Vaccine Skeptics Lash Out at CDC Advisory Committee Meeting
Nov 09, 2018

By Amy Pisani, MS, Executive Director, Every Child By Two/Vaccinate Your Family

Last month the CDC’s Advisory Committee On Immunization Practices (ACIP), a group of medical and public health experts that develop recommendations on how to use vaccines to control diseases in the U.S.,  held their 3rd meeting of 2018 to discuss a number of important vaccine issues.

The presentations and discussions around these and other topics were fascinating to watch. At each of these meetings, the expertise of the ACIP members is evident in the questions they ask following each presentation. This particular meeting, however, was a different story.

Since, ACIP is a federal advisory committee, they must include public comment periods. This is a critical step in helping the Committee understand the impact that their vaccine recommendations have on the public. For two decades, I have attended many of these meetings in person or viewed them online. At nearly every meeting, impassioned members of the public have courageously stepped up to the microphone to express their opinions on the vaccines under deliberation or discussion by the ACIP. Some families come to tell their stories of loss and/or disability from diseases that can be prevented by vaccines. For example, advocates from both the National Meningitis Association and Meningitis Angels regularly provide public comment. These are people who have suffered lifelong disabilities from meningitis including amputations, liver and kidney dysfunctions, and more. They tell their heartbreaking stories to encourage ACIP’s members to broadly recommend meningococcal vaccines. Families also brave the microphone to express their experiences with what they believe to be vaccine-induced ailments and/or deaths of loved ones. It is often upsetting to hear these stories, but also encouraging to witness the empathy and respect that both ACIP members and the audience at the meetings express for those people. Customarily, there is a civil “tone” to the public comment period and speakers show respect for the attendees of the meetings. Sadly, this was not the case at the October meeting.

After listening to presenters discuss the scientific research conducted on vaccines over the course of the meeting, several members of the public came to the microphone. However, instead of offering thoughtful comments on the topics discussed by the Committee, or sharing personal stories, several decided to spew accusations at the Committee and its Workgroup members regarding their motives, and questioned their concern over the welfare of the children of this nation. Their aggressive and threatening statements included false information about the studies conducted on the safety of vaccines, and their lack of confidence in the numerous systems in place that help ensure the safety of vaccines in the U.S.

Without a doubt, there is a need for public discourse on the issue of vaccines. However, members of the public and ACIP members who participate in federal meetings should not be targeted by attendees whose opinions and beliefs are not in alignment with ACIP’s recommendations. For these public comment periods to be fruitful and have a positive impact, the rules for public decorum (and the official rules for public comment) need to be followed and comments from the public should be focused on sharing personal experiences, not attacks.

One ACIP Workgroup member in particular, Dr. Paul Offit, was disparaged on several occasions during the public comment period by a number of meeting attendees. Much to the surprise of many, several of these people invited Dr. Offit to join them for lunch on the first day of the meeting, and Dr. Offit agreed, hoping that by answering their questions about vaccine safety in a friendly atmosphere, he could possibly help them understand how the science shows that vaccines are not the cause of autism and other disabilities. Unfortunately, several of the people from the lunch used their time at the microphone later that afternoon to misquote and vilify Dr. Offit. In fact, several individuals spent the better part of the two-day ACIP meeting filming and taking pictures of Dr. Offit and the other meeting participants, using this footage to pump up their social media accounts.

This week Dr. Offit wrote an Opinion Piece for the Philadelphia Inquirer regarding what he wished he had said to these parents during a subsequent encounter to help them understand the research conducted to respond to the question of whether vaccines could be the cause of the increases in autism.

The “encounter” took place  at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. four days after the ACIP meeting in Atlanta. The event was planned for Dr. Offit to talk about his latest book – Bad Advice: Or Why Celebrities, Politicians, and Activists Aren’t Your Best Source of Health Information. Several of the same vaccine skeptics traveled from far and wide to further harass him and disrupt the conversation.

Dr. Offit writes:

“Groups of anti-vaccine activists now routinely appear at federal vaccine advisory committee meetings to confront public health officials who recommend vaccines.

Before the interview began, Kodjak (From National Press Club) took the precaution of asking the audience for written questions that she would ask me in order to keep the conversation civil (this is actually the standard for the Press Club); unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way. Some activists started shouting at me; one asked how much the pharmaceutical industry was paying me.

I think I did a reasonable job of handling the shouting. But here’s how I could have made my point clearer:

Let’s take a step back. In 1976, 40 million people were inoculated with flu vaccine. About 400 (0.001 percent) developed a disorder called Guillain-Barré syndrome, which can be severe and occasionally fatal. The vaccine-disease link was detected by scientists and  published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Currently, autism occurs in 1 of 59 children, or about 2 percent of births. If retrospective studies like the one performed following the 1976 flu vaccine could detect a problem that affects 0.001 percent of a population, they also should work in the case of a far more common condition.

Seventeen studies involving hundreds of thousands of children have shown that the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine doesn’t cause autism. And, contrary to Kennedy’s  claims, seven studies involving thousands of children have shown that thimerosal, the mercury-containing preservative once used in several vaccines, also didn’t cause autism.

So one of two things must be true.

One: Vaccines don’t cause autism.

Two: A vast international conspiracy involving thousands of researchers, academicians, and public-health officials — all deeply in the pocket of the pharmaceutical industry — is hiding the truth. Remarkable, given that these same ‘conspirators’ vaccinate themselves and their own children or grandchildren.

Sadly, a small but vocal fringe element of the anti-vaccine movement has chosen the second option. Yet none of their shouting, lawsuits, hate mail, harassment, and even occasional death threats has led to a decline in autism rates.

Many parents came here for some answers about their children and have had trouble being heard above the shouting.  Sitting in the audience tonight is Alison Singer, Director of the Autism Science Foundation and the mother of a child with autism. Her organization has spent tens of millions of dollars on studies that have identified some of the genes responsible for autism and how those genes affect brain cell structure and communication. Learning the details of these and other promising studies would be far more constructive than following those who continue to proffer false hope and false cures.

I just didn’t think quickly enough to say any of this. Maybe next time.”


While Dr. Offit did not get to say these words to those in the audience, he has on numerous occasions worked to communicate with those who are skeptical about vaccines. The question then is why do they choose to villainize Dr. Offit? The obvious answer would be that it is because he is the co-inventor of a childhood vaccine, for which he was financially compensated after his twenty years of lab research. But this does not hold water, as there are dozens of vaccine inventors who have consistently fallen under the radar of the vaccine skeptics. Dr. Offit has stated on several occasions that he believes that vaccine skeptics are actually angry about the scientific process, and target him because they believe that he represents the process. They lack trust in the very science that has been conducted showing that vaccines are not the cause of ailments such as multiple sclerosis, SIDS, and autism and yet continue to demand that the government conduct more research.

I think that without a villain, vaccine skeptics wouldn’t be able to sensationalize their cause, spread disinformation about vaccines, and raise money. Let’s face it, attacking science is boring and every battle needs an enemy. I think they attack Dr. Offit because he is relentless in his drive to educate the public about the science behind vaccines through his work at the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, his books (most of the proceeds of which have gone towards charities including the Autism Science Foundation), television appearances, and regular news columns.

ECBT Executive Director Amy Pisani, ECBT Board Member Paul Offit & Emily Offit

Why does he choose to meet with these parents time and again? I and many others believe that Dr. Offit is a good man with a good heart who should be respected for spending twenty years in a lab creating a vaccine that will save millions of children from rotavirus.

He is a man who cares about our children and believes that he needs to help families understand the science so they aren’t “duped” into believing that vaccines have harmed their children, or taken advantage of by profiteers who offer costly, unproven cures for autism. He could easily go off into the sunset to enjoy his retirement. But how can he, when there are still children’s lives on the line?



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31 responses to “Vaccine Skeptics Lash Out at CDC Advisory Committee Meeting”

  1. Kathy Young says:

    Vaccines ARE responsible for vaccine injuries, including autism and autoimmune disease, but not limited to those. I should know. I am vaccine injured. There is plenty of REAL scientific research to back this up. There are more and more scientists, doctors and nurses speaking out now. Big pharma is no longer able to shut everyone up. The truth is getting out, and there is NOTHING that you can do about it. I am so thankful for ALL the parents, scientists, doctors and nurses who spoke up at your latest meeting. Love you all! I wish that I could have been there to speak MY truth. And I wish my friends who have children with vaccine induced autism could have been there as well.

  2. Dorit Reiss says:

    Thank you for going through that. One of the things that I found most disturbing was the deep lack of understanding shown in the comments of the people who came to the meeting. To give two examples, the attendees clearly did not understood that the session about making the schedule tables more readable was not about adding to the table, and several of them came out of the session recommending hepatitis A to homeless people (as a result of the outbreak that killed tens of homeless people and hospitalized others) as saying to give hepatitis A to newborns – which was never discussed.

    When these people cannot understand the general topic of discussion, or are not listening seriously enough to understand it, their presence is of limited value. Basic understanding of what’s going on is a precondition for meaningful participation.

  3. Dorit Reiss says:

    And no. Serious harms from vaccines are extremely rare, and do not include autism or (generally) autoimmune diseases.

  4. Kathy Young says:

    “…After Dr. Brian Hooker’s requests through the Freedom of Information Act for original MMR study documentation, a CDC Immunization Safety Researcher, Dr. William Thompson has buckled under the pressure of his conscience, and come forth as a whistleblower. These documents demonstrated a 3.4 fold increase in the incidence of autism in African American boys, expunged from the final study results in a violent act of scientific fraud. Dr. Thompson has since corroborated the CDC’s retroactive alteration of the data to eliminate the signal of harm. In light of a 2004 letter confirming CDC awareness and suppression of these findings, CDC head, Dr. Julie Gerberding committed perjury before moving onto her position at Merck in the Vaccine Division. Dr. Hooker has published the unadulterated finding here. …” And Julie sold 2.3 million worth of Merck stock about 3 years ago.

  5. Kathy Young says:

    Oh, I beg to differ with you, Dorit. Parents of vaccine injured children have researched more than most doctors. All you have to do is LISTEN to them, which the ACIP and CDC do not do. I am diagnosed with vaccine induced autoimmune diseases. By an M.D. There is now a medical TEXTBOOK on ASIA. There are numerous studies worldwide proving vaccines DO cause autoimmune disease and autism. Even the CDC’s own MMR study showed a CAUSAL link between the MMR and autism. Here are a few speakers at the last ACIP meeting. I am so thankful that they took their precious time and money to make the trip to be heard. I would say that they know EXACTLY what they are talking about and EXACTLY what needs to be talked about:

  6. Chris says:

    ” There is plenty of REAL scientific research to back this up. ”

    Actually, no. There are claims, usually they are spurious. Espectially with the Dr. Thompson bit: all that was proven is that it is better to get the MMR vaccine on time. Those very few young African American boys were actually vaccinated after they were diagnosed. They needed a catch up vaccine to enter the special ed. preschool as was their right under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The only reason they were not vaccinated on time was most likely poverty.

    The real science has found the genetic sequences that are responsible for over half of the diagnoses on the autism spectrum. They are working hard to find more, and you can participate:

  7. Kathy Young says:

    Chris, you are wrong. The CDC lied to hide statistically significant data. They changed their data set mid-stream. FRAUD. You are believing big pharma LIES. Yes, fully 1/3 to 1/2 the population does not methylate well. They can’t get rid of the TOXINS in vaccines. Poisons. Any doctor vaccinating who does not KNOW if his patient can detox well or not should be liable for assault. Also, ANY safety study, and I am using that term loosely, like they do with their “studies”, that the CDC does uses adjuvants in their “placebos”. Can’t do that. Not a true placebo. Not true results.

  8. Kathy Young says:

    Dorit, this is about someone you often quote and admire. He is a liar. “…Pan’s insistence that autism rates have always been 1 in 36 defies the research coming from the institution at which he used to teach, UC Davis. A 2009 study by researchers at UCD’s MIND Institute found that the humongous increase in the incidence of autism is real, is not due to how autism is diagnosed or counted, and shows no sign of abating. This study was published in the January 2009 issue of Epidemiology.

    Pan dug himself further into his hole of lies as he referenced “a growing body of research showing that the increase in autism rates is due to difference in diagnosis and changes in the DSM.” The only research from this “growing body” that he could then cite was a laughable and completely unscientific 2009 study from England which Dr. Carol Stott and John Stone ripped apart from start to finish, summarized here…”

  9. Kathy Young says:

    Dorit, this is about Pan, whom you often quote and admire. He is a liar. “… Pan’s insistence that autism rates have always been 1 in 36 defies the research coming from the institution at which he used to teach, UC Davis. A 2009 study by researchers at UCD’s MIND Institute found that the humongous increase in the incidence of autism is real, is not due to how autism is diagnosed or counted, and shows no sign of abating. This study was published in the January 2009 issue of Epidemiology.

    Pan dug himself further into his hole of lies as he referenced “a growing body of research showing that the increase in autism rates is due to difference in diagnosis and changes in the DSM.” The only research from this “growing body” that he could then cite was a laughable and completely unscientific 2009 study from England which Dr. Carol Stott and John Stone ripped apart from start to finish, summarized here…”

  10. Kathy Young says:

    Dorit, this is about Pan, whom you often quote and seem to admire greatly. “…Pan’s insistence that autism rates have always been 1 in 36 defies the research coming from the institution at which he used to teach, UC Davis. A 2009 study by researchers at UCD’s MIND Institute found that the humongous increase in the incidence of autism is real, is not due to how autism is diagnosed or counted, and shows no sign of abating. This study was published in the January 2009 issue of Epidemiology.

    Pan dug himself further into his hole of lies as he referenced “a growing body of research showing that the increase in autism rates is due to difference in diagnosis and changes in the DSM.” The only research from this “growing body” that he could then cite was a laughable and completely unscientific 2009 study from England which Dr. Carol Stott and John Stone ripped apart from start to finish, summarized here…”

  11. Kathy Young says:

    Having a super hard time commenting here. Sorry for the repeats. Several people that I know can’t even leave a comment. It won’t let them. I have had to work and work to get my first comments included. Now, apparently, it is posting them without showing them to you.

  12. Chris says:

    Still, sign up for the SPARK study. You might learn something useful.

  13. Kathy Young says:

    Thanks, Chris. I don’t like what might happen with them having my gene data. I know better than to trust them. I do appreciate your thought, though. 🙂 I am getting numerous messages from people who have tried to post here and it is not working. It took me a while. to get my comments here. And the last 3 didn’t show, so I kept trying and then all of a sudden, there are 3 of the same content. Someone needs to fix this. People think that you are not “approving” their posts.

  14. Deann says:

    Why did Drs give me a pamphlet about having my twins “cry it out” when they had their 15 month shots, including the mmr? They were beautiful, slept all night, healthy, well adjusted, and able to communicate well. Why did both my babies SCREAM, bang their heads, and cry for hours when previously they slept all night? BOTH of them? And why didn’t Drs. report their injuries like they were supposed to by law? Why did they tell me repeatedly their life-threatening reactions were normal & had nothing to do with the vaccines? No one told me about the existence of VAERS. My babies were born the year after the law was passed. You want personal stories? I’ve got plenty! I want to know why NO ONE ever stood up for my children except for me. I want to know why they’ve been allowed to suffer all these years, with nothing but assaults from doctors, nurses, hospitals, students, teachers, peers, other parents, family members, and so many others, who judged us harshly for things none of us could possibly understand? My children and I, who cannot metabolize medications, were medicated. And vaccinated. My daughter developed scoliosis, autoimmune thyroid disease, and PTSD; and my son developed Crohn’s, PTSD, and now kidney failure. They never caused any of their own health problems. Yet, I was affected by a shot I had at age 8 that had a mouse retrovirus in it. My husband was affected by his parents having ptsd, each having survived a different war. Generational trauma, chemical exposure, and then triggering with vaccines are what cause PTSD, or AUTISM in babies and children. Babies are born to EVOLVE. And vaccines and other chemical interventions are STOPPING that growth, progression and evolution. While vaccines are not the only triggers, they are indeed the MOST INVASIVE and DESTRUCTIVE. Anyone who has watched the Plotkin depositions on YouTube can see the arrogance of these vaccine doctors and scientists, who have no clue about TOXICOLOGY and the effects of repeated provocations and assaults on the immune system of INNOCENT victims. The arrogance is astounding. Humanity will correct these atrocities and will HEAL from these assaults. I stand among many who will see to it. Mark my words: As GOD is my witness, these iniquities will not stand.

  15. Chris says:

    Kathy, the Simons Foundation is a private research foundation. Also, they are bound by all of the rules of the Belmont Report to protect all your data. You should open your mind and give it a try.

  16. Chris says:

    Deann, please answer this question honestly: if you had a child who contracted rabies with something like a being bitten by a bat, how would you treat the rabies:

    1. with the modern rabies vaccine developed at the Wistar Institute in the late 1960’s

    2. with homeopathy as suggested by Not a Doctor Andre Saine

    3. just let nature take its course just because you don’t like the vaccine

  17. Kathy Young says:

    Chris, thanks, but no thanks. And most vaccines are for diseases for which people in the U.S. do not die. How many doses now for children, 78? There were 3 when I was a child. As a matter of fact, the vaccines are making strains WORSE. Vaccines destroy immune systems. A healthy immune system is your best protection. Tetanus is actually very hard to contract now. Back in the day on farms, if one cut themselves and got animal excrement in it, yes, you could get it. Now, even if you do get tetanus, high dose vitamin C will knock it out And we have been made afraid of measles and chicken pox. If you get these when a child, you have LIFE LONG IMMUNITY. Here are some excellent videos to see: I have heard the CDC is trying to make high dose vitamin C illegal, just as it did with B17. I DO NOT like GOVERNMENT making the decisions about what goes in my body or my children’s bodies. That is MY business, MY body, MY children. Vaccines are very dangerous, destroy immune systems. They are full of toxins. Watch the documentaries: Vaxxed, Trace Amounts, The Greater Good and 90+ more. Lots of great books by doctors, scientists on how vaccines destroy gut flora, and cause inflammation. The CDC holds patents for vaccines. Each vaccine added to the child’s schedule means BIG MONEY. REALLY BIG. It is a crime to humanity what is going on. But, as more babies, children and adults die or get sick from vaccines, the truth is coming out. It can’t be stopped. God bless all the wonderful parents, nurses, doctors and scientists speaking out, writing books, and making documentaries. One day soon, even you will know this, Chris. Because the TRUTH always comes out.

  18. Robert says:

    There are two points made in the article where we can agree. First, there are “vaccine-induced” ailments.” There is no argument vaccine injury can and does happen. Doctors must be trained to recognize and report vaccine injury and to stop repeating the words “it can’t be the vaccine.” Yes it is the vaccines that are that are causing a long list of ailments and our children ere in America are paying the price.

    Second, there is most definitely “… a need for public discourse on the issues of vaccines.” This discussion is desperately needed. This discussion is long overdue and the truth needs to be told on both sides of the argument. And when there is an opportunity to debate vaccines (such as One Conversation held in Atlanta recently), scientists and doctors from both sides need to be encouraged to participate without the fear of losing their jobs.

    Yes, there needs to be civil discourse on both the benefits and risks of vaccination. Yet how can there be civil discourse when doctors are being encouraged to bully parents to vaccinate on schedule and to throw patients out of their practice who don’t? What is civil about that? And how can there be civil discourse when laws are enacted that deny school attendance such as here in California? This is anything but civil. This is an assault on basic human rights and seem to me to be medical tyranny.

  19. Chris says:

    “Yes it is the vaccines that are that are causing a long list of ailments and our children ere in America are paying the price.”

    Please post evidence of that with PMIDs by reputable qualified researchers. There is now new and ongoing research on the genetic causes of autism:

    So what would you do if you encountered a rabid bat? Would you get the modern vaccine or just let nature takes its course?

  20. Deann says:

    I’m with you Kathy & Robert. Keep up the good work. Chris, really? Chris, #4. If my children’s reactions, injuries, and resultant autoimmune diseases had been addressed in 1988, and if the laws that were in place had actually been enforced, we would have had SAFE vaccines for things like Rabies, as well as other truly deadly diseases. Measles, Mumps, Whooping Cough, Chicken Pox were NEVER deadly diseases. And what are the statistics for humans getting rabies? You behave as though “the way things are” is written in stone with no chance for deviation toward, say, Precautionary Principle to have been used. You’re so far in the box, you can’t deviate from it. My children’s injuries should have been reported, as the law states. And we should have been told about VAERS. You can take your “because you don’t like it” and stuff it. Someone hands you a piece of sh!t and tells you to inject it, are you going to do it because they told you to? Or are you going to say, “This is a piece of sh!t, there’s no way I’m injecting it anywhere.” Just love how you place quantifiers on pieces of sh!t instead of demanding better for all the children who have been injured. Way to go.

  21. Deann says:

    And Chris, for the record, genetic quantifiers are caused by 1) exposures to chemical toxins, which are endocrine interrupters that change our DNA, and 2) generational trauma experienced by our ancestors, and passed down to us. It’s always interesting, however, that some people behave as though some people are simply “defective” somehow because of what they or their ancestors were exposed to, through no fault of their own. These genetic studies that do nothing but attempt to sway the known facts about endocrine interrupters are not only insulting, they’re flat out discriminatory. Yuck.

  22. Chris says:

    ” And what are the statistics for humans getting rabies? ”

    It almost always fatal. As in more than 99% death rate. So I guess your answer is that you would let nature take its course.

    “And we should have been told about VAERS. ”

    If that were true, you could have a real legal case against that clinic. Vaccine Information Sheets with information about VAERs are required by federal law to be given with each vaccination:

    The most probable reason why you did not know about them is that you got the sheet, signed the sheet of paper confirming you got that sheet of paper, shoved it into your bag and simply forgot about it.

  23. Chris says:

    Also, rabies cannot be treated. There was hope with the Milwaukee Protocol, but it does not work:

  24. Chris says:

    Deann: “And Chris, for the record, genetic quantifiers are caused by 1) exposures to chemical toxins, which are endocrine interrupters that change our DNA, and 2) generational trauma experienced by our ancestors, and passed down to us….”

    Citation needed. Those things ancestors were exposed to have nothing to do with vaccines. Personally sometimes I think my oldest kid’s DNA was scrambled by a random cosmic ray just flying through. Random de novo mutations happen… they have nothing to do with vaccines.

    Now if you would be so kind as to bring up those peer reviewed studies that show that vaccines on the present American pediatric schedule cause all of the bad stuff you claim they do.

    That is just what “citation needed” means. And we all want to know where the to find to find verifiable information. Don’t we? Don’t you? Have you gone to your local library to learn about genetics, autism, diseases and vaccines? I mean away from the random websites. Have you read a biology book on how DNA works, and how mutations happen? I have.

  25. Kathy Young says:

    Internet Trolls Attack Anyone Resisting Vaccine Party Line

    The more you read, the more you start to realize that there is a growing chorus of doctors, scientists, nurses, and other health care providers who have serious questions about the current vaccine paradigm favored by the pharmaceutical industry, government agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), medical trade groups, and the mainstream media.

    Increasingly, professionals within a wide range of health care and science fields are giving interviews and writing articles and books voicing their concerns about vaccine risks, the misrepresentation of the historical role of vaccines in reducing mortality from infectious diseases, the expanding schedule and number of vaccines mandated, or even the basic mechanism theories behind vaccine science.

    David Gorski, MD
    David Gorski, MD, alias “Orac””
    Michael Simpson, alias “Skeptical Raptor”
    Michael Simpson, alias “Skeptical Raptor”
    Predictably, every time you give the name of a contrarian doctor or scientist in response to the 99.9% figure, what you tend to get is, “Eh, well, he’s a quack, she’s not credible.” Also, you get referred to blogs such as Science-Based Medicine1 or Respectful Insolence,2 or the Skeptical Raptor’s Blog.3 The first two are often written by or associated with a guy named David Gorski, MD, who also goes by the alias “Orac.” Gorski is a surgical oncologist and an assistant professor of surgery at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, MI.4 The third is written by Michael Simpson, who goes by the “Skeptical Raptor.”5 This is how Simpson describes himself on his blog:

    I have over 25 years experience in marketing, business development, and product development in the medical products industry, working in a variety of marketing, sales, clinical research, and product development roles with large and small medical products companies. I have also had key executive roles on both the manufacturing and distribution sides of the medical products industry.3

    Should you wish to debunk someone, anyone, who dares to disagree with mainstream thinking on vaccines, all you need do is inform Orac or the Raptor, and either will gladly oblige by writing up a boorish piece, long on insult and short on science. Their methods are painfully predictable. In one piece earlier this year, Raptor criticized a prominent immunologist6 who had the nerve to write an open letter on vaccine science to state legislators in California about to vote on a bill eliminating personal belief vaccine exemptions. The piece started out by dismissing the individual’s credentials outright. Raptor writes:

    One of the most irritating problems I have with the antivaccination movement is their over-reliance on false authorities, where they trumpet the publications or commentary from someone who appears to have all of the credentials to be a part of the discussion on vaccines, but really doesn’t.6

    In the same piece, Raptor takes a backhanded swipe at a leading neuroscientist and a molecular biochemist by first acknowledging their “sterling credentials in medicine and science,” and then going on to say…

    they publish nonsense research (usually filled with the weakest of epidemiology trying to show population level correlation between vaccines and adverse events) in low ranked scientific journals.5

    In a crude shot at a pediatrician allowing parents in his practice to make informed, voluntary vaccine decisions for their children, Orac writes:

    If [he] weren’t such a worthless excuse for a pediatrician when it comes to promoting misinformation about vaccines, I’d almost feel sorry for him. Almost. He is, however, a perfect example of what the phrase ‘hoist with his own petard’ means.7

    Orac took aim at a well-respected nephrologist, who left a successful private practice to speak out about the damage being done by doctors taking a narrow-minded, aggressive approach to vaccination of patients::

    As someone who comes from a strong basic science background, having been a chemistry major (who graduated with honors–so, there!), I think I can see [her] problem. First, she seems unduly proud of her science background, wielding it like a talisman against charges that she doesn’t know what she’s talking about (which she doesn’t). Unfortunately, as those of us in medicine know, what you did 25 or more years ago in college has little bearing on what you can or can’t understand now.8

    And here is Orac having a go at a top notch molecular and cellular physiologist:

    A real molecular biologist who did real research for various biotech and pharmaceutical companies, apparently competently, for 20 years, she suddenly embraced antivaccine pseudoscience, apparently based on her embrace of fundamentalist Catholicism.9

    Catholicism appears to be what first led [her] to embrace her pseudoscientific hypothesis about fetal DNA in vaccines and autism, the tragic death of her child less than a month and a half ago is unlikely to do anything but cement in her mind the evils of vaccines made using fetal cell lines.9

    Notice the pattern. This is only a smattering of the handiwork of these two bloggers, but you begin to get the idea. Orac’s defensiveness, in particular, may have something to do with his research on a Sanofi-Aventis drug called Riluzole (Rilutek®),10 which may well eventually be used to treat autism. Riluzole has been approved for clinical trials (for autism) by the FDA, and one can imagine the money that might be at stake if the drug makes it to market.11 12 13

    But then, reason would dictate that Orac’s criticisms of individuals disagreeing with his views not be so personal and mean-spirited, because it’s always more effective in the long-run to present one’s case standing atop the moral high ground, instead of down in the gutter.

    The collection of disparaging pieces by Orac and Raptor about anyone offering a different perspective about vaccination is so impressive in both volume and diversity it’s a wonder they have any time left for their day jobs. But rather than take umbrage, those at whom such vitriol is aimed should feel comforted by Socrates’ memorable adage, “When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.” Or its modern-day equivalent by Britain’s Maggie Thatcher, “I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.” (… just replace “political” with “vaccine”).

    So yes, if you take Orac’s and Raptor’s trolling and their blogs seriously, you are likely to believe that 99.9% of all doctors and scientists are enthusiastically onboard with the mainstream vaccine paradigm, because you have automatically excluded all those who Orac, Raptor and others like them are afraid of and try really hard to discredit and silence.

    There’s that pesky cognitive dissonance rearing its ugly head again.

    Note: The original version of this article mistakenly attributed the Science-Based Medicine, Respectful Insolence, and the Skeptical Raptor’s Blog blogs to David Gorski, who is only associated with the first two. The Skeptical Raptor’s Blog is written by Michael Simpson. Our thanks to both individuals for kindly pointing out this error in their respective pieces titled “I am Spartacus! or: Orac applies some Insolence to a rather confused anti vaccine blogger” and “Internet troll connects the dots – mockery ensues”. The author stands corrected.


    91 Responses to “Internet Trolls Attack Anyone Resisting Vaccine Party Line”

  26. Chris says:

    And that has proves what now? Where in that wall of text are the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers that show any vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule is more dangerous than the disease?

    Or any vaccine for that matter. Of course crusaders like you and friends are not exactly harmless. A recent interview of Dr. Offit included people banging and shouting through the windows (they quieted down after the police were called:

    There is one poignant story from Dr. Offit’s hospital which is in the auto-generated wall of text transcript: “Not that there’s anything in the Muslim religion that says don’t get vaccinated but this was their decision. So we saw that child in our clinic at two, four, and six months of age and at least, tacitly agreed because there is a religious exemption to vaccination in the state of Pennsylvania. At 11 months of age, the child was infected with a strain of pneumococcus that was contained in the vaccine, that would have been prevented by the vaccine, had meningitis, inflammation in the lining of the brain and spinal cord causing the brain to press down on the brain stem which is to say herniated. We intubated him and saved his life but he will never see or walk or speak or hear again. This is a perfectly normal child who could have lived to be 70 or 80 and been a happy productive member of society who was felled by this awful decision. ”

    This is exactly why we will only accept actual factual scientific evidence from qualified reputable researchers. Because kids actually become severely injured or die.

  27. Kathy Young says:

    The Healing Journal
    Yesterday at 3:15 PM ·
    Here is a list of 28 studies from around the world that support Dr. Wakefield’s research:

    The Journal of Pediatrics November 1999; 135(5):559-63
    The Journal of Pediatrics 2000; 138(3): 366-372
    Journal of Clinical Immunology November 2003; 23(6): 504-517
    Journal of Neuroimmunology 2005
    Brain, Behavior and Immunity 1993; 7: 97-103
    Pediatric Neurology 2003; 28(4): 1-3
    Neuropsychobiology 2005; 51:77-85
    The Journal of Pediatrics May 2005;146(5):605-10
    Autism Insights 2009; 1: 1-11
    Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology February 2009; 23(2): 95-98
    Annals of Clinical Psychiatry 2009:21(3): 148-161
    Journal of Child Neurology June 29, 2009; 000:1-6
    Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders March 2009;39(3):405-13
    Medical Hypotheses August 1998;51:133-144.
    Journal of Child Neurology July 2000; ;15(7):429-35
    Lancet. 1972;2:883–884.
    Journal of Autism and Childhood Schizophrenia January-March 1971;1:48-62
    Journal of Pediatrics March 2001;138:366-372.
    Molecular Psychiatry 2002;7:375-382.
    American Journal of Gastroenterolgy April 2004;598-605.
    Journal of Clinical Immunology November 2003;23:504-517.
    Neuroimmunology April 2006;173(1-2):126-34.
    Prog. Neuropsychopharmacol Biol. Psychiatry December 30 2006;30:1472-1477.
    Clinical Infectious Diseases September 1 2002;35(Suppl 1):S6-S16
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2004;70(11):6459-6465
    Journal of Medical Microbiology October 2005;54:987-991
    Archivos venezolanos de puericultura y pediatría 2006; Vol 69 (1): 19-25.
    Gastroenterology. 2005:128 (Suppl 2);Abstract-303

  28. Chris says:

    “Journal of Neuroimmunology 2005”

    Did you actually cite an entire year of a journal? It looks like you do not even read and understand those citations, but many of us have. They do not show vaccines cause greater harm than the diseases… which was the question.

    So what is Mr. Olmsted up to these days? We have not heard from him for a very long time.

    Again, please just post the PubMed indexed papers that show any vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule that shows a vaccine causes more harm than the disease. So exactly how is the MMR more dangerous than measles, which causes death in about one in a thousand cases.

    Trust me, autism is not worse than death. Only an ableist would think that. Plus only a person who hates kids would think that they should get suffer from dangerous diseases.

  29. […] on Immunization Pratices (ACIP) are being portrayed as unhinged cranks harassing scientists (which they are). States like Washington are considering bills to eliminate philosophical exemptions to school […]

  30. wpengine says:

    Get science-based answers about vaccine-preventable diseases and vaccines on the Vaccinate Your Family website at

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