are the very ones who applaud the fraud.

    Go figure.

  30. Chris says:

    Ooooh! A budget report… scary! It is almost like the USA is the only country in the world that uses vaccines. And the CDC only task is to push vaccines, not like it has other public health tasks. It is just like a conspiracy.

    Seriously, why should we care what you say when you cannot be bothered to read the above article, or even do my little math story problem? (for all we know you are also Jojo)

  31. Busted Halo @ BK says:

    Starting out with an ad hominem attack (where you attack the messenger instead of the message content) is proof that you don’t have any training in logic. What’re you, 5?

    Le sigh… You can lead a man to knowledge but you can’t make him think.

    OK, how about the mercury, or as you all say, ‘trace amounts’ of it?

    Nobody – not in the CDC, not in the vaccine industry – ever did a mass loading analysis of how much mercury a child is being exposed to in the vaccination schedule. The typical mercury exposure went from 70mcg per child before age two to 237mcg in 1989. That schedule has tripled since then.

    The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) scientists have identified 1989 as the “gateway year;” the year that all of these unknown neurological disorders suddenly launched.

    Provide that mass loading analysis that should scientifically exist to match the amount administered in the vaccination schedule.

    We’ll wait.

  32. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH says:

    @ Busted Halo:

    No studies on vaccine safety? Try CDC page at:

    Then do a search of PubMed at:

    Just typing in “vaccine safety” resulted in 789 pages with approximately 20 studies per page.

    As for a study comparing Never Vaccinated to Vaccinated, such a study is almost impossible to carry out so that one can draw valid conclusions. Those who have NEVER VACCINATED their children differ in many variables from those who have vaccinated. For instance, NEVER VACCINATED live in different areas, differ genetically, differ in prenatal and postnatal health care, differ in nutrition, in exposure to various toxins, and represent a small percentage of the population. Since most parents want to vaccinate their children, it would be unethical and politically impossible to do a large double-blinded randomized trial where half received vaccines and half didn’t. Double-blinded randomized clinical trials reduce the risk, though don’t completely eliminate it, that the two groups would differ on some key variable other than just vaccination status. Other epidemiological study designs, e.g. cohort or case-control would be difficult to carry out, to get a large enough sample of children NEVER VACCINATED who match even on easy to measure variables, e.g. gender, social class, environment; but not genetics, exposure to toxins, diet, etc. If such a study found NO difference, antivaccinationists would claim the researchers had joined in the conspiracy. If it found some difference, as discussed, it would be impossible to know what to attribute the difference to. So, it may not take a PhD; but it certainly takes an understanding of research design and causal reasoning.

    I’m not about to type a comprehensive list of studies that have tried to compare NEVER Vaccinated with vaccinated nor give a detailed lesson in research design and causal reasoning; but you can find some at:

    But, back to the first part of my comment. There are 10s of thousands of studies on various aspects of vaccine safety, carried out in US, and abroad in dozens of other countries.

    And, despite you and others harping on the profits from vaccines, they account for approximately 2% of the total global revenues from pharmaceuticals. And, given that an overwhelming number of experts round the world agree that vaccines confer a tremendous benefit in preventing disease, suffering, disability, and even death, the pharmaceutical industry manufactures them and, yes, they make a modest profit; albeit far less than from many other drugs. Since NO company produces any product intentionally at a loss, why should the pharmaceutical industry do so? Or, perhaps, you think that companies should only make money on products you personally approve. Would it make any difference to you if the pharmaceutical companies decided to forgo profits on vaccines because, somehow, they decided it would be nice to contribute to public health?

  33. Lawrence says:

    Thimerosal was removed from pediatric vaccines by 2001 – the last vaccines that contained it would have been used by 2003.

    Thimerosal is also not “mercury.” It is a compound, much like table salt is a compound made up of two elements which, individually, are harmful, but when combined, are completely benign.

    You are the one who cannot provide a single scrap of evidence to support your contentions – they have been debunked and refuted hundreds, if not thousands of times….

    Just the fact that you believe that no “long term” testing is done on vaccines shows that you have no idea what you are talking about, because between clinical trials and post-release surveillance (and follow-up studies), most vaccines currently in use have undergone decades of testing.

    A simple search of research in PubMed is all that is required to show how hollow your arguments are.

    I’m also sure that you don’t even know which vaccines use adjuvants and which ones don’t….

    • Busted Halo @ BK says:

      Lawrence, you’re deflecting. In 1989, that’s how it was phrased by the EPA. Now known as autism, IBD, etc.

      As for the analysis I’m requesting, have you found one to match the schedule? The amounts administered in the same frequency to children as per the vaccination schedule? Because that’s long-term. Ethical to conduct such an analysis as children are being injected LIVE.

      You understand that the world is more importantly asking for a real-time study of the vaccination schedule, you know what that means, right?

      Because you’re giving the clear impression you’re having difficulty understanding the request and the legitimate science justification.

  34. Lawrence says:

    And what “unknown” neurological disorders are you talking about?

  35. Lawrence says:

    And if you knew anything about clinical research, you’d be well aware of “selection bias” when it comes to offering up “unvaccinated” children.

  36. Lawrence says:

    And perhaps you should speak to Barbara Loe Fisher from the NVIC – she was instrumental in helping pass the NVICP back in 1986…..

  37. Busted Halo @ BK says:

    There’s in no ‘selection bias’ to worry about. Volunteers readily exist. There are millions are willingly vaccinate their children as there are millions who don’t.

    That’s just another failing strawman effort.

  38. Busted Halo @ BK says:

    *”There are millions who…” my bad. 😉

  39. Chris says:

    Buster: “Starting out with an ad hominem attack ”

    You don’t even know what an ad hominem is! I did not use an ad hominem attack, I was actively laughing at you. You are flailing around with every single anti-vax trope that has been repeated here for years. Oooh…. mercury! Wow, that is only fifteen years out of date.

  40. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH says:

    @Busted Halo:

    The Danes eliminated thimerosal from vaccines around 1990 and have still seen increases in diagnosed cases on the autism spectrum. And the criticisms of the Danish studies are wrong. The criticisms claim they changed the study population; but the actual article mentions they did the analysis with and without a new Copenhagen clinic. In addition, the US eliminated thimerosal from all vaccines except flu around 2000 and, yet, the diagnosed cases on the autism spectrum continue to increase. In addition, different types of mercury have different half lives in our bodies. The EPA standard for safety was developed by reviewing an enormous number of studies of levels of mercury in body and even extremely mild conditions. They then took that level, divided by 10 and then divided by 10 once more. The total that a child received in vaccines prior to removal around 2000 was just over the EPA standard which was 1/100th found to be associated, not causal, of extremely mild conditions. But, since the vaccines were given over a period of one year, most of the mercury due to half life in body between vaccinations had already left, so the possible cumulative amount remaining well below.

    I grew up in the 1950s. Though not Catholic, we had fish every Friday. Turns out that fish often has rather high levels of mercury. In fact, the fish I liked best, Swordfish, had such high levels that it was banned. The amount of mercury children got, from fish and other sources, was considerably higher than from ALL the vaccines given in the 1990s prior to thimerosal being removed. So why didn’t we have lots of diagnosed cases on the autism spectrum then?

    Do you even understand what a “mass loading analysis” entails or are you just parroting what you read on some website? First, as explained, there would NOT have been a mass loading as during the time between various vaccines given, most of the mercury in the thimerosal would have been eliminated from the body and, second, how about a “mass loading analysis” from fish and other sources in the 1950s and 60s. And, again, the total mercury in all vaccines given to children first year still only slightly higher than 1/100th the actual cut-off point that EPA review found for possible problems.

  41. Busted Halo @ BK says:

    @ Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

    So you’re telling us that scientific justification exists that provides evidence on how bypassing the respiratory tract (or mucous membrane) is advantageous (superior) and how directly injecting viruses into the bloodstream enhances immune functioning and prevents future infections.

    Would you have that available for us to review then?

    For example, 99.5% or more of the aluminum we ingest passes through us in our stool. The tiny amount that does get absorbed is rapidly excreted through the kidneys. 75-100% can remain in us indefinitely when injected due to the binding agents.

    So that the injection is superior, safer, and more effective, and that evidence exists, you say.

    Please share that.

  42. Busted Halo @ BK says:

    Correction. *injecting viruses into the body, not bloodstream. Thanks. 😉

  43. Lawrence says:

    Yet, all manner of whole bacteria and viruses are “injected” into a child’s body each and every time they scrape their knees, get scratches or cuts, etc…..and they survive.

    Injecting a very small number of antigens is certainly much less of a “strain” on the robust human immune system.

    And you get the benefit of immunity against a number of incredibly nasty diseases.

    Seems like more than a fair trade to me.

    Where do you think the “aluminum” that we ingest ends up? In the bloodstream, which is exactly the same place where the miniscule amount of aluminum salts (again, a compound, not the element) from vaccines ends up – which is also excreted from the body.

    Perhaps if you cracked open a textbook on immunology, you’d be able to find the information you’re asking for – because this is immunology 101, not to mention basic biology.

    • Busted Halo @ BK says:

      “Injecting a very small number of antigens is certainly much less of a “strain” on the robust human immune system.”

      You’re stating the same as Joel Harrison, which implies that the science exists to support that.

      Because what you both describe – the safe ease of elimination – occurs naturally with our mucous membrane, our digestive tract.

      You’re implying that the injection is equal or superior to our natural safety mechanisms. So that I’ll just repeat the request to both then.

      “So you’re telling us that scientific justification exists that provides evidence on how bypassing the respiratory tract (or mucous membrane) is advantageous (superior) and how directly injecting viruses into the bloodstream enhances immune functioning and prevents future infections.

      Would you have that available for us to review then?

      For example, 99.5% or more of the aluminum, or mercury, or formaldehyde, we ingest passes through us in our stool. The tiny amount that does get absorbed is rapidly excreted through the kidneys. 75-100% can remain in us indefinitely when injected due to the binding agents.

      So that the injection is superior, safer, and more effective, and that evidence exists, you say.

      Please share that.”


  44. Lawrence says:

    Exactly Chris – because not only is it no longer relevant (and subsequent research shows the concern about Thimerosal wasn’t warranted in the first place), but most vaccines never contained it in the first place.

  45. Lawrence says:

    It pains me to see individuals who seem to lack even the most basic education in the natural sciences – including chemistry (not knowing the difference between elements and compounds), biology, and immunology.

    Anti-vaxers are partially a result of the educational system not requiring students to develop a deep sense of history, rational thinking, skepticism, and basic knowledge of the world around them….instead, they rely on crank websites that feed into their own ignorance.

    Very sad.

  46. Lawrence says:

    Again, feel free to crack open the standard textbooks for immunology and biology 101 – all your answers are there….

    Jeez. What are you, like 5?

  47. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH says:

    @Busted Halo:

    As Lawrence suggests, I also suggest you read an introductory book on the immune system. Specialized cells called “antigen presenting cells,” among them dendritic cells and macrophages, roam the body, whenever they confront something foreign, whether a microbe or toxin, they bring it into the cell, break it into smaller chunks called antigenic determinants/epitopes, then migrate to lymph nodes where they present the chunks to B-cells and T-cells. Since even microbes that attack through our respiratory epithelial cells then spread via blood or lymph, both the antigen-presenting cells in respiratory system, lymph, and blood get a go at them. Once B-cells and T-cells recognize the intruder, they start churning out defenders. At the same time, cells being attacked send messengers, cytokines, chemokines, etc. telling the defenders being churned out where to go.

    So Lawrence is correct. Given I doubt you would actually take the time to go to a book, I just gave you a simplified summary. However, in case you are more ambitious, interested in actually learning, than you appear, I suggest starting with: Lawrence Sompayrac’s “How the Immune System Works (5th edition), a delightful little book, available at reasonable prices on Amazon marketplace3.

    • Busted Halo @ BK says:

      So that none of you will or cannot answer any of my questions.

      Meeting my requests with disdain, belligerence, arrogance, rudeness, deflection, is far wiser.

      I’m open to being corrected and learn; I’m not here to be belittled. I’m asking intelligent, logical questions. Under those conditions, anyone should expect equal in return.

      So that again, the entire vaccine debate centers around your rhetoric with no substance to support it.

      Brilliant, and thank you.

      Don’t blame us for insisting on evidence that just never seems to spring forward. We will support what we support, because the reality will not change the fact that the vaccine dogma is based on a religious cult that runs on ‘faith.’

      Thank you so much. In fact, my child thanks you.

  48. Lawrence says:

    Nothing is so sad as seeing someone so eager to ignore basic education…..

    • Busted Halo @ BK says:

      @Lawrence. The education you’ve provided is the one everyone sees as usual – arrogance, deflection, strawman gunk, belligerence, all void of any substance or logic.

      I ask questions, I get in return nothing. Thanks for the education.

  49. Lawrence says:

    I wonder, if your child contracted SSPE, that he / she would thank you….

  50. Lawrence says:

    None so sad as one who will not learn.

    All you ask, has been provided.

    • Busted Halo @ BK says:

      Anyone with eyes to read and a brain to think knows it hasn’t been provided.

      As both you ‘gents’ fully displayed for all to see, vaccines are a ‘medicine’ based on tantrums, not science.

      I’ll give you a classic example. The vaccine industry claims people should dismiss any evidence that doesn’t appear in “peer-reviewed” journals. But when yet another study showing vaccines to be unsafe is published such as the first peer-reviewed analysis comparing autism in vaccinated children to unvaccinated children, the vaccine industry throws a whiny, “throw your toys out the pram”-style fit on Twitter to get it pulled.

      So embarrassing was that campaign even for vaccine apologists that Discover Magazine had condemned it.

      To whine, blog and tweet until every study that challenges the status quo position is retracted, every doctor who holds conflicting opinions is de-licensed, every critic is shooed away and every child who has not been subjected to the government’s iatrogenic vaccine schedule is barred from school.

      The public loss of trust in vaccinations will only grow, regardless of how many studies the vaccine industry gets fraudulently retracted or how many fraudulent studies it publishes.

      It’s eminence-based pseudoscience that has no respect for scientific query, or parents who question it, or children who have been harmed or died from it.

      You will never ‘win’ us over while all of you represent tantrums and misconduct even on public forums.

      A bad attitude is like a flat tire. You can’t go anywhere until you change it. But thanks anyway.

  51. Lawrence says:

    An Internet survey is not “peer-reviewed” science.

    Seriously, are you 5?

    • Busted Halo @ BK says:

      Again, if this childish and impertinent behavior is the best you and the industry offers, it’s no wonder nobody respects any of it. Thanks again. And again. And again.

  52. Lawrence says:

    Please go back to your echo chamber…adults are speaking here.

  53. Lawrence says:

    The only one throwing a tantrum here is you.

    Seriously, it appears you lack any actual knowledge of science.

    Can you even describe the basic components of the immune system?

    • Busted Halo @ BK says:

      I’ll play – I’ll answer your question intelligently and politely, while I wait for my pie to bake. 😉

      Vaccines focus on one small aspect of the immune system, the antibodies, and fails to look at all the other functions responsible for protecting a child’s, or anyone’s health.

      The immune system is also made up of the skin, mucous membranes in the nose and throat, ears and eyes, nasal hairs, saliva, the spleen, intestines, tonsils, the thymus gland and even the brain. All of these parts work together in a holistic way to bring about a whole body immunity, which is only in part to do with antibodies.

      • The skin acts as a barrier to prevent bacteria entering the body. It also filters out toxins through fever, which is the purpose of a fever when your child is ill.
      • The nasal hairs prevent foreign particles from travelling up the nose, and the mucous membranes excrete a substance which is anti-bacterial.
      • Tonsils help prevent respiratory diseases and illnesses such as Polio, and saliva contains substances which destroy and neutralise microbes.
      • The spleen and intestines, among other organs, deposit fats and vitamins around the body and protect against viral and bacterial invasion.
      • The thymus gland produces thymus cells, known as ‘T’ cells, which are antibodies to infection.
      • There are various glands (nodes) in the body that drain it of toxins and useless material. For instance, the cervical nodes drain the head, neck and chest.
      • The pituitary gland in the brain directs all of the systems above, so if the brain goes wrong, so does the immune system. It sends electrical impulses to all areas of the body, stimulating cell re-generation and muscle growth. These electrical impulses also stimulate the thymus gland – the centre of immune function.

      Does this answer your question, while I check on my pie?

  54. Lawrence says:

    Not in the slightest….what “holistic” website did you get that from?

    • Busted Halo @ BK says:

      I get that redundant question often from your kind. lol Can’t help but know.

      As for the holistic gunk, it’s all living organism’s immunity function, not rocket science. That’s the immune system, with its innate abilities already programmed into us for the ‘whole’ to thrive from.

      This upsets you.

  55. Lawrence says:

    Ignorance upsets me, because it causes people to get hurt.

    For no good reason.

    • Busted Halo @ BK says:

      lol Next you’re going to tell us we’re not living organisms – all is not connected – but that we’re lifeless cogs waiting for somebody to plug us in with petrol, Duracell batteries, drugs or jabs to ‘run.’

      Clean water, healthy food, sunshine, exercise, air, nothing to do with human good health. lol

  56. Lawrence says:

    The native Americans had all of those things, yet 90% of them died from diseases like Smallpox and Measles….

    Native Hawaiians had all of those two, yet measles killed more than a third of them.

    I found your source, by the way. Quoted by places like the Liberty Beacon, for example.

    You have no clue how the human immune system works or what it’s constituent parts are.

    • Busted Halo @ BK says:

      For the Native Americans, the Europeans and their filth brought disease to them. Top that with pillaging and raping and stealing their homes and supplies, their immune systems were under severe stress and weakened. The measles, once benign to them, became deadly under such horrific circumstances.

      For the Native Hawaiians, and this is interesting, the measles was brought from Mazatlan, Mexico, by an American naval frigate, the Independence, making a one-month visit to Hilo.
      Whooping cough arrived on a ship from California about the same time (some have claimed both diseases were aboard the same ship).

      But the funny thing discovered is that it wasn’t considered life-threatening by them either. They practiced natural immunity.

      However, the climate was colder than usual, according to the historical records, and they were not prepared. Ignorance led them to bathe in the cold waters that worsened the condition.

      It’s really tragic. I value that you’ve opened up this bit of history for me to dig into. I’m going to explore further.

      As for not knowing my own immune system, I catch a cold, I remedy the cough and runny nose with ginger and manuka honey, both open up the airways and ease the cough. I also make a juice of parsley, cilantro, carrots, celery, avocado, lemons to purge antigens, boost the gut bacteria, and get a healthy dose of Vitamins D and C. I do heal, rather quickly, I might add.

      I’m going to slice a pie. But I am going to research the Native Hawaiians – fascinating but tragic tale that I’m sure has more to know.

      Thanks. I enjoyed this, finally.

  57. Lawrence says:

    And nope, vaccines Judy prevent our kids from dying or being crippled by diseases which used to kill millions and contribute to child mortality rates that once exceeded 50%.

    • Busted Halo @ BK says:

      The Spanish flu had everything to do with poverty, rats, bad hygiene, poor diets. Immune systems were primed for tragedy.

  58. Lawrence says:


  59. Lawrence says:

    I would suggest visiting the Project Tycho website, to get a better picture of the effect of communicable diseases, vaccines and public health over the last century.

  60. Lawrence says:

    Vaccines were also responsible for the eradication of the only two diseases humans have been able to wipe out – Smallpox and Rinderpest.

    Smallpox was still killing millions every year, into the 1960s….

  61. Lawrence says:

    During the Spanish Flu pandemic, more than 1 million people died in the United States. The highest proportion of those who died were young, healthy individuals in their 20s.

    Many individuals woke up just fine in the morning, but were dead by bedtime.

  62. Lawrence says:

    Research the Samoans as well…..and tribes who were affected by diseases who weren’t in direct conflict with Europeans.

    You’re down the rabbit hole.

    There is nothing more I can do for you.

  63. Lawrence says:

    And a “cold” is not Smallpox, Polio, or even the Flu.

    Your ignorance might just come back and bite you someday.

    • Busted Halo @ BK says:

      I don’t get it. What do you think we are, lifeless widgets? Humans are not humans? We don’t thrive from anything unless it’s drugs and vaccines? Seriously?

  64. Lawrence says:

    Again, you express a profound ignorance of human history.

    Rats had nothing to do with the Spanish Flu.

    Neither did poverty, since it was the healthy would died in droves, including the rich.

    • Busted Halo @ BK says:

      So that the vaccine would have saved lives. Gotcha. LOL! I just can’t help but laugh at the absurdity of it all. Being rich suddenly makes one wise and healthy. And bad hygiene, no plumbing, lack of food, resources, have nothing to do with health. Absolutely brilliant. My granny, 104 this month by the way, should’ve been told this. She’s never been vaccinated. Poor thing.

  65. Lawrence says:

    Look at the growth of human populations.

    We thrive when 50% of kids don’t die before the age of 5.

  66. Lawrence says:

    Reality debunks your claims….we currently enjoy the highest standards of living and longest lifespans in human history, not to mention the lowest infant and child mortality rates.

  67. Lawrence says:

    Wishful thinking doesn’t prevent epidemics.

    Just because you don’t remember the past or had the misfortune to experience it yourself, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

  68. Lawrence says:

    You can’t talk to those who died, can you.

    • Busted Halo @ BK says:

      Sorry to hear that, Lawrence. My granny’s still around because she lives in the family farm, nature’s by default, lives off that continual harvest, the family uses no chemical pesticides, just compost and neem oil and such, she cooks/prepares all her meals, knows about nutrition, has never taken even an OTC, heals herself with herbs and all that good stuff, and she suffers from no ailments. Even reads her Bible without reading glasses.

      But benign childhood viruses are not disease. They’re only been recategorized as such to peddle vaccines. But you know that.

      Besides, you say we’re not human, we ‘run’ on Duracell.

  69. Lawrence says:

    My grandmother died at the ripe age of 99, and she was never vaccinated….but three of her brothers did die of vaccine preventable diseases.

  70. Lawrence says:

    Yet in the early 1920s, most Americans had indoor plumbing and access to plenty of food….poverty was no more than it is today….yet a million people died.

  71. Lawrence says:

    And in India, today, Polio is no more, despite 10s of millions having no running water or indoor toilets.

  72. Lawrence says:

    Better yet, within three years of the introduction of the introduction of the HiB vaccine, in the late 1980s, the incidence of the disease decreased by more than 95%.

    What miracle of hygiene occurred in the US in 1988?

  73. Lawrence says:

    Great, so now you’re a germ theory denier too?

  74. Lawrence says:

    Explain the 68% decrease in the incidence of circulating HPV strains that we now vaccinate against?

    • Busted Halo @ BK says:

      Talk about that rabbit hole. lol Lawrence, you’re a lost cause. You’re right, we’re widgets, vaccines save lives, and all the harm, paralysis, infertility rates, and deaths behind the HPV vaccine in India and in the U.S., all the new names polio rides under today, the vaccine inserts listing all the risks, the parental reports and the lawsuits from so many law firms against those life-saving vaccines, all bogus.

      Enjoy your iatrogenic diseases, luv. I’m going to enjoy my pie and tea. Ciao.

  75. Lawrence says:

    Where did all the schools for the blind and deaf go?

    We used to have hundreds of them, all over the country….

  76. Lawrence says:

    Or read the story of the Nome Diptheria epidemic….and the sled dogs who saved the children of Nome.

  77. Lawrence says:

    But, it appears the sky isn’t blue on your planet…..I just never hope you have to face any of these diseases.

  78. If I had a dollar for every anti-vaxer who claimed their child had been severely injured by vaccines and subtracted those who were actually compensated by the VICP… I’d still only have a few thousand dollars, because the pro-disease crowd is such an insignificant, if loud and cult-like, fringe. The truth is out there, and it is simple: vaccines work. They save lives, they prevent needless suffering, and they are the single safest aspect of modern medicine.

  79. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH says:

    @ Busted Halo:

    So, your grandmother was never vaccinated and lived to 94. My grandmother smoked and lived to 91, so, based on that, smoking isn’t harmful? There is a very small group of gay men who have had anal intercourse with over 1,000 other men, many who were HIV positive; yet, they remain HIV negative. Research traced their ancestry to the 14th Century survivors of the plague in one small village in England, thus some rare genetic mutation protected people from both plague and HIV, so I guess having anal intercourse with multiple partners isn’t really dangerous?

    First, you didn’t say your grandmother didn’t get any of the childhood diseases that vaccines reduce the risk from. I had them all and did fine, except missing school. At the time, my father’s lower middle class income was adequate and my mother was a housewife, so she took care of me. So, for most kids of my generation, it was, adding all the childhood diseases, several months of unpleasant experiences, and weeks of school missed. Measles for me was just unpleasant; but for 50,000 it was hospitalization, for about 2,000, hearing loss, blindness, seizure disorders, or mental retardation, and for 400-500 death. And antivaccinationists are wrong about vitamin supplements. Yes, in Third World nations where children are malnourished, supplements did reduce the sequelae; but very few Americans in the 50s suffered from malnutrition. Our bodies need a certain amount of vitamins and minerals. Too much can also cause problems, e.g. iron. And the advent of antibiotics did significantly reduce deaths from measles, actually from secondary opportunistic bacterial pneumonias; but still we had in US with adequate nutrition and antibiotics, 50,000 hospitalizations, 2,000 with permanent disabilities, and 400 – 500 deaths. And our population has doubled, measles is just as contagious today, and we are also experiencing a rise in antibiotic resistant bacteria, so, quite simply, just measles without the vaccine could result in the above numbers doubling. And are you absolutely sure your grandmother NEVER was vaccinated? She may not have remembered. Almost all infants received smallpox vaccinations. In any case, the fact that you base your position on anecdotes is clear evidence you don’t understand how science works. I think it great that you had your grandmother for so many years; but it says nothing about the benefits of vaccination.

    IN 1721 smallpox broke out in Boston and London. Some intrepid doctors tried a new approach. They found people who had simple smallpox, that is discrete poxes which meant they would live, took the pus, put it in glass jars, then scratched healthy people and inserted some of the pus. These people did get sick, a number of poxes and fevers; but recuperated with not even the pockmarked disfigurement of those who survived natural smallpox. Many of them went on to nurse family and friends who developed natural smallpox, many who died, and they did not get smallpox. Later statistical analyses found that those who did not get “variolated” died at rates up to 20 – 30 times those who did. Since they lived in the same environments, same level of “sanitation”, same food, sometimes same houses, it would be near impossible to not attribute survival to variolation. A few, about 1% did die from variolation vs 30 – 50% from natural smallpox. In the real world nothing is perfect; but had I lived in those times I would not have hesitated to get variolated and encourage my family and friends to do so. When the smallpox vaccine was developed in 1796 the deaths from it plummeted. However, poorly produced smallpox vaccine did kill people; but poorly produced chicken has killed people with salmonella, hamburger with e-coli, etc. One has to separate poor manufacturing processes with the actual product or nothing would remain on the market. I love crunchy almond butter. For about six months there was a shortage because one company’s had salmonella. No, don’t want salmonella; but still love salmonella-free almond butter. I understand the difference. Currently in US and EU the regulations and surveillance of vaccine manufacturing is much much higher than any other product on the market, higher than other drugs, and higher than foods.

    As for “all the new names polio rides under today,” wrong! Acute flaccid paralysis can be caused by many things, bacteria, viruses, toxins, among them. Since the late 1980s, the WHO required lab confirmations and built labs in Third World Nations such as India. And they also developed protocols for differential diagnosis, that is, for looking at history, that is time from first symptoms, whether fever or not, where nerve damage was (lower down spine or . . .), etc. So, yes, polio caused acute flaccid paralysis and during the first half of 1950s, there were an average of 15,000 or more cases per year, recently the CDC report slightly more than 100 cases, almost all lab confirmed to specific viruses, not polio. So just the stats alone tell the story. In India, same thing, number of cases of acute flaccid paralysis reported exponentially less and those reported confirmed by lab to not be polio. There was an article in early 2000s that, using Bayesian Conditional analysis found that FDR had Guillain-Barre syndrome, not polio. Antivaccinationists jumped at this. However, the article actually said that probability was around 56% that he had Guillain-Barre and 46% he had polio. Not 100% as antivaccinationists report. And a later article further evaluated what we know about FDR and disagreed. However, Guillain-Barre was first named in 1916. FDR was stricken in 1921, so it was new and probably many doctors not familiar with it. By 1940s there were and one could read in medical journals how to differentially diagnose from polio, so, even if were true, which the evidence says not, a misdiagnosis in 1921 has nothing to do with how polio was diagnosed in the 1950s and beyond. Unless you reject all medical advances.

    As for studies comparing NEVER VACCINATED to VACCINATED. The reason we do double blind randomized clinical trials is to reduce the risk that one of the two groups differs on other variables that could affect the outcome being measured. One can measure things like gender, SES, suburb vs inner city, level of prenatal and postnatal care, perhaps diet, etc.; but not genetics, history of exposure to toxins, subclinical microbe exposure, etc. The NEVER VACCINATED differ from VACCINATED on many of the previous variables. Cohort and Case-Control studies also have to try to control for other variables. But even a randomized clinical trial has problems. Imagine a jar of 1,000 marbles, half red and half white. Blindfolded you create two groups. Will each group have exactly half red and half white. No. However, with 500 in a group the difference probably won’t be that great; but they could be. There is a small but real probability that most of the red could end up in one group and most of the white in another. Statistical probabilities deal with this. The larger the groups, the less the chance of extreme differences when randomized. As the groups get smaller the risk increases. Imagine from the 1,000, you created two groups of 10 each. The risk of getting most red in one group and white in the other would be significant. Since most parents want to vaccinate their kids, we find clusters of families that don’t vaccinate. We couldn’t do a randomized trial, making sure one group did not get vaccinated. Parents would revolt, so we are left with cohort or case-control studies. And some parents may not remember if their child received a vaccine or not since some given early on and it would be costly and quite difficult to access the medical records to verify.

    One example, allergies. Upper middle class white suburbanites may not vaccinate and inner city minority children may have higher rates of vaccination; but inner city poor kids exposed to lots of cochroaches and research shows that cockroach droppings cause allergies, so the inner city vaccinated kids would have higher rates of allergies; but not because of vaccines.

    So, anyone who understands research design and how one draws causal conclusions, understands that comparing NEVER VACCINATED to VACCINATED would be almost impossible to draw valid conclusions. If such a study found NO difference, antivaccinationists would cry foul, resorting to conspiracy theories that the researchers had been bought off. If a difference was found, they would play it up, despite all the other variables uncontrolled for that could have affected the outcome. And a telephone survey may get people’s attitudes; but is almost worthless for vaccines and autism. Besides having to use a sampling scheme to choose the homes to call, rules for how many times to call when no one answers, how would one validate what is said? Some well-done studies obtained videos of children prior to vaccinations, had independent observers watch and it was found that behaviors indicative of autism spectrum disorders were observed. Some subtle. Parents only notice certain things when obvious, the selective memory goes back to some recent event which is blamed, that is, vaccines.

    However, there are a number of NEVER VACCINATED vs VACCINATED studies, listed below.

    Finally, you asked why a microbe that enters via the respiratory system would be protected against by a vaccine injected into the arm. And I explained that all microbes wherever they enter the body are ingested by antigen presenting cells, chopped up into smaller bits, and transported to lymph nodes where they are presented to B-cells and T-cells. If a match is made (we have literally 10s of millions of different B and T cells with slightly different receptors), then antibodies and killer and helper T-cells are churned out. At the same time, where ever the microbe entered the body, cells there send out chemical messengers saying where the battle is raging. So, that is how vaccines work, they get B-cells and T-cells to recognize specific small sections of an invading microbe and churn out warriors to fight them, they don’t need to recognize the entire intact microbe and chemical messengers tell them where to go.

    Now, for more on NONVACCINATED vs VACCINATED (note that I am not about to type in every paper there is, so here are some, though not from peer-reviewed journals, they cover the material at a level most readers can understand):

    This blog only allows a limited number of hyperlinks, so I will include a couple more in a separate comment

  80. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH says:

    @ Busted Halo:

    One other point. You ask about aluminum and other ingredients in vaccines. Whether, for instance, aluminum enters our bodies through the air we breath, the food or liquid we swallow, or scratches to our skin, it goes into the blood and/or lymphatic system where it then goes through the same processes. The amount of aluminum in vaccines is minuscule. Infants actually get more from mother’s milk or formula. And if formaldehyde bothers you, our own bodies produce it as end product of certain metabolic processes and, of course, our bodies are designed to eliminate it. The only way to ensure NO formaldehyde in your body is cremation after death since cremation remains are calcium carbonate and produce nothing.

    And in a previous comment I suggested a CDC website that deals with vaccine safety and PubMed. There have been numerous studies of safety of aluminum and other ingredients. Antivaccinationists find a few studies that disagree; but as with my explanation of randomized trials, small studies can find results related to uncontrolled variables which is why replication is important. The probability of two separate studies ending up with the same uncontrolled variables in the one group as opposed to the other are almost non-existent and the more studies done by different researchers with different populations the world over make the probability that all would have the same distribution of uncontrolled variables impossible.

    Antivaccinationists also cherry pick studies such as mercury poisoning in 1950s in Minamata, Japan. Only problem is that the amount of mercury ingested would be the equivalent of an entire bottle of aspirin, which, of course, would be toxic. Our bodies are incredibly capable of dealing with many foreign intruders; but can be overwhelmed by high amounts. Even drinking too much water can be toxic. Referring to Minamata is just plain foolish.

  81. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH says:

    @ Busted Halo and others:

    I posted a comment yesterday, only to find out that this blog limits the number of hyperlinks allowed per comment. However, the blog master reviews those that exceed the limits and then posts, so my comment from yesterday is now up at January 14 at 5:47 pm with all the hyperlinks to articles discussing NONVACCINATED vs VACCINATED. However, when I reposted my comment, I changed and added some things, so worthwhile for those interested to read both.

    I have devoted almost 50 years to studying epidemiology and related disciplines. However, it doesn’t take 50 years to learn the basics; but does require time and effort, something that most antivaccinationists have not done. I suggested in a previous comment a delightful little intro to immunology: Lauren Sompayrac’s “How the Immune System Works (4th ed).” Well-written, well-illustrated, only 150 pages, inexpensive copies on Amazon marketplace. A good start.

    It is obvious from Busted Halo’s comments that he is NOT really interested in entering a dialogue. He asks for references, I give them, he ignores them. He asks for explanations, I give them, he ignores them. Well done surveys have found that 70% of Americans lack a basic understanding of scientific methodology and critical thinking. Gee, and we get antivaccinationists, certain they are right despite little to no foundation in any of the core sciences related to vaccines and little to no understanding of the basics of critical thinking. And they continue to claim that provaccinationists have stated there are NO risks from vaccines when the CDC, FDA, and many pro vaccine websites explain ALL the scientifically validated risks from minor, e.g. sore arm, low grade fever, to the rare but serious. However, they also explain that the risks from the actual diseases is exponentially greater.

    One last and important point. I am not writing these comments hoping that Busted Halo or others will change their minds. I write articles that take me several months of work. These comments give me ideas that I can incorporate in my articles which are targeted for people open-minded enough to take the time to carefully read them. Since they are long, they also provide provaccinationists with info that they can use, e.g. one section of one of my articles together with the extensive reference list.

  82. Nicole nicole says:


  83. Bernhard says:

    Vaccines are not safe and besides the FDA finally admitting that the tDap vaccine causes Autism the article below explains quite simply that there is inconclusive evidence to show vaccines are safe.

  84. Chris says:

    “Vaccines are not safe…”

    I am sorry, but an article by a Chinese language teacher is not verifiable scientific evidence. Please provide PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers that any vaccine on the American pediatric schedule causes more harm than the disease.

    “… FDA finally admitting that the tDap vaccine causes Autism…”

    Also provide the page where the official FDA memo about that is located.

  85. Lawrence says:

    Not only a bad source, but using information which has been debunked, over and over again.

  86. Sharyl says:


    “The amount of aluminum in vaccines is minuscule. Infants actually get more from mother’s milk or formula.”

    I have never understood this point.

    1- Do you believe that aluminum in mother’s milk is good for a baby? Where did the aluminum in the mother’s milk come from? Are you saying it is natural? Or is it because the mother has high levels of aluminum in her body?

    2-And are you saying that there is no difference between ingesting aluminum via mother’s milk and injecting aluminum via vaccine? Those are two completely different processes.

  87. Lawrence says:

    Actually Sharyl, Aluminum is one of the most abundant minerals on the planet. It is in everything we eat & even in the air we breath.

    If Aluminum was so toxic, we all would have died out long ago.

  88. Lawrence says:

    And elemental aluminum is completely different than aluminum salts used as an adjuvant in some vaccines.

  89. Sharyl says:


    “Actually Sharyl, Aluminum is one of the most abundant minerals on the planet. It is in everything we eat & even in the air we breath.
    If Aluminum was so toxic, we all would have died out long ago.”

    Again, still going with the “most abundant minerals on the planet” point, which says nothing about it being good for humans.

  90. Chris says:

    Please tell us where you get food grown in aluminum free soil. Because it is the most abundant metal element on the crust of this planet, it happens to be in the minerals that comprise the soil (feldspars).

    Essentially, every plant draws up a bit of aluminum as it grows, and then you eat it. If we had a problem with it, then we would not exist.

  91. Sharyl says:

    So since you have not supplied proof that aluminum is good for you, and you just keep stating anecdotal claims. I’ll just assume you have none.

  92. Chris says:

    Okay, so without food grown in the soil that naturally contains aluminum you will starve to death. No one said it was “good” for you, we just told you that it cannot be avoided and it does no harm.

  93. Lawrence says:

    “Not beneficial” is not the same as “harmful.”

    If aluminum was toxic, we’d all be dead.

  94. Sharyl says:

    You guys are like a Laurel and Hardy routine, still not posting any sources to your claims. Keep talking though, if you just keep talking, most will forget the original question. blah blah blah. Can you say not credible? Thanks for wasting time.

  95. Lawrence says:

    No, what we are saying is that Aluminum is ubiquitous in the environment.

    There is literally no way you can prevent yourself from eating it, drinking it, or eating it.

    If you fall down and skin your knee, you just injected yourself with more aluminum that is contained in all vaccines you might receive.

    That’s why your questions and comments make no sense.

  96. Chris says:

    Le sigh. You are surrounded by aluminum bits, you cannot avoid it:

    “An average adult in the United States eats about 7–9 mg of aluminum per day in their food.”

    Seriously, if you want to avoid all aluminum you will literally have to stop eating and breathing.

  97. Lawrence says:

    Yes, they are tested, safe, and very effective.

  98. Ryan S says:

    Sharyl, these guys aren’t getting it.

    Ingested aluminum is ionic and can be cleared by the kidneys.
    Injected aluminum adjuvant is in nano-particle form, and cannot be cleared by the kidneys. Instead, it is taken up by the immune system, causes major inflammation, and is carried throughout the body and brain.

    Published research by Keele Conference scientists shows that aluminum adjuvant in vaccines transfers to the brain. They have documented the path from injection site to the brain, and that once in the brain, it persists.

  99. Lawrence says:

    Please feel free to post your actual citations, Ryan.

  100. Moon River says:

    Dorit, your email communicating about this
    ends with… “I’d say happy holocaust day, but that doesn’t work.” Can you explain this sick comment?

    • reissd says:

      It’s pretty clear, I think. It’s not appropriate to say happy holocaust day because the holocaust is a very sad day. But I didn’t want it to go unacknowledged, so I reminded Dr. Offit it was holocaust day and it should be on our mind.

  101. Lawrence says:

    Pretty funny coming from an anti-Vader.

    It was obvious what she was saying.

  102. Lawrence says:


  103. Chris says:

    I did not find the word “holocaust” on the linked page, the first instance of it on this page is Moon River’s message. For all I know it was all made up, because there is no way for us to check the context of this mysterious email.

  104. […] Multiple Vaccine Oversight Committees Ensure Our Public Safety […]

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