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Wakefield: Proquad claims. Liar or incompetent?

(235 Posts)
noblegiraffe Sat 20-Apr-13 12:32:00

This just came up on another thread, and I thought it was worth wider publicity, given Wakefield's apparent continuing influence, and the current measles outbreak.

I was discussing whether 'vaccine overload' had any basis in science, or any evidence for it. (No, btw).

I was directed to the claim that giving a 4 in 1 jab against measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox (called the MMRV) doubled adverse reactions. I found an interview with Wakefield where he claimed this showed that giving extra vaccinations at the same time was dangerous. He said:

"If you just take for example, MMR and you add in the varicella vaccine, the chickenpox vaccine, MMRV as ProQuad what happens is you double the rate of convulsions as an adverse reaction. So just adding one and not 999,000 but just one extra vaccine in, you double the rate of an adverse, a potentially serious adverse reaction. To the extent that that ProQuad vaccine had to be withdrawn. So the notion that you could give a child a hundred thousand vaccine antigens on one day is utter nonsense. And what is extraordinary, what is telling I suppose is that no other immunologist or vaccinologist or any other person with any credible standing has stood behind Dr. Offit and said yes, you can go for it."

2 points need to be made
1) Proquad has not been withdrawn. It is still licensed for use. The advisory body in the US did amend their recommendation in light of the extra adverse reactions (4.3 extra febrile seizures per 10,000). ProQuad used to be their preferred injection for both initial and booster jab, now it is just recommended for the booster jab.

2) Wakefield suggests that it was giving an extra vaccine that caused the extra adverse events (vaccine overload), however the comparison of adverse events was not between the MMRV and the MMR (4 vaccines versus 3) but the MMRV versus the MMR plus the chickenpox vaccine given on the same day (4 versus 4). Nothing to do with an extra vaccine, and he is trying to use this to make a point which simply isn't valid.

Now Wakefield still has an agenda regarding spaced out single vaccines (as recent headlines show).
Was he lying when he made these easily researched incorrect claims about ProQuad, or was he simply too thick to correctly assess the information widely available?

Now if he wanted to discuss why there were more adverse events to the 4 in 1 versus the 3+1, he might have a point (I'm not sure they contain exactly the same vaccines) but he didn't. He made a completely false point, one which is proudly featured on an antivax website.

Please treat anything Wakefield says with the caution it deserves.

noblegiraffe Sat 20-Apr-13 12:32:56

Wakefield interview where he makes his claims here:

Beachcomber Sat 20-Apr-13 13:15:15

It all hangs on Dr Wakefield doesn't it?

The whole MMR house of cards hangs on Dr Wakefield being not only Wrong but Bad and Crazy and Evil and Horrid.

Which is interesting.

Dr Wakefield had a rather distinguished career until he questioned MMR safety. He was respected and had published a large quantity of research and was considered to be an excellent researcher.

Bit like Professor Walker Smith - he was considered an eminent and world wide recognised expert on paediatric gastroenterology until he began examining and publishing clinical evidence of autistic children.

Which is also interesting.

Especially given that the vast majority of parents of the children who were examined/treated/helped by these two doctors speak about them with respect as men of integrity and who listened to and cared about their patients.

Dr Wakefield et al published their paper in 1998 and yet the witch-hunt goes on still in 2012. Extraordinary really. I'm surprised the government and the media don't just drop it if they are so sure that he is Wrong, Bad and Dangerous. People would quickly forget.

noblegiraffe Sat 20-Apr-13 13:26:33

Beachcomber, do you think this coming from him was a lie or poor research?

The problem with Wakefield is that people come on here and defend him and say he was struck off because of politics and whatnot (the blood samples at a birthday party thing at the minimum shows he was unprofessional). So if is he is really the blameless victim of some government conspiracy to promote MMR, a brave doctor simply trying to find out the truth, then why is he spouting easily disproved nonsense like I have quoted above?

noblegiraffe Sat 20-Apr-13 13:28:05

I mean, this isn't a witch hunt based on what happened in 1998, this is something new and recent.

noblegiraffe Sat 20-Apr-13 13:34:34

"He was respected and had published a large quantity of research and was considered to be an excellent researcher."

Then you would think the above claim was a deliberate lie rather than poor research?

Beachcomber Sat 20-Apr-13 14:20:11

Noblegiraffe, I have read your OP and I have read the transcript you link to. Thanks BTW for the transcript it is very interesting.

But having done those two things, I'm not too sure what you are accusing Dr Wakefield of.

Is it that he said the vaccine was withdrawn rather than specifying that the vaccine wasn't recommended for use? (Which seem to me to amount to the same thing, non?) The recommendation may be different again now, I don't know, I don't live in the US.

The interview you link to is not research - it is an interview. The language, precision and use of words are rather different in a chatty interview situation to that of published peer reviewed medical research.

I know a lot of people like to examine every word that Dr Wakefield has ever said and try to pick holes in them but I really think you are clutching at straws here.

Are you suggesting that medicine should turn its back on Dr Wakefield's ground-breaking research into Crohn's for example because said 'withdrawn' in an interview rather than 'no longer used' or 'no longer recommended for use'? Really?

I hope you scrutinise Professor Salisbury's every word with the same vigour. Unfortunately you don't appear to with Dr Offit's as you have previously linked to an article of his which says that a child could easily be given 10,000 vaccines in one day (and that wasn't an interview, it was a published document).

Beachcomber Sat 20-Apr-13 14:28:45

And saying as you ask the question, I think Dr Wakefield is neither a liar nor incompetent. And the same goes for Professor Walker Smith.

I would not be able to say the same of Professor Salisbury (who was instrumental in the decision to expose British children to a vaccine known to cause meningitis) nor of Dr Offit who advises that children can be given 10,000 vaccines in one day.

Unfortunately both of them play important roles in major decisions about how millions of children are to be vaccinated against infectious disease.

noblegiraffe Sat 20-Apr-13 14:46:01

The claim that the vaccine was withdrawn and it wasn't would be less of an issue (although still suggests that the increase in adverse events was serious and the vaccine dangerous - it's not) if he then didn't completely misinterpret the data in order to draw a conclusion what was unwarranted. In no way can you look at that adverse event data and conclude that the problem was giving too many vaccines in one day, because the comparison was between that, and another method of giving exactly the same number of vaccines.

It's nothing to do with a poor choice of words, or a chatty tone, it is to do with a complete misrepresentation of the facts (either through ignorance or deceit) in order to 'prove' his argument that giving many vaccines at the same time is more dangerous than spaced out because the body can't cope.

Now he has been splashed all over the news lately, claiming that the measles outbreak in Wales shows that he was right about single vaccines. Back in the 90s he was recommending single vaccines. He is clearly passionate about single vaccines.

So why the bloody hell has he made such a basic error when arguing in their favour? I mean, I'm not a doctor or a researcher but it was the first thing that leapt out at me when I reviewed the data. The number of vaccines given was the same.

Forget Prof Walker, the GMC, even forget the MMR controversy. How can you defend him making this claim?

noblegiraffe Sat 20-Apr-13 14:55:09

Dr Offit doesn't advise that children be given 10,000 vaccines in a day, he says the immune system could probably cope with it. I don't think he expects anyone to do it!

The Proquad vaccine is still recommended for use as the booster jab. Recommending that the separate jab be used for the first dose instead of Proquad where it used to be that Proquad was recommended over the separate jab isn't the same as recommending that proquad not be used at all, just that the separate jab was better. Clearly there's not much to choose between them.

Beachcomber Sat 20-Apr-13 15:47:49

Dr Offit doesn't advise that children be given 10,000 vaccines in a day, he says the immune system could probably cope with it. I don't think he expects anyone to do it!

Oh well, that's alright then. hmm He used that claim to patronise and silence parents over their legitimate questions about the safety of giving multiple vaccines.

Which doctor would you go for? I mean in a personal decision about your own child's care.

A) Offit - "your child can be given 10,000 vaccines in one day. Well, I mean, my theory is that they can."

B) Salisbury - "this vaccine is considered dangerous in Canada and the manufactuers no longer wish to be liable for it because it causes aseptic meningitis at unacceptably high rates, but I'm sure, your child will be fine."

C) Wakefield - "we are concerned that some autistic children have gut disease that worsens their quality of life and puts them in serious pain and distress. Their parents observed the children apparently reacting badly to a triple vaccine. We listened to their concerns and examined the safety testing of that vaccine and the medical literature available concerning the viruses in question and the way they can manifest disease in humans. What we found suggests that the parent's concerns may be legitimate. Although we cannot be sure at this moment in time (even though we have now examined over 100 children with similar issues) we are concerned enough to recommend extreme caution due to the seriousness of the illness we are investigating. We therefore suggest that the triple vaccine is investigated, that more research and investigation is done on children thought to be affected and that in the mean time, in order to continue to protect against infectious disease, alternative vaccines are used. I suggest we proceed with caution and your child be given vaccines about which we do not have similar safety concerns at this moment in time."

Now....let me think.

Beachcomber Sat 20-Apr-13 15:55:54

Or the members of the GMC.

"Professor Walker Smith, the eminent father of paediatric gastroenterology is being struck off because he cannot tell when a child is ill with gastric disease that warrants clinical examination and cannot tell the difference between research and clinical medicine. He is guilty of gross misconduct."

"Ooopsy actually forget that. It seems that we cannot tell the difference between research and clinical medicine or when a child is sick. Don't strike him off after all. He is guilty of nothing. Hope our mistake hasn't caused any inconvenience or influenced public opinion or made any doctors worried about doing the same sort of work as Professor Walker Smith in case we strike them off by mistake too."

noblegiraffe Sat 20-Apr-13 15:58:19

Why are you dodging the issue and bringing other doctors into this?

You made the same error as Wakefield, said that giving an extra vaccine caused problems. Did you hear it from him? (not clear, as you at least didn't claim the vaccine was withdrawn). Or from someone repeating his claim?

Beachcomber Sat 20-Apr-13 16:44:04

Because that is what this whole business comes down to now - which doctor to trust, which side to believe. Much of the science is a mess and has been made that way due to politics, conflicts of interest and arse covering.

That is why Dr Wakefield has asked Dr Offit and Dr Salisbury if they will join him in open public debate about the safety of MMR vaccines.

Noblegiraffe, neither Dr Wakefield nor I have made an error. The MMRV quad vaccine caused problems in the way neither the MMR did nor the MMR + single V did. And no, I didn't 'hear' it from him, I wasn't aware he had spoken about it. There are actually thousands of people other than Dr Wakefield who talk about and examine the issue of MMR safety.

I know people would very much like this to be all about Dr Wakefield. But it isn't. If this were only about one corrupt doctor trying to pull a fast one it would all have blown over a long long time ago. Dr Wakefield would have had his 15 minutes of fame and people would struggle to even remember his name today.

Beachcomber Sat 20-Apr-13 17:05:21

In no way can you look at that adverse event data and conclude that the problem was giving too many vaccines in one day, because the comparison was between that, and another method of giving exactly the same number of vaccines.

And this.

Have you checked the viral unit content of Proquad compared to MMRII + single V?

Have you researched how the bodily mechanisms and the immune system react to 4 viruses being administered in one injection compared to separated injections? Has anyone?

Anyway the point of talking about Proquad is to note that children reacted differently to their vaccines depending on how the combination was delivered. (Although as I say the viral load may also be different. I don't know though I haven't checked.)

High-titer measles vaccines have long been known to cause harm in children so it isn't a big surprise to anyone with an ounce of common sense that children are actually real live human beings, not pincushions, and they react differently to different drugs or different combinations of administration. Google high-titer Edmonston-Zagreb measles vaccine - a high viral load vaccine that killed children.

noblegiraffe Sat 20-Apr-13 17:19:47

This thread is certainly all about Wakefield, or at least that was my intention, it's pretty clear from the title smile

You did make an error, you said there was a problem with vaccinating against 4 viruses at the same time instead of 3. You were trying to provide support for a vaccine overload theory. But the comparison was made against vaccinating against 4 viruses at the same time. And Wakefield was very clear in that he was talking about the number of vaccines given in a day - there was no extra vaccine, it was the same number of vaccines. I wonder if Wakefield made the error himself then, or just picked up the same snippet that you say is being bandied about by other people and blindly repeated it without doing even the most basic fact checking.

By the way, science isn't about authority figures, it's about the quality of the evidence. But if you see it in terms of trusting doctors, I'm not sure why anyone would continue to trust Wakefield after this demonstrably false claim without taking a very close look at the evidence themselves.

noblegiraffe Sat 20-Apr-13 17:23:34

And incidentally, seeing as Wakefield seems to have set himself up as an authority figure, especially in regard to single vaccines with his shameless self-publicity recently, isn't it really important that he makes sure he knows what he's talking about?

CatherinaJTV Sat 20-Apr-13 18:25:50

it seems to be something in the ProQuad that causes the increased risk of febrile seizures, if you give MMR into one leg/arm and Var into the other, the risk of febrile seizures is not increased (and immunity to Var is also better as far as I remember). Every time I listen to Wakefield and pick a claim to check "liar or incompetent" is the question. Neither is particularly flattering.

Beachcomber Sat 20-Apr-13 18:40:17

Noblegiraffe we need two pieces of information. Unfortunately Merck doesn't clearly provide either of them.

We need to know how Proquad performs against MMR given alone.

We need to know how Proquad performs against Varivax given alone.

We also need to know the viral loads of the all the combinations.

We don't know because Merck chose to compare their vaccine against MMR + Varivax - but even then it performed worse in terms of safety.

I looked up the viral loads, you can find them on the package inserts. Unfortunately Merck has not chosen to give them all in the same format which makes comparing them rather tricky.

noblegiraffe Sat 20-Apr-13 18:52:27

Beachcomber, you don't need any of that stuff to know that what Wakefield was saying was incorrect. He clearly thought that the increased adverse events were associated with an extra vaccine (no extra vaccine was given) and he also said that the increased adverse events caused the vaccine to be withdrawn (it wasn't).

This information is easily available on the Internet. He clearly didn't know what he was talking about, but said it anyway.

bruffin Sat 20-Apr-13 20:35:03

Did you know about this one as well Noble

Again either a fraud or incompetent

Beachcomber Sat 20-Apr-13 21:53:24

Noblegiraffe, obviously neither of us can be sure because it was a bit of a throwaway comment. If it matters that much to you why don't you contact Dr Wakefield and ask him to clarify?

According to the CDC the varicella viral load in Proquad is higher than in Varivax;

The titer of Oka/Merck varicella-zoster virus is higher in MMRV vaccine than in single antigen varicella vaccine, VARIVAX® (Merck), a minimum of 3.13 log10 plaque-forming units (pfu) versus 1,350 pfu (approximately 1.13 log10), respectively.

So we have a bit more info.

Why is the varicella load heavier? Why does it need to be heavier?

Beachcomber Sat 20-Apr-13 22:06:30

This is interesting;

Measles-like rash and fever during days 5-12 were more common after the first dose of MMRV (rash, 5.9%; fever, 27.7%) than after M-M-RII and VARIVAX (rash, 1.9%; fever, 18.7%). The incidence of other adverse events were similar between groups. Response rates were >90% to all vaccine components in both groups. Geometric mean titers to measles and mumps were significantly higher after 1 dose of MMRV than after administration of M-M-RII and VARIVAX.

Especially this bit - Geometric mean titers to measles and mumps were significantly higher after 1 dose of MMRV than after administration of M-M-RII and VARIVAX

It appears that in the 4 in 1 the varicella component potentiates the measles and mumps elements (perhaps because the varicella component is higher than in Varivax or perhaps because they are given as a single injection).

Beachcomber Sat 20-Apr-13 22:09:06

Which does rather lead one to wonder what the results of a test would be where Proquad was compared to MMRII.

Of course, unfortunately it appears that Merck didn't do one (I can't find it but would be interested if it exists) - rather remiss of them IMO.

noblegiraffe Sat 20-Apr-13 22:31:13

Beachcomber, it's interesting that you are trying to do the research that Wakefield clearly didn't, but this won't let him off the hook!

A bit of a throwaway comment? It was an argument designed to dismiss a doctor who has argued against the idea of vaccine overload, and incidentally apparently pissed off Wakefield. It had been thought through, there were figures and details involved. It was in an 'special' interview where he was introduced as a pioneer, a prominent researcher. There was much gushing. And he then goes on to spout this bollocks.

And yet you are refusing to admit that he even made an error when he claimed an extra vaccine was the cause. Once again, there was no extra vaccine.

Beachcomber Sat 20-Apr-13 22:42:19

Honestly noblegiraffe, I think you should ask him to clarify. I once emailed about a question I had and it took a while to get a response but I did get one and it was very precise and thorough. It was when he was at Thoughtful House so I was able to contact him fairly easily - I'm not sure how you would go about that now (sorry).

I know he has talked before about how when you add viruses to make a combined vaccine, you have to tinker with the levels as there is viral interference, synergy and potentiating so if I were you (and it were important enough to me), I would check.

I find it interesting that you seem ok with Dr Offit's 10,000 vaccines nonsense.

Beachcomber Sat 20-Apr-13 22:45:19

Forgot to say;

Once again, there was no extra vaccine.

Vaccination doesn't work quite as simply as that. Titer levels are very significant.

noblegiraffe Sat 20-Apr-13 22:49:36

Bruffin, that revised graph made my head hurt it was so badly put together. The temptation is to think that he didn't know what he was doing, but the careful deletion of certain words makes it very suspicious.

Does he think that people will just take his word for things and not go back and actually look at the source?

I started this thread because I genuinely didn't know what to make of the error he made in the OP. I didn't go looking for it, I certainly haven't been googling 'Wakefield errors' or anything like that. When I found the interview, I didn't even realise it was Wakefield at first making the mistake.

I always thought of Wakefield as someone who got a bit carried away with their own self-importance, genuine intentions, a bit misguided. Then in the newspapers the other day, the whole 'I was right' thing pissed me off as there probably wouldn't have been a big demand for single vaccines without his discredited pronouncements anyway. So then I thought he was an arrogant twat. Then by chance I found him making this stupid error. I mean, really stupid error. Someone who cared about the truth wouldn't make that error.

And now this graph bruffin posted. Well, there's something not quite right there isn't there? Graph legends don't just amend themselves do they? I tend to think the best of people in terms of intentions, but, well, hmmm.

noblegiraffe Sat 20-Apr-13 22:58:35

Beachcomber, I don't need to email him to clarify, his words are really clear. He is clearly talking about adding an extra vaccine to the MMR. He is talking about adding a chickenpox vaccine. He is talking about adding an extra antigen in a day. He is not talking about virus levels or anything like that, he is talking about adding chickenpox. To try to read it any other way is just grasping at straws.

But in the comparison, the chickenpox vaccine was already being administered the same day.

noblegiraffe Sat 20-Apr-13 23:10:33

Should I email him to confirm that when he said that the increased adverse events caused the vaccine to be withdrawn, he didn't actually mean that the vaccine was withdrawn, merely that it's no longer the first choice vaccine but is still in use?

sashh Sun 21-Apr-13 03:26:21

Dr Wakefield had a rather distinguished career until he questioned MMR safety.

So did Dr Shipman.

Dr Mengale did some interesting research in Auschwitz. And what did he say? "I personally have not killed, injured or caused bodily harm to anyone."

Beachcomber Sun 21-Apr-13 10:27:54

Bruffin or noblegiraffe can you explain (in your own words) what your problem is with the graph. And I mean specifically (not just 'he added a line' or 'he combined data').

Because as far as I can see, both graphs show an increase in autism in both the US and the UK after the introduction of MMR vaccines.

The notion that autism cases are not increasing has been rejected ages ago - even the CDC don't try to say that anymore.

Increasingly in the US, scientists are looking for environmental causes.

noblegiraffe Sun 21-Apr-13 11:02:59

Ok, the Canada data is not a set of data detailing how many cases of autism have been diagnosed each year since the 60s, it is a snapshot of data of a group of people diagnosed with autism. So they have a bunch of people who have been diagnosed with autism and ask them their year of birth. A few of the people were born in the 60s, many more were born in the 80s. Using a time series graph for that data is inappropriate because it looks like in the 60s a few people were diagnosed, then more and more. The data for the 60s wasn't collected in the 60s, the data for the 70s wasn't collected in the 70s, that was simply when these people were born.
Of course there are many reasons why in a given group of people diagnosed with autism you might have fewer people born in the 60s and more born in the 80s (the article suggests a baby boom I think, as one reason).
Removing the word 'enrolled' from that graph legend hides the fact and suggests instead that it is the number of diagnoses per year - although the original choice of doing a time series graph was poor, this compounds the error.

Regarding the UK data, there wasn't much info on how that was collected so can't comment on that part of the graph in detail.
However, the axis on the right starts at 0, the axis on the left starts at 100. You can't do that, it's just bad graph drawing and very misleading.

Then, these two graphs which contain very different data have been forced together. This is inappropriate.

Then, from what I can gather, the little arrows are very misleading as the MMR wasn't introduced all at once to a particular birth cohort. In fact, I found it a bit confusing as to what those little arrows were supposed to indicate at all. Year of introduction of MMR?

noblegiraffe Sun 21-Apr-13 11:25:41

Just to clarify further, the reason having the two different graphs plotted against two different axes is misleading is because if they were both plotted starting at zero (as they should be for a fair comparison), the California data wouldn't even appear on the UK scale, it would be way above it. This would prompt people to think 'hey, why did California have loads more autism in the 60s than the UK even before the MMR?' and then they would look at the original data and realise that the graph didn't show autism in the 60s at all.

That you have looked at the graph and thought it showed an increase in autism following the MMR in two different places just shows that that is exactly what you were meant to see, not because that is what the data says. The graph has been produced deliberately to make that impression and has required several slights of hand to do so.

noblegiraffe Sun 21-Apr-13 11:33:46

Does that help, Beachcomber? I typed it on an iPhone while feeding a baby so it might not be very coherent, I already spotted I said Canada instead of California! If you don't understand anything, I'd be happy to clarify further. It took me ages to get my head around what bruffin's link was saying.

bruffin Sun 21-Apr-13 11:51:19

Its just basically that he was comparing 2 different sets of data ie year of birth in California and year of diagnosis in London.

messybedhead Sun 21-Apr-13 11:51:39

Forgive me for commenting on something I know very little about, but surely if he is comparing 4 in 1 to 3 in 1 +1, and there are more incidences of febrile convulsions, then he is showing that 4 in 1 injections are more harmful than the same 4 separately (3+1 and 1) in a day.

You cannot argue against this? They are both 4 in one day, but not both all at the same time?

noblegiraffe Sun 21-Apr-13 12:02:23

Messy, yes, but Wakefield is arguing that it is because there was an extra vaccine given on the same day, which is simply untrue.

It's not clear why the 4 in 1 showed more side effects, I'm not sure that it contained exactly the same vaccines as the 3 + 1, (in some studies I looked at, the chickenpox vaccine was different) so that would be a starting point.

noblegiraffe Sun 21-Apr-13 12:03:42

When I say it's not clear, I mean it's not clear to me, but I've only looked at the data briefly.

messybedhead Sun 21-Apr-13 12:07:30

So surely the fact that they were both given on same day but not at the same time, it's even worse?

noblegiraffe Sun 21-Apr-13 12:08:40

Bruffin, it's not just that, it's that he took deliberate measures to hide that fact that worries me. I mean, he must have looked at the California data way above the UK data and made a decision to fudge the axes. He must have got his delete key, and erased key words.

I'm assuming it was Wakefield himself who did the manipulation. This would suggest liar. If it was someone else and he just found it somewhere, we're back to incompetent.

noblegiraffe Sun 21-Apr-13 12:09:53

What do you mean, messy? The 3 + 1 would have been given at the same time, one in each arm I expect, like baby jabs.

racheael76 Sun 21-Apr-13 12:12:47

What's happening in Wales can happen anywhere where vaccination rates are low. It's happening in my hometown. I sincerely hope it won't happen in yours.

bruffin Sun 21-Apr-13 12:15:36

I realise that Noble grin

noblegiraffe Sun 21-Apr-13 12:32:19

Ok, that graph gets more confusing. The handy little arrow is pointing to 1985. The UK graph shows number of new cases per year. The MMR wasn't introduced until 1988. Why isn't the arrow pointing to 1988? Why has it been rather oddly placed a few years earlier? Is it because there is a clear trend of increasing new cases of autism before 1988? The introduction of MMR if placed correctly on that graph wouldn't appear to have made much difference to the trend.

Beachcomber Sun 21-Apr-13 14:57:57

Thank you for explaining what bothers you although to be honest I'm not really seeing the issue. The data no doubt isn't perfect (it never is in epidemiology) - and it is the data of the Talylor et al study (widely touted as being perfectly solid when it argues against an association between autism rates and MMR use!!).

Either cases of autism have risen or they have not. Dr Wakefield's graph shows that they have - anyway we know that they have, the CDC agrees that they have, alarmingly.

This increase has happened since the introduction of MMR.

The increase has happened in the UK and it has happened in the US. It started to happen earlier in the US than in the UK. The periods of the increase in both cases (10 years apart) correspond to a change in vaccination policy.

The data are not exactly the same for the two countries because they have been gathered in a different way, hence the three axes and the explanation that the graph is a juxtaposition. The US data is for the number of people with an autism diagnosis - it shows a big increase in the number of people with an autism diagnosis since the introduction of MMR.

The UK data show a big increase in new autism diagnoses since the introduction of MMR.

Of course such data sheds no light on causation as epidemiology cannot provide that. But it shows an association in two different countries implementing the same change 10 years apart. Looks like a pretty solid case of association to me.

In addition the same diagnostic criteria is used in the two countries and the increase was not predicted by the relevant authorities.

Temporal trends for autism in the USA (California*) and the UK (north-west London) In 1998 the expected numbers of newly diagnosed autistic children in California should have been 105–263 cases according to DSM-IV; the actual figure was 1685 new cases. The temporal trend in north-west London is almost identical, although the rise is delayed by about 10 years. The two countries use the same diagnostic criteria. The sequential trends are consistent with the timing of introduction of MMR to both regions. *Data from Department of Developmental Services, Sacramento,1987–98 (

Noblegiraffe, if you read the text presented with the graph (rather than looking at the graph out of context with nearly all of its text missing on somebody else's website), it explains that the arrow for the UK is for 1996 - the first birth cohort of the MMR catch up campaign. Anyway the graph clearly states that the arrow is for the first eligible birth cohort not year of introduction of the vaccine.

Beachcomber Sun 21-Apr-13 15:01:59

And the point that Dr Wakefield is making with the graph is that the epidemiological data suggests that it is illogical to rule out MMR as a factor in autism increases and that more investigation is warranted.

Seems fair enough to me.

Beachcomber Sun 21-Apr-13 15:19:53

And the original link is just to a blog. A blog by someone who says he contributes to LBRB which is known to be very oriented and to post some pretty unpleasant stuff. And anyway even his graphs once he'd rejigged the format showed increases in autism rates following the introduction of MMR (turn them sideways).

bruffin Sun 21-Apr-13 16:22:51

The point is that AW had to fiddle with the graph to make that point which again you excuse.
The origin was an article in Drug Safety Magazine which the author replicated in his own blog.

Its highly hypocritical of you to criticize the author when you rely on Martin Walker, whale, mercola AOA etc for your lovely conspiracy theories.
As to the birth cohort the UK may have bern correct but the US one wss not. The US intruduced MMR in 1972 so the cohort should have been around 1970 not 1977 which givesva different picture.
Brent Taylor himself criticized AW for misinterpretating the data from North London.

CatherinaJTV Sun 21-Apr-13 16:54:09

Rachael - you are so right - amazing how this is overlooked in a lot of the current discussions.

noblegiraffe Sun 21-Apr-13 19:56:12

Beachcomber, do you realise that you linked to a rebuttal of Wakefield's analysis of the UK data by the people who collected it?

"In short, Wakefield’s critique of our work rests on a selective and inaccurate interpretation of our data and results. We stand by our findings: the epidemiological evidence from this large study does not support a causal association between MMR and autism."

noblegiraffe Sun 21-Apr-13 20:10:31

Apologies that the next few posts will be disjointed, I'm having problems with copying and pasting from other tabs and keep losing my post when I do it.

Beachcomber, you appear to have missed the fundamental point regarding the California data which is that Wakefield was using it for something the authors quite clearly stated it wasn't intended for.
The report the graph came from is here
It's on page 8. See how Wakefield amended the label on the axis? Why did he do that unless to hide that the numbers of people were enrolled in a centre?

noblegiraffe Sun 21-Apr-13 20:19:22

The authors state "Unfortunately, the quality and type of information examined in this report were not suitable for measuring incidence in the population of persons with autism. "

And "This report was not an investigation of incidence, but was rather an official counting and reporting of the numbers of persons with autism and other developmental disabilities served by the regional center system over time. This report does not include any data on those persons in California who are not part of the Developmental Services system. "

Wakefield, however, is presenting it as if it were exactly an investigation of incidence of autism in the general population.

Basically they looked at the people enrolled in their centre in 1991 who had autism and plotted their dates of birth on a graph. There were lots of young people registered in the centre, and comparatively fewer older people. Now, I've no idea how you get registered in the centre or what it's for, but I imagine that would be quite important.
It's obvious to me that there would be fewer older people registered with autism automatically, regardless of whether incidence of autism is on the increase, simply because of the increase in diagnoses. There are lots of people out there with undiagnosed ASD out there in the older generations who would have been picked up had they been born now.

noblegiraffe Sun 21-Apr-13 20:43:33

The report also says "Compared to characteristics of 11 years ago, the present population of persons with autism are younger, have a greater chance of exhibiting no or milder forms of mental retardation, are more likely to live at home, and are more likely to receive an earlier diagnosis."

So, it's also possible that in the older age groups, the people with autism who exhibit no mental retardation and are able to live at home slipped through the system, but due to more awareness of autism, they are now being picked up.

The data isn't controlled in any way, so many confounding variables make it meaningless to look at the spread of ages of people with autism registered at that centre, stick an arrow on it and say 'look, that's precisely when the problem started and it precisely links to this event.'

There's no doubt (and if you read the report it's clear) that the number of people being referred to the centre with autism is increasing, and that it is increasingly younger children who are being referred. So autism referrals are on the increase. Does that mean autism is on the increase? Or just autism diagnoses? Or something else? You can't tell at all from this data. If the centre had become renowned for its excellence in dealing with young children with autism, you'd see exactly the same thing.

Do you see? Wakefield shouldn't have touched this data with a barge pole. But not only did he do that, he tried to hide the source - an enrollment in a centre.

noblegiraffe Sun 21-Apr-13 20:51:50

So, you have the authors of the UK data saying that Wakefield has misinterpreted their data, and you have the authors of the US data saying that their data shouldn't be used at all in the way Wakefield has used it.

And you have a graph where he has forced the two together in a way that mathematically shouldn't be done, as it is exceptionally misleading.

Autism diagnoses are increasing, that's indisputable. Autism itself may be on the increase, although untangling that from the increase in diagnoses would be quite tricky, I imagine. You say that's accepted now, I haven't looked into it.

But that graph, and what Wakefield has attempted to do with it is just intellectually, scientifically, mathematically, undefendable.

sashh Mon 22-Apr-13 07:28:04

Either cases of autism have risen or they have not.

No diagnosis has risen.

Before the 1940s there were virtually no cases because the term 'autism' wasn't used then.

There were still people with autism, they just didn't have a diagnosis.

In silicon valley there are a lot of children with ASD, this is unlikely to be environmental, it is probably due to the fact many computer programmers, IT geeks etc have ASD, or ASD tendencies and there is a complex genetic link.

Beachcomber Mon 22-Apr-13 10:25:55

racheael76 - I live in France where we had a measles epidemic a couple of years ago. Apparently around 10,000 cases - most French people have never heard of Dr Wakefield.

Beachcomber Mon 22-Apr-13 10:28:03

Yes, I know the rebuttal is on the same page as the letter published by Dr Wakefield - thought it was interesting to read the whole thing in context. Thanks for replies noblegiraffe, I will read and reply later.

Beachcomber Mon 22-Apr-13 11:06:16

Dr Wakefield clearly states where the California data comes from "Data from the recent California report from the Office of Developmental Services".

The Department of Developmental Services isn't 'a centre' it is a state wide system for ensuring that people with developmental issues are looked after and access services they are entitle to. They are considered to have one of the best data bases on autism in the world because they have been gathering comprehensive data since the 1970s. Many studies have been done on autism using the Californian data for this reason.

In California, the Lanterman Developmental Disabili-ties Services Act, passed in 1969 and amended numerous times over the subsequent 6 years, guarantees that all individuals with developmental disabilities can receive age-appropriate services for specified conditions (autism, mental retardation, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy). During that period, the paradigm for services to individuals with disabilities was shifting from the medical model to the developmental model, a change implemented by state and national policies. By 1976, 21 Regional Centers were established in California to administer and coordinate those services in a community rather than institutional setting. Administrative databases from these Regional Centers are now compiled centrally by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and have been analyzed to track trends in developmental disabilities.

Beachcomber Mon 22-Apr-13 14:49:08

From the CDC;

More people than ever before are being diagnosed with an ASD. It is unclear how much of this increase is due to a broader definition of ASDs and better efforts in diagnosis. However, a true increase in the number of people with an ASD cannot be ruled out. We believe the increase in ASD diagnosis is likely due to a combination of these factors.

That webpage states the number as 1 in 88. Their latest study shows 1 in 50 but apparently the study method was different.

The CDC was adamant for years that any increases could be accounted for by changes in diagnosis/better diagnosis so this is quite a change in their stance. Which is good because it has helped open up the possibilities for research into environmental factors.

noblegiraffe Mon 22-Apr-13 15:21:51

Beachcomber, you haven't acknowledged the fact that Wakefiekd was using the data in a way the authors specifically said it wasn't suitable for. Presumably he read the report before taking the graph, no? And if there isn't a problem with the data he used, why did he amend the axis label?

Beachcomber Tue 23-Apr-13 10:08:43

Data is data. Although of course it can be 'massaged' and manipulated - in fact the Talyor et al study has been heavily criticized for doing this.

I think it is very interesting that the Californian Department of Developmental Services is careful to stress that their investigation is not an attempt to measure incidence in the population. Which of course it is not - it is a state wide report clearly showing that the Department has seen a major increase in the number of autistic people they have in their service whilst they have not seen a similar increase in other developmental difficulties. They also go on to say;

What we do know is that the number of young children coming into the system each year is significantly greater than in the past, and that the demand for services to meet the needs of this special population will continue to grow. If present rates of intake continue, there will be a need for: (1) greater emphasis on long range planning to develop suitable methods of delivering services, (2) strategies for development of new and abundant resources; (3) clinical training of regional center personnel in diagnostic and treatment standards necessary to adequately advise parents and (4) creation of forums for information exchange and collaboration between providers and the families of children with autism. In conclusion, there is a real need to accelerate multi-discipline, multi faceted research efforts in this area.

The Californian data shows an increase in autism cases entering the state wide system over that period - they don't wish to draw conclusions about the population in general based on their limited data. I also think they are being very careful as they know that this is a highly charged subject.

Wakefield does not try to draw conclusions about the population in general either. His point is that there is a temporal association. He is pointing out that there are more cases in California than before and that there are more cases in West London than before but that what is interesting is that the increase in these two areas happened 10 years apart and that in both areas the increase followed a change in vaccination policy with the first birth cohorts to receive the triple vaccine. Which is pretty solid epidemiological evidence that more, not less, investigation is needed (the Taylor study was an attempt to shut down any more investigation).

If you look at this article, they use the Californian data to examine incidence in the state.

I don't know why Wakefield amended the axes label - just as I don't know why the authors of the above article amended labels. I suppose though that it is because the DDS is making a point that the data shows that they have more people enrolled in their service and therefore need more funding/infrastructure whereas Wakefield or others are not making a case for the DDS they are using the DDS data simply to show that there are more people with autism in California than before. (As I said before, California is considered to have one of the most comprehensive data bases in the world with regards to autism and other developmental disabilities. Seems logical to use the best data available to examine a possible increase in cases.)

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 23-Apr-13 10:17:58

I think you speak very eloquently BeachComber. If I had the energy you do I would love to debate properly about this.

My ds has mumps at the moment, which I think he caught on our holiday from a relative. He is fine and resting, just keeping him in and away from other kids. Dd is having her second bout of chickenpox smile

noblegiraffe Tue 23-Apr-13 10:38:55

Beachcomber, you are now arguing a different point entirely, whether autism diagnoses are increasing. No one disputes that. There are lots of people making efforts to investigate why.

The issue here is Wakefield misusing data to try to show a link between this increase and the MMR and using wholly unsuitable data without any controls to do so.

The document you just linked to makes huge efforts to exert some control on the data they are analysing before drawing any conclusions.

They point out that the definition of autism became much broader in the 80s. Does Wakefield? No. They point out that the people currently in the system in California might not have been born in California (so would they have even got the MMR?). Does Wakefield account for that? No. Did regulations change to include milder cases? (remember the report says that far more of the recent cases are likely to have no or mild mental retardation, and are more likely to live at home). Did Wakefield discuss that hypothesis? No. He just took some raw data and plonked a big old arrow in it saying 'MMR starts here' and said that meant his argument was true.

It's nonsense.

bruffin Tue 23-Apr-13 10:39:07

Waynetta it may be eloquent but it,s complete nonsense.
Its excuses made for a man that has repeatedly been caught out lying, changing data etc for his own end. The consequence of which is a return of a disease that should have been eliminated by now in the UK.

noblegiraffe Tue 23-Apr-13 10:45:52

Another issue to consider is that if the MMR was introduced in 1988 and causes autism at a particular rate, and most of the infant population have got the MMR post a certain date, why are autism cases rising rather than there being a big spike then a plateau? (And maybe a dip when confidence in the MMR dropped?). The graph doesn't fit the hypothesis at all.

bruffin Tue 23-Apr-13 10:50:36

Nor does the fact in Japan Autism continued to rise once MMR was stopped.

noblegiraffe Tue 23-Apr-13 11:08:44

I would like to see a graph of the Japanese data put on top of Wakefield's graph with a big fat arrow saying 'MMR stopped here'.

Wakefield aside giving children several viruses at the same time as live measles vaccine does concern me because measles supresses cell-mediated immunity therefore reducing the bodies ability to fight other pathogens (ref 1, ref 2, ref 3). This supression results in increased susceptibility to secondary infections.

noblegiraffe Tue 23-Apr-13 12:17:53

Measles does, as your links show. I can't find any evidence that the measles vaccine does. Remember, the measles vaccine doesn't give you measles. And if giving mumps and rubella vaccines with measles was dangerous because the measles vaccine surpresses the immune system, then wouldn't you expect to see cases of mumps and rubella after vaccination?

Measles vaccine can result in vaccine induced measles which is clinically indistinguishable from the wild-type virus ref. It is also not possible to distinguish between the measles antibody response from a vaccine and that to a wild type virus without molecular characterisation of viral isolates ref. Unless genetic analysis is done on every person who exhibits post-vaccine measles symptoms and not just serological tests then it is difficult to know how many cases of wild-type measles from vaccines there actually are.

Vaccine induced measles, mumps and rubella are common side effects of the MMR ref, they do tend to be milder. There are side effects which indicate secondary infections listed for Priorix here.

Some of the side effects are very serious, not to say you wouldn't get some of them with a single measles vaccine, but at least the risk of getting multiple complications relating to the measles, mumps and rubella aspect of the MMR would be removed.

PigletJohn Tue 23-Apr-13 21:31:37

Beachcomber Dr Wakefield had a rather distinguished career until he questioned MMR safety

No, he had a rather distinguished career until, after many years of lies and fraud, he was found out.

noblegiraffe Tue 23-Apr-13 21:51:50

But those mild forms are experienced with monovalent vaccines anyway. The link says "Adverse reactions which might occur following the use of a combined mumps, measles, rubella vaccine correspond to those observed after administration of the monovalent vaccines alone or in combination."

Beachcomber Wed 24-Apr-13 00:07:07

Noblegiraffe, why is the data unsuitable?

And when you say that no-one disputes that autism is more prevalent than in the past, that is simply not the case. The struggle to have it admitted by the CDC and the general public and all manner of people, has been herculean. There has been MASSIVE resistance simply to the data that pays witness to the, very concerning, increase in autism. And I think that is because if we admit that there is an increase, we then need to look at why....

And, we can argue the data till the cows come home, but the only answers lie in examination of the children themselves.

I mentioned the side effects purely to illustrate that even with the vaccine the immune response can be supressed leading to secondary infections (upper respiratory infections, otitis media etc).

Yes some will occur with the single measles vaccine, but you won't get the Arthralgia of rubella or the parotitis of mumps at the same time as the measles related symptoms.

Beachcomber Wed 24-Apr-13 07:52:18

Also, Wakefield's comments were in a letter to the Lancet. The point of the letter was to say that he didn't find the Taylor et al study strong evidence that the issue of MMR and autism could be closed (and he was right, the Taylor study was very poor).

He wasn't doing research or a study - he was writing a letter to point out a flaw in the Taylor study and to point out that available data strongly suggested that more not less investigation was needed. (And he was right about that too.)

I doubt he thought that years later his letter would be scrutinised as though it was a piece of comprehensive research.

There are many reasons why cases could continue to increase (although I think the long term data does show curves - not 100% sure would have to check). The viral load of the MMR could be changed (IIRC the mumps element was tinkered with at one point). Other vaccines could be added to the schedule which could potentiate MMR, the age of vaccination could be lowered, etc.

It would be extremely interesting to see a population wide study which took these elements into account. Complex to do though, perhaps the MIND institute has done that sort of work?

noblegiraffe Wed 24-Apr-13 08:02:37

stitch, I'm really not convinced you can say that the measles vaccine surpresses the immune system and leaves it vulnerable to infection because in the month and a half following vaccination it was common for children to get a cold, given that its common for children to get colds anyway.

noblegiraffe Wed 24-Apr-13 08:16:12

Beachcomber, one major vital issue with the data is that it doesn't control for population size, it's simply a head count. In California, is there the same number of people in each year of birth? Of course not. Look at the population of the UK and the problem with primary school places: there are way more children this year than in previous years. If 1% of children have autism and you did a head count, then you'd have more cases in this cohort than the last cohort. Does that mean autism has increased? No, just that the number of children has increased.

The Calfornia data is utterly useless at assessing prevalence of autism in the general population if you don't know how many people in each year are in the general population. Any sort of sensible analysis would do a head count of autism per 10,000 population

And the idea that Wakefield can make a shit argument simply because it was in a published letter rather than a study is laughable. He's making this claim, he's supposed to be the expert on it. Was he saving his good arguments for something else?

PS I said it was indisputable that autism diagnoses are on the increase, not that autism is.

Beachcomber Wed 24-Apr-13 10:26:28

OK noblegiraffe, I can see that you have a strong opinion on this. I disagree with you on the data - no it doesn't allow one to draw solid conclusions about the general population. That isn't the point though.

The point is that in two areas a marked increase in autism cases was reported and that this happened 10 years apart and that a common factor was the change in vaccination policy, 10 years apart.

The point is not to say 'MMR causes autism' - epidemiology is not the tool to do so anyway. The point is to say that we have this data that suggests more investigation is warranted.

Would you be so critical if the data showed no association? Are you less critical of the Taylor et al study for instance (which was a large study publicly trumpeted to have put the MMR question to bed)? Or are you just critical of anything and everything with Dr Wakefield's name on it because we all 'just know' that Dr Wakefield is the villain?

And I really CBA to do the 'autism diagnoses have risen' argument. When you have official government body data that says ASD rates are 1 in 50 - you have a problem. Autism diagnoses have risen because more children have autism. (see article for discussion on the loosening and tightening of diagnostic criteria). And the problem is going to make itself very much heard as the first generation of these children reaches adulthood and their parents and carers will inevitably become too old to look after them. It is so many parents worst nightmare - they are afraid of what will become of their children when they can no longer care for them. The infrastructure just isn't there (and these children need love not institutions).

I know it is very important to those who cling to the notion that the MMR vaccine is very safe, to deny that autism cases are more prevalent than before. Unfortunately though, that means denying the very existence of a great number of children who are in distress, who are sick. It means denying that their condition exists - and that means that these children are denied appropriate medical treatment.

So I'll stick with Dr Wakefield. I'll stick with the doctor who doesn't deny that these children exist and who tries to find out what is wrong with them and to relieve their suffering. I mean rather than support a pharma company, a bunch of career doctors and a public health programme that seems to have forgotten that all children count and that they are not just data of collateral damage.

(high titer measles vaccines have been shown to lower children's immune capacity for long periods following vaccination, it would be logical to think that lower titer vaccines do to, perhaps there are studies on this?)

noblegiraffe Wed 24-Apr-13 11:09:03

The point is that in two areas a marked increase in autism cases was reported and that this happened 10 years apart and that a common factor was the change in vaccination policy, 10 years apart.

The point is that anyone with an ounce of intelligence would not look at that graph and plonk that arrow on it and use it to support the argument that the vaccination policy was responsible for the shape of the California graph. Anyone with an ounce of intelligence who knows the data would realise that it's a bit more complicated than that (and that's an understatement and a half). And any scientist with any intellectual integrity would have read the accompanying report, agreed with the authors that the data was unsuitable for that type of analysis, and wouldn't have amended graph axes to hide this fact.

And besides that, in order to show a correlation with a completely different set of UK data, he had to fudge where to put the arrow, in a manner criticised by the people who collected the data.

The point is Wakefield is making untrue claims and exceptionally dodgy arguments.

Or are you just critical of anything and everything with Dr Wakefield's name on it

I'm critical of anything and everything that turns out to be bollocks. If that seems to coincide with Wakefield's output, that's hardly my fault is it? I've got a maths degree, I'm a maths teacher. If it's any consolation I'm just as appalled that the Lancet published that piece of rubbish graph apparently unchallenged(?) as I am at Wakefield for trying to pass it off as credible.

If you want to 'stick with Wakefield', wouldn't you prefer that he supported his claims with good arguments? I mean, caring about the children is one thing, but not talking bollocks is also important when it comes to trusting someone.

Beachcomber Wed 24-Apr-13 14:12:40

but the claim is neither bollocks nor untrue. autism cases have increased. they have increased since the introduction of mmr. and thousands of parents in several countries report that their child regressed and became ill with intestinal disease after mmr vaccinaton.

PigletJohn Wed 24-Apr-13 14:24:41

Beachcomber, you have stated that you'll stick with ex-doctor Wakefield.

You are not swayed by the fact that he is a liar, a cheat and a fraud and has been struck off.

Just to check, will you admit that anything he has said is bollocks or untrue?

coorong Wed 24-Apr-13 15:31:01

and autism cases have continued to rise in Japan, as mmr was reduced

magdalen Wed 24-Apr-13 18:10:44

You do realise that by sticking with Mr Wakefield you are ignoring the scientific consensus on the MMR autism link. It's not just that Wakefield's research was fraudulent, it's that the weight of the scientific evidence is that the MMR does not cause autism. It's not just one paper, it's not just one way of approaching the question, it's all sorts of ways of looking at the question and they all (by scientists all over the world) come to the same conclusion that there is no causative link between autism and the MMR. Wakefield is a liar, he has acted in many despicable ways, he fabricated his results etc. But, you know what? He could still have been right about a link. I reckon he would still have been disgraced and removed from the medical register anyway. But, the thing is he was wrong about a possible link between the MMR and autism (which I suppose you will acknowledge he appears to promote the idea of?).
Leaving aside the fact that Wakefield has done lots of really unforgivable stuff, and his name is mud in the scientific community, there is overwhelming evidence that the MMR does not cause autism.
Is this clear?
Or do you have evidence to the contrary?

magdalen Wed 24-Apr-13 18:12:45

Could you also, please, stop the "you think the MMR is safe therefore you are insulting/hating/dismissing the parents of autistic children!" garbage.
It's insulting rubbish.

Beachcomber Wed 24-Apr-13 21:51:01

Magdalen don't twist my words.

I said it is important to a lot of people to think that MMR is very safe. To hold the thought that MMR is very safe has meant for a lot of people also holding onto the idea that autism cases have not increased. Therefore it is to deny the existence of the children that represent that increase.

To believe that Wakefield is a fraud is to believe that these children are not sick with complex and novel intestinal gut brain issues and/or that these children don't actually exist.

You can't have it both ways. You cannot say Wakefield is wrong, a liar and a fraud but I agree that these children exist.

So either Wakefield is right


the children and their suffering don't exist.

(I am not saying this for all children with ASD - there are children who have been affected by other factors such as congenital rubella syndrome for example.)

Piglet John - what is your opinion of Professor Walker Smith? Do you think he is a liar, a cheat and a fraud? Do you think he should have lost his appeal?

magdalen Wed 24-Apr-13 22:14:41

I believe there are children with ASD whose parents believe they regressed or developed ASD because of the MMR. I don't deny their existence. I don't think the MMR has anything to do with their ASD, and/or regression and nor does the scientific community.
I am not trying to have anything "both ways", so stop pretending I am. It is pathetic.

magdalen Wed 24-Apr-13 22:20:10

So it's back to Walker-Smith and Mitting, again, is it? I seem to have posted on this subject before, but it bears repeating, since you set such store by Mitting.  The very Mitting who appears to go out of his way to contrast Walker-Smith's behaviour with that of one Mr Wakefield (who failed to appeal, let alone succeed). From Mitting's judgement:
First up the whole situation with the legal aid and the firm of solicitors. The judgment quotes from a letter from Walker-Smith to Wakefield:
"My position as with measles, MMR and Crohn's disease is that the link with MMR is so far unproven. It is clear that the legal involvement by nearly all the parents will have an effect on the study as they have a vested interest. I myself simply will not appear in court on this issue.
I would have been less concerned by legal involvement if our work were complete and we had a firm view. Never before in my career have I been confronted by litigant parents of research work in progress. I think this makes our work difficult, especially publication and presentation.
I am very excited by this work and it is very worthwhile. Simon Murch and I met today and have drawn up a draft for patient selection for your comment please."
I don't really need to comment, I think Walker-Smith is quite clear in his views.
The judge talks about Wakefield's press conference:
"At a press conference, which Professor Walker-Smith did not attend, convened to accompany publication, Dr. Wakefield stated publicly the view which he had previously expressed privately to Professor Walker-Smith that he could no longer support the giving of MMR vaccine. The joint view of Professor Walker-Smith and Dr. Murch, stated in a letter to Dr. Wakefield on 21st January 1998, was that it was inappropriate to emphasize the role of MMR vaccine in publicity about the paper and that they supported government policy concerning MMR until more firm evidence was available for them to see for themselves. They published a press release to coincide with publication stating their support for "present public health policy concerning MMR". Dr. Wakefield's statement and subsequent publicity had a predictable adverse effect upon the take up of MMR vaccine of great concern to those responsible for public health. There is now no respectable body of opinion which supports his hypothesis, that MMR vaccine and autism/enterocolitis are causally linked."
May be it's just my interpretation, but don't you think the judge is here drawing a definite distinction between the behaviour of Walker-Smith and Wakefield? 
Then the ethical approval issue, that gets a mention too:
"Professor Walker-Smith gave unchallenged evidence that this was the last draft of the paper which he saw. Dr. Murch said, again in unchallenged evidence, that there was then a meeting attended by all of the researchers and clinicians involved to discuss the draft, which they approved. At the end of the meeting there was a discussion between Dr. Murch, Professor Walker-Smith, Dr. Thomson and Dr. Wakefield about the reference to Ethics Committee approval of "this clinical investigation", because it was a clinically driven investigation which did not require Ethics Committee approval. Dr. Murch said that Dr. Wakefield had assured them that he would liaise with the Lancet to ensure that appropriate wording was substituted. The wording in the published paper which neither Dr. Murch nor Professor Walker-Smith saw before publication was,
"Ethical approval and consent
Investigations were approved by the Ethical Practices Committee of the Royal Free Hospital NHS Trust, and parents gave informed consent."
This statement was untrue and should not have been included in the paper."
Oh, look, is it Mr Wakefield who is off putting untrue statements into the published papers, against the express wishes of Walker-Smith and the rest?
I like Respectful Insolence's take on this:
I agree with the blogger that the judge doesn't seem to have the firmest grasp of medical research issues, but then he is a Judge not a scientist. I have linked to the blog, but will quote from its final paragraph:
"From my perspective, Judge Mitting’s decision strongly implies that, rather than being involved in Wakefield’s professional research misconduct, Walker-Smith was an unwitting dupe. Neither conclusion speaks particularly well of Walker-Smith, but I suppose it’s better to be an honest dupe than a dishonest research cheat. Personally, I’d rather be neither. No matter how hard the antivaccine movement tries to spin this as some sort of exoneration of its hero Andy Wakefield, it’s not."

magdalen Wed 24-Apr-13 22:21:33
noblegiraffe Wed 24-Apr-13 22:22:47

You can't have it both ways. You cannot say Wakefield is wrong, a liar and a fraud but I agree that these children exist.

This makes literally no sense to me. You say if you agree that autism is on the rise, you can't say Wakefield's talking nonsense, despite the demonstrable nonsense posted on this thread?

What about the option: children with autism exist (does anyone doubt this???), Wakefield is wrong about the cause (with an optional side order of fraud)?

It's not a choice between these children have autism and the MMR caused it, and these children don't have autism.

tilder Thu 25-Apr-13 07:40:11

Can I just add that to say 'data is data' shows an utter lack of appreciation for the limitations of data.

All data is collected in a context and will have associated limitation.

A good scientist will appreciate and respect those limitations.

A bad scientist will take an inappropriate dataset and try to manipulate it to produce their preferred end point.

Beachcomber Fri 26-Apr-13 12:45:53

I believe there are children with ASD whose parents believe they regressed or developed ASD because of the MMR. I don't deny their existence. I don't think the MMR has anything to do with their ASD, and/or regression and nor does the scientific community.

Right. You think they are deluded.

You think that you know better than the actual parents and doctors of these children.

What exactly is 'the scientific community'? There are scientists who have examined the children in question and who have found clinical evidence that points to them suffering from vaccine strain measles damage (many of these children have sky high levels of measles antibodies for example. They developed symptoms of measles after vaccination such as fever and rash, they have measles virus in the lesions in their intestines).

This subject is massively controversial and political, science does not exists as a neutral in a vacuum. Much of the 'scientific community' who refuse the idea that these children are sick as a result of the triple vaccine are the people who are responsible for the children having the vaccine in the first place. Go figure...

As for Professor Walker Smith well I'm afraid I find Orac's sneering tone and vocabulary both offensive and immature. Calling parents of sick children "the antivaccine crankosphere" is just nasty. I don't know what his interest in the subject actually is, but his contribution seems to only be spreading misinformation, writing propaganda, stroking his own clever clogs ego and being bullying and nasty to others. He is a knob with a rather too high opinion of himself for someone who gets his facts wrong so much of the time. For some reason he has a small following of cheerleaders - I always wonder what sort of person takes his nasty immature writing seriously TBH.

It is interesting (well sort of, in so much than anything that Orac produces can be considered of interest) that he admits that he knows almost nothing of Professor Walker Smith and considers him 'at best peripheral'.

Right. So Orac obviously knows very little about the team at the Royal Free and their work if he considers the main clinician and world renowned paediatric gastroenterologist as 'at best peripheral'. That of course doesn't stop him having an opinion almost as large as his ego on the matters that occurred there hmm. People lap it though as it all adds to the B movie caricature of Wakefield The Villan. hmm

CatherinaJTV Fri 26-Apr-13 13:04:31

they have measles virus in the lesions in their intestines

no they don't - unless someone shows that who is not Wakefield or has "Andy" written under their shoe, which I believe has not happened.

PigletJohn Fri 26-Apr-13 13:09:45

Beachcomber, you have stated that you'll stick with ex-doctor Wakefield.

You are not swayed by the fact that he is a liar, a cheat and a fraud and has been struck off.

Just to check, will you admit that anything he has said is bollocks or untrue?

Beachcomber Fri 26-Apr-13 13:14:22

Noblegiraffe do you remember when people absolutely insisted that there was no link between ASD and intestinal disease?

It wasn't that long ago that there was a volte face of official opinion on that.

They have had to stop trying to deny that particular link because it is just too inhumane to continue to withhold appropriate treatment from the children concerned in order to prove a point about Wakefield The Villain.

Wakefield, Walker Smith et al were right about the Lancet children. They were right about there being a link between autism and the gut. They were right about GFCF diets, they were right about the role of vitamin B12, they were right about cases of ASD increasing. Most importantly, they were right that if a child's gut problems are treated, their behavioural problems can often be helped - and the child suffers less all round.

These things have all been grudgingly admitted by magdalen's 'scientific community'. Finally. And it is getting easier for children to access medical treatment that so far has been denied them either through ignorance or politics or fear of ending up in front of the GMC and being struck off like Professor Walker Smith.

Forget about autism for a minute - one of the main struggles of these families has been in having their children's intestinal disease treated. Indeed even in having the fact they they are physically sick recognised. Children who are doubled over and screaming in pain who are failing to thrive and who have impacted bowels and or constant diarrhoea, who have multiple allergies, leaky gut and intestinal lesions have been denied treatment all because Dr Wakefield was right about their condition and he listened to the parents and the parental observation over and over and over again is that they reacted to their MMR and were never the same again. And there is no way they and he can be allowed to be right about that.

That is what I mean when I say that to cling to the idea of MMR as very safe is to deny these children's suffering and existence. They don't just exist as data - they exist as children with specific and novel health issues. To say, yeah children with autism exist but the reality and history of their physical condition does not, is inadmissible.

I understand why people need to cling to the 'MMR is safe' mantra - it has now become about more than just vaccines. But the children hurt by MMR are not to blame, they shouldn't be the ones to pay and neither should the doctors who dare to treat them.

PigletJohn Fri 26-Apr-13 14:36:54

that's a "no," then.

magdalen Fri 26-Apr-13 16:26:00

There are lots and lots of papers readily available which fail to implicate the MMR in regressive autism or ASD in general. Could you please supply some (not by Wakefield, obviously) that actually support this connection?
Because if there are all these children then I would guess the appropriate studies would have been done and published in at least a few cases.
I also have a question for you, if Wakefield was so "right" was it purely some weird pathological need which made him construct such a fraudulent paper in the Lancet? Or do you have an alternative explanation?

Beachcomber Fri 26-Apr-13 17:51:22

no they don't - unless someone shows that who is not Wakefield or has "Andy" written under their shoe, which I believe has not happened.

What? Excuse me?

Can you hear yourself?

no they don't

How on earth do you know different to the parents and their doctors? Who are you to know better than the people who care for these children? Who do you think you are to say something like that about a major health concern in children you have not even met.

This again is what I mean by denying the existence of these children. We grudgingly allow autistic children to perhaps exist in higher numbers before - just not the ones who inconvenience us with their inflamed guts which present symptoms of viral infection. Of measles infection. These children cannot be allowed to exist. And therefore they do not, for people like CatherinaJTV, have positive test results for measles in their diseased intestines. They may exist as statistics of autsim rates but not as actual real live people who have sick guts. How generous.

Anyway thank you CatherinaJTV for illustrating so well the success of the campaign against Wakefield in this sad and sorry medical fuck up - a campaign that so many are willing to swallow, cheerlead and prop up.

no they don't - unless someone shows that who is not Wakefield or has "Andy" written under their shoe, which I believe has not happened.

If Wakefield found the measles in their guts it doesn't exist. If anyone associated in any way with Wakefield finds measles in their guts, it doesn't exist. Erase Wakefield, erase the measles, erase the condition, erase the suffering, erase the children. They are far far too inconvenient.

Like I said earlier, data is data. If the data shows that these children have measles in their diseased guts, they have measles in their diseased guts - regardless of who found it and how much they may have pissed off the UK government by doing so.

A witchhunt of one man can only last so long. These children exist and they are sick. And like I also said earlier they are growing up and their families will one day no longer be able to care for them. It is becoming more and more difficult to pretend that these children don't exist. Their parents know what happened because they saw it with their own eyes and they have heard thousands of other parents tell the same story as theirs. They have medical records, viral tests, antibody tests, brain scans and they know what happened to their children. They will not stop their fight and therefore the truth will come out. It already is bit by bit.

Beachcomber Fri 26-Apr-13 18:05:13

No it isn't a 'no' PigletJohn. Don't put words in my mouth.

I was going to get round to your rather silly question when I had a moment. Sorry not to have given it the importance you think it deserves but it is a bit of a pointless question really in a discussion of serious health issues.

will you admit that anything he has said is bollocks or untrue

I think you need to more specific for your question to have much point. If Dr Wakefield were to say that Orac was a lovely fellow, I would think that were bollocks. HTH.

I haven't actually read everything that Dr Wakefield has ever written or said so your question is rather hors sujet.

I know that all the main points he has made about children with autism and gut issues who regressed following MMR vaccination have been proved true and are now accepted by people adamant he was wrong years ago - the damaged gut, the GFCF diet, the gut dysbiosis the vitamin B12, the similarities to childhood disintegrative disorder, the rise in autism cases, the healing of the gut helping the brain, etc, etc.

He hasn't been wrong on much yet.

Beachcomber Fri 26-Apr-13 18:06:55

magdalen I'm really struggling to take you seriously with your links to Brian Deer and Orac.

magdalen Fri 26-Apr-13 18:13:26

Are you happier with a whole load of scientific papers all of which completely fail to replicate Wakefield's findings? Do you prefer the fact that Wakefield is a fraud coming from the editor of the BMJ?
I am struggling to take you seriously at all, with your mindless defence of the indefensible Wakefield and complete inability to provide any scientific evidence to back up your claims. You want scientific papers showing no link between regressive autism and the MMR, I have lots. You want papers showing zero evidence of a link between MMR and ASD I have loads of them too.
What have you got? A weird need to believe the disgraced, discredited Wakefield is a "scapegoat" or victim of a "witch hunt".
Could you come up with something a little better?

magdalen Fri 26-Apr-13 18:16:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CatherinaJTV Fri 26-Apr-13 18:40:59

Beachcomber, my guess is the majority of people caring for children with gut issues and/or autism have never run a PCR and don't understand Dr Bustin's explanations of how the original PCRs in the Uhlman paper were contaminated (if not fabricated). They may have written on a piece of paper "measles vaccine strain in gut" or something like that, but that is not data - that is claim for which there is no independent verification. You may have the lab report, but anyone can write anything on a piece of paper and it goes poof under scrutiny (much earlier than Deer or anyone) -


WAXMAN: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
But I wanted to get on the record some points about Dr. Wakefield's testimony because Dr.
Wakefield today testified about an upcoming scientific presentation in Ireland by Dr. O'Leary.
And in this presentation, which is going to take place in July, scientists are presumably going to
claim to have found vaccine-strain measles in the intestines of children with developmental
And I hope to have a copy of that abstract. Do I have a copy of that? I do have a copy of the
abstract. And I want to make it a part of the record.
In the abstract, it states that the conclusion that the virus was vaccine-strain, which means caused
by the vaccine, is based on one nucleic acid, position number 7901. Now according to the
abstract, if the chemical at position 7901 is adenine, then the strain is natural measles virus. But
if the chemical is guanine, then the strain is from the vaccine.
According to this abstract, this difference can perfectly distinguish between natural and vaccine
strains of the measles. However, according to the Gene Bank website run by the National
Institutes of Health, this isn't true. So what we see in this abstract, from what we hear from Dr.
Wakefield, there's a real question.
Measles experts have told us that more than 10 natural measles strains have a guanine at position
7901, even though the abstract says that only happens in the vaccine strain. Well, if there are 10
natural measles strains that have that particular chemical positioning, then this theory doesn't
hold up. And I have the names of some of those strains. And I expect to even receive othernames, which I want to add to the record later on.
I want to ask Dr. Wakefield, are you aware if Dr. O'Leary has checked the NIH website
thoroughly before writing his abstract? And if it is true that position 7901 does not distinguish
between natural and vaccine strain measles, would it be fair to say that the conclusion of the
abstract remains unproven?
WAKEFIELD: The work was based upon a recent publication by Parks (ph) and colleagues,
which may well supercede what is published on the website. And in that study, they make a clear
distinction between vaccine and wild types of strains based upon that mutation.
Other questions on this will have to be referred to Professor O'Leary himself, who can't be here.
WAXMAN: Well, I want to ask you whether you know if Dr. O'Leary checked the NIH website
thoroughly before writing his abstract?
WAKEFIELD: I know for sure that he has checked the Gene Bank website.
WAXMAN: Well, if it's true that this position 7901 does not distinguish between natural and vaccine strain measles, if that's true, would it be fair to say that the conclusion of the abstract remains unproven?
WAKEFIELD: Yes, it would.
WAXMAN: I want to point out that we have been in contact with Dr. David W.G. Brown (ph),
the laboratory director, and Dr. L. Gin (ph), clinical scientist. They are the head of the World
Health Organization Collaborating Center for Measles in the United Kingdom.
And according to Dr. Brown (ph), he says the data presented suggesting the presence of
fragments of measles vaccine in these tissue samples is not scientifically valid. The authors
should have reviewed the measles database fully. And there are a number of questions that he
believes should have been evaluated.
Now I guess we'll have to hear from Dr. O'Leary whether he did the work that was required in
order to come up with the conclusion that would be beyond doubt the conclusion. Or whether it's
simply a conclusion that remains to be unproven.
But Dr. Brown (ph) says the approach described is scientifically flawed and will not reliably
discriminate between wild and vaccine strains. He didn't know why the authors did not review
available data or discuss with other measles groups with experience in this field.
Sequencing is the definitive technique to discriminate between wild and vaccine strains of
measles. And he doesn't know why that wasn't used.
So I want to just make the point here in the time that I have available to me that what we have
now presented to us is another conclusion that's made, but it's based on some unproved
information from an abstract. And I'm looking at the abstract.
Based on the abstract that Dr. O'Leary is going to be submitting and which Dr. Wakefield
submits to us as establishing the point he wants to make, according to the World Health
Organization Collaborating Center head, Dr. Brown (ph), it's another unproven theory. And we
need to have a lot more questions answered about that particular scientific evaluation.

**** end of quote

no data - no vaccine measles virus in the guts examined then and, unless someone finds this independently, also not now.

PigletJohn Fri 26-Apr-13 19:33:58

Beachcomber Fri 26-Apr-13 18:05:13
I was going to get round to your rather silly question when I had a moment

It seemed to me that if you hadn't answered after two days you weren't going to.

magdalen Fri 26-Apr-13 20:59:50

Some papers for you (originally posted for Ladygran):
"Results: No difference was found between cases and controls for measles antibody response. There was no dose–response relationship between autism symptoms and antibody concentrations. Measles virus nucleic acid was amplified by reverse transcriptase-PCR in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from one patient with autism and two typically developing children. There was no evidence of a differential response to measles virus or the measles component of the MMR in children with ASD, with or without regression, and controls who had either one or two doses of MMR. Only one child from the control group had clinical symptoms of possible enterocolitis."
"INTERPRETATION. There is no evidence of measles virus persistence in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of children with autism spectrum disorder."
"This study failed to substantiate reports of the persistence of measles virus in autistic children with development regression. ."
"This study provides strong evidence against association of autism with persistent MV RNA in the GI tract or MMR exposure."
"No significant differences in antibody titers to measles, mumps, and rubella viruses and diphtheria toxoid were found among the four groups. Additionally, there were no significant differences between the four groups for total immunoglobulin (Ig)G or IgM"

These are just the first five I came across, how many more do you want. Scientists have attempted to replicate Wakefield's findings, and they haven't been able to. His study itself was fraudulent, as is described in the BMJ:
'In an editorial, Dr Godlee, together with deputy BMJ editor Jane Smith, and leading paediatrician and associate BMJ editor Harvey Marcovitch, conclude that there is “no doubt” that it was Wakefield who perpetrated this fraud. They say: “A great deal of thought and effort must have gone into drafting the paper to achieve the results he wanted: the discrepancies all led in one direction; misreporting was gross.”

Yet he has repeatedly denied doing anything wrong at all, they add. “Instead, although now disgraced and stripped of his clinical and academic credentials, he continues to push his views. Meanwhile the damage to public health continues.”

“Science is based on trust,” concludes Dr Godlee. “Such a breach of trust is deeply shocking. And even though almost certainly rare on this scale, it raises important questions about how this could happen, what could have been done to uncover it earlier, what further inquiry is now needed, and what can be done to prevent something like this happening again.”'

Do you want it spelt out any clearer? There is no link. Studies have looked for the link and not found it, and Wakefield's original paper on which this whole thing is based was fraudulent. Not just wrong, but fraudulent.


Emperor Fri 26-Apr-13 21:55:15

Thank you so much, Beachcomber, for your huge effort. Your contributions gave me a much better understanding.

Beachcomber Fri 26-Apr-13 22:43:10

We can post links at each other all day and be no further forward. I find Dr Singh's work very compelling. And this recently published work from Walker

We are however discussing a huge medical controversy and one with massive vested interests and the potential to be politically explosive. One can find scientific evidence to support pharma and the government, just as one can find evidence to support the affected children, their families and their doctors.

CatherinaJTV, you seem to have read that extract and put 2 and 2 together and come up with 5. Nothing you have posted from that transcript suggests that the relevant children didn't have measles virus detected in their guts. With regards to vaccine strain, the transcript is inconclusive, possibly because Dr O'Leary is not there. I think key information is given here:

WAKEFIELD: The work was based upon a recent publication by Parks (ph) and colleagues, which may well supercede what is published on the website. And in that study, they make a clear distinction between vaccine and wild types of strains based upon that mutation.

Unless we know how the Parks study affected O'Leary's findings we cannot draw any conclusions from the transcript.

It's a shame you didn't post the whole transcript as it makes for very interesting reading. It is refreshing to hear some straight talking from Congressman Dan Burton.

Beachcomber Fri 26-Apr-13 23:07:23

You're welcome Emperor, and thanks smile

coorong Fri 26-Apr-13 23:12:00

Beachcomber your contributions are fanning the flames of mysticism.

You are guilty of confirmation bias, cherry picking individual papers to suit your view. Singh produced ONE paper 12 years ago. Where are all the others?

And what about cochrane - or do you cherry pick your scientists to?

There have been BILLIONS of MMR doses administered in the last 40 years. At your estimate, there should be several million autistic spectrum children in the UK. And a massive spike coinciding with the introduction of MMR. Instead, there is a gradual trend upward in autism diagnosis (which actually correlates directly with media coverage of autism).

PigletJohn Fri 26-Apr-13 23:41:59

a huge medical controversy


magdalen Sat 27-Apr-13 07:23:06

"We can post links at each other all day and be no further forward.."
Well, not if they're links to scientific papers. Because you seem somewhat limited in your scope to Wakefield and Singh. What on earth Walker has got to do with vacation and ASD you might need to elaborate on. I've read Singh and commented in some depth on his paper on his so called "AAD", a term I don't see anyone else in the field using, on another thread.
Because it's Wakefield and Singh, over and over. For a bit of variety we get Judy Van de Water recently, which does make a change.
It isn't a huge medical controversy. It was a paper which (even before everything about Wakefiled came to light in no way justified any fear of the MMR) has now been retracted and its author Wakefield has zero credibility left after being revealed as a liar and fraud.

Beachcomber Sat 27-Apr-13 09:39:00

Magdalen, I have followed your links, thank you for providing them. I have read those studies before - some of them available in full and they really need to be read in full in order to determine how relevant they are and what the methodology is.

To begin; as is said so much on this subject, autism is not one thing. That is why it is considered a spectrum; ASD. And that is very very important. The children on the spectrum are all individuals and they all have their own bodies, history, genes, predispositions and lives. Some children become autistic because they are exposed to rubella in utero, some because they have been exposed to a virus at a key time in their development. There is more than one cause of autism and there is more than one autism.

Dr Wakefield et al were concerned with children who presented with regressive autism and particular intestinal symptoms and in which both of these issues manifested after exposure to a triple viral vaccine. Their work (the Lancet paper and many others) is relevant to this particular population; a subgroup of autistic children and a small subgroup of the many children who were exposed to the triple viral vaccine.

In order to attempt to re-produce Dr Wakefield et al's work, a scientist needs to examine the same population. If a different population is studied, no light will be shed on what is or is not happening in the population identified and examined by Wakefield et al. This is basic science.

Of course, one can google and come up with several studies which show a lack of association between children with ASD who received MMR and measles antibodies/infection. And of course one can draw the conclusion that those studies did not detect measles in the children they examined. In the populations they examined. To then draw the conclusion that Wakefield et al were wrong/fraudulent/lying is a not only utterly unscientific but also rather bizarre. That isn't how science is done - particularly when dealing with rare and novel conditions about which we have very little information. Especially when examining developing children.

So, now let's come to the studies by which you set so much store and seem to think show no link between MMR and autism in the population studied by Wakefield et al. (They do no such thing BTW. They do not scientifically allow one to make anything like such a conclusion. Again science doesn't work like that. The only way to test Wakefield's theory is to test the same population).

I don't have much time just now so I will take just one example; that of the (infamous) Hornig study.

You link to the full version of this study but have you read it carefully?

Firstly we can note two things; one, that the study involved examining children using colonoscopy. (Something Wakefield et al were presented as being equivalent to Nazi medical experimenters for doing. And they were doing it for clinical purposes whereas Hornig et al are doing research with the objective of exonerating a vaccine hmm )

Secondly, the Hornig study uses Dr O'Leary's lab and notes that;

Results were consistent across the three laboratory sites. and All laboratories correctly identified all positive controls using pre-established criteria for positivity (positive results in at least two of three wells with at least one of the primer pairs for F and one of the primer pairs for H). All laboratories correctly identified all negative controls.

Mmm so they use the O'Leary lab which was supposedly contaminated with crappy control methodology. Or at least is was when they found measles in autistic children. It seems that when Dr O'Leary doesn't find measles in autistic children that is good and consistent across the three laboratory sites. hmm

Now, onto the results. Well they did detect measles virus in two subjects;

Analyses in all three laboratories found two ileal biopsy samples with MV F gene and H gene RNA: one from a boy in the AUT/GI group, the other from a boy in the control group.

(Remember that the control group was not made up of healthy children but children with GI disturbances alone .)

And then the real problem which comes with the selection of the study subjects themselves. 25 children with autism and GI disturbaces were studied but out of the 25, only 5 of them developed symptoms after MMR vaccination. In other words, only 5 belonged to the same subgroup as that studied by Wakefield et al. And of those 5, one child had persistent measles infection in his intestine.

Here is a copy of the press release from Thoughtful House in response to the study;

Autism Researchers Comment on New Study and Welcome the Affirmation of Previous Measles Findings

A study published yesterday in the Public Library of Science One (PLOS1), an on-line journal, failed to find evidence of measles virus in the intestinal tissue of 24 children with autistic regression and gastrointestinal symptoms. The findings contrast with those published in 2002 in which researchers from Ireland and the UK found measles in 75 of 91 biopsies from autistic children with GI inflammation, and in only 5 of 70 samples from non-autistic children1. The children with autism in the 2002 study developed gastrointestinal symptoms and autistic regression after the MMR vaccine.

In the study published yesterday, conducted by three independent laboratories, only 5 of the 25 children developed these symptoms after the MMR vaccine and therefore, only these five are comparable to the 2002 study. This new study confirmed that results from the laboratory of Professor John O’Leary (one of the collaborators on the new study, and senior author of the 2002 study) were correct, and identical to the results obtained by the laboratories of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Dr. Ian Lipkin of Columbia University.

In that this new study affirms the reliability of Professor O’Leary’s laboratory and therefore of his previous findings, a major impact upon the current hearings in vaccine court is likely, wherein the government’s defense relies largely on the claim that Professor O’Leary’s finding of measles in the intestinal biopsy of Michelle Cedillo (a child with severe autism and epilepsy) was unreliable. The historical reliability of the measles assay used in Professor O’Leary’s laboratory is now confirmed.

The authors of the PLOS1 study make the erroneous claim that epidemiological studies have not supported an MMR-autism link, when in fact the CDC’s own study published in 2004 shows a significant association between autism and younger age at the time of MMR vaccination 2.

We are pleased to see that this new study provides further confirmation that children with autism suffer from gastrointestinal problems that deserve to be addressed as a priority. Dr. Andrew Wakefield, Executive Director of Thoughtful House Center for Children, whose work has focused on intestinal disease, and on the possible role of MMR vaccine in regressive autism in children with GI symptoms, welcomed these new findings. Dr. Wakefield was a co-author of the 2002 paper that, unlike yesterday’s study, examined children in the majority of whom there was a clear temporal link between MMR exposure and regression. Dr. Wakefield comments, “The search for the ‘footprints’ of measles virus in the intestine is merited, based upon the previous findings and the intestinal disease that is commonly found in these children. This new study rules out only one possibility – that the measles virus must remain for the long term in the intestine. We need to consider that the MMR vaccine can cause autism as a hit-and-run injury, but not necessarily leave the measles virus behind.”

While we welcome this study as a piece in the ever-growing body of evidence that illuminates the complexity of autism and the possible factors that cause it, it is clear that yesterday’s study does not establish that the MMR vaccine is not associated with autism. This work examines one small part of a very complex equation, and in fact by affirming Professor O’Leary’s laboratory and assay methods, it inadvertently endorses the validity of his 2002 findings of vaccine-strain measles virus in the gut tissue of a group of children with autism.

So hardly so cut and dried as "there is no link".

Beachcomber Sat 27-Apr-13 09:48:16

Is that a joke PigletJohn?

This thing has been going on since the introduction of the Urabe MMRs in 1988 and is still unresolved now in 2013

Millions of research dollars have been spent, government bodies, courts, press and thousands of families are involved.

And it still won't go away. I call that a major medical controversy. Why are you bothering to discuss it?

magdalen Sat 27-Apr-13 10:00:26

I am out, on my phone, so can I just respond to one pretty important aspect of your post: I don't think Wakefield's study was fraudulent because of other studies, I think it's fraudulent because it was found to be fraudulent. It's that simple.
The fact that no one else can replicate his results just is another reason to reach the conclusion that MMR and ASD (whichever subset if it you look at, regressive or GI trouble associated) are not linked in a causal manner. You are providing no evidence they are.
You are trying to make people think a link is there that isn't. I don't know what evidence you have that makes you believe so passionately in the link, because you sure as eggs are eggs are not presenting it here.

magdalen Sat 27-Apr-13 10:07:51

PS One of the big problems with Wakefield's Lancet work was that he fraudulently described the onset if the children's regressive autism and GI issues to fit with his preformed theory. If you actually read the BMJ articles on the subject this makes it quite clear. Therefore it is going to be extremely difficult to come up with a subgroup of ASD sufferers with the onset and issues that Wakefield describes because even he couldn't.
He made them up.

CatherinaJTV Sat 27-Apr-13 11:25:37

Beachcomber - I listened to the press conference associated with the release of the Hornig paper and they said they were actively looking for kids who had been "normal", then received the MMR, then developed gut issues and then developed autism. They couldn't find more that the 5 they included in the study and that is one of their findings: the order in which MMR, gut issues and autism happen is random.

O'Leary obviously cleaned up his laboratory and stuck to agreed SOPs. That is laudable.

CatherinaJTV Sat 27-Apr-13 11:37:08

as for Dan Burton, he is a big nasty bully - I saw him in a government hearing, where he screamed down the government witness and bullied one expert into changing his numbers during his testimony. Instead of being a neutral mediator looking for information, he'll cuss about his grandson who received "nine shots in a day" - drama!

Waxman on the other hand has been my hero since his analysis of the abstinence only programmes of the government. He is evidence-base all the way - they way it should be. So O'Leary made claims about the measles strain they found being the vaccine strain and Waxman went out to find whether they can actually distinguish the strains based on that codon and they cannot. The claims were poorly researched (and we know since Bustin, that O'Leary probably "discovered" his positive control plasmids in the samples anyway). Everything is consistent.

Beachcomber Sat 27-Apr-13 13:49:50

Coorong. I have made no estimate as to how many children may have been adversely affected by a reaction to MMR vaccines. The argument has never been that a majority of children are affected. (And Singh hasn't only produced one paper on the subject BTW.)

Magdalen I appreciate that you posted quickly from your phone but I'm unclear as to which Wakefield study you are referring to as 'fraudulent'. The doubt cast on the Ulmann paper came from the testimony in the US of Dr Bustin who gave his professional opinion that there were issues with contamination and methodology in Dr O'Leary's lab. Dr Bustin was an expert witness paid to provide his opinion in order to defend the manufacturer of the relevant vaccine - as we have seen from the Hornig study, Bustin's opinion has been categorically shown to have been wrong.

If you are referring to the 1998 Lancet study, the claim that the results were fraudulent were made by Brian Deer - a journalist with no medical training who has a long history of publishing misinformation about Dr Wakefield and his patients. Shame on the BMJ for getting mixed up with him.

Anyway, the findings of the Lancet case report have been replicated and confirmed by Dr Krigsman, Dr Gonzalez , Dr Furlano , Dr D'Eufemia , Dr Torrente , Dr Walker and others.

That some children with regressive autism also present with novel and complex intestinal issues is no longer the work of just Dr Wakefield and Professor Walker Smith.

Or do you think they are all in on the fraud, over several decades and countries? hmm

Are they all B movie Villains like that bad bad Dr Wakefield? Has he duped them all? (And when does Coulmbo make an appearance?)

CatherinaJTV Sat 27-Apr-13 14:25:38

The doubt cast on the Ulmann paper came from the testimony in the US of Dr Bustin who gave his professional opinion that there were issues with contamination and methodology in Dr O'Leary's lab.

And Bustin's opinion was based on the the fact that he is a world leading expert on PCR and he had studied the laboratory notebooks from O'Leary's group and therefore knew that they found contaminations and not something that had been in the samples. Day 8 of the Cedillo proceedings explains it quite well.

as we have seen from the Hornig study, Bustin's opinion has been categorically shown to have been wrong.

That is wishful thinking, but far from the truth. Bustin testified on the Uhlman results, the results in the Hornig paper were generated much later than that, using new quality controls. It is like saying that because no one caught food poisoning at the Fat Duck in the last couple of years, those 500 people who did in 2009 never actually were sick.

magdalen Sat 27-Apr-13 14:26:05

I am talking about ASD, GI and MMR. The MMR bit is pretty bloody key when discussing Wakefield. Papers which don't actually mention or look at the MMR vaccine have nothing to do with the whole MMR ASD health scare.
The reason we are discussing Wakefield is because of that 1998 paper in the Lancet. The one which described those children with histories described in the paper which varied significantly from their actual records and from the descriptions given by their parents and also medical professionals. You don't like Brian Deer, that's fine. However ad hom attacks on his being a "journalist" aren't doing you any favours. I note Wakedield has consistently failed to effectively sue Deer, or Godlee, or Cannel 4, or the BMJ or indeed anyone for libel when they have time and again demonstrated his mendacity. To the extent that he has managed to annoy judges with his time wasting legal shenanigans.
So, it's papers showing a link between MMR and ASD, not ASD and GI issues or ASD and autoimmunity you need to be looking for.
Could you link to all those papers showing the sort of regression we are looking for associated with the MMR as described in the Lancet paper: "In most cases, the onset of the symptoms was after measles, mumps and rubella immunisation..." Which was where this whole MMR health scare started.

magdalen Sat 27-Apr-13 14:28:43

I'll go through your links one by one:
Dr Krigsman, no mention of MMR.

magdalen Sat 27-Apr-13 14:31:10

Dr Gonzalez, no mention of MMR...

magdalen Sat 27-Apr-13 14:32:10

Dr Furlano, no mention of MMR...

magdalen Sat 27-Apr-13 14:33:53

Dr D'Eufemia, no mention of MMR...

magdalen Sat 27-Apr-13 14:34:54

Dr Torrente, no mention of MMR...

magdalen Sat 27-Apr-13 14:39:43

Dr Walker, no mention of MMR either. Well there's a surprise!

CatherinaJTV Sat 27-Apr-13 15:17:32

Also, the Krigsman paper appeared in Wakefield's own Vanity Journal, Gonzales was paid for her project by Thoughtful House and Wakefield is a co-author on the Furlano paper... Independent the Wakefield way ;)

CatherinaJTV Sat 27-Apr-13 15:22:13

Magdalen - I'd be really interested in your opinion of the Walker paper - I have read it, but was left with a profound "and so...?" feeling, while everyone on the "other side" waves it as "independent confirmation of Wakefield's findings", we knew that altered gene expression is associated with autism from GWAS studies and Pat Levitt's work on MET (for example). I find that one confusing...

rosi7 Sat 27-Apr-13 20:41:02

Maybe it would be really helpful to have a closer look at what Wakefield is trying to say rather than fighting him.

PigletJohn Sat 27-Apr-13 20:52:51

That's a fantastically open-minded and neutral site you've found, rosi7

"We are profoundly critical of the practice of vaccination. Vaccination is an unacceptable risk to every member of society, regardless of age"

I wonder if it can be trusted to be unbiased?

Where do they stand on the elimination of Smallpox, and the enormous reduction in polio?

rosi7 Sat 27-Apr-13 21:08:29

PigletJohn, it might actually be useful to look at the content rather than continuing your habit of discrediting people or institutions without looking at what they have to say.

PigletJohn Sat 27-Apr-13 22:28:17

I had a look, but I see you are a committed antivaxxer, so no point in trying to debate with you.

rosi7 Sat 27-Apr-13 22:48:06

That is exactly my point, PigletJohn.

PigletJohn Sat 27-Apr-13 23:25:47

I'm glad you accept that.

Beachcomber Sun 28-Apr-13 10:11:57

Magddalen have you read the 1998 Wakefield et al Lancet paper?

Do you understand what it was about?

I think like a lot of people you are getting too hung up on the MMR/autism part of the equation and completely forgetting that the beginning of all this is a case report of children presenting with intestinal disease.

You do realise that Professor Walker Smith is a gastroenterologist? Right? That the children were at the Royal Free in order to see a paediatric gastroenterologist because they had gut issues.

You have asked me to provide papers that replicate the findings of the 1998 Lancet paper but do you actually know what those findings were? It appears not because you have just made several posts seemingly surprised that the papers replicating the findings of the Lancet paper don't test a connection between MMR and autism hmm

No they don't. Do you know why <sigh> ?

Because the findings of the Lancet paper were concerned with the gut inflammation the children presented. That is the bit that everybody goes on about not having been replicated when it quite clearly has in the papers I linked to for you.

Deer claimed that Wakefield did not find the inflammation he claimed to - that was the fraud.

Although of course it was a ridiculous claim to make and caused Godlee and the BMJ much embarrassment. Indeed they attempted to backtrack once it became obvious that they had to also accuse Professor Walker Smith and Dr Dhillon of fraud in order for their claims to actually make any sense.

I suggest you read the Professor Walker Smith appeal decision for information on how the children were referred to the Royal Free and on both their status as clinically ill with gut issues and their autism diagnoses.

Deer's article was full of crap and it angered the parents of the Lancet children deeply. They were very very upset as it was clear that Deer had had access to confidential medical records and private emails and that he then published information from them for all the world to read and published incorrect information. Godlee should be ashamed of herself. She should also be ashamed of herself for claiming that Deer's nonsense had been externally peer reviewed (it hadn't she and other BMJ editors reviewed it) and for having to have it dragged out of her that the business partnerships that the BMJ have with both Merck and GSK were an undeclared conflict of interest with regards to Deer's articles. Apparently it didn't occur to Godlee that they need declare such a conflict of interest hmm

The whole thing was an embarrassment for Godlee and the BMJ. (And Deer but then we are all used to that. It is rather a different matter for a medical journal and its editor to plaster egg all over their faces. Mind you Horton and the Lancet have done it too...)

So I'm afraid that there are no claims of fraud that actually stand up. And the findings of the Lancet paper have been replicated several times over.

These children are sick. They have intestinal disease and the claims of Deer and Deer the BMJ and Deer the GMC that they don't, well, that is really sick.

Funny how it all keeps coming back to Deer isn't it. Someone else who repeatedly fails to declare conflicts of interest such as enjoying the hospitality and speaking at conferences of Merck's partner the Foundation Merieux. Plus being the source of the complaint to the GMC (now repealed for Professor Walker Smith). Deer really is in it up to his neck isn't he?

CatherinaJTV Sun 28-Apr-13 10:27:39

I have read the paper (more than once, actually). The paper claims that it was looking at a series of children who were consecutively referred to a GI specialist. We know now that this is a lie. And it is not a trivial lie, because it implies you can just take 12 consecutive kids and they'll all have had measles containing vaccine, then started GI problems, then started autism and that is not the case.

CatherinaJTV Sun 28-Apr-13 10:29:20

oh and the 6 degrees of separation only ever apply to Godlee and Deer, not to Krigsman, who worked in Wakefield's clinic when he publishes something in Wakefield's own vanity journal. hmm

CatherinaJTV Sun 28-Apr-13 10:30:30

And the findings of the Lancet paper have been replicated several times over.

No, they have not.

Beachcomber Sun 28-Apr-13 10:43:47

What all this comes down to (particularly the Walker paper) is that Horton should retract his retraction of the Lancet paper, the GMC should revoke and the BMJ should retract Deer's articles.

Wakefield et al's findings in the Lancet paper have been shown to be valid. It has been shown (by Professor Walker Smith's successful appeal) that there was no fraud or gross misconduct in the Royal Free actions. The children were sick, they had autism, they had gut issues, their condition merited clinical investigation, the finding of the clinical investigation has been shown to be valid. The research is therefore both valid and ethical. That is the long and the short of it.

CatherinaJTV Sun 28-Apr-13 10:47:44

Wakefield's findings were:

We identified associated gastrointestinal disease and developmental regression in a group of previously normal children, which was generally associated in time with possible environmental triggers.

He didn't show the association with MCV in the first place, but certainly no one else has.

coorong Sun 28-Apr-13 10:56:32

Wakefield's basic timeline is also completely out (MMR then autism - it was the other way round). Deer's access to confidential medical records enabled the truth (about the time line) to emerge.

I think his worst crime was to completely and selfishlyand heartlessly misleed the parents of 12 children for his own gain.

Beachcomber Sun 28-Apr-13 12:11:26

I have read the paper (more than once, actually). The paper claims that it was looking at a series of children who were consecutively referred to a GI specialist. We know now that this is a lie. And it is not a trivial lie, because it implies you can just take 12 consecutive kids and they'll all have had measles containing vaccine, then started GI problems, then started autism and that is not the case.

That would be an accusation against Professor Walker Smith as the clinician CatherinaJTV. Or it would be if it made any sense.

Do you understand what a case series is? hmm

Professor Walker Smith would have had hundreds of children with GI disturbances referred to him over the period - hundreds of them would not have autism, probably many of them would not have had MMR or other vaccines. The Lancet children weren't 12 children consecutively referred to Professor Walker Smith - they were 12 children consecutively referred to Professor Walker Smith who had similar symptoms and history. That is what a case series is.

The Lancet case report was a report of a series of children who presented ASD/GI symptoms who had the common history of having been vaccinated with MMR and in which some of the parents associated the onset of their symptoms with that incident. All this is clearly stated in the paper.

Beachcomber Sun 28-Apr-13 12:38:13

CatherinaJTV Sun 28-Apr-13 10:47:44

Wakefield's findings were:

We identified associated gastrointestinal disease and developmental regression in a group of previously normal children, which was generally associated in time with possible environmental triggers.

You are correct CatherinaJTV and it is notable that several papers have subsequently come to the same histopathological conclusions regarding this population of children and that as long as they don't mention 'environmental' triggers, their papers are neither retracted, nor accused of fraud nor smeared in the press, nor are the authors hauled up before the GMC (or US equivalent).

Bit like how only the three authors of the Lancet paper/Royal Free team who refused to retract the possibility of a possible environmental association were the only three of the 12 authors to be accused of gross misconduct by the GMC. hmm

It used to be verboten to make any association between ASD and GI disease at all - now it seems you can get away with it as long as you categorically do not mention the patient's medical history or parental observation of the onset of symptoms. hmm

This is politics CatherinaJTV, not medicine.

coorong Sun 28-Apr-13 14:45:48

Beachcomber science is about testing hypothesis - if you can't find a credible hypothesis to test, it's not science. It also needs to be objective not subjective.

Your comments smack of conspriacy theories "don't mention the medical history or parental observation" ...

As parents we are notoriously subjective and extremely liable to the power of suggestion, particularly when our child is ill and we do not understand why.

Beachcomber Sun 28-Apr-13 15:11:23

And it is interesting to see that coorong supports a journalist publishing his misinterpretation of details of children's confidential medical records for all the world to read. Plus such an action being condoned by a so called professional medical journal and its editor. Plus the editor of said journal failing to declare a very compromising conflict of interest through financial partnerships with vaccine manufacturers.

I guess that is the level of ethics and honesty (or rather lack of) that we are dealing with here.


Beachcomber Sun 28-Apr-13 15:16:03

Yeah, yeah, coorong - we've had the 'the parents are deluded' stuff before.

Yup, thousands of parents and their doctors have observed children changing in remarkably similar ways after exposure to the triple vaccine but best just to ignore them because that is how science is done.

Except it is not. Patient history and observation is the bedrock of medicine.

PigletJohn Sun 28-Apr-13 15:46:00

Plus the editor of said journal failing to declare a very compromising conflict of interest through financial partnerships with vaccine manufacturers.

^ I guess that is the level of ethics and honesty (or rather lack of) that we are dealing with here. ^

Hi Beachcomber

can you imagine your hero, ex-Doctor Wakefield doing anything like that?

Beachcomber Sun 28-Apr-13 20:27:09

You know PigletJohn, I wouldn't describe Dr Wakefield as a 'hero'. Nor would I describe Professor Walker Smith as such. Seems to me that they were doing their job and they chose not to stop doing their job simply because they encountered children, and happened to end up working in an area, that was going to make them unpopular with public health officials and pharma companies.

PigletJohn, I know I took a while to do it, but i did answer your earlier question to me and I would appreciate it if you could answer my earlier question to you; what is your opinion of Professor Walker Smith? Do you think he is a liar, a cheat and a fraud? Do you think he should have lost his appeal?

CatherinaJTV Sun 28-Apr-13 20:41:04

thousands of parents

yet in 5000 cases in the Autism Omnibus proceedings, all test cases fell through - all conspiracy?

As said (was it earlier in this thread?): I saw, with my own eyes, my husband start a 40 degree fever, the first time he spiked a temp that high in 20 years, the very night after a cancelled flu shot appointment. A friend had a similar experience with her son's very first (delayed) baby shot appointment - she postponed it yet again and that very weekend, her son broke out in severe eczema.

I am not saying that vaccines cannot trigger adverse events (and MMR can cause encephalitis, in about 1 in 1 million vaccinees). The daughter of an acquaintance had her first grand mal after her second DTaP (a smaller seizure, thought febrile after the first) - everyone told her it was the vaccine, including her doctor. She has found out in the meantime that her daughter has Dravet Syndrome, a genetic form of epilepsy (like many others, who were thought to have vaccine damage, when it was really Dravet all along). If the vaccine had not triggered the first grand mal, it would have been a hot bath, or a visit to the doctors.

A lot of genetic conditions don't become apparent until years or even decades after seemingly total normal development (think Huntington's). That is, as difficult it may be to accept, a lot more likely than vaccine damage leading to autism, whether via the gut as per Wakefield myth, or directly by action on the brain.

magdalen Sun 28-Apr-13 21:15:47

Who exactly suggested the parents of any children are deluded?
It is simply that just because parents believe their child's ASD was caused by MMR does not mean it was.
This paper looks at parental recall:
"Brent Taylor and colleagues reported an interesting and unsettling finding related to the impact of the MMR controversy. In Taylor et al. (2002), multiple parental interviews were obtained for many children diagnosed with an ASD about when they noticed the onset of autistic symptoms. A review of each individual case was made. It was found that several parents reported different times of the onset of autistic symptoms in different interviews. "A review of each record showed that in 13 children the history given by the parents had changed after the extensive publicity about MMR vaccine and autism. Before the publicity the parents often reported concerns early in their child's life, usually before their first birthday; the current history for the same children recorded symptoms as developing only after MMR vaccination, in some cases shortly after. This bias associated withhfh changes in the history given by the parents necessitates particular care when interpreting [parental report]" (Taylor et al., 2002)."

They are not saying the parents are deluded. Human memory is fallible, as studies show time and time again (not just relating to onset of autism, but to lots of other things).

magdalen Sun 28-Apr-13 21:16:33
rosi7 Mon 29-Apr-13 12:46:18

Magdalen, some people don't take the autism-vaccines-myth seriously, but others don't take the vaccine-success-myth seriously. People should be allowed to find their own understanding in life.

magdalen Mon 29-Apr-13 12:53:23

Which "vaccine success myth" would that be?
Genuinely interested which specific one you have in mind, because I understand there are a few in circulation.

magdalen Mon 29-Apr-13 12:57:54
rosi7 Mon 29-Apr-13 13:03:49

No specific one, magdalen - guess what - I mean the whole story.

magdalen Mon 29-Apr-13 13:17:22

But their are so many stories. Do you mean the eradication of small pox? The amazing reductions in incidence of polio?
Rather more tooically, the effect the introduction of the measles vaccine followed by the MMR had on rates of measles in the UK?
I mean, small pox caused about 300-500 million deaths in the 20th century, you don't see much of it about nowadays. As recently as 1967 the WHO estimates about 2 million people died.
What do you mean by the "whole story"?

rosi7 Mon 29-Apr-13 13:27:24

The whole story, Magdalen, - the story telling us in so many words and in such a convincing way that vaccination is humanity's saviour.

CinnabarRed Mon 29-Apr-13 14:16:57

Rosi - genuine question - what are your views in the smallpox vaccine?

magdalen Mon 29-Apr-13 14:33:37

Do you think people are still dying in their millions of small pox? Do you think the incidence of measles in the UK is at levels prior to vaccination?
 The vaccine was introduced in 1967. In the decades 1948-1958 and 1959-68 measles cases were running at about 4 million a decade. The introduction of the single vaccine caused measles rates to fall from 4 million to just shy of 1.5 million in 1969-78 and again to 837,424 cases in 1979-1988. This is, however still 837,424 cases.
 In 1988 the MMR was introduced, and what happened? The cases of measles plummeted from 837,424 in 1979-1988 to just 106,210 in 1989-1998, a fall of 87%. the measles deaths also fell from 140 to just 18. In the following decade measles cases fell again, to 29,694. Unfortunately the whole Wakefield debacle will make the figures for 2009-2018 interesting reading.

Which exactly is the story you prefer to believe?

rosi7 Mon 29-Apr-13 14:44:54

I stick with George Bernard Shaw:
"At present, intelligent people do not have their children vaccinated, nor does the law now compel them to. The result is not, as the Jennerians prophesied, the extermination of the human race by smallpox; on the contrary more people are now killed by vaccination than by smallpox."--George Bernard Shaw (August 9, 1944, the Irish Times )

rosi7 Mon 29-Apr-13 14:46:16

Magdalen, I guess the story I prefer to believe is a different one than the one you prefer to believe.

PigletJohn Mon 29-Apr-13 16:05:00

he was wrong though

the result was, in fact, the extermination of smallpox

(being a playwright does not remove inability to comprehend)

rosi7 Mon 29-Apr-13 16:13:25

That is what you believe, PigletJohn. I rather stick with Shaw's belief.

PigletJohn Mon 29-Apr-13 16:19:18

what? you sincerely believe that Smallpox has not been wiped out?

That's not a matter of opinion, it's a matter of fact.

You are wrong, wrong, wrong.

CinnabarRed Mon 29-Apr-13 16:29:24

Presumably the concept of herd immunity meant nothing to GBS.

magdalen Mon 29-Apr-13 16:31:33

Well, like Moynihan said:
"You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts."
I must admit that if you're going to throw all factual concerns to the winds and believe in anything that the ineffectuality of vaccines is a strange choice. Niche appeal, perhaps, but it sort of lacks grandeur...

rosi7 Mon 29-Apr-13 16:49:34

PigletJohn, it's a matter of belief that vaccination was the cause that Smallpox has been wiped out.

rosi7 Mon 29-Apr-13 16:51:45

Interesting viewpoint, Magdalen, - but doesn't mean anything.

magdalen Mon 29-Apr-13 17:10:58

That smallpox has been wiped out isn't a matter of belief. If you can demonstrate a single case of small pox in the last decade it would be eminently disprovable.
But there hasn't been one, so you can't.
Nor has one been diagnosed since 26th October 1977.
If it wasn't vaccination, then what on earth happened to this major killer?

rosi7 Mon 29-Apr-13 17:21:09

Good question, Magdalen.

CatherinaJTV Mon 29-Apr-13 17:25:40

next week - are we really living on the outside of the round earth, or are MBT shoes the irrefutable proof that we are living on the inside of a hollow world?

magdalen Mon 29-Apr-13 17:35:12

I have an answer, how about you?
You're falling for the round earth story*, aren't you?
*It's not, it's an oblate spheroid smile...

CatherinaJTV Mon 29-Apr-13 18:01:30

roughly round, compared to the flat earth theory ;)

I used to think IANAL stood for "I am really particular about details", but sadly it "only" means I am not a lawyer grin

rosi7 Mon 29-Apr-13 18:17:12

It is a belief that vaccination was the cause for the eradication of some diseases. Nothing more than that.

Just because it happened after the introduction of vaccination does not mean that the one caused the other.

If most people believe it - fine with me.

magdalen Mon 29-Apr-13 18:17:27

I used to labour under a similar misapprehension..
PS I think rosi7 might be a very poor chatbot...

coorong Mon 29-Apr-13 18:38:33

But there is another cause - small pox also reduced at the same time we apparently landed o the moon, and HIV arose almost the same time Halley's Comet reappeared (1985/86) .... I think we have overlooked the role of aliens and extra terrestrials in the spread of viruses.

Rosi7 you can never PROVE that vaccinations reduced incidence of small pox, but, you can compare epidemiology of vaccinated and unvaccinated populations, and what do you discover - measles remains high in the latter, but goes down in the former.

This same idea is the basis of all science.

No one knows how electrons actually behave in electrical circuits, however we observe the effect of electricity and draw conclusions. If you don't trust vaccinations, the you shouldn't trust any science - the food you eat (pasteurisation), the electricity you use (your phone, computer), the house you live in (Gravity - yikes - do you even trust that!)

magdalen Mon 29-Apr-13 18:51:53

You have an excellent point. Measles rates also fell in a manner which coincided with Puppet on a String winning Eurovision and a later UK entry coming second, I believe (the latter actually being more effective, probably due to our British love of a plucky loser).

rosi7 Mon 29-Apr-13 19:00:39

You can think whatever you wish, Magdalen.

rosi7 Mon 29-Apr-13 19:08:53

Oh dear, we are back to the basis of science.

I do trust science - but not science being funded by lobby groups and done by institutions withholding data and ignoring criticism.

JoTheHot Mon 29-Apr-13 19:30:04

I don't understand how you get from 'I have grounds to believe pharmaceutical groups are less than honest' to 'everything pharma says is the diametrical opposite of the truth'. If a Liverpool supporter tells you Liverpool are better than Everton, do you automatically conclude Everton are better?

I can see why you doubt if vaccinations are as good as is said, but how do you arrive at the conclusion that they don't work at all. And how come you can work out that pharma has an agenda without being able to see that the web sites you link to are themselves massively partisan. You appear to be selectively myopic.

rosi7 Mon 29-Apr-13 19:49:28

JoTheHot, sure you don't understand, it is obvious.

But you have to consider that everybody is "selectively myopic". Being human, there is no other approach to reality than looking at the world through your own eyes.

coorong Mon 29-Apr-13 19:54:10

Big pharma can be dangerous and nasty ( see Ben Goldacre recent book as an example), but you can't deny the role of vaccines in reducing diseases spread by viruses. Big pharma don't make huge money fro vaccines and the diseases are virtually wipe out, they would be much more interested now in spreading Myths if they could about single cpvacccines being safer because they'd earn more money that way.

rosi7 Mon 29-Apr-13 19:56:58

JoTheHot - I do arrive at the conclusion that vaccinations don't work at all - because I look at nature and human beings not just on a physical level but also on an energy level.

The effect of vaccination on that level has never ever been taken into consideration by pharmaceutical companies at all - nor are most of the parents aware of it.

rosi7 Mon 29-Apr-13 20:02:51

Coorong - "Big pharma don't make huge money from vaccines"

Is that a serious statement?

PigletJohn Mon 29-Apr-13 20:47:37
PigletJohn Mon 29-Apr-13 20:53:23


I do arrive at the conclusion that vaccinations don't work at all

Did I miss your explanation of how smallpox was wiped out?

rosi7 Mon 29-Apr-13 21:12:07

PigletJohn, you did and you didn't. If you follow my earlier comments it should become clear to you.

PigletJohn Mon 29-Apr-13 21:21:26

As far as I can make out you refuse to accept the one evidence-based expanation and have no sensible one of your own.

rosi7 Mon 29-Apr-13 21:26:28

PigletJohn, if you knew more about vaccine's effect on an energy level you would know that profits out of vaccines are much higher than the profits made from vaccine sales as you have to add profits made from medication used for long-term chronic diseases.

PigletJohn Mon 29-Apr-13 21:30:25

I think you talk pure nonsense.

rosi7 Mon 29-Apr-13 21:31:44

PigletJohn - sorry, but it is not evidence-based. It is an assumption.

rosi7 Mon 29-Apr-13 21:34:27

But this whole discussion seems a bit far away from Wakefield.

CatherinaJTV Mon 29-Apr-13 23:36:51

vaccine's effect on an energy level confused

Beachcomber Tue 30-Apr-13 09:56:36

I see the thread has moved on slightly but I would like to bring us back to the subject of the 5000 litigants in the US who became the Autism Omnibus.

Coorong makes the point that pharma doesn't make 'huge' money out of vaccines. Well, it depends what you mean by 'huge' but certainly vaccines are a multi million dollar business and it would be disingenuous to make out that pharma produces vaccines through altruism. They don't - they develop and produce vaccines to make money.

And what pharma (and public health officials) are most afraid of when it comes to vaccines, is litigation.

Litigation is bad for business because big sums of compensation have to be paid out and litigation is bad for the vaccine programme because it tarnishes its image.

And that means that vaccine litigation is adversarial and that it has two 'sides' both trying to win. And that is wrong from an ethical and social responsibility point of view. Children thought to have been damaged by a vaccine shouldn't have to take on big pharma and the government in a fight. Both pharma and the government are extremely experienced in fighting litigation and they have endless funds and they know all the dirty tricks. A child and their family shouldn't have to take that on.

Vaccine Court in the US where the Autism Omnibus was to be heard is supposedly not adversarial and the family should only have to prove 'beyond reasonable doubt' that the vaccine damaged their child. In addition the court of appeal states that 'close calls regarding causation are resolved in favor of injured claimants'. Which is they way it should be - better to compensate a borderline case than to fail in our duty, as a society, to look after the unfortunate who are the fall out of a public health programme known to carry a degree of risk.

Families are not expected to produce water tight scientific evidence thankfully, as given the nature of both vaccines and the human body, and our lapses of knowledge about both, to do so would be impossible.

Instead they are asked:

to show by preponderant evidence that the vaccination brought about her injury by providing: (1) a medical theory causally connecting the vaccination and the injury; (2) a logical sequence of cause and effect showing that the vaccination was the reason for the injury; and (3) a showing of a proximate temporal relationship between vaccination and injury.

The appeal court states that it is a field bereft of complete and direct proof of how vaccines affect the human body and that to require identification and proof of specific biological mechanisms would be inconsistent with the purposes and nature of the vaccine compensation program.

So far so good. So far so humane.

Except that in reality Vaccine Court doesn't work like that and the government and pharma have fought tooth and nail for children not to win their cases and families are held to an unattainable standard of biological evidence. The respondents have funds, a team of lawyers and expert witnesses at their disposal whilst the families have no funds and their lawyers and expert witnesses must be paid for. That is the reality of Vaccine Court.

CatherinaJTV Tue 30-Apr-13 16:53:04

That is nonsense, Beachcomber - all costs are obviously reimbursed by the court - all reimbursement claims can be seen online. That was one major motivation of the legal firms to push the issue in the first case.

coorong Tue 30-Apr-13 17:07:19

very little in science is completely understood. it's merely about testing ideas with observations. Electrical engineers and physicists are completely at a loss to explain electricity (in terms of the movement of electrons) however, we can still use it.

Very little of medicine is truly understood, scientists observe correlations (e.g. jenner and cowpox). Same with just about every other drug.

Now, you could go on to say if we don't understand it, we shouldn't use it, but that would mean rejecting loads of different medicines - including anaethetics and pain relief. Now I don't know about you, but next time I have an operation, or a filling, I'd like to know there is pain relief available.

coorong Tue 30-Apr-13 17:08:17

"field bereft of complete and direct proof of how vaccines affect the human body"

i mean that statement could apply to just about any drug

Emperor Wed 01-May-13 07:22:50

CatherinaJTV and Coorong - this is complete nonsense! It sounds too stupid to follow the conversation any longer.

Beachcomber Wed 01-May-13 10:46:33

If you want to know how Vaccine Court works read this written in the LA Times.

In the case of Dustin Barton, the government fought so long that the Albuquerque boy did not live to see the resolution of his claim.

As an infant, he had suffered seizures and brain damage after a DPT shot. But Dustin had a congenital neurological condition, known as periventricular leukomalacia, that the government blamed for his injuries.

His mother, Lori Barton, filed the claim in November 1991. The case dragged on for years. Barton told friends and family that she suspected the government was waiting for Dustin to die - noting that it would be cheaper for the program to pay the death benefit of $250,000 than to buy an annuity to cover lifetime care.

Dustin eventually did die of a seizure, nearly six years into the case, but the government continued to fight. Finally in May 2000, 8 1/2 years after the petition was filed, the family won a ruling that Dustin's injuries were vaccine-related.

Not ready to give up, Justice Department lawyers considered an appeal. Then they offered a deal: They would drop the challenge if the Bartons agreed the decision would remain unpublished. This meant it would not be sent to legal databases, such as Westlaw, where attorneys for other petitioners could see it.

Lori Barton, who has since died, described her reaction at a congressional hearing in December 2001: "To me, it was extortion." But Barton, who then was seriously ill and had borrowed thousands of dollars to pay expert witnesses, took the deal.

Vaccine Court was set up to protect manufacturers against the high numbers of DTP litigants. Now it is doing an excellent job of protecting them from thousands of MMR litigants.

Beachcomber Wed 01-May-13 11:36:03

CatherinaJTV Tue 30-Apr-13 16:53:04

That is nonsense, Beachcomber - all costs are obviously reimbursed by the court - all reimbursement claims can be seen online. That was one major motivation of the legal firms to push the issue in the first case.

They were reimbursed at the end. They had to fund the actual preparation and fighting of the case themselves and try to hold out to the end.

Lack of Equality between the Government's and Petitioners' Lawyers and Witnesses.

The lawyers for the Department of Justice, representing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), were privileged in these proceedings. This privilege was starkest in financial terms. The government lawyers work on salary and have almost unlimited budgets for expert witnesses and trial preparation. By contrast, the court pays petitioner lawyers' fees but generally only after proceedings are over. So, petitioners' lawyers must fund all trial preparation for many years on their own and pay expert witnesses after the court reaches its decision, which is often years later. In the OAP, petitioners' lawyers and witnesses were not paid for their services for years whereas the government lawyers and witnesses were. The financial playing field has a steep tilt in the government's favor.

Petitioners often borrow huge sums of money and legal teams and expert witnesses can wait years before they are paid in full.

CatherinaJTV Wed 01-May-13 14:55:26
Beachcomber Thu 02-May-13 08:19:10

The quote didn't say that it wasn't published. It said;

This meant it would not be sent to legal databases, such as Westlaw, where attorneys for other petitioners could see it.

But you carry on CatherinaJTV if you want to defend how Vaccine Court goes about things.

Beachcomber Thu 02-May-13 09:02:14
Beachcomber Thu 02-May-13 09:07:37

Or here ;

Lori Barton's son Dustin received his third DTP shot in
1989. He began to have seizures. His body became rigid. He
stopped looking at things. He became legally blind. In the
words of Lori Barton, he was a different child. He was
eventually diagnosed with residual seizure disease, disorder.
In 1991, the Bartons filed a petition for compensation, 11
years ago.
Now, I should acknowledge from the outset that this was not
an open and shut case. It was complicated by the fact that
Dustin was born with a condition known as PVL that causes
lesions on the brain. However, that does not excuse the way the
Justice Department handled this case. They had their first
hearing in 1993. Lori Barton and her mother testified. They
were subjected to severe cross examination by the Justice
Department lawyer. The lawyer tried to pick apart their
statements like a hard-nosed litigator. Lori Barton felt like
she was being treated like a criminal. The special master
overseeing the case called it overkill. Despite that, the
Bartons won round one. After it took 4 years for them to get to
the second round, the next hearing, 4 more years.
That was in August 1997. Three months later Dustin had a
massive seizure, and he died. What started out as an injury
case turned into a death case because it dragged out so long.
In 1999, 8 years after the Bartons filed their petition, and 2
years after Dustin died, the special master awarded them
But there was one final indignity, and I want you to get
this. The Justice Department told the Bartons that they didn't
agree with the decision, and they didn't want it to be
published. They were paying them, but they didn't want anybody
to know about it. They didn't want it published. They didn't
want it to become a precedent that might help other families,
and if they didn't get this agreement that it wouldn't be
published, they might appeal the decision and delay the
compensation for another year or two. That in the private
sector would be called blackmail, but the Justice Department
was saying, we're not going to give you your money even though
you have gone through this and your son died, even though it
has taken 8 or 9 years, but we will give you the money if you
don't publish this; but if you don't, we're going to appeal the
Those are the kind of blackjack tactics that the American
people just get sick about, but it happens in our government.
And right now we've got our troops fighting overseas for our
freedoms and this Republic that we enjoy, and we have
government officials beating people over the head like that.
That's not right.
Well, the Bartons had been worn down over 8 years. They had
lost their son. Lori's health was not good, so they agreed, and
who can blame them. What did Lori have wrong with her? She had
lupus. All the time she was going through this, she was
suffering from lupus, and so she was dead tired, and she
finally said OK.
That's not how Congress intended for this program to work,
and these are not isolated cases. At our last hearing I said
that we had some clear evidence of overzealous conduct by the

specialsubject Thu 02-May-13 19:15:35

right. I am about to lose it big time with some of the people on here.

vaccines work. There is no smallpox BECAUSE OF VACCINATION. This is scientific fact. There could be no polio if some terrorist organisations were not spreading lies about the vaccine and murdering the medical workers.

there is no evidence that vaccines cause autism. There is evidence of vaccine reactions such as fits (I had a fit after my live measles jab, I'm fine) and allergic reactions. There is some evidence that vaccines may cause worsening of problems in children with compromised immune systems. These children rely on the herd immunity.

all the ranting about big pharma etc leads immediately to CRAP science, lack of logic and total nonsense.

making money is not a crime. Those of you who disapprove of 'big pharma' making money from health; water companies also make money. Power supplies also make money. Teachers make money from educating your children. Etc Etc.

so, if you disapprove of all this - off you go to your desert island, use no services except those you make and supply yourself, accept no money from anyone, be utterly self-sufficient. And take your unvaccinated children with you. Better hope they don't want to go anywhere else.

Emperor Thu 02-May-13 22:20:19

specialsubject, you are talking complete emotional nonsense wasting other people's time!

CatherinaJTV Thu 02-May-13 22:23:22

I enjoyed that post and can totally sympathise..

Emperor Fri 03-May-13 06:12:54

Catherina, there is no doubt that you do like this kind of nonsense.

CatherinaJTV Fri 03-May-13 06:43:54

I admit, I am a big fan of vaccination. I do relish the fact that smallpox has been eradicated by vaccination and my children don't need those shots any longer.

I am looking forward to polio being eradicated and it is outrageous that medical workers are being killed - did you even know that medical providers are being killed over polio vaccination?! It is disgusting AND the direct consequence of religious propaganda that these murders occurred. You might call it "nonsense" I call it tragic because of the lives lost and the lives not saved.

Beachcomber Fri 03-May-13 13:41:55

I'm not too sure what smallpox and polio have to do with Wakefield et al or the safety of triple vaccines hmm

It is very irresponsible to polarize discussions of vaccine safety and the compensation of children hurt by vaccines into silly red herrings about smallpox and polio and 'anti-vaccination' rhetoric.

I too am immensely grateful that my children do not need protection from smallpox - that doesn't mean that I think every vaccine ever produced is hunky dory sparkly safe and effective though.

I also think it is rude and nasty to tell people to leave society and 'take their unvaccinated children with them' because they ask questions about vaccine safety. What a horrible way to talk about other people's children sad. I find that sort of crowd mentality positively disturbing.

CatherinaJTV do you really enjoy that sort of thing? How hideous. Mind you, you seem pretty pleased that the 5000 families seeking to have their cases heard in Vaccine Court were dismissed.

Beachcomber Fri 03-May-13 13:55:43

And something that I find increasingly concerning is this constant talk of 'vaccination' as though vaccination is one thing.

It isn't.

'Vaccination' as a theoretical concept is one thing. Vaccination as a physical reality in yunno, real life, on real people is not one thing that one can be 'a fan of'. Every vaccine is different - some better than others, some safer than others, some more effective than others, some more justifiable than others, some more relevant to certain populations than others.

To roll all this up into one big ball called 'vaccination' and talk about it as though it is one thing is delusional. And to my mind, dangerous.

I'm always curious with people who do this - would they take their 15 month old to get DTaP, Hib, IPV, MMR and Varicella on one day as happens in the US? Nine vaccines in one day? Really?

Or how about Hep B on the day or birth? How many posters here would be happy with that for their newborns - babies about which we can have no idea if they have underlying conditions that could turn out to be contraindication to vaccination?

Vaccination is brilliant, life saving, rilly rilly safe and untouchable so I presume that the answer is 'yes'.

CatherinaJTV Fri 03-May-13 13:57:44

Mind you, you seem pretty pleased that the 5000 families seeking to have their cases heard in Vaccine Court were dismissed.

I am rather pleased that they were heard, got a chance to present their case and ANY AND ALL witness they wanted. I read the Cedillo proceedings, all 2000+ pages of it and was content with the rigour of the hearing.

I can understand the frustration over anti-vaccine activism (as diverse as the motives may be - see the other thread).

CatherinaJTV Fri 03-May-13 14:07:15

my 12 months old got DTaP, IPV, HepB, hib and MMR in one day, 9 "diseases" in 5 different syringes. After that, I became a one shot per visit person when possible (DS got hepA, typhoid and yellow fever in a day a couple of months ago). The American schedule is more like a acupuncture treatment plan, however, this is due 1. to the scarcity of combination vaccines and 2. to the fact that the US has 0 weeks of paid maternity leave so many kids are in out of home care from a few weeks old. The CDC has to propose a schedule that will reach and protect children from inner city New York as much as from rural Kentucky in a country of 310 million inhabitants. Given the US's diversity in health care access, they have found the best schedule for them. Would I give my newborn HepB? No. But then, I did not have to go back to work within a week and that is not unusual in the US and you have no control over what your child gets exposed to then.

Beachcomber Fri 03-May-13 14:32:14

But CatherinaJTV - the cases weren't heard

6 cases were heard and 5000 were dismissed on the basis of the 6 heard. The 6 cases that were heard were being held to an impossible standard of biological proof - a standard that does not exist in vaccine science.

The HHS failed to provide an alternative explanation for what happened to these children and they conceded the case of Hannah Poling on the condition that she no longer be considered a test case.

The Cedillo hearing was disgusting what with Bustin showing up at the last minute to give a shaky professional opinion (and one that wasn't even relevant to Michelle's profile), and failing to make the underlying data on which he based his opinion available for examination hmm. Then we had Fombonne (who has practically made a profession from testifying against sick children and their families) who tried to convince everybody that videos of Michelle running around as a toddler were completely consistent with the wheelchair bound Michelle who suffered multiple seizures most days. She was really sick before her vaccines - just her parents and doctors were too stupid to notice. Right.

The 5000 cases were never heard. All these families have been told they have no case without their cases even being heard.

The HHS admitted that Hannah Poling had been hurt by her vaccines and yet they dismissed 5000 other children without even examining their cases to see if they were like Hannah.

The Autism Omnisbus was a sham.

CatherinaJTV Fri 03-May-13 16:30:37

I think you are just unhappy because of the outcome.

coorong Fri 03-May-13 17:48:15

The reason the debate continues and why it's relevant to connect wakefield to smallpox and polio, is that he continued the long line of shamans pushing there own cure. Remember the controversy when the South African health minister denied the link between HIV and AIDS. The odd paper is not proof, it's consistent patterns that are relevant. To weight wakefield et ALS claims with the same merit at the Cochran review is poor science. It would be like weighting the single pro smoking paper against the weight of data showing clear links between smoking and lung cancer.

In years to come an side effect may come to light, but after FORTY years and BILLIONS of MMR doses, we simply don't have anything, anything to show a correlation(or indeed causation) between the vaccine and any side effect. The only correlation is that as vaccination rates rise, epidemics decline.

Beachcomber Fri 03-May-13 18:55:30

Would I give my newborn HepB? No. But then, I did not have to go back to work within a week and that is not unusual in the US and you have no control over what your child gets exposed to then.

Are you suggesting that working mothers are exposing their babies to Hep B? hmm

Newborns are not given Hep B because they might actually be exposed to this disease which is sexually transmitted or transmitted through needle sharing.

Beachcomber Fri 03-May-13 19:03:54

Yes I am unhappy with the outcome - 5000 families never got to make their case and yet it was conceded that Hanna Poling was hurt by her vaccines and that she developed 'symptoms of autism'.

How many other children were there like Hannah in the 5000? We will never know (unless the families have the resources to fight a civil case now that they have been kicked out of Vaccine Court).

Either vaccines never cause autism or they sometimes do. The government admits that they sometimes do because they have settled cases like Hannah's.

So how come the 5000 families never even got to their day in court? They never got to present the case of their children?

Not because vaccines never cause autism but because there were too many cases for Vaccine Court to be able to deal with .

How is that just?

5000 families who never even got to try for compensation for their child because there were too many of them . So the more children a vaccine damages, the less likely it is to be investigated?


No, I'm not terribly thrilled with that outcome.

CatherinaJTV Fri 03-May-13 19:15:22

HepB is also transmitted by saliva within normal contacts. The transmission of hepB between a shedding kindergartener and his care taker has been documented, for example. I don't consider it a huge risk, but infants, when infected, have a huge risk of developing chronic hepB, so I understand the US policy.

CatherinaJTV Fri 03-May-13 19:17:07

The lawyers had 5000 families from which to pick their test cases and did not manage to find one that was unambiguous? How did that happen?

Beachcomber Fri 03-May-13 20:23:17

CatherinaJTV why were they having to pick test cases in the first place? Something that was entirely unprecedented in Vaccine Court which, despite its many failings, had up until then, admitted that children are individuals .

What on earth was that about?

They lumped this massive group of children together and then said 'prove 100% that vaccines cause autism' - something which is nigh on impossible and which actually goes against the ethos of Vaccine Court itself . Then they paid a bunch of professional expert witnesses a fortune to testify that the parents didn't know their own children and that the doctors who had examined them were crap.

That was what the test cases were decided on - paid for expert opinion that the parents didn't notice that their kids were autistic and that the doctors had crappy labs and bad methodology and that 5000 children getting fevers and seizures and brain damage and showing immune dysfunction following exposure to viruses was just one big coincidence .

Come On. Pull the other one.

And the lawyers chose Hannah Poling as one of the test cases and her case was compensated. Her case was compensated on the condition that it no longer be presented as a test case. What the actual fuck? How was that allowed to happen?

CatherinaJTV I've seen you on enough threads on here to see that you are pretty keen on vaccines and very convinced that they all have marvellous safety records. But surely even you can see the injustice done to 5000 families who never even got to present their case.

But then you know what, it had all been decided in advance, none of them were going to win anyway so there wasn't much point wasting time and resources by actually listening to them. It was all decided already.

Bit like how in the UK the families had their Legal Aid withdrawn because it was considered a waste of resources for them to get any funding to present cases that were never going to be given a fair hearing and that were never going to be conceded no matter what evidence was presented.

The US government's and its Vaccine Court's official stance is "vaccines never cause autism or brain damage that looks like autism, (except when they do)".

It is a sham and a lie.

The whole thing is a disgrace and a scandal and it makes me sick that people go along with it. Surely it is possible to think vaccines are worthy and great but retain one's humanity and empathy for families for whom vaccines didn't work out so well? Maybe not, the more time goes on and the more I read about all this, the less I think so. Chilling.

If 5000 children developed fevers and brain damage and immune deregulation after being exposed to measles, mumps and rubella in the wild would people think that was one big coincidence or would they consider that those children had most likely received a viral insult?

And give me a break on Hep B - if it was such a risk to newborns how come we don't vaccinate for it in the UK?

Beachcomber Fri 03-May-13 20:34:23

In years to come an side effect may come to light, but after FORTY years and BILLIONS of MMR doses, we simply don't have anything, anything to show a correlation(or indeed causation) between the vaccine and any side effect.

Actually Coorong, we do.

We have tens of thousands of families who report that their children suffered febrile episodes and then went on to show signs of brain damage. We have the clinical reports and the research of the doctors who examined these children.

It is positively inhumane to carry on dismissing them.

Thousands and thousands of children with brain damage - brain damage that looks remarkably similar to disintegrative psychosis which can be caused by measles virus .

The head in the sand Orwellian denial is absolutely incredible. And it will cost us heavily as a society. I despair I really do.

CatherinaJTV Sat 04-May-13 10:07:20

Many, many words Beachcomber, but the fact remains: the plaintiffs in the Autism Omnibus case had 5000 kids to pick from to prove that vaccines cause autism. They did not manage.

That doesn't mean that vaccines don't cause neurological damage (GBS, MIBE in the immunocompromised, encephalitis - table injuries), but not in the tens of thousands and rarely (not never) in the "totally healthy child goes to get her jab and comes out disabled" sense that you seems to adhere to.

Beachcomber Sat 04-May-13 14:26:17

Why doesn't it surprise me that you would dismiss the lived experience of 5000 families as 'many many words' CatherinaJTV ? hmm

The standard of proof that the test cases were being held to does not exist in vaccine science today and certainly didn't then. (Mostly because doctors know that their careers are over if they rock that particular boat). Tough shit for those 5000 families hey! (and the thousands more throughout the world).

And their stories are very rarely of "totally healthy child goes to get her jab and comes out disabled" - it is a bit more complicated than that for most of them. What with them being real live human beings and all. Good way to dismiss them though. Well done.

Anyway, I'm out of this thread now I'm afraid, as the exchange with you, CatherinaJTV, is making me sick. Children are being denied appropriate medical treatment, care and help because of this.

Enough now.

coorong Sat 04-May-13 16:24:39

These families were poorly advised. All class actions start with a test case and any lawyers worth their salt would roll out the most convincing to get things started. I think rather than focussing on this particular court case, proper peer reviewed random controlled trials on vaccines would be better.

Oh hang on, they've been done.

And these tens of thousands of children with febrile convulsions - who are they, what are their names, and if this type of reaction is so widespread, why has the daily mail not picked up on it? More to the point, I have nursery teaching friends, why hasn't this come to their attention?

"Thousands and thousands with brain damage from vaccines"? Where? Do you have trials showing before and after?

That statement alone makes Rosi7 claims about energy levels reasonable.

CatherinaJTV Sat 04-May-13 18:09:35

thank you coorong - I do agree with that.

Beachcomber, I am also quite tired of the "when did you stop beating your wife" kind of argumentation, so it is probably for the best to stop the discussion here.

Tabitha8 Sat 04-May-13 18:44:28

Just to clarify, Dustin Barton won his case, did he not?
Unfortunately, it looks as though you've all gone away from this thread.

CatherinaJTV Sat 04-May-13 19:03:04

I linked to the case decision, Tabitha8 - the answer is yes as far as I can see.

Tabitha8 Sat 04-May-13 19:05:09

Thanks. That's how I read it, right at the end of the paper.

Cheers! smile

Beachcomber Sat 04-May-13 23:03:04

Whatever. like I said this thread makes me sick.

Carry on and good luck to you.

<hides thread and concentrates on something fruitful>


Emperor Sun 05-May-13 19:41:18

Beachcomber, you made a good choice. Talking to people who are not willing to listen is throwing pearls before swine.

CatherinaJTV Mon 06-May-13 10:04:15

wonderful - keep working on the image of vaccine-refusers by calling your opponents "swine", E. hmm

LaVolcan Mon 06-May-13 10:44:12

Matthew 7:6
"Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces."

CatherinaJTV Mon 06-May-13 13:02:13

Inspirational hmm

coorong Mon 06-May-13 15:45:16

Actually, the biblical links are interesting.

You can find a myriad of old and New Testament quotes than anti vacc people use to justify their superstitions. In the states a religious belief is one of the reasons to refuse vacc (other religious groups have similar beliefs about organ donations, blood transfusion, etc). But it is the same philosophy used by some extreme religious groups to suppress women, admonister gays and justify racism.

But calling someone swine because you don't agree with them is simply employing the "ad hominem" device. It is fallacious and merely undermines your own position.

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