Sunday, February 26, 2012

Attending Super Bowl after refusing super-effective vaccine is super-stupid

Not much new to say about this that we haven’t already covered. If vaccine refusal becomes increasingly prevalent, imagine the consequences when highly communicable viruses meet hundreds of thousands of congregating susceptible hosts.

I’ll outsource my outrage to Charles Pierce.

h/t to our regular reader Noel Eldridge for linking us to the Slate piece on this.


  1. The cool thing about measles is that herd immunity doesn't work so well. It is so infectious that it exposes the free loaders. The real problem is the destruction that occurs to our world from other aspects of the denier demographic like environmental catastrophe. Not much you can do but cry in that case.

  2. I think if the US was more willing to accept that vaccines unfortunately do cause some cases of permanent damage to children and were willing to consider changing the vaccine schedule to minimize the potential for damage, parents might be more understanding. European standards are different and their rates of permanent damage from side effects is lower.

    Would also be helpful if parents could sue the vaccine makers. The very fact that the vaccines are the first and often most potent medication that is exposed to a child and then to find out that we can only trust our Government(latest polls indicate less then 30 percent of American citizens trust their American Government)to protect us from these Pharmacy companies- is not at all reassuring to most Americans.

    Most parents completely understand that there are risks with vaccines which normally do not outweigh the benefits. However, from those I have spoken to who's children were harmed by vaccines(and took years to get the government to acknowledge)they received very little compensation and most often not enough to even raise the child to adulthood considering the damage and a lifetime of permanent disability.

    If the Pharmacy companies not only had to be accountable to our less then functional Government but to the millions of people who are forced to trust their medication is safe, I bet there would suddenly be a lot more focus on a safer delivery system and schedule, not to mention improved vaccines to reduce risks.

    1. There is little evidence for these claims. If lawsuits were allowed there would be no vaccine makers in the US. Vaccines are subsets of viruses; thus getting the actual viral infection exposes children to more immunological stimulants than any vaccine.

      As far as the Government goes, the Government is us. We vote for them. If the Government does not function it is because we vote for people that specifically want it not to function. We get what we deserve.

      It is definitely sad if someone is harmed by vaccine (extremely rare) and systems need to be improved to compensate those unfortunate parents.

      If we are to push your model forward, we should also be allowed to sue parents whose kids transmit measles to a baby who can't be vaccinated or to an adult under going chemotherapy.

      We live in a society that is falling apart at the seams. When there is no sense of what brings us together as a community, when we only care about lawsuits and blame the Government for everything, I suspect there is little hope for public health going forward.

      When there is a presidential candidate saying only snobs go to college and that educating kids is some plot, this only reinforces my concerns.


  3. Ell- I appreciate your thoughts.

    But, if we cannot sue vaccine makers should we not allow citizens to sue any pharmaceutical company? Would that fall in line with your logic? Usually if there is a bad medicine on the market and it makes a couple people sick, they sue and the drug gets pulled from the market because the Pharmaceutical companies won't sell something that causes them to lose money.

    If you had read my post more carefully, never did I say a child should go WITHOUT vaccines. I simply suggest that you would have more compliant parents if they felt they were fully informed and that the pharmaceutical companies were held responsible. I also believe that by not combining vaccines it would be easier to recognize a potential problem. A slightly delayed vaccine schedule hasn't wiped Europe off the map yet. Considering that the rate of childhood allergies,autism,ADD, Mitochondrial disease(and many many more) are quadrupling as we speak and those numbers are suspected to become astronomical, wouldn't it be safe to say that perhaps how our children are reacting to vaccines may be changing too? Perhaps a more careful study, 1 at time, and delaying for the sake of our immune systems should be given some consideration- sounds pretty logical to a Mom-

    Don't even get me started on Public Education- I am a huge supporter of home schooling and private schools. Public Schools aren't exactly turning out a great product. I believe the latest numbers indicated that less then 30 percent of Americans have a higher ed degree that number included those with just an Associates. (Mom to a daughter who received her BA in Anthropology at the age of 18-clearly I support higher Ed), Public Schools should be forced to be competitive and accountable, as should the pharmaceutical companies. If we had a choice with vaccines or the market was open to competition with less Government protection, I bet we would have already had the vaccine for the common cold.

    Money talks.

    As far as citizen responsibility for who is elected? I suspect that has a lot to do with 3 generations of being feed, clothed, and housed by Uncle Sam. The Public Schools have done a fine job turning out a population defined by what they can get for nothing. 50 percent of Americans don't pay Federal Taxes. About that many receive some sort of government assistance- if my paycheck and way of life depending on the Government, my vote would be tainted too. Currently 1 in 10 have spent time in jail and that is expected to jump to 3 in 10 within 10 years based on the current curb. I agree, we have a problem.


    Telling American's NO is like telling children NO- the tantrum is going to happen.

    How safe is the MMR vaccine?
    The drug company that makes the MMR vaccine publishes an extensive list of warnings, contraindications, and adverse reactions associated with this triple shot. These may be found in the vaccine package insert available from any doctor giving MMR, and in the Physician's Desk Reference (PDR) at the library.(8,9) The following afflictions affecting nearly every body system -- blood, lymphatic, digestive, cardiovascular, immune, nervous, respiratory, and sensory -- have been reported following receipt of the MMR shot: encephalitis, encephalopathy, neurological disorders, seizure disorders, convulsions, learning disabilities, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), demyelination of the nerve sheaths, Guillain-Barre' syndrome (paralysis), muscle incoordination, deafness, panniculitis, vasculitis, optic neuritis (including partial or total blindness), retinitis, otitis media, bronchial spasms, fever, headache, joint pain, arthritis (acute and chronic), transverse myelitis, thrombocytopenia (blood clotting disorders and spontaneous bleeding), anaphylaxis (severe allergic reactions), lymphadenopathy, leukocytosis, pneumonitis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, erythema multiforme, urticaria, pancreatitis, parotitis, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, meningitis, diabetes, autism, immune system disorders, and death (Figure 49).(10,11)

    How effective is the MMR vaccine?
    Prior to the introduction of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccines, thousands of cases of measles, mumps and rubella occurred every year. Today, these numbers are greatly reduced. However, unlike the natural diseases, the MMR vaccine does not confer permanent immunity. For example, measles epidemics regularly occur in vaccinated populations. According to the CDC, "measles transmission has been clearly documented among vaccinated persons. In some large outbreaks...over 95 percent of cases have a history of vaccination."(13) Outbreaks of mumps and rubella often occur in vaccinated people as well.(14) Evidently, immunity is short-lived. The Journal of the America Medical Association published data showing that antibody levels after rubella vaccinations fell to half their high point within four years.(15) The medical literature contains many examples of MMR vaccine failures. Thus, people who receive MMR may still be susceptible to the three diseases.

    In a study conducted by scientists from the Direct Health 2000 clinic in Eltham, South London, England, half of all children vaccinated with MMR were found to have "zero or very low immunity" against measles and mumps. According to Dr. Sarah Dean, who oversaw the study, "This means there could be a lot of children who think they have got the umbrella protection" yet remain at risk. Dean believes that young children's immune systems cannot cope with more than one virus at a time.(16) Yet, a second dose of MMR was added to immunization schedules.

    The British Medical Journal published a survey of doctor's and nurse's attitudes toward booster doses of MMR. Fifty-one percent of all U.K. doctors and nurses had reservations about or disagreed with the policy of giving an MMR booster shot, and 80 percent of all U.K. doctors would not "unequivocally recommend" the second dose to a wavering parent (Figure 50).(17)

  5. Although the high coverage of measles vaccination in some countries in the Middle East due to giving an extra dose of measles vaccine before the age of one year, still we encounter measles outbreaks every several years. Blaming the herd immunity is the usual explanation of the governments. But what we know from contact with our patients is the family fear from autism which is increasingly diagnosed in our area which probably related to increasing physician awareness about autism. The problem now that most of the people who reject vaccination are the educating people.

  6. Diane - there are lots of things I would like to comment on but I will focus on just one. You said in one post that "you would have more compliant parents if they felt they were fully informed". The problem is that parents ARE fully informed. There is more information out there about the safety of vaccines from reputable organizations than anyone could ever ask for. The problem is that no matter how much information you throw in the faces of anti-vaccine supporters, it is never enough and it is never correct.

    I can't remember where I read this, but anti-vaccine supporters simply want to be re-affirmed rather than informed. Listen to what the data is telling you, listen and make an informed decision.