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Unsure about vaccinations? Try reading "Deadly Choices"

(450 Posts)
arkestra Sat 31-Aug-13 12:41:16

I got Whooping Cough recently at age 43, what fun. Apparently vaccine immunity for WC wears off after a few decades. It was as ill as I have ever been and I was pretty much out of action for 3 months. There has been an increase of WC cases recently in the SW of England, where I live. I could rant at anti -vaccine campaigners, but what would be the point? I am more concerned that the people who are unsure have access to a clear statement of the pro-vaccine position.

So can I suggest that anyone who is unsure about vaccination reads "Deadly Choices" on the pro-vaccine front even if they read nothing else?

I just had my early summer ruined. But babies get killed by this kind of thing. I totally get why people find vaccines icky and unsettling, there are hard wired ways we intuitively think about our bodies that foster that kind of reaction. So just read this book if you're on the fence OK? It would be nice if lots of other 40-somethings don't irritate everyone else with their wheezing and self-pity grin

(Gets back off soapbox)

LaVolcan Sat 31-Aug-13 13:47:27

How does 'anti-vaccine' relate to immunity wearing off? Isn't that more of an argument for offering a booster dose of the vaccine to adults?

TwasBrillig Sat 31-Aug-13 13:52:11

Not read it but very anti anti vax. My baby had whooping cough at 2 moths and it was terrifying. I had it too. It was three months of hell after moving house with no support and low income. At that moment I'd have struggled to be the same room as an anti vaxer.

arkestra Sat 31-Aug-13 14:17:52

LaVolcan: is an argument both for boosters for adults and people getting their kids vaccinated so there is less WC floating about in general (the latter being where anti-vax makes a difference)

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 14:21:52

Why don't you read some reports of vaccine damage? They do tend to involve more than a ruined summer.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 14:25:01

Oh I beg your pardon. A ruined early summer. Still, no matter if people are damaged for your tremendously important few weeks.

JakeBullet Sat 31-Aug-13 14:28:52

My brother nearly does from whooping cough in the 1970s. my poor Mum had been scared out of having him immunised by all the negative press at the time. She forever blames herself for this as my brother has some health issues as a result of the whooping cough. I will never forget how I'll he was.

That said I can understand why parents are scared. The newspapers can be very frightening sometimes and I am still convinced by parents who say their child was normal until a vaccine of some kind was given. It could be coincidence yes but statistically a small number of children WILL suffer as a result of immunisation....nothing is without risk.

JakeBullet Sat 31-Aug-13 14:29:19

Nearly "died" not "does"

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 14:35:27

People rely on more than "newspapers" when they make their decisions. Nor do they rely on a belief that vaccines are "icky and upsetting".

arkestra Sat 31-Aug-13 14:35:28

Crumbledwalnuts: thanks for providing such a great example of a lost cause, as mentioned in my original post.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 14:36:45

Yes - it's a lost cause alright. People just deny, deny, deny. Those poor children. They make this great sacrifice and are thrown away.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 14:37:38

"icky and upsetting" I've read some patronising rubbish but really this takes the biscuit

arkestra Sat 31-Aug-13 14:46:07

Anyway, as I was saying, it's a good book for the ones trying to make their minds up one way or the other. They're the ones worth talking to. No point in engaging with zealots, life's too short. Doughnut, anyone?

nickelbabe Sat 31-Aug-13 14:51:05

Crumbledwalnuts - you've had your say, and you have yet to convince me that being nasty to other posters who don't agree with you is better behavious than warning people about the dangers of having unvaccinated children.

therre are plenty of people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons and anti-vax is putting their lives in danger.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 14:52:24

I would also urge you to read some accounts of vaccine damage; those parents are worth listening to. No point engaging with zealots so close-minded they can't even acknowledge a real, living, breathing "problem".

No doughnut for me thanks. There are some kinds of people one doesn't break bread with.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 14:53:40

I think arkestra was nasty, don't you? If she doesn't like it, she shouldn't really go there.

Nickelbabe do you have a flu vaccine every year? Do you have your immunity checked regularly? Because if not you are putting people's lives in danger.

nickelbabe Sat 31-Aug-13 15:04:45

no, i don't think she was.
I think she rightly pointed out the dangers of not vaccinating your children.

I am VERY pro-vaccination for the good of the greater population.

Let's put it this way, would yo ube able to live with yourself if a child with epilepsy, who couldn't be vaccinated without risk, was killed by a disease that your healthy child hadn't been vaccinated against, caught and passed on?

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 15:07:15

She called me a zealot and damaged children a lost cause. Can you answer my question first - for the good of the greater population, do you do those things?

nickelbabe Sat 31-Aug-13 15:07:41

and the whole point of everyone being vaccinated is that you are less likely to be at risk from those whose vaccines have worn off.

It's a herd thing - if people are vaccinated, then there just isn't the prevalence of the disease in question, therefore, it's less likely to "do the rounds"

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 15:08:05

Can you answer my question? thanks

nickelbabe Sat 31-Aug-13 15:08:20

I'm pretty sure that she called you a lost cause, not "damaged" children.

nickelbabe Sat 31-Aug-13 15:09:29


No, i don't get the flu vaccine every year because I am not required to, because I am not in an at risk group.
that's on the advice of the NHS.

I don't get my immunity checked regularly.

LaVolcan Sat 31-Aug-13 15:09:49

If arkestra had come on telling us that she had had a nasty bout of whooping cough, and did you know your immunity could wane, and how about more information/booster vaccine to deal with this, then fine.

But as it was it was written with a subtext: if those nasty anti-vaccers hadn't been around then the disease would have been eliminated and then it wouldn't have mattered that my immunity had waned because I wouldn't need it.

Maybe, except I have read that the bacterium involved is thought to have mutated thus making the vaccine less effective. In which case, she could still have had the nasty bout of whooping cough, and raging against the anti-vaccers would be a waste of time and energy because it would be nothing to do with them.

nickelbabe Sat 31-Aug-13 15:11:19

but I was also one of those who had measles when I was 2.
It was fucking horrible, according to my mum, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

and for the want of a small needle prick, a healthy child should have it.

But I am also a believer of freedom of choice, so although I can tell you to the cows come home that you're a selfish so-and-so if you have no medical ground not to vaccinate, I will defend you to the death for your right to refuse.

nickelbabe Sat 31-Aug-13 15:12:07

LaVolcan - but then the latest vaccines would be against the latest strain, wouldn't they?

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 15:16:52

Why would she call me a lost cause? And how is it not nasty if she did?

I'm afraid that by your own reckoning you are a risk to the general population. It's not just a small needle prick for some: it's a lifetime of damage. More than "fucking horrible".

LaVolcan: parapertussis. The vaccine doesn't work and in fact in mice experiments it makes the mouse more vulnerable to pertussis. No nickelbabe there is no vaccine against parapertussis.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 15:18:33

I think it's pretty selfish expecting other children to take a risk for you. I think it's pretty selfish, actually, a woman in her forties expecting babies to take a risk so that her summer isn't ruined.

LaVolcan Sat 31-Aug-13 15:21:38

but then the latest vaccines would be against the latest strain, wouldn't they?

I don't think they are yet, but they could be developed in time, but meanwhile you are still open to infection from them.

nickelbabe Sat 31-Aug-13 15:22:33

no, she is expecting every person (who can) to take the risk to prevent most people getting the horrible diseases by creating a barrier of protection.

that's what "herd immunity" does - it creates a barrier of protection.

If that had happened properly amongst all population, then the measles epidemic wouldn't have happened.

LaVolcan Sat 31-Aug-13 15:22:45

Cross post sorry.

nickelbabe Sat 31-Aug-13 15:23:41

"LaVolcan: parapertussis. The vaccine doesn't work and in fact in mice experiments it makes the mouse more vulnerable to pertussis. No nickelbabe there is no vaccine against parapertussis."

and don't get me started on making a completely different speics take the hit for a vaccine for us.
"in mice it makes it worse"
yeah, well, paracetamol kills dogs.

nickelbabe Sat 31-Aug-13 15:23:51

species even

arkestra Sat 31-Aug-13 15:24:23

Problem with talking sensibly on this issue is ultimately that each side thinks the other is flat out wrong, can't see how on earth they can think what they do, and thinks the wrong opinion is killing and maiming children. Makes it very hard to stay polite but its worth doing so as far as one can! After all no-one is the villain in their own internal narrative.

I would hope no-one here thinks any child a lost cause - but I do think some adults are, about some topics anyway. Clearly some here consider me a lost cause. I'm happy with that.

Hopefully I'm not sounding nasty to the average reader though. I don't think anyone on this thread is acting on bad faith. Just that some people are very wrong, and that their wrongness has negative consequences for others (herd immunity etc).

LaVolcan Sat 31-Aug-13 15:24:27

that's what "herd immunity" does - it creates a barrier of protection.

But not if that nasty bacteria has gone and mutated. Think of MRSA and antibiotics.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 15:32:01

Actually there are quite sensible conversations all the time about it, but they don't generally start with someone talking about vaccines being icky and upsetting, a rant about anti-vaxers, calling people a lost cause and branding them zealots.

It's all in the tone.

Nickelbabe: odd that you are worried about mice but not babies. Odd priorities.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 15:33:26

Arkestra: given this "Just that some people are very wrong, and that their wrongness has negative consequences for others (herd immunity etc)." I think you may need to read a little more widely, do the maths about herd immunity, look at papers concerning waning immunity, and ask yourself whether you too get flu vaccines every year and your own immunity checked regularly.

arkestra Sat 31-Aug-13 15:39:41

Crumbled: I get that you think I'm ignorant and selfish and view injured children as a lost cause gringringrin as I said I'm ok with that.

Sorry this is pressing your buttons but the evidence on vaccinations is not in your favour and I can't even pretend I think the facts are finely balanced. I think someone with less investment will find the book interesting and informative.

Now if you'll excuse me I have sick children to beat smile

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 15:41:36

Your grins are extraordinary. Why?

When you come back - I asked whether you get your immunity checked regularly and have a flu vaccine every year.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 15:49:38

I think the answer must be no. You were a risk yourself to others because you didn't get your immunity checked. Worth considering.

arkestra Sat 31-Aug-13 15:51:20

Crumbled: The smileys are to indicate that, given your postings on this thread, I am finding it hard to take you seriously. I have no more intention of debating vax with you on MN than I would debate evolution with a creationist or geography with a member of the Flat Earth Society grin

If you are genuinely interested in my point of view, read the book.

Tell you what though, I'm happy to read any single book you recommend. I find it as hard to figure out how you got to your position as you clearly find me.

JakeBullet Sat 31-Aug-13 15:54:15

Sorry crumbledwalnuts but my Mum is a prime example of the fact that many people DO rely on what they read in the news when making decisions. The MMR debacle proved exactly that, people became scared.

My son is autistic and my Mum STILL asks if I am sure it was not caused by the MMR. No it wasn't as my DS did not have the MMR until age 4 for a number of reasons by which time the autism was apparent. And that's with her experience of a child who nearly does from what is a preventable condition with vaccine.

YOU sound intelligent and well able to read various opinions and scientific stuff. Not everyone does this or has that ability and a scary newspaper headline WILL influence people.

I don't give a stuff what decisions people come to regarding vaccines but it is silly to think everyone is able to read and process however many scientific papers it takes. Most are influenced by what their HCP says and what they read in the news.

JakeBullet Sat 31-Aug-13 15:55:10

DIED not DOES.bloody predictive text.

LaVolcan Sat 31-Aug-13 15:56:17

If you are genuinely interested in my point of view, read the book.

What exactly is your point of view though? Is it, immunity wanes, and we need to be told about it, or is it anti-vaccers are completely wrong.

None of the real 'anti-vaccers' (i.e.those who totally disbelieve in vaccines), have appeared on this thread.

nickelbabe Sat 31-Aug-13 16:01:39

"Nickelbabe: odd that you are worried about mice but not babies. Odd priorities"

I'm worried about all animals, but the main worry about using MICE and not HUMAN TISSUE is that MICE are not HUMANS - they don't have the same genetics, and they don't react the same fucking way that humans do! that's why I pulled at your argument. That's why I cited the most common painkiller we have as killing another SPECIES of animal.

It makes no sense at all to test vaccines etc on other animals.
even monkeys, which match our DNA by the largest amount, react differently to some things.

nickelbabe Sat 31-Aug-13 16:03:28

oh, god, yes, a lot of people take what the newspapers say as gospel - my ex's mum believes absolutely everything she read in the Daily Mail, even when it makes no logical sense.

JakeBullet Sat 31-Aug-13 16:03:32

I am not especially anti or pro vaccine, I think we make decisions based on what info we have available at the time. In my Mum's case she had her info from newspapers and TV and it scared her.

My info came from the Internet and from research papers. This told me that my son was unlikely to have any issues as a result of immunisations. I got them done and all was fine....the MMR was however done much later because I was ill and moved around a bit.

Much to DS's disgust he has been called for an MMR booster recently....he is 10 and not impressed grin.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 16:04:43

Being nasty again Arkestra. I've asked you some sensible questions. Why don't you answer them?

You were a risk to others because you didn't get your immunity checked. Have you considered that?

Sorry to hear about your Mum nickelbabe. The rest of the world isn't your mum though.

arkestra Sat 31-Aug-13 16:06:04

LaVolcan: 2 points really.

The less interesting one is that WC vaccine more or less wears off by your 40's. Worth knowing but not important in itself.

But it woke me up to the whooping cough increase in S England. Is dying down now but many kids died. 14 in last 3 months of 2012 alone. Makes you think etc. in my case it made me have a look for a good book summarising the case for vaccines and post it on MumsNet. I'm just a 40-something who caught a cough (boo hoo). But WC kills babies and the more WC vaccination we get the fewer babies it kills. That's obviously more interesting than an adult whooping it up.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 16:06:31

I don't think the OP has thought this through tbh. Read a book, thinks know everything, suddenly evangelical, get on mumsnet, laugh when people disagree.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 16:07:34

xpost and quite an ironic one at that

of course it's important to know you aren't immune - you were a risk to others

arkestra Sat 31-Aug-13 16:12:06

Re my personal immunity to WC - to set Crumbled's mind at rest - now I've had it I'm immune for a few more decades. Soon as I realised my symptoms looked like WC I got the specific antibiotics to kill any lingering traces of the bacteria and stayed at home until I had run the course. I may be selfish and lost causing blah blah blah but even I don't pass stuff like that on. Although by the time you have the whoop you are in general no longer infectious anyway.

LaVolcan Sat 31-Aug-13 16:15:24

The less interesting one is that WC vaccine more or less wears off by your 40's. Worth knowing but not important in itself.

Sorry, but I had to supress a laugh at this - not important and yet your initial post was to say It was as ill as I have ever been and I was pretty much out of action for 3 months. It would have been worth knowing if there was some action you could have taken to prevent it.

But WC kills babies and the more WC vaccination we get the fewer babies it kills.

But not if their WC is caused by parapertussis for which the vaccination is ineffective. (I don't know whether it has killed any babies, I may add.)

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 16:15:45

But now you know that immunity wanes you can get your immunity checked to measles, mumps, rubella ? You'll be doing that soon, I guess?

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 16:16:22

You do actually understand that by your reckoning, you need to get your immunity checked for the sake of the "herd"?

arkestra Sat 31-Aug-13 16:22:19

As I said, no debates with Flat Earthers. But happy to read a book recommendation if you have one.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 16:23:44


You do understand that Arkestra? Are you struggling with understanding or with the answer?

Try Callous Disregard by Andrew Wakefield, and enjoy.

arkestra Sat 31-Aug-13 16:27:21

Thanks. I will read that, honest! I do recommend "Deadly Choices" if you want a good summary of how the other side to you thinks. Always good intellectual exercise even if you are absolutely certain in your beliefs.

Have a good weekend y'all

Pagwatch Sat 31-Aug-13 16:34:07

I am never sure how many 'anti-vacc' people there actually are tbh.

The only people I personally know who don't vaccinate are those who have family history or genuine concerns based on personal experience. Like me.

The 'anti-vacc' stuff often seems be an excuse to stereotype and be rude.

In fairness it would have been perfectly simple for the op to craft an informative link rather than putting in digs and starting a fight.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 16:46:07

I know how the other side thinks. I've read around. I was on the other side. Most people start off on "the other side".

Way to avoid the question btw.

nickelbabe Sat 31-Aug-13 16:52:18

"Sorry to hear about your Mum nickelbabe. The rest of the world isn't your mum though."

not my mum.
my mum's not that stupid.
ex's mum.

JakeBullet Sat 31-Aug-13 16:55:11

My Mum isn't stupid either but she IS a worrier and as such can be influenced by what she reads.

LaVolcan Sat 31-Aug-13 16:58:39

I am never sure how many 'anti-vacc' people there actually are tbh.

The thought among some posters is that if you don't buy their 'pro-vacc' stance 100% then you are anti-vacc.

OP, IMO did come on this thread to be provocative. Babies are dying (nice piece of emotional blackmail) and those nasty anti-vaccers are to blame. Not the people whose immunity wore off, caught the disease and spread it before they realised, or those who are vaccinated, don't realise that they are infectious with their mild dose of the disease, so go and spread it also.

nickelbabe Sat 31-Aug-13 17:01:28

I met a woman in a cafe once, when I was reading stories.
she didn't know me or my history.
I had commented that we were avoiding dairy and soya to see if it would help DD's eczema.
the very first thing she said was "has she had her vaccines?" I was a bit confused because I hadn't been talking about development. "why?" I asked
"it might have caused her eczema"

that opinion had not been sought or welcomed. and it actually immediately made me not want to be anywhere near her child, who was a couple of months older than mine.
And it made me angry, saying on the one hand that i shouldn't have vaccinated my child just in case it triggered a small side effect, which implies that she cares about my child's health, but on the other hand, obviously having not had her own child vaccinated (i'm assuming - people who vaccinate don't tend to blame vaccines for everything)- telling me that my child's health and life wasn't important enough that she was willing to put it in danger.

nickelbabe Sat 31-Aug-13 17:02:49

Jake - wasn't referring to your mum being worried by the press's need for sensationalism, but about my ex's mum believing absolutely everything the Daily Mail says.

nickelbabe Sat 31-Aug-13 17:05:16

Pag - i see them a lot on a birth forum I frequent. They're mostly from the US, the people there, but also all over the world, and they're into home births and non-medical births (the kind they can't get over there, the kind that we take for granted), breastfeeding, slings and cloth nappies, but they're also mainly anti-vacc. (in fact, if someone asks a question about vaccinations, they immediately jump into the anti-vacc argument and if you put a pro-vacc stance across, you get flamed)

englishteacher78 Sat 31-Aug-13 17:07:10

Andrew Wakefield's research has been discredited - for a look at how the debate was musunderstood by the press from the start - and why people should have more respect for maths in general, and statistics in particular, read Bad Science by Ben Goldacre.
It's an emotive issue. That's why it results in name-calling.
And I do get my flu Jab every year. I'm asthmatic and could do without getting full on flu!smile

englishteacher78 Sat 31-Aug-13 17:07:32

Argh! Misunderstood - stupid fat thumbs grin

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 17:11:18

Englishteacher: why don't you read his book? I hope you get your MMR immunity tested too. For the herd.

CatherinaJTV Sat 31-Aug-13 17:11:59

It may important to point out that whooping cough immunity wanes - period. It doesn't matter whether you had the shot or coughed for your immunity. It will decline and you'll be susceptible again.

Andrew Wakefield lies as he breathes - he is a great talked, lovely voice. Every time I see a clip on youtube, I fact check a couple of his statements. He is always lying. It is fascinating how he manages that..

Pagwatch Sat 31-Aug-13 17:12:18

Yep Nickel smile

But tbh that's why I said 'people I personally know'

I think it is easy to make assumptions about the real world if you pay too much attention to a group drawn together across the Internet.

The people I know either treat vaccination as an automatic part of their child's early years (as I did) or they are hesitating/unsure because of personal experience/circumstances. And all those who don't vaccinate take that decision seriously.

LaVolcan Sat 31-Aug-13 17:14:15

I was into homebirth, breastfeeding, cloth nappies (it was the norm mostly, disposables were rubbish back then) but it doesn't make me 'anti-vax'. Nor does it make me 'pro-vax' if that means you are not allowed to ask questions and expect sensible answers.

englishteacher Why do you mention Andrew Wakefield? Did he say anything about whooping cough?

arkestra Sat 31-Aug-13 17:14:47

Englishteacher: Ben Goldacre is great. "Bad Pharma" is a particular shocker. Just 'cause I like science and all that doesn't mean I trust the drugs companies wink

englishteacher78 Sat 31-Aug-13 17:16:34

I have had actually. On several occasions. Most importantly when I worked in A and E and might have had contact with pregnant women.
I'm not being confrontational just pointing out that Andrew Wakefield's research has been heavily criticised. In fact, it resulted in a disciplinary due to the unethical way it was carried out.
If you don't want to vaccinate, fine, but don't use Wakefield to justify a position.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 17:17:27

Catherina that is why you should get your immunity checked regularly if you lecture other people about herd immunity. Thank you for affirming that. People who give those lectures, and aren't regularly checked, are hypocrites.

Your post is highly defamatory of Andrew Wakefield and rather lazy.

englishteacher78 Sat 31-Aug-13 17:19:46

I mentioned Andrew Wakefield as he was mentioned higher up the thread. His 'research' is often used to justify either an anti-vax or an argh-I'm-not-sure-vax position.
Not all vaccines are the same in safety and efficacy. The argument has a tendency to get over simplified. Two things I've stolen from Ben Goldacre:
Correlation is not causation
Is it a bit more complicated than that

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 17:19:49

Nobody was using Wakefield to justify a position. I like him, I like his book, and the OP asked for a book recommendation rather than debate with a flatearther, which was her rather insulting way of describing me. She's come back to the thread again without answering my question either.

Englishteacher it sounds like you were required by your job. Do you recommend that all people who lecture others about herd immunity should get their immunity checked regularly - even if not required by their jobs?

englishteacher78 Sat 31-Aug-13 17:20:12

Argh - it is not is it

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 17:21:00

Most people are well aware that correlation is not causation. Other people believe thousands of temporal correlations require research. Don't you?

englishteacher78 Sat 31-Aug-13 17:23:20

It can be useful yes. However, vaccination has done many marvellous things, smallpox anyone?
It is, as I said, a bit more complex. The issue tends to get politicised. In certain countries vaccination programmes are equated with US imperialism - this is a major factor in the failure to eradicate polio.

LaVolcan Sat 31-Aug-13 17:26:45

It is, as I said, a bit more complex.

I think you will find that the majority of us already know that. But once we dare say this we are accused of being 'anti-vax', even when we have had ourselves/own children vaccinated.

I fail to see why we should have to switch our brains off, just because some rabidly 'pro-vax' can't or won't answer questions.

nickelbabe Sat 31-Aug-13 17:29:22

Pag - i was a bit surprised when I met a real-life one!

LaVolcan - me too - cloth nappy, home birth, vegetarian, breastfeeder, chicken keeper.
i'm pro-vax because i believe it's the best choice for our society - i do believe in choice though, so would never disregard another's thoughts on the matter (although as stated above, it makes me more wary to be around them)

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 17:29:36

Somebody always says smallpox. As if that means the MMR and other vaccines don't damage children. As you say - it's a bit more complex than just saying "smallpox".

englishteacher78 Sat 31-Aug-13 17:33:18

Not sure why I'm getting attacked here - the it's more complicated than that is aimed at both sides!
I have always got vaccinated but then I have a chronic lung issue.
It does seem to be something that cannot be discussed calmly, sorry if my lighthearted comments didn't come across that way.
I dislike people who are strident for whatever viewpoint - for example I dislike both the Westboro baptist church and Richard Dawkins talking about religion (his biology is much better).

CatherinaJTV Sat 31-Aug-13 17:33:57

Crumbled - you didn't read my post: I said, whenever I listen to Wakefield, I fact check one or two of his statements. Therefore, I am not lazy, I do do my homework. He is wrong, more often than not (the last thing I checked was his claim that there had "never been adverse effects to mumps monovalent vaccine", which of course is absolutely wrong). I admit, he could just not know what he talking about, but that is not much more flattering than the alternative that he is flat out lying.

Crumbled, why do you think Wakefield says so many things that are demonstrably wrong - is it ignorance, or intentional?

LaVolcan Sat 31-Aug-13 17:34:17

Smallpox and MMR are irrelevant to a whooping cough debate.

I believe that the Whooping cough vaccine of the early 80s was acknowledged to have caused damage to some children. Is it correct that it has now been changed?

CatherinaJTV Sat 31-Aug-13 17:34:38

Englishteacher - ha! I dislike Dawkins on religion, too ;)

TwasBrillig Sat 31-Aug-13 17:34:43

I met a few at an AP type toddler group near me. If I'm honest its one of the reasons I left. I was pregnant with no 2 and terrified of a repeat serious illness.

I also fell out with an old uni friend over it. As I say, I was very touchy after my first child was so ill. Checking every twenty minutes after a coughing bought to see if she'd regained breathing. Every day. Every 20 minutes. Every night. Every time terrified. Lots of going blue, lots of a and e trips, two ambulances.

nickelbabe Sat 31-Aug-13 17:35:03

smallpox is a very good example.
so is the measles epidemic
as is the annual flu vaccine

nickelbabe Sat 31-Aug-13 17:36:02

Twas - that's what I would be doing too, i think.

arkestra Sat 31-Aug-13 17:40:55

LaVolcan: Pertussis vaccine was cleared of all charges in the end. Pp 40-44 of "Deadly Choices" wink

nickelbabe Sat 31-Aug-13 17:41:23

my little sister had mumps.
it was when ET came out - she had to miss it - she must have been 4.
my elder sister and I went out to the cinema with my dad and had ice cream.
I don't remember anything else about the mumps -i have no idea whether it was bad.

I also had a friend in school who had had TB as a baby. I was fascinated about her immunity.

Pagwatch Sat 31-Aug-13 17:42:06

My DD isn't vaccinated. I should get her a bell maybe.

Pagwatch Sat 31-Aug-13 17:43:14

I had mumps. I remember it quite clearly. We all had it. My mum said we were like a batch of hamsters.

CatherinaJTV Sat 31-Aug-13 17:50:58

Crumbled, why do you think Wakefield says so many things that are demonstrably wrong - is it ignorance, or intentional?

LaVolcan Sat 31-Aug-13 17:51:27

arkestra: I do believe that there were payments to whooping cough vaccine damaged children in the UK and I also believe that they have now changed the vaccine. I question how much an American author knows of the UK situation.

PoppyAmex Sat 31-Aug-13 17:51:34

Andrew Wakefield is a proven liar and a profiteer - therefore his "research" is irrelevant to any sane, rational discussion on the matter.

When I think of the vulnerable population who can't be vaccinated and rely on herd immunity, it's very hard for me to consider anti-vax individuals as more than social parasites.

arkestra Sat 31-Aug-13 18:01:36

Incidentally LaVolcan I am answering your questions! You're clearly very suspicious of me and have questioned my motives, but you are not just firing off loads of random questions interspersed with personal abuse, and I respect that and I have responded to you on more than one point. Just because I choose not to respond to one particular person who kicked off by being snide to me does not invalidate my opinions.

It's not like I think medicine is above criticism. I know too many who work in the field for that smile but you have to question a lot of people's motives to think that MMR, for instance, is a bad thing by this stage.

I'll give my own MMR vaccine reaction story. PFB had just had MMR. Was vomiting that same evening. "What a pain - bloody vaccine!" I thought. Then I started puking 2 hours later. Because it was gastric flu. Moral is that correlation is not causation. Although in the case of MMR/autism there is, as has been established in many studies, not even correlation.

There have of course been genuinely harmful vaccine reactions. They exist, truly they do. But based on what I've seen I have no doubt vaccines have in general been for the good. Like most on this thread I'm happy to look at evidence. But it does need to be evidence rather than assertions. A book can set this kind of thing out better than discussion threads in general. Hence my starting the thread with a book recommendation.

If it's Wakefield's book vs my recommendation I am very happy for people to read both and make up their own minds.

LaVolcan Sat 31-Aug-13 18:04:01

When I think of the vulnerable population who can't be vaccinated and rely on herd immunity, it's very hard for me to consider anti-vax individuals as more than social parasites.

Do you include those people for whom the immunity has worn off, but have not checked their immune status?

Have you checked your own immune status recently? You might unwittingly find that you are one of the said parasites.

arkestra Sat 31-Aug-13 18:04:18

LaVolcan - give me a medical reference on UK Pertussis vaccine being found to cause problems and I'm happy to change my mind. Honest. Until then I will believe the author - who is actually something of an expert in the vaccines field.

LaVolcan Sat 31-Aug-13 18:12:56

arkestra - this was a thread about whooping cough.

I can't see the point in talking about MMR. The only reason that Wakefield came into the debate was so that an opposing view point could be put. Offit vs Wakefield. Offit, I believe, has benefitted financially from the development of a vaccine, so it could be questioned how unbiased he is. Wakefield as far as I can tell, never said don't vaccinate, but has been deemed to be a liar and struck off in the UK.

LaVolcan Sat 31-Aug-13 18:16:30

arkestra - give me a medical reference on UK Pertussis vaccine being found to cause problems and I'm happy to change my mind.
I think it used to, is what I said, and hence the change.

I am going out, but I will see if I can oblige before this thread comes to its natural end.

Until then I will believe the author - who is actually something of an expert in the vaccines field.

I don't have the same faith in him as an unbiased source.

arkestra Sat 31-Aug-13 18:23:41

LaVolcan: happy to try and stay focused on pertussis although its hard to stay on it as people will tend to broaden out to vaccines in general.

Think Pertussis is actually a v good example of vaccine scares, etc. It is used as a canonical example in med school. Would be very interesting if that teaching is based on a lie.

Bath and bedtime for kids soon so won't be able to come straight back on points. Does not mean I am hiding! Very interested in anything you have demonstrating UK Pertussis damage in 80's because I totally have it filed under "baseless scare" in my head at the mo...

LaVolcan Sat 31-Aug-13 18:33:52

Would be very interesting if that teaching is based on a lie.

It would not necessarily be a lie: scientific knowledge is advancing all the time, it could just be an understanding which has subsequently been disproved or found incomplete.

MistyB Sat 31-Aug-13 18:47:53

Your post raises some interesting points and goes to reinforce the fact that more study is required which hopefully in the future will lead to more answers.

Immunity from vaccination wanes, not decades after vaccination but some studies estimate this to be between 4 and 12 years after vaccination so a huge proportion of the population may well have diminished or non existent immunity not just those who have chosen not to vaccinate. In unvaccinated populations, naturally acquired immunity in chokdhood boosted by circulating pertussis affords protection to the elderly at risk groups and to newborns as passed on by their mothers.

The current vaccination and booster schedule does not as yet provide this protection.

CatherinaJTV Sat 31-Aug-13 18:50:45

actually, the overall pertussis situation is still WAY better than without pertussis vaccination (although a better vaccine would be desirable)...

arkestra Sat 31-Aug-13 18:50:48

UK source for groundlessness of Pertussis vaccine scare:

Section 4

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 19:55:11

Arkestra - I suspect you aren't responding because the answer is not a good one for you. Anyone who lectures others about herd immunity without getting themselves regularly tested is a hypocrite. Anyone who is abusive and accuses others of the same, well, likewise.

Catherina: Was Andrew Wakefield wrong when he said more research was needed into a possible link between MMR and autistic disorders? THe medical authorities didn't, for an enormous amount of such research was carried out. Unfortunately the wrong kind, and they didn't bother looking at the children, but they did think it was research worth doing. Do you think he and his team were wrong in identifying a new disorder, autistic enterocolitis? The FDA doesn't, for it's given the go ahead to a drug to tackle this new phenomenon. So I guess someone, at least, is "profiteering".

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 19:55:58

This thread has broadened because the OP chose to direct it to "people unsure about vaccination".

englishteacher78 Sat 31-Aug-13 19:57:48

Wakefield's research was unethical though. He broke many, many rules to get the result he wanted. Many shady things went on. Hence him being struck off!

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 20:00:23

Englishteacher: I'm afraid the reinstatement of Prof Walker-Smith undermines much of the evidence against Andrew Wakefield (who was not wrong about the new disorder, and was not wrong in suggesting more research would be a good idea).

arkestra Sat 31-Aug-13 20:01:44

Ok dead thread I guess. But the point re that reference I linked to re the UK Pertussis vaccine scare is that people in academic mainstream don't ask "was the scare well-founded?" in articles nowadays.

They are so far beyond thinking that, that they instead ask "why on Earth did anyone think the scare was well-founded?".

That's why that article is in an anthropology journal and not The Lancet.

That's what I thought was the case. But if there is new evidence to the contrary then many people would be very interested in it!

arkestra Sat 31-Aug-13 20:04:55

Crumbled: I am responding to all others on this thread with perfect civility, because they are capable of dialogue. For you, alas, only doughnuts. C'est la vie. Eat well. grin

PoppyAmex Sat 31-Aug-13 20:14:04

arkestra, if it helps at least your thread served to recommend a book that looks both informative and interesting - will definitely read, so thanks for that.

arkestra Sat 31-Aug-13 20:25:06

Thanks Poppy!

I will honour my promise & get & read the Wakefield book - second-hand so he gets no royalties grin

englishteacher78 Sat 31-Aug-13 20:28:34

I'm sure it will be very well written. He has a very convincing manner.

arkestra Sat 31-Aug-13 20:33:21

Ok time to get dinner - 'night all

ravenAK Sat 31-Aug-13 20:35:24

I'll read that too arkestra, thanks. Looks v interesting.

I'll pass on Wakefield, though. Disinclined to put more money in that charlatan's pocket.

ravenAK Sat 31-Aug-13 20:37:37

x-posted! Actually 2nd hand is a v good idea if you're committed to reading it.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 21:04:51

Arkestra - you were responding until I asked you a difficult question, which someone else has also asked, and which you haven't answered still.

arkestra Sat 31-Aug-13 22:50:49

Crumbled: I regret to say that I have not been very responsive to you - have in fact been pretty dismissive of you - all the way through this thread and it is unlikely I will change my attitude now.

I should at least try to explain why I am treating you like this.

All I can offer really is the advice that kicking off your interaction with someone by taking the mickey out of their having Pertussis will rarely form the basis for a civilised subsequent discussion.

I hope you never get a solid dose yourself. I actually got my dose a while ago, early 2012. Full recovery took a while. I pulled a lot of rib muscles, had a lot of unplanned windpipe closures, couldn't walk more than a couple of blocks for months and thought I might not be able to sing again ever (I enjoy singing in choirs but couldn't sing without coughing for a year afterwards - a permanently screwed singing voice is one of the nice occasional side effects of Pertussis).

This is all a bit "First World Problem" and nothing compared to many other far more unpleasant things one might get, but it is the only time I have ever been really ill as an adult - and frankly it sucked.

Now even to this post you may come back with a mocking reply - but I am sure that if you saw someone in real life have a crap time like that you would be supportive and helpful. You strike me as someone who is passionate about what is right.

I think you're wrong but I don't think you're bad. Given the way this thread has gone you're not likely to listen to any advice from me but here goes anyway - you're more likely to win converts if you accord those you argue with the same courtesy as to their moral quality. Assume good faith. If the only reason you can think of as to why people disagree with you is that they are morally deficient, this should be a warning sign that you're missing something.

Happy to engage on other threads without bearing any grudges but you really have not put your best foot forward with me on this occasion.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 31-Aug-13 23:05:52

Do you get your immunity checked regularly to MMR now that you know it can wane? Will you get it checked now?

arkestra Sun 01-Sep-13 00:08:59

As soon as the people charged with spending public money on herd immunity - people whose entire working lives revolve around making the right trade-offs in this respect - recommend booster shots or immunity checking, I'll be in there like a shot.

But they currently recommend neither so I am stuck with hoping that people at least immunise their children in line with current guidelines.

Or was there some announcement I missed?

Do you think that we should all be getting our immunity checked regularly? Sounds kind of sub-optimal as a health policy. If the point you are trying to make is that immunity is not an all-or-nothing affair, I think we are on the same page in that respect at least.

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 01-Sep-13 00:16:10

But you know that immunity wanes. You are taking a chance with the herd. Why should children be immunised for your sake when you can't be bothered to get your immunity checked?

Do I think we should all be getting our immunity checked regularly? No, but I don't lecture people about herd immunity.

A sub-optimal health policy is one which damages children unnecessarily That sounds very sub optimal to me.

No, that is not the point I am making.

ravenAK Sun 01-Sep-13 01:09:59

You are aware of how cost benefit analysis works, crumbledwalnuts?

Immunisation of children is effective in creating herd immunity. Routinely checking the immunity status of vaccinated adults, not so much. It'd probably be cheaper, rather than bothering with testing immunity, just to re-jab us all every 10 years to be on the safe side, but still wasteful.

You could make a case for some adults, eg HCPs, teachers of young children, to have their immunity checked every few years, but it's not a sensible priority for finite resources to be expended on routinely checking the immunity of adults in the general population.

But of course you know that. Straw man argument.

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 01-Sep-13 01:32:31

I'm afraid if the cost is not to you then you probably find it easier to dismiss, Ravenak.

If you want to lecture people about herd immunity, make sure you are immune. It doesn't have to be a policy. It can be something an individual does who feels strongly about herd immunity. If you don't, fine. If you feel strongly enough to lecture people about it, and describe those who don't vaccinate as irresponsible, you'd better make sure you're up to date, checked, and immune, along with your children.

You are aware of what a straw man is, aren't you?

ravenAK Sun 01-Sep-13 01:59:16

I think you're wrong, crumbledwalnuts. I don't have to have my immunity checked to argue for herd immunity.

I do believe strongly that herd immunity is a good thing. It is relatively cheap, efficient & protects those who cannot be vaccinated or for whom vaccination has not been effective.

Routine checking of immunity in low-risk adults would be profligate IMO.

I'm not lecturing you on herd immunity - I'd agree with previous posters that you are probably a lost cause.

I'm pointing out that you can't argue coherently from 'some people say that herd immunity is a good thing' to 'therefore, all vaccinated persons who argue this should be routinely checked for continued immunity' without looking at a few variables.

Things like: what would it cost to regularly test most of the population? what percentage of immunised people lose their immunity? is it cheaper just to get everyone to have boosters every few years, then? would that be harmful to them? given lifestyle changes from toddler to adult, are the people we're checking actually at the same risk of contracting these illnesses as they were as infants? are they still as likely to transmit them widely?

Yes, I do know a straw man when I see one. Short of a you trying a NC to crumbledworzel, I don't think I'm likely to see such a clear example again in a hurry.

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 01-Sep-13 02:48:15

No, you don't have to, but it's hypocritical not to. I'm not talking about routine checking, I'm talking about people who call others "socially irresponsible" being "socially irresponsible" themselves in the same way. How rude to call me a lost cause because you're wrong.

what would it cost to regularly test most of the population? I'm not arguing for that, just for people not to be hypocritical and tell others to make sure they're immune when they may not be themselves

what percentage of immunised people lose their immunity? you can find this out per vaccine - but it does wane, and you're not sure if you're one of them

is it cheaper just to get everyone to have boosters every few years, then? I'm not arguing for that - you can if you like

would that be harmful to them? you would have to weigh the harm to adults against the harm to babies - obviously

given lifestyle changes from toddler to adult, are the people we're checking actually at the same risk of contracting these illnesses as they were as infants? generally they're at higher risk of complications. "We're not check anyone. Just get yourself checked if you're going to consider others socially irresponsible over immunity

are they still as likely to transmit them widely? they're just as likely to transmit them as a child

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 01-Sep-13 02:48:57

Actually i don't think you know what a straw man is tbh, because this isn't one. HTH.

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 01-Sep-13 02:54:43

Perhaps I can help you out. A strawman would be if I was arguing against something people haven't said, and that I made up in order to score an easy point (perhaps because it would be very absurd, and an impossible position to maintain). People are saying it's selfish not to ensure immunity by vaccinating. I am arguing that it must therefore be selfish not to make sure your own immunity is up to date.

Now if I made it up that people weren't telling others to make sure of their and their children's immunity, and argued against that, that would be a straw man.

ravenAK Sun 01-Sep-13 03:06:49

But - I haven't called you socially irresponsible. I don't think you're actually thinking within the parameters of social responsibility, tbh.

So, if I've understood you correctly, it's not that you want routine testing of immunity status because you think it'd be a good way of reducing the transmission of nasty illnesses? We're agreed that it wouldn't be in anyway effective in that respect?

You'd just like anyone who concurs with the unremarkable mainstream belief that routine immunisation is a generally good idea to get their own immunity tested, before expressing that opinion, because otherwise you think they are being 'hypocritical'?

At this point I'm inclined to concede that yours is indeed not a straw argument.

We're going to have to downgrade it to total silage I'm afraid.

arkestra Sun 01-Sep-13 07:42:10

What you want to achieve by herd immunity is stopping epidemics.

To achieve this, you concentrate resources on (a) the most vulnerable and (b) the most likely vectors of infection.

In both cases, children are high on the list (the mixing that goes on in schools draws a more diverse group of people together than adult workplaces).

So vaccinating children is the sensible place to concentrate priorities.

If it turned out that you were still getting outbreaks because of waning immunity in adults then booster shots for all would be the fallback, individual testing is far too expensive.


1) children should be vaccinated because they are most vulnerable and most likely to spread infection

2) adults should not be checked regularly en masse for waning immunity because it's too expensive a way of achieving the desired end (of high levels of herd immunity)

3) there is a possible case for giving adults booster shots en masse but I presume that this too has been considered by public health policy makers and is also viewed as not cost-effective.

Therefore people would ideally vaccinate their kids to schedule. And adults don't need to check their immunity in order to think that childhood vaccination works, and to wish justifiably that people would do it!

Seems a simple argument to those on the pro-vaccine side of the fence but it does rely on trusting the judgement of public health policy makers.

If one instead assumes that a primary driver of public health policy is the financial interests of the vaccine industry (coupled with arrogance, groupthink and out-of-control confirmation bias in the medical profession) then one will see things quite differently. I wonder if that's the underlying assumption here?

Even the pro-vaccine end admit medicine is not perfect. Peptic ulcer treatment is the classic modern story of a mistaken orthodoxy prevailing for decades. But ultimately I trust the prevailing orthodoxy because there is no prevailing evidence to the contrary that I've seen so far. I will read Wakefield though.

exoticfruits Sun 01-Sep-13 08:01:43

People checking their immunity is simply not going to work. They are not going to do it unless there is an outbreak of a disease. I don't see how NHS can afford to run a programme of testing and so you would have to pay. Herd immunity is much more cost effective.

arkestra Sun 01-Sep-13 08:46:09

And for a reasonably concise overview of herd immunity see here:

They even mention the freeloader problem.

Their take on waning immunity is you need better initial coverage and/or boosters. Not individual testing of immunity levels in adults.

bumbleymummy Sun 01-Sep-13 09:34:06

Just wanted to say this after reading the OP. WC vaccine immunity wanes after a few years, not a few decades. Some studies have shown it starts to wane in as little as 12 months. There is no chance of achieving herd immunity with a vaccine that wanes after such a short period of time. HTH

sashh Sun 01-Sep-13 10:10:33

Somebody always says smallpox. As if that means the MMR and other vaccines don't damage children. As you say - it's a bit more complex than just saying "smallpox".

No it's not. It really is that simple, vaccination can wipe a disease off the face of the earth.

How many children have been vaccine damaged by smallpox vaccine in the last 10 years? Zero. Zilch. None.

That's because children are no longer vaccinated, they don't need to be because they will only ever encounter small pox in a lab if they choose certain careers.

We (I mean the population of the world) are close to the same situation with polio.

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 01-Sep-13 10:20:32

Oh dear oh dear. It really has to be spelt out doesn't it.

You haven't ravenak - at least I don't think you have. But the OP has used the word selfish and is blaming her own illness on people who haven't vaccinated. You just sort of interrupted, which is fine, but why assume my comments are directed at you?

"So, if I've understood you correctly, it's not that you want routine testing of immunity status because you think it'd be a good way of reducing the transmission of nasty illnesses?" I have no idea why you think I said this this. I haven't said anything like it at all. I haven't mentioned routine testing, or discussed the value of herd immunity or the effectiveness of mass vaccination. In fact, this IS s straw man. You sort of imagined I'd said it in order to argue against it. Do you see now what a straw man is?

Children are not the most vulnerable to complications, and a woman in her forties is more likely to spread infection than an 8 week old baby.

Exotic: People checking their immunity is simply not going to work.

Of course it works. they check, are they immune? If no, get a vaccination.

They are not going to do it unless there is an outbreak of a disease.
Well then they can piss off lecturing others about getting their kids vaccinated.

I don't see how NHS can afford to run a programme of testing and so you would have to pay. Meh.

Arkestra: children should be vaccinated because they are most vulnerable and most likely to spread infection wrong

"adults should not be checked regularly en masse for waning immunity" who said they should? - straw man

There are more poor points in your post Arkestra, I will respond later.

arkestra Sun 01-Sep-13 10:21:44

Bumbly: the CDC agrees, especially re the newer acellular vaccine. See here:

"Since pertussis spreads so easily and vaccine protection decreases over time, we can't rely on herd immunity to protect everyone."

Their recommendation is for more adult booster shots.

Obviously this does not mean that herd protection is completely irrelevant. But certainly "herd protection" seems more applicable a term than "herd immunity". I think the former term is gaining currency in the vaccine community for exactly this reason.

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 01-Sep-13 10:21:48

I got my lines muddled up - Arkestra you said this:

children should be vaccinated because they are most vulnerable and most likely to spread infection

and it's absolutely wrong

Children are not the most vulnerable to complications, and a woman in her forties is more likely to spread infection than an 8 week old baby.

arkestra Sun 01-Sep-13 10:23:19

Moral being that one can have a nuanced view on how strong herd immunity/protection effects are but still think childhood vaccination makes it pretty obviously less likely that WC has outbreaks.

arkestra Sun 01-Sep-13 10:31:04

Crumbled: you are not actually responding to the points I made. If you start doing so then dialogue will resume grin kids ARE infection vectors. When there's a flu epidemic, the first thing that gets closed are the schools.

Happy to respond further but only if you give evidence of understanding what I write.

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 01-Sep-13 10:32:59

Sassh "No it's not." - Yes it is, actually. For example google AFP and polio in India. But you might want to keep thinking it's simple, so you probably don't want to.

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 01-Sep-13 10:33:25

I have responded directly to the points you made arkestra -hmm

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 01-Sep-13 10:35:13

I don't care if you're immune or not. Check, boost, vaccinate, not my business. But you make other people's immunity your business. So if you are going to call people selfish for not making sure they're immune - it's not a one way street. You have to make sure you're immune. Capisce? It's hypocritical not too. Now that is simple.

arkestra Sun 01-Sep-13 10:47:58

I didn't call anyone selfish for not vaccinating - look back through my posts - this is the kind of thing I mean Crumbled.

A dialogue is where you get 2 people communicating, responding to each others points. That is not what is happening in our case.

As it happens I think most people who don't get their kids vaccinated are not selfish. Just wrong in their beliefs. There are a very few people who agree with herd protection as a concept and consciously free-ride. But they are a very small minority of vaccine refusers.

I still reserve the right to believe that vaccine refusers are wrong, and that their actions have a negative impact on public health. But I don't think they lack integrity. It's just not a useful way to proceed, to assume that people disagree with oneself because they are somehow wicked. In the long run we're all trying to do the right thing.

arkestra Sun 01-Sep-13 11:06:20

Crumbled: one more thing. It was actually you who called me selfish. gringringringrin

I have, numerous times in this thread, said that I don't think that people's moral worth is the problem.

For what it's worth, my default model of people's motives is "No matter how it seems, everyone is trying to do the right thing".

I recommend it to you as I think your mental image of pro-vax people is getting in the way of understanding what they are saying and is also - as per my first point - hindering an accurate recollection of the discussion, as you try and force your memories of what people have said into slots that don't fit them very well grin

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 01-Sep-13 11:34:21

No - it was Nickelbabe saying selfish - you just think people should get their children vaccinated so as not to put other babies at risk. I assume then you think putting other babies at risk is not selfish hmm fair enough

Well now we've cleared that up - you accept that as your own immunity is unclear, you have no right to advise others to vaccinate ?

It's not about moral worth - it's about you having NO right to advise, expect, or lecture people about herd immunity when your own is in doubt.

Yes - I did absolutely call you selfish (in response to Nickelbabe calling me selfish) for expecting babies to get vaccinated so that you don't have a summer ruined. I'm afraid I'll have to stand by that.

bumbleymummy Sun 01-Sep-13 11:43:28

arkestra, I'm glad they agree with me but boosting adult immunity isn't going to help much either if the majority of children and teenagers are not immune. Also, if you accept that herd immunity isn't going to be achieved then what is the point in vaccinating adults again anyway? WC is usually not as serious in adults and frequently goes undetected (allowing it to spread more easily)

arkestra Sun 01-Sep-13 11:53:04

I think that people who are wrong about this are putting other people at risk, babies among them, yes. I just don't think they are doing it for selfish motives. I think they are, rather, mistaken in their beliefs.

You think I am selfish because you're not really basing your judgement on anything I have actually written. If you read the OP you will see that I do explicitly say that my cough is of minor importance compared to the health of babies. So, once again, my words do not actually bear the construction that you have put on them.

Much of the time I don't think you are responding to what I am writing at all!

I think you have an image of someone judging you as morally deficient and are responding to that instead. You are constantly misinterpreting my words but that's OK. I am not taking it personally because this is not really aimed at me.

arkestra Sun 01-Sep-13 11:59:49

Bumbley: the CDC say the herd protection effect is partial but that's not the same thing as saying that they think it's useless. Just that herd protection is not sufficient by itself, ar least on current evidence.

Agree that Pertussis is often mild in adults and possibly massively undiagnosed. The idea behind their program is to protect the vulnerable and they seem pretty clear-eyed and realistic about current issues with waning immunity.

Is there a particular part of the CDC stuff that you disagree with?

arkestra Sun 01-Sep-13 12:29:10

UK Govt Green Book Pertussis chapter (24) more relevant:

Clearly the priority is to safeguard infants under 6 months of age. If vaccine uptake rates in the target population are high, this also (as the graphs show) brings the overall incidence down.

So the primary purpose is keeping infants safe, and if this is done there is the side benefit of lower cases overall. I'm happy with that. Am clear that no such thing as 100% herd immunity is achievable for Pertussis - but you don't need that for vaccination to be beneficial overall.

bumbleymummy Sun 01-Sep-13 13:05:38

arkestra, a certain proportion of the population need to be immune in order for herd immunity to exist. That article you linked to seemed pretty clear that it doesn't exist at the moment. You cant have 'partial' herd immunity. You either have a high enough proportion of immune people to prevent the spread of the disease or you don't.

Considering that you have already acknowledged that WC in adults (and older children) is often undiagnosed, I'm not sure how accurate those graphs are.

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 01-Sep-13 13:17:34

Right I'm back on a normal computer with my lenses in.

Arkestra, I have read your posts and to be honest they came across as rather narcissistic and over concerned with your own illness. I've thought them rather odd - to be totally, totally honest - and somewhat self-contradictory (for eg LaVolcan pointed out one of those self-contraditions early on).

I don't see much point in talking about the value of mass testing, mass boosting etc, as if that's something I've proposed. It's just a straw man you two seem to have come up with. I haven't suggested anything of the sort. It's certainly possible to construct such an argument in terms of the statist approach to vaccination, but I haven't done that here, so I don't know why you've wasted so much energy talking about it.

My argument (which you seem to accept) is that you can't advise, lecture or even have any business taking a proprietory interest in anyone else's immunity unless your own status is up to the same standards. That means regular checking and boosters if necessary.

Now, you don't know your status, and you have no intention of finding out, and that's fine, because apparently you don't advise anyone to vaccinate for herd immunity, or criticise their status, or in any way judge that their immunity is any of your business. Have I got that right?

arkestra Sun 01-Sep-13 13:22:48

You can't have "partial herd immunity". But you can have "partial herd effects short of immunity". Which is what they are aiming for in this case.

True herd immunity effectively eliminates a disease but practical herd effects achievable in the real world will tend to fall short if this. But saying a herd effect doesn't reach the eliminations threshold is very different from saying the herd effect doesn't make a huge difference.

It would probably be better if everyone used terms like "herd protection" rather than "herd immunity" as I agree "herd immunity" will often describe the ideal instead if the actual result.

Re reporting: I agree adult Pertussis is probably under-reported, but I think infant Pertussis is probably better reported. Adult benefit is a secondary thing, it's infant benefit we all care about.

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 01-Sep-13 13:23:18

By the way wrt your "freeloader" aside - you were one, remember? You weren't immune and you were relying on the immunity of others to protect you. And it didn't, and now you don't know if you're immune to MMR, and you're relying on the immunity of others to protect your children (assuming you have children - apols if that assumption is wrong). So you still might be what you call a freeloader. You have no idea and no intention of finding out.

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 01-Sep-13 13:29:23

No - true herd immunity is natural herd immunity. That involves a number of ways of protecting people (or members of the herd) - for e.g.
passive immunity through maternal anti-bodies, natural boosters through circulating disease, generational strengthening of stock etc. This is a kind of "infectious" immunity.

Vaccination herd immunity has one tool in its lunch box - reduced exposure. Vaccination immunity is not "infectious" - it only protects the vaccinated person. If an unvaccinated person, or a person with waned vax immunity is exposed to measles, they'll still most likely get it. This is why waning immunity is so tremendously important for those people who think it's only important to scoop up all the children wrt vax.

arkestra Sun 01-Sep-13 13:29:37

Crumbled: sorry, wrong number. I bear you no ill will but you are not worth the effort to engage with on current evidence. You just can't understand what anyone else is saying to you. All the best grin

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 01-Sep-13 13:32:30

I certainly can't understand what you're saying to me. I've never come across anything like it.

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 01-Sep-13 13:33:19

Extraordinary hmm

bumbleymummy Sun 01-Sep-13 13:33:28

Well that article that you linked to said that deaths from pertussis could be higher because it isn't always recognised so again, the number of cases/deaths could be higher than reported. Tbh, given that quite a few people seem to think that if you've been vaccinated you can't catch the disease, the figures are probably much higher. Even some doctors seem reluctant to diagnose a disease if the patient has been vaccinated against it. That really isn't going to help accuracy!

I think 'herd protection' will be thought of in the same way as 'herd immunity' tbh. what they have advised is having the vaccine to protect yourself and not rely on others.

arkestra Sun 01-Sep-13 13:46:36

Bumbly: two things I've got from this thread are that immunity wears off a lot earlier than I thought for a whole range of diseases, and I need to be a lot more nuanced in how I think and talk about herd protection effects.

Also - must be maddening if a GP refuses to diagnose an ailment because of a vaccination that will largely have worn off 10 years ago, I do see that.

Thanks to all who have tried to engage with me. Some of it is getting through, honest! Am out for rest if day now - probably just as well grin

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 01-Sep-13 13:48:11

Don't forget you've also got a great book recommendation! You'll learn a lot, I promise.

bumbleymummy Sun 01-Sep-13 13:50:00

Enjoy your day out smile

arkestra Sun 01-Sep-13 14:24:09

Crumbled: ordered the book last night - will read it as soon as it arrives!

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 01-Sep-13 15:27:16

Credit to you - I'm surprised but definitely impressed. You've proved me wrong on one thing (although I didn't say it, I didn't think you would!) Have a nice day smile

JoTheHot Sun 01-Sep-13 16:56:51

crumble says 'thousands of temporal correlations require research'.

Firstly, you haven't counted the number of correlations, so you're just tossing baseless numbers about. Secondly, counting the number of correlations doesn't mean shit by itself. If autism is diagnosed in 1% of the population around the time of MMR, and you vaccinate a million children there will be thousands of temporal correlations. This would not be a reason to do research.

There is no increased incidence of autism in children vaccinated with MMR compared with unvaccinated children (Farrington et al., 2001; Madsen and Vestergaard, 2004).

There is no clustering of the onset of symptoms of autism in the period following MMR vaccination (Taylor et al., 1999; Mäkelä et al., 2002).

[ link].

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 01-Sep-13 17:10:28

Firstly, I'm not just talking about MMR. I can think of the Sally Clark children, for a start. But as you want to discuss MMR....

There are five thousand claims in the US alone JotheHot - You know this - at least.

Autistic disorders used to count not for 1 in 100 but one in about 5-10,000. It was so rare that was the closest they could estimate. Obviously an increase on that scale is worth researching.

Yes - those epidemiological studies. The authorities (unlike you) realised Wakefield was right and research was needed - and carried it out. But they didn't bother looking at the actual real live living children. They carried out epidemiological studies, often retrospective, very often with unpleasant flaws which we must all hope were accidental.

LaVolcan Sun 01-Sep-13 17:33:54

Jo - there have been umpteen threads about MMR and autism so why try to derail this?

This one was initially about whooping cough, and more generally about how immunity can wane, whether people were aware of this, and whether those who offered opinions as to the responsibities of 'anti-vaccers' should check their own immunity first. Wakefield only got a passing mention as putting a contrasting viewpoint to Offit.

JakeBullet Sun 01-Sep-13 17:55:17

Mumps CAN cause long term problems but isn't hugely risky. Long term problems can be sterility, hearing loss etc.

I know we don't immunise against chicken pox in the UK (unless it has changed recently) but I saw a previously healthy 4 year old child die from complications caused by chicken pox a few years back. Horrible sad

I think as parents we make our own decisions about immunisations based upon what we are told/read etc but it is amazing how often parents have huge misconceptions. For example one parent who had opted for single vaccines for her child was struggling to get hold of the Mumps component. Her comment to me was "well mumps is more of an issue for boys really" can cause deafness etc too.

In the meantime her child was not immunised and thankfully never did develop Mumps. I did wonder what her reaction would have been if her DD had developed mumps and subsequent hearing problems.

As I say, no issue with parents making the decision they feel is right as long as they are fully informed....but then we could argue all day about what "fully informed" means when discussing immunisations. I am just glad that DS is past most of it.....although much to his disgust they want to give him an MMR booster.grin

JakeBullet Sun 01-Sep-13 17:59:25

Then again, apart from "herd immunity", nobody has ever been able to give me a satisfactory answer to the question "why does my healthy boy need to be immunised against Rubella"?

Especially as the rubella immunisation is known to wear off in a significant number of a midwife I dealt regularly with women who found they were not immune to assumes that goes for their partner too.

CatherinaJTV Sun 01-Sep-13 18:32:06

Nine acquired rubella from members of their family, including their husband.

bumbleymummy Sun 01-Sep-13 19:06:01

Jake, around a third of mumps cases are completely asymptomatic so she may very well have had it without realising. Serious complications from mumps are quite rare anyway and fwiw, according the HPA there is no firm evidence that mumps causes sterility.

JoTheHot Sun 01-Sep-13 19:38:31

'why try to derail this?'

Perhaps I misunderstood. What was the temporal correlation crumble was referring to?

'The authorities ...realised Wakefield was right'

yes, indeed grin. That's why they struck him off confused. The research was required because wakefield had falsified data.

JakeBullet Sun 01-Sep-13 19:42:55

No that's true....I think the issue was that it was a cause of deafness and also a big reason for viral meningitis. Obviously viral meningitis is not as serious as bacterial meningitis but not nice.

Have they EVER sorted out access to the single Mumps vaccine? Last I heard was that it wasn't being manufactured anymore. Crap if you are a family waiting for it.

Like I said, glad I am no longer at that stage of making the decision.

nickelbabe Sun 01-Sep-13 19:48:23

have you been tested to check your immunity?
would you get revaccinated if you were found to be lacking?
have you been immunized yourself?

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 01-Sep-13 19:56:23

No, but I'm not judging people who don't vaccinate their children or themselves. Therefore I'm not a hypocrite.

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 01-Sep-13 19:59:57

Yes, do we have to do the whole derailing thing again JotheHot? Yes you misunderstood. What was the temporal correlation? It was cases of damage after vaccines. Not just MMR.

ps Much of the evidence against AW was undermined by the reinstatement of Prof W-S. Next.

bumbleymummy Sun 01-Sep-13 20:16:41

No, Jake. It's still not available afaik.

nickelbabe Sun 01-Sep-13 20:17:32

that's not why I asked the question.

and no to which part?

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 01-Sep-13 20:41:19

Yes, I've been immunised, no to the other questions. Why?

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 01-Sep-13 20:46:43

Maybe you don't quite get it, nickel babe? I have a perfect right to ask about your immunity and your checking and boosting because you are calling me (and others who don't vaccinate) selfish - (we've also had freeloaders and various other things). It's not that I particularly care about your immunity, but if you're being inconsistent, do as I say not as I do, then that needs to be exposed smile

So it's rather nice of me to answer your personal questions, because I don't have to, really, because I'm not planning to accuse you of damaging herd immunity.

nickelbabe Sun 01-Sep-13 21:03:33

actually, you have prompted me to make an appt to have my immunity tested, and I have also asked dh if he would be willing to do the same.
it's possibly much more important for dh as he has asthma, and would be more likely to suffer if he caught a disease. and he's older too.

I know that I am immune to chicken pox, even though (to my knowledge) I've never had it, because I made sue I was tested when I was pg. and I've been told that as I've had measles I'm immune for life.

and reading rhis thread has also made me a bit worried that my or dh's potential waning immunity could put us both in danger once dd starts school (because disease and illness seem to be a constant threat in school incubators)
I certainly wouldnmt want to be the reason dh caught a nasty disease.
whether they'll do it on the nhs is yet to be discovered, but I'm more sure that they'll do dh's cos of his asthma.

nickelbabe Sun 01-Sep-13 21:05:32

and it would be nice to know anyway - everytime I came across a case of chicken pox I would get very worried about catching it.

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 01-Sep-13 21:09:30

Gosh that's good. Not for the immunity thing, but because it means that you really mean what you say. That's very honest and you know. It's alright smile

PoppyAmex Sun 01-Sep-13 21:12:09

Crumbled as part of two very complex pregnancies and a paranoid international health insurance I have indeed had my immunity tested for pretty much everything in the past 2 years, from MMR to pertussis and even Malaria and other tropical vaccines.

So given the amount of times you made this a pre-requirement to have an pro-vaccine stance on this thread, I'm sure you'll allow me to stand by my original opinion which is that people who choose not to vaccinate are, in my opinion, social parasites.

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 01-Sep-13 21:15:45

Well, it's not hypocritical, just completely wrong and somewhat offensive but there we are. It's a start!

TwasBrillig Sun 01-Sep-13 21:21:18

I'd like to vaccinate mine against chicken pox. Its normal in Australia where our relatives are and they were surprised we don't.

I know its not usually as serious as whooping cough but I'd still rather they didn't have it.

nickelbabe Sun 01-Sep-13 21:32:10

but it can be serious, chicken pox.
it csn cause severe complications in pregnancy.

I think they don't vaccinate it because it's easier to have it. (or something more precise)

and I never did because it hadn't occured to me that it could be an issue. I assumed (like most people) that aside from tetanus, vaccines were for life.

nickelbabe Sun 01-Sep-13 21:34:14

(never did thinknabout testing immunity)

arkestra Sun 01-Sep-13 21:35:42

Seriously I would not put everyone who doesn't vaccinate into the same box.

I talked to someone once who believed in standard vaccine orthodoxy - the whole nine yards - and didn't vaccinate. They actually described themselves as a freeloader!blushThey thought they were being very clever. Twat. But that attitude is very rare.

But I am sure most people who avoid vaccination aren't doing it through some kind of cold-hearted game-theoretic stance. They have other reasons. I am interested in understanding those reasons. It's not helpful to characterise vaccine refusers as having this kind of game-theoretic stance because they will just get defensive and fling poo back and no one learns anything.

Crumbled and I can barely exchange one bit of information at a time without sniping but that doesn't mean I think Crumbled is a freeloader. Just that we appear to be organising our experiences of the world into seriously incompatible mental categories.

PoppyAmex Sun 01-Sep-13 21:49:56

arkestra you might well be right and I applaud your position.

However, whilst I'm perfectly happy to leave woo-lovers and conspiracy theorists to it while they discuss crystals, Roswell or Lee Oswald, I find public health a somewhat more serious matter.

These people are knowingly putting vulnerable members of our society at danger and yet I'm sure they were the first in line to receive medical assistance and their nasty chemical substances during the recent outbreak in Wales, for example.

In my experience, any debate is pointless because one will be quoting respected peer reviewed epidemiologists whilst receiving arguments from criminals like Andrew Wakefield.

I need to step away from this thread.

LaVolcan Sun 01-Sep-13 22:10:26

These people are knowingly putting vulnerable members of our society at danger and yet I'm sure they were the first in line to receive medical assistance and their nasty chemical substances during the recent outbreak in Wales, for example.

Certain groups, like some of your religious fundamentalists in the USA, keep very much to themselves. If they don't vaccinate, they don't mix with the general population either so they are only putting themselves at risk by this stance. Nor are they likely to be first in line for medical assistance.

Other people don't vaccinate, but believe that the option is to maintain the best health possible by diet, healthy lifestyle etc., so that they don't catch the diseases in the first place.

The vast majority of us don't suscribe to either of these views, but do wonder why the current vaccine policies are as they are. Since we started with whooping cough - why is there not more information about how you immunity can wane, for example? You may not even realise you have the disease - the whoop part doesn't always show in adults, but just seems to be a cough you can't shake off. Coughs can be caused by a number of things, e.g. smoking, so you are not necessarily going to realise that you are infectious.

arkestra Sun 01-Sep-13 22:20:54

Poppy I think we agree on vaccine efficacy and share frustration etc. I give monthly payments to the Richard Dawkins Foundation so that's my starting point in terms of woo tolerance levels grin

But from this thread I've learned that (hopefully relatively minor compared to pre-vax days) Pertussis outbreaks every few years are inevitable given current vaccine technology. Also that vaccines in general last on average for far less time than I thought. And that "herd immunity" is a crap term to use when debating with vaccine doubters.

So it's actually been way more informative than I was expecting. I was expecting a complete split between woo-haters and woo-lovers with maybe 1 person in between who would actually Read The Frigging Book I Recommended. Instead I actually got my perceptions changed, a definite result.

Do I have a positive impression of Wakefield right now? Hell, no. Will I read his book? Sure. Will I fact-check his assertions? Yep. Will that mean I can engage with people who view him as an authority more effectively? Hope so.

sashh Mon 02-Sep-13 06:25:46


Are you agreeing or disagreeing with me?

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 02-Sep-13 07:23:24

I disagree with you

PoppyAmex Mon 02-Sep-13 09:04:59

LaVolcan said:

"Certain groups, like some of your religious fundamentalists in the USA, keep very much to themselves. If they don't vaccinate, they don't mix with the general population either so they are only putting themselves at risk by this stance. Nor are they likely to be first in line for medical assistance."

Interesting that you should choose that example; clearly they "mix" enough considering this just happened a few days ago

LaVolcan Mon 02-Sep-13 09:19:16

PoppyAmex: I felt that I was possibly maligning some sincere people there, talking about fundamentalists. Seems not.

Frontdoorstep Mon 02-Sep-13 14:32:25

I have a chronic medical condition that is listed as a rare side effect to some vaccines, and has been linked anecdotally to vaccines, I know and accept there is no proof of this.

So, I'm not risking another vaccine for myself or vaccinating my children to provide herd immunity to some one else, end of subject.

As for pregnant women having a whooping cough vaccine, I'm certain the uptake was nowhere nea 100%, perhaps some one will provide the real figure, if a pregnant woman cant protect her own child, what on earth am I doing protecting that child.

Frontdoorstep Mon 02-Sep-13 14:34:33

....and I can't access the latest medicines on the nhs.

nickelbabe Mon 02-Sep-13 14:56:26


"I have a chronic medical condition that is listed as a rare side effect to some vaccines, and has been linked anecdotally to vaccines, I know and accept there is no proof of this."

I'm pretty sure that most people would accept that as a valid reason not to vaccinate and not to get boosters

nickelbabe Mon 02-Sep-13 14:57:11

(although, I'm not so convinced by your argument for your child, unless it's also listed as having a genetic precursor)

PoppyAmex Mon 02-Sep-13 16:10:32

"I have a chronic medical condition that is listed as a rare side effect to some vaccines, and has been linked anecdotally to vaccines, I know and accept there is no proof of this.

So, I'm not risking another vaccine for myself or vaccinating my children to provide herd immunity to some one else, end of subject."

And no one should ask you to; in fact you and your family are precisely the reason why everyone should vaccinate, so that people who can't be as protected as possible.

LaVolcan Mon 02-Sep-13 16:41:43

And yet PoppyAmex you were the one who said:

I'm sure you'll allow me to stand by my original opinion which is that people who choose not to vaccinate are, in my opinion, social parasites.

I don't see any caveat in that statement.

zoesmum2012 Mon 02-Sep-13 16:44:41

I think that if you are willing to deal with what ever your choice is so be it but just don't be bitches about it not nameing any names btw am pro jabs

PoppyAmex Mon 02-Sep-13 16:57:44

LaVolcan that post was a reference to my initial post upthread where I said:

"When I think of the vulnerable population who can't be vaccinated and rely on herd immunity, it's very hard for me to consider anti-vax individuals as more than social parasites."

That's why I alluded to my "original point".


nickelbabe Mon 02-Sep-13 17:10:01

choose is the key word, i think.

when someone makes a choice based on medical reasoning, ie danger to their own (or child's) health, based on something that has already become apparent, then it's not really a "choice", but a medical necessity.
It's all to do with risk assessment.
People who choose not to vaccinate for no reason other than something "might" happen, without any historical backing, they're the ones who are the parasites who are hoping that the herd protection will protect them.

nickelbabe Mon 02-Sep-13 17:16:05

I was thinking about this this morning, actually.

say I broke my arm because I fell on the ice.
I ask person A and Person B to help me carry my bags.
person A carries my bags for me, even though there's a tiny weeny risk that they too might fall on the ice (but no reason other than the presence of ice to suggest its risk). Person B refuses to help me carry my bags because they might fall on the ice (exactly the same statistical probability of falling as Person A)
person C has bags, too, but they also have a disability in their leg, meaning that it is more likely that they will fall on the ice. They find it hard to carry their bag, but if they ask person A and B, person A will say yes and person B will say no, even though, by carrying their own bag, they have a significantly higher risk of falling on the ice.

Me: someone with a disease that's vaccinatable
A and B are in sound health, but A has chosen to have the vaccine and B has chosen not to.
C is better not to have the vaccine for apparent and pre-existing medical problems that would make them more likely to suffer complications if they have the disease.
B is basically also relying on A to be there to carry their bag, in the hope that I don't make them fall over.
In the vaccine case, though, it's even harder, because B could quite easily catch the disease from me, and pass it onto vulnerable C

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 02-Sep-13 17:32:42

I've said this on another thread
There is a risk to my child with the vaccine
I don't know what it is, my doctor doesn't know what it is, not even Poppy Amex knows what it is
So it's up to me if I take the risk, and that's the end of it.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 02-Sep-13 17:35:25

Nickelbabe: no one has "broken their arm" in the first place, to take your analogy further. You are being asked to take the risk for someone who might break their arm on the ice, not someone who already has.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 02-Sep-13 17:36:13

And in your analogy, the worst that can happen is you losing your bag - not your speech, your ability to walk, and talk, and be continent.

Frontdoorstep, were you advised by a medical professional, NOT to vaccinate your children?

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 02-Sep-13 17:40:09

Nickelbabe: )(I'm not so convinced by your argument for your child, unless it's also listed as having a genetic precursor)

Do you think she took take the risk? Do you think if her child reacted it would be accepted as a vaccine reaction or just poo pooed?

arkestra Mon 02-Sep-13 17:52:59

Think most of us would agree on B bad and C good ASSUMING that B is the equivalent of someone proudly self-identifying as a pure freeloader. Such people do exist but are very rare I think (I have met exactly one).

Think point at issue is rather D. D is very unsure about how risky the ice is but reckons there is definitely more risk than some like to pretend.

orthodox pro-vaxers might end up being rude about D for several reasons. Maybe they view D like someone who thinks the ice is a thin layer over a deep lake, when it's just a small patch on a pavement (eg a nutter). Or maybe they think D is just not bothering to evaluate the risk (this is where things shade towards the freeloader end). Or maybe they reckon D heard of someone else breaking both legs on an ice patch and now they think all ice is like that (eg D is daft). Can't D see there's nothing to fear?

Those with a more sceptical view of vaccines totally get where D is coming from and reckon the pro-vaxxers are nasty, snide, etc. Maybe they start hearing nasty stuff even when it hasn't been said, they're so used to it.

Perhaps the problem is more with differing perceptions of risk than lots of people being parasites.

D would like to be surer about how risky the ice is but it's hard for them to know who to trust. The orthodox pro-vaxxers? Lots of mainstream experts. Can be brusque and dismissive though. Maybe what's best for them isn't what's best for D. The sceptics? They clearly believe what they are saying, but why is it so different?

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 02-Sep-13 17:56:08

Arkestra, unfortunately the analogy doesn't hold at all. The risk is not falling on the ice, it's lifetime disability. No one has "broken their arm" - the risk is being taken for someone who might break their arm at some point. Furthermore, in the real world B and C are two older people who can't carry bags, so that A is asking their children to carry bags, and it's their children who might fall on the ice / have a lifetime disability. So there's no real point in judging anyone on that analogy, because the analogy is full of holes.

arkestra Mon 02-Sep-13 18:06:46

Crumbled: analogies tend not to be logically correct in every particular. I would avoid focusing on the specifics of injuries and focus more on the categorisations of people's motives that the analogy's primary purpose is to show.

arkestra Mon 02-Sep-13 18:13:58

Eg A, B, C all have correct perceptions of risk (by assumption). Assuming that then A and C act well. B acts badly assuming their perception of negligible risk for themselves is correct.

But the real point at issue for me is D who is not sure of the risk.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 02-Sep-13 18:15:22

I admit it's much easier to ignore the difference between a fall on the ice and lifetime disability for their child. But when you are judging someone's reaction as "bad" then you really do need to take that into account. The analogy also misses the part where B and C are told that the chance of falling on the ice is one in a million, so that the person who takes the risk doesn't really believe it will happen to them, whereas B is saying no matter what the risk, lifetime disability or death for my child is not worth the hypothetical bags of someone who may break their arm in the future.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 02-Sep-13 18:16:10

it's not the "negligible risk for themselves". It's a risk they believe is not negligible for their children.

Frontdoorstep Mon 02-Sep-13 18:20:06

Starlight McKenzie, no I was Not advised to not vaccinate my children. in fact it was never mentioned, the health visitor put me under a lot of pressure and our last discussion was a total falling out.

I am in at risk group for a flu jab but will NOT have one or indeed any other vaccine for that matter.

My children did have the first vaccines but I am not consenting to any more. But I don't expect others to vaccinate their children to protect me or my children. If everyone else vaccinated their children, some children will suffer and I do not want to see a child suffer from a vaccine.

arkestra Mon 02-Sep-13 18:23:15

I would be perfectly prepared to take on a very very small risk to my children if there was a correspondingly very very large social benefit by so doing.

Is there no level of risk and no social benefit level where you would do the same? Would be a perfectly coherent and honourable moral position for you to say "no".

Or is it more disagreeing about the levels of risk and reward?

Thank you Front, for answering my question.

I find it interesting then, that there are pro-vaccinators on this thread who have deemed themselves adequate judges of your decision to not vaccinate your children, and ruled in favour of your decision.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 02-Sep-13 18:25:17

A very small, incalculable risk of your child's death or serious damage for the sake of a hypothetical child in the future? When you aren't prepared to have a blood test on your own immunity for the sake of that future hypothetical child? What if someone said to you, do you know what, I and thousands of other people fell through that ice, I don't think it's safe. Your child could fall through too.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 02-Sep-13 18:26:52

I perceive the risk differently to you arkestra, and on different evidence, and I perceive the benefit differently, likewise. The other point to note is that you are saying you take the risk entirely for other people and there's no benefit to your child. That part of the analogy also fails.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 02-Sep-13 18:27:32

Did you say you were going to have your immunity to checked? If so I've forgotten and apologise.

CatherinaJTV Mon 02-Sep-13 18:31:14

Crumbled - how lame to excuse your own vaccination reluctance by other people not checking their immunity. We know that in countries where nearly everyone vaccinate on schedules, measles, mumps and rubella are eradicated, even without testing anyone's immunity.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 02-Sep-13 18:32:39

Eh? I don't.

If people are going to lecture others about herd immunity they need to make sure their immunity is sound, otherwise there's hypocrisy.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 02-Sep-13 18:33:14

"measles, mumps and rubella are eradicated" - what?

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 02-Sep-13 18:34:09

It's really strange that someone will risk lifetime disability or death for their child but not go for a blood test for the same perceived benefit.

Beachcomber Mon 02-Sep-13 18:43:06


Your book recommendation is for a book by Paul Offit.

Honestly. Apart from it being really immature and highly unprofessional for a medical doctor to talk about an "Anti-Vaccine Movement" and have any hope of being taken seriously, I hope Offit clearly declares somewhere in his book that he has made a ton of money from developing a rotavirus vaccine.

Maybe his subtitle should be "How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All And My Profit and Status".

This author is the spokesperson on vaccines for pharmaceutical lobbies. His book is therefore absolutely not impartial.

Great for you if Offit and his book correspond to your world view, but I think you will find that many MNers are a little more sceptical of pharma lobbying (which is what this book is) than you are.

(Does saying the above make me an antivaxxxxxer and therefore a "threat" according to the gospel of Paul Offit? Probably hmm )

CatherinaJTV Mon 02-Sep-13 18:43:29

nope, you don't - it is just an argument that you made up to put vaccinating mothers on the spot (just my humble opinion of course) - you remind me of my aunt, who would not stop using CFC-powered hair spray "as long as there still was industrial use of it".

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 02-Sep-13 18:45:21

Made it up? What are you talking about?

If you lecture others about immunity, and you don't know if you're immune, you're a hypocrite.

Which part of this can you disagree with? I'm agog.

CatherinaJTV Mon 02-Sep-13 18:46:45

Paul Offit is a hero - his vaccine has saved thousands of lives. If you had read "Autism's False Prophets" you would have read his heart breaking account of how he lost a little patient to rotavirus - a powerful motivation. Offit has sold his patent and no longer stands to profit from any vaccine sales. As a pediatrician, he is interested in the health of children, hence his engagement for vaccines. It is as simple as that.

CatherinaJTV Mon 02-Sep-13 18:47:43

first of all, I know I am immune. Second of all, anyone who has been vaccinated has a higher chance of being immune that those kids who are left defenseless against infectious disease.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 02-Sep-13 18:53:53

I know you're immune, you told me. It doesn't mean you win the argument. It means that on the immunity front at least, you aren't a hypocrite. Did you find anything wrong with my statement?

Second Beachcomber's view on Paul Offit. Bring on the day when we inject him with 10,000 vaccines.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 02-Sep-13 18:57:05

I don't get the thing about your aunt by the way.

Beachcomber Mon 02-Sep-13 18:57:13

Oh and does he make his hilarious (or would be if it weren't downright dangerous and quite mad) recommendation that children could 'in theory' receive 10,000 if not 100,000 vaccines in one day, in this book?

I hope he does. So that people are able to see what bullshit he comes out with. And how callous he is with regards to the issue of vaccine safety, rigorous science and, well, the truth.

arkestra Mon 02-Sep-13 19:01:09

Crumbled: so we differ on risk perception rather than some extreme ethics thing. That's not so bad.

I don't think Offit is a bad person. Do you really wish him physical harm? 10,000 vaccines sounds a bit excessive, I am sure he would be fine with 5 if someone else held the needle grin

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 02-Sep-13 19:02:44

Arkestrasmile yes perhaps you're right on risk perception.

FYI Paul Offit says a baby could have 10,000 vaccines in a day. What a goon.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 02-Sep-13 19:03:12

Actually I think someone offered him a million pounds if he'd have them himself. He's declined, to date.

nickelbabe Mon 02-Sep-13 19:07:11

crumbled in her case, if I were her, I would orobably not vaccinate. byt it would be a really hard decision, and I would probably look into if there was a chance of some vaccines.
as I'm sure it was a tough decision for her to make.

arkestra Mon 02-Sep-13 19:07:25

Do you think Offit believes the 10,000 vaccines quote? Eg do you view him as deluded but sincere, or more like a liar for commercial gain?

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 02-Sep-13 19:09:53

I don't know, I think he must be a little bit crazy to be honest. Certainly not to be trust on an issue of public health, with a view like that.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 02-Sep-13 19:10:07

tks for response nickel babe

arkestra Mon 02-Sep-13 19:12:08

Quote below. I would personally gloss that as his asserting the immune system has 10,000 times the capacity required to process one vaccine - rather than suggesting its a good idea to give a baby 10,000 vaccines?

“A more practical way to determine the diversity of the immune response would be to estimate the number of vaccines to which a child could respond at one time. If we assume that 1) approximately 10 ng/mL of antibody is likely to be an effective concentration of antibody per epitope (an immunologically distinct region of a protein or polysaccharide) 2) generation of 10 ng/mL requires approximately 10^3 B-cells per mL, 3) a single B-cell clone takes about 1 week to reach the 10^3 progeny B-cells required to secrete 10 ng/mL of antibody (therefore, vaccine-epitope specific immune responses found about 1 week after immunization can be generated initially from a single B-cell clone per mL), 4) each vaccine contains approximately 100 antigens and 10 epitopes per antigen (ie, 10^3 epitopes), and 5) approximately 10^7 B cells are present per mL of circulating blood, then
each infant would have the theoretical capacity to respond to about 10 000 vaccines at any one time (obtained by dividing 10^7 B cells per mL by 10^3 epitopes per vaccine).”

arkestra Mon 02-Sep-13 19:13:53

(I really don't think he's suggesting 10,000 vaccines at once is a good idea. How would you get the needle in? grin)

Beachcomber Mon 02-Sep-13 19:25:50

"each infant would have the theoretical capacity to respond to about 10 000 vaccines at any one time"

Mmm. Yes Paul. Whatever you say Paul.


Call me an antivaxxxxer scardy cat tinhatfoiler but I think I'll take old Paulie's advice with a pinch of salt. On everything. Thank you very much.

Anyway he doesn't need my endorsement. He's making plenty of cash.

JakeBullet Mon 02-Sep-13 19:29:48

No need for 10.000 vaccines a day.....the number of antigens we expose babies to has dropped by two thirds since the 1950s....they used to be exposed to much much more.

As to the spacing of this I cant comment as I don't know, I just know the number of antigens is massively reduced from what babies used to receive...goodness only knows how many I received (born mid 1960s), then again it might explain some things!

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 02-Sep-13 19:32:22

The problem is Arkestra that he was using that statement to reassure parents and minimise the dangers of vaccines. The use of the word "theoretical" is just a cover. The whole point of it is to reassure parents, so he IS saying a baby can have 10,000 vaccines in one day, but with the technical get out clause, oh I only meant theoretically. But there's no reason for him to say it except to reassure parents about combined vaccines.

He's a weasel and a very bad person and this statement is a moral swamp.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 02-Sep-13 19:33:43

I'd like to be there when they do it to him. Except they probably don't allow visitors in the intensive care unit. And I've never been to a morgue.

arkestra Mon 02-Sep-13 19:37:21

From my current view on Wakefield he doesn't sound too great. But I don't wish him harm.

Is Offit really such a villain in you eyes? If you see him as an arrogant liar who is helping harm children's health and profiting thereby then I guess that's pretty bad stuff.

Is that how you see him?

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 02-Sep-13 19:39:39

Offit doesn't think it IS harm, but he won't test it on himself. How do I see him? I don't think about him very much, I just dismiss him as someone not to be trusted but in the bigger picutre - yes, I see him as someone who cares more about profit and power than parents and children.

No, Wakefield is not as bad as Offit. You'll see when you read his book. The parents of children he cared for absolutely adore him.

LaVolcan Mon 02-Sep-13 19:41:45

Surely Offit could just volunteer to have all the baby jabs again in the one day? After all, they cannot possibly do him any harm and his immunity to half the diseases would have waned and it would be a 'good thing'.

Of course, he might get a swollen arm for a day or two, which he would be told he was imagining, and may be a bit off colour which could be because he'd hit the booze. And anyway, what would he be making a fuss about, because he would have got those reactions when he caught the diseases anyway?

Cynical, moi?

arkestra Mon 02-Sep-13 19:41:52

Bathtime now so need to break! I really don't think Offit means 10,000 vaccines at once is ok though... See what others think maybe?....

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 02-Sep-13 19:42:16

The other thing is, for people like him what's at risk is not just money but reputation and power. For an egotist to be wrong would be personally completely cataclysmic.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 02-Sep-13 19:42:41

He could, and someone offered him money LaVolcan! Seems he's got enough already.

Beachcomber Mon 02-Sep-13 19:44:03

Seriously though. I'm taking a joking tone to this thread because I don't take Offit seriously.

But there are plenty of people who do. And he should be thoroughly ashamed of himself for his 'theoretical' pronouncements about thousands of vaccines - meant to delude parents into not questioning the safety, reactivity and synergy of viruses in combined vaccines.

Shame On Him.

arkestra Mon 02-Sep-13 20:09:09

Not a fan then?

Beachcomber Mon 02-Sep-13 20:21:53

Well, you see arkestra, I don't really consider vaccine and general health and drug safety as being a question of whether one is a 'fan' or not.

I reserve 'fandom' for light pursuits such as music and film (or ahem, books).

Drug safety is on a whole different level. IYSWIM.

JoTheHot Mon 02-Sep-13 20:23:55

You're not an antivaxxxxer scardy cat tinhatfoiler, BC you're fundamentally anti-science; either that or you just don't understand science. Take your pick.

crumblenuts - 'Paul Offit says a baby could have 10,000 vaccines in a day. What a goon.'

What a fucking piss-poor non-critique. It's hard to credit someone so wholly devoid of perspicacity or intellectual rigour thinks their crack-pot opinions are worthy of a wider audience.

arkestra Mon 02-Sep-13 20:25:13

I was indulging in slang, do forgive me grin

More seriously though - the orthodox pro-vax side view Wakefield as pretty dishonest. I know about that. But I know less of - and am interested in - what the other side think about Offit and why.

Beachcomber Mon 02-Sep-13 20:52:05

Ah but you see JoTheHot I actually do know a whole lot about vaccine science - not altogether through choice but because my eldest daughter had quite frightening reactions to her baby vaccines. And from said experience, I don't wish to generalise about vaccines - simply I have a view which is personal to me and mine; that vaccine safety is not good enough. And I know a lot about it with regards to my own child and her/our medical history.

Not everybody fits into the mould you see.

arkestra - well, slang, whatever. I think that science and drug safety need to be discussed seriously.

Speaking of which - you seem keen on Offit's book (his second I believe on these issues) - does he clearly state his financial interest in vaccines? if not, why not?

I'm interested in your opinion of what he states, or not, and why or why not...

Your call.

Beachcomber Mon 02-Sep-13 21:08:45

Also, it might interest you to know, as you obviously have a keen and personal interest in pertussis vaccines, that my eldest daughter was wholly vaccinated against pertussis (as following French state vaccine recommendations, so three vaccines, as we live in France). And yet she contracted pertussis (yes, lab tested) despite being comprehensively vaccinated.

Whether that is due to the undeniable mutation of pertussis or not, I don't know.

What do you think, OP?

arkestra Mon 02-Sep-13 21:23:16

Hi Beachcomber - I've read around on that and it seems Pertussis immunity, whether naturally or artificially induced, is not for as long as we would all wish. No mutations necessary. And reinfection possible in both cases because, as we would I am sure agree, immunity doesn't always build as we would wish either. Not an exact science.

Since you still seem worried about my usage of slang, let me assure you that I have assumed everyone on this thread is commenting because they take the issue of vaccines seriously, and I would like to extend you the same courtesy.

Re Offit's commercial interests - I honestly don't remember whether he declared anything. Probably not. But I am more interested in hidden interests, eg stuff not easily checkable through a quick google. If interests are not hidden then I tend to focus on the quality of logical arguments and the provenance of quoted facts rather than guessing about motivation - I think, as I am sure you do, that serious stuff like this is best played without dismissing people's arguments based solely on their identity.

Perhaps if you read the book you could check for yourself? I am about to start one by Wakefield.

Beachcomber Mon 02-Sep-13 21:31:44

Well, let's hope that your memory fails you and that Offit does have the integrity to declare his significant financial and professional careerist interests in the subject.

I'm surprised that as a person who appears to be condoning pertussis vaccinations, you don't seem to be concerned with the alarming mutations of this bacteria (whether said mutations are a consequence of mass vaccination or not is a subject that must surely be of interest to you if you take these issues seriously on a public health level).

Vaccination (surely even to the most gung-ho of vaccinators) must always be about risk/benefit ratio and an honest, robust and impartial approximation of thereof to the individual. (At least if one respects the Hippocratic Oath - non? )

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 02-Sep-13 21:48:19

Wow the pro-vaccers are really cross tonight.

Do you think it's a good idea to give a baby 10,000 vaccines in one go JotheHot? Paul Offit says they could cope? Do you? I would say that anybody who says a baby can cope with 10,000 vaccines in one go is a goon. Maybe you agree with him [shrug] I can't stop you.

Beachcomber Mon 02-Sep-13 21:59:05

Offit's public declamations on vaccine science appeal to the lowest common denominator and are designed to do exactly that. Like I said - he is the spokesperson for pharma lobbying.

Hence why I am unable to take this thread particularly seriously.

Which sounds harsh - but it isn't meant to really. I was Offit's audience until personal experience forced me to look at a more serious side to vaccine science. I would love to be a non critical vaccine consumer.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 02-Sep-13 22:11:55

Here's one I made earlier JotheHot. "The problem is that he was using that statement to reassure parents and minimise the dangers of vaccines. The use of the word "theoretical" is just a cover. The whole point of it is to reassure parents, so he IS saying a baby can have 10,000 vaccines in one day, but with the technical get out clause, oh I only meant theoretically. But there's no reason for him to say it except to reassure parents about combined vaccines." Which bit of this isn't true?

arkestra Mon 02-Sep-13 22:46:24

Hi Beachcomber

Offit's interests - I have quite a good memory so it's unlikely that he did declare anything - I am sorry that you are so disappointed! I can only reiterate that I view the quality of logical argument and statistical validity of the underlying research as incomparably more important than the identity of the person writing. I appreciate this is not everyone's cup of tea but there we are.

Alarming mutations - here I have some good news for you. I am not displaying a lack of concern over peer-reviewed research that indicates vaccination is causing alarming mutations - I am just utterly ignorant of the existence of the research. It sounds very interesting and I would really appreciate a link to the research concerned? I certainly don't think that vaccines are without potential negative consequences. Most interesting things in life involve complex trade-offs and I would far rather be aware of the trade-offs than not. Obviously this needs to be peer-reviewed research with some degree of statistical validity. I'm not talking about a Cochrane review though.

Risk/reward etc - I am very interested that (even in jest) you imply that the Hippocratic Oath won't be adhered to by all the people in the vaccine debate. One thing that amazes me is that everyone is clearly very well-intentioned, and that they also frequently state that the people on the other side are not well-intentioned at all. I totally agree with you that the most fruitful course is to try our best to concentrate on the risk/reward benefit and try to avoid being blown off course by saying people are selfish, or unconcerned, or financially invested, or somehow morally deficient in other respects. I don't think any of these bad things are true of any participant in this thread for instance. Many of them clearly hate each other's guts but none of them strike me as having an issue with the Hippocratic Oath.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 02-Sep-13 23:06:22

Do you know I'm beginning to find it a bit annoying and boring when people play ratatat ginger with a thread, they blow in with some usually insulting comment, which you address as if it was a normal comment, and then they never come back, it's like knock knock ginger and run away just to annoy someone. Grr. Obviously not you arkestra.

arkestra Mon 02-Sep-13 23:14:58

Appreciated Crumbled smile

It's like there's lots of flak flying around. incoming! incoming! everyone wading through swamps of personal insults and barbed put-downs...

Anyway I'm off to bed because I don't want to turn into this person

Beachcomber Tue 03-Sep-13 01:11:39
arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 06:56:44

Thanks Beachcomber - I will read those and get back.

Another request for evidence - do you have (statistically valid) evidence around problems arising from combined vaccinations? The thrust of Offit's rhetoric in the "10,000 vaccines" quote is that he is flatly denying that combined vaccinations increase risk. He is not saying that he wants to inject babies with 10,000 vaccines but it is a very strong bit of rhetoric denying vaccine combination risk. It is correspondingly vulnerable to counter-evidence, if such evidence exists. I get that Offit is very far from the vaccine sceptic's position in this respect, and so as a result Offit appears to be misleading to the vaccine sceptics to a culpable degree. If there is (statistically valid) evidence indicating that vaccine combination increases risk then

1) It is a solid strike against Offit. By contrast, slating Offit as an "industry mouthpiece" actually makes him look good because it gives the appearance that people don't actually have any proper counter-arguments to what he is saying.

2) It is strong evidence in general in favour of the vaccine sceptic position against multiple vaccines.

I would recommend "Bad Pharma" as a strong evidence-based takedown of many bad aspects of Pharma and reguatory research. That is actually a book that you may enjoy! Made me wince anyway. If there was something similar that could be assembled (with evidence) around vaccines you would potentially be getting somewhere.

But allegations that people are captured by vested interests, or are not taking things seriously, or somehow view the Hippocratic Oath as irrelevant, or are otherwise acting in bad faith - all that actually works against the strength of your arguments for many observers.

CatherinaJTV Tue 03-Sep-13 07:38:55

Vaccination is not causing mutations and BC's papers are not supporting the notion that they do.

Dr. Offit declares his involvement in the invention of the rotavirus vaccine in every article he publishes, see for example here: and it is mentioned in every newspaper article I have seen about him. It is actually considered an item of esteem to have achieved something that saves thousands of lives every year, so why would he not mention it? And yes, he made about 6 million dollars from the sale of the patent, but that was his intellectual property to sell. Again, there is nothing wrong with earning money with your inventions. His current income is not dependent on vaccine sales.

Dr. Offit is a scientist and doctor of tremendous integrity who has been known to speak up against certain vaccination even:

"I don't see how you can ethically do a study on a child where there is no chance the child benefits from that study," says Paul Offit, an infectious disease specialist at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, who often speaks out in favor of childhood vaccination. Offit attended one of the meetings of the working group and spoke out against a study. "I didn't prevail," he says.

He is a good man.

arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 07:49:04

Hi CaterinaJTV

My assumption is also that Offit is a good man. I actually don't have a beef with anyone's ethical standpoint on vaccines until I get evidence to the contrary.

I can simultaneously believe that
- he is well-intentioned
- his vaccine is a great public good
- he has benefitted financially from it
- his book is informative and well-argued
- his statement on 10,000 vaccines is vulnerable to counter-argument if the evidence exists

I need to do some work now sad but I will read the papers for myself and get back on them and on anything else people raise to me.

arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 08:36:47

Here's my take on the papers. Not sure about which alarm bells should be ringing for me?


Pertacin is a component of acellular pertussis vaccines. There is evidence that B. pertussis is adapting to vaccine pressure, with the first detected appearance of a pertacin-negative strain in the US: such variants have already been detected in Japan, France, and Finland. If this trend continues, it will reduce the effectiveness of acellular Pertussis vaccines.


We propose that both waning immunity and pathogen adaption have contributed to the persistence and resurgence of pertussis.


There is evidence from trials in mice that that acellular vaccine-induced protection against B. pertussis can actually increase vulnerability to B. parapertussis. While the mechanism is still unclear, it indicates that future B. pertussis vaccines should also explicitly target B. parapertussis.

Beachcomber Tue 03-Sep-13 08:38:55

Does Offit also declare his consultancy with Merck and how much money he has earned as inventor of their Rotateq vaccine? (Not just that he shares a patent with them for Rotateq but the actual amount of money he made when the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia sold its royalty interest - I believe it is estimated as at least 29 million dollars.)

Does he declare that he was simultaneously inventor of a Merck vaccine and on the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) ? (The committee which voted to add rota virus vaccination to the mandatory US vaccine schedule.)

Does he declare that he participated in ACIP discussions on the decision to withdraw their recommendation for RotaShield (Wyeth's rotavirus vaccine) for causing intussusception - a dangerous adverse event that Rotateq is known to cause too? (A decision which left Merck with a monopoly on the market.)

Does he declare that the decision to include Rotateq in the schedule by the ACIP led to revenue of 655 million dollars in under two years for Merck?

Does he declare that as inventor of Rotateq and named patent holder he earned millions of dollars from the decision (that he participated in) to include the vaccine in the schedule?

Does he declare that he is on the board of Every Child By Two - a vaccine lobby which is largely funded by Wyeth? (which recommends rota virus vaccination.)

Surely a 'good man' of 'tremendous integrity' would struggle with so many (undeclared) conflicts hmm

arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 08:41:37

(1) and (2) are mostly just saying "evolution is true" to me. Eg vaccine selection pressure induces change in the population.

The interesting thing is to me is not that evolution is true (I kind of knew that already) but how quickly adaption takes place.

Flu is very hard to vaccinate against because it has a very high rate of shift. If pertussis is towards that end of things then this has natural negative implications on how effective we can expect vaccines to be. Doesn't mean pertussis vaccines are either useless or dangerous.

arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 08:46:53

Don't want to labour the point too much, but do we say antibiotics are dangerous because of MRSA? MRSA emerged from selection pressure from antibiotics.

Or is the point around the emergence of MRSA rather that we should be very mindful of the presence of selection pressure and take it into account when we deploy agents that will change it?

(for instance not spray antibiotics everywhere without a second thought)

Beachcomber Tue 03-Sep-13 08:49:37

And arkestra did you seriously just ask me if I can provide "statistically valid" evidence that giving a child 10,000 vaccines is risky?

Surely we can all agree that Offit was talking absolute bollocks with that particular piece of 'theory'? Indeed that it wasn't theory (in the scientific sense of the word), but propaganda (in the political sense of the word). And propaganda has no place in public health.

arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 08:51:13

If the intended point is that in some way the selection pressures induced by vaccines will leave us with MRSA-like incurable diseases that cut a swathe through the population, then I can understand if the prospect doesn't fill people with joy.

But again one needs research that points to this happening. I don't think any of those papers do this.

arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 08:53:12

Beachcomber - I am asking you to provide any statistically valid evidence that any vaccine combination is a problem.

If you can't do this in any respect then I think Offit's rhetorical point is justified.

Can you not point to any research, indicating that this is a problem in some combinations, for some people, in a way that makes vaccine combination a justifiable concern?

Beachcomber Tue 03-Sep-13 08:55:28

The point is arkestra that blaming the re-emergence of pertussis on people who don't vaccinate or fail to boost their vaccination (as you appear to in your OP) is to have a limited grasp of the facts.

Beachcomber Tue 03-Sep-13 08:57:51

"Beachcomber - I am asking you to provide any statistically valid evidence that any vaccine combination is a problem.

If you can't do this in any respect then I think Offit's rhetorical point is justified."


LaVolcan Tue 03-Sep-13 08:58:24

Don't want to labour the point too much, but do we say antibiotics are dangerous because of MRSA? MRSA emerged from selection pressure from antibiotics.

I don't think we say that they are dangerous, but increasingly ineffective yes, and so the old diseases are becoming more and more of a problem.

I think there was someone way back in the sixties, who predicted the effect that overuse would cause. (South, Southgate? Some connection to Sussex University? Can't remember exactly.)

arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 08:59:22

I am bending over backwards here to try and give you a valid point against Offit. His point is that vaccine combination is not a practical concern. If you can't understand this then you will find it very hard to address the argument in a way that will appeal to someone who is not already firmly in your camp.

As to your "the point is" comment, all I can say is "read the thread". I have already conceded earlier in this thread that it's not clearly practical to eliminate Pertussis given current vaccine technology. That doesn't mean pertussis vaccines are useless or dangerous, it doesn't make Offit a bad person, and it doesn't help you with any of the arguments you are trying to advance.

arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 09:00:47

LaVolcan - I agree on MRSA, it is a very sad story. We could have done so much better.

Vaccine combination is a problem if you need TEtenus but have a close family member made terminally ill from the the DTP.

Or if you've had singles Measles and Rubella and want the Mumps.

Beachcomber Tue 03-Sep-13 09:05:35

CatherinaJTV - I have just taken the time to read your link.

PMSL at Offit being a man of 'tremendous integrity' because he didn't think the following was a good idea;

a trial like this one is almost without precedent in modern medical research: It involves giving children a vaccine that is almost certain not to benefit them, and that might harm them, all to protect other children from an unlikely scenario—a large-scale anthrax attack.

What a prince, eh?

Is this the standard then nowadays in the drug industry? You show tremendous integrity if you think experimenting on children with anthrax vaccines isn't cricket?


arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 09:06:27

Vaccine combination is a problem if you need Tetenus but have a close family member made terminally ill from the the DTP.

Yes, I agree. Can't you get a single shot in that case? I would certainly want one in that situation.

arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 09:09:22

I have to do some more work now sad sad but that's a very good point on practical problems with vaccine combination.

Re the thrust of Offit's "10,000" quote - any research on more general "synergistic" effects (eg A+B is worse than A and then B) would be very handy. Whether from Beachcomber or anyone else.

Pagwatch Tue 03-Sep-13 09:12:00

You can't get tetanus without it being part of the dtp.

Beachcomber Tue 03-Sep-13 09:16:36

arkestra - I understand Offit's 10,000 article perfectly well, thank you.

It is propaganda passing itself off as science.

And people defending Offit on the issue generally appear to me as having suspended critical thinking in order to avoid being honest about the above. And to avoid being honest about Offit.


nickelbabe Tue 03-Sep-13 09:38:44

is that really true, pag ?
But they tell you to have a tetanus booster every 10 years, surely you don't have to have the DTP every 10 years too?

or is it just the initial tetanus that's DTP and the boosters are separate?

nickelbabe Tue 03-Sep-13 09:48:00

it doesn't even mention the old rule of every 10 years - you would think that they would say "you used to be recommended to have it every 10 years, but as long as you've had 5 in total, you don't need to" or whatever is actually the case.

nickelbabe Tue 03-Sep-13 09:48:12

"it" being the NHS website

arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 10:01:55

Tetanus - UK Green Book on Tetanus:

Indeed it says Tetanus is only as part of a combined vaccine.

I do find that hard to understand. It seems very plausible to me that people may have reactions against other elements of the combined vaccine - or family members with such reactions - what are they supposed to do?

Anyone have any ideas?

Beachcomber - I have done my best to give you a chance to engage with the underlying point that Offit is making - that there are no synergistic negative effects from combining vaccines.

The CDC is very clear on this point also:

They may be wrong. It would clearly be of fundamental importance if they were, attacking the very basic assumption behind current policy on vaccine grouping - that the advantage from reducing the number of injections does not have a corresponding disadvantage from synergistic issues.

But you will not convince me that Offit and the CDC are wrong on this point without evidence. That is just the way I go.

I repeat that somply stating arguments are "propaganda", placing constructions on text that do not actually make sense, and casting aspersions on people's motives, do not present a strong case. If anything you may be weakening a perfectly genuine case by presenting your arguments in such a fashion.

You may think that it is a fruitful argumentative technique to state that those who disagree with you suspend critical thinking, but I think you would be better advised to try and agree a substantive point at issue that can actually be proved one way or another.

I am more than happy to do that with you if you fancy giving it a go at some point in the future, but I think I will have to leave things there unless you can manage to orient yourself more towards rational argument. Sorry.

In the meantime, I am sure you will garner your own share of doughnuts, so have a glass of wine to wash them all down wine smile

Beachcomber Tue 03-Sep-13 10:10:52

arkestra - we know that there is viral synergy in combined vaccines. Which is why the viral dose in combined vaccines is not always the same as that of single vaccines for the same disease and with the same viral strain.

Do you think that stating that children could easily receive 10,000 vaccines is;

a) science

b) propaganda

c) not propaganda but certainly not science

nickelbabe Tue 03-Sep-13 10:16:51

see, combined vaccines are great in that they save time and number of needle pricks, but they do mean that if someone cannot have one of the component parts for whatever reason, then they can't have the vaccine at all.

they should have a contingency plan, even if it means having to order it in especially or send you to a hospital for it.

Beachcomber Tue 03-Sep-13 10:16:56

You may think that it is a fruitful argumentative technique to state that those who disagree with you suspend critical thinking

It seems you have misread my post. smile

I don't think those who disagree with me suspend critical thinking.

I clearly stated that I think agreeing with Offit's 10,000 vaccines statement shows a suspension of critical thinking.

Do you think children could realistically be given 10,000 vaccines? Or do you think that is non-scientific nonsense?

Perhaps there should be a clinical trial - do you think it would be accepted by any ethics committee in the land?

nickelbabe Tue 03-Sep-13 10:22:52

i don't like needles. wink

(ignoring the fact that I give blood 3 times a year...)

when I was pg, they had to take bloods, and they couldn't find a vein, so they sent me off to this jab nurse (that's what they called her!) and she used a junior sized needle to take my bloods.

they didn't seem to hear me when i said that as i gave blood, i was pretty sure that i had veins and that they never had a problem.
junior needles are definitely more stingy than the mahoosive funnel needles they use at blood donating.

CatherinaJTV Tue 03-Sep-13 10:31:25

BC - the vote was 12 agains 1 (Offit), so yes.

arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 10:49:15


"we know that there is viral synergy in combined vaccines" - You may know this, but Offit and the CDC clearly don't. Evidence please? This is clearly a major and significant point and I would genuinely appreciate pointers to research indicating Offit and the CDC are mistaken in whole or part.

"Do you think that stating children could easily receive 10,000 vaccines is..." - I will go for (d) a misreading of Offit's argument that indicates a crippling degree of confirmation bias on the part of the reader, to the point where they are only making sense to people sharing a very particular set of beliefs (and perhaps not even to all of them)

So no guarantees on further responses from me unless you can come up with evidence or reasonable constructions on text. I can only repeat that I really don't think you are doing your arguments any favours.

I'm very happy to engage if you can sort this out. Everyone else on this thread has proved themselves capable thus far - you are something of an outlier.

Beachcomber Tue 03-Sep-13 11:43:43

Gosh CatherinaJTV - how unreassuring.

arkestra - why are you getting so rude and personal with me? Your posts seem to be increasing filled with content that reads like a pompous teacher's report with Beachcomber being given jolly poor marks by arkestra. I'm not interested in what you think of me - I'm interested in what you think of Offit.

I'm interested in why you think people should read a book on vaccines written by a man who has made a fortune from working with both a large pharmaceutical company and being on a government committee which makes important decisions with regards to public health policy on vaccination. I'm interested in why you think we should read a book by a man who is on the board of a pharma funded lobby.

I'm interested in why you think we should listen to and trust a doctor who published the following;

A more practical way to determine the diversity of the immune response would be to estimate the number of vaccines to which a child could respond at one time. If we assume that 1) approximately 10 ng/mL of antibody is likely to be an effective concentration of antibody per epitope (an immunologically distinct region of a protein or polysaccharide),39 2) generation of 10 ng/mL requires approximately 103 B-cells per mL,39 3) a single B-cell clone takes about 1 week to reach the 103 progeny B-cells required to secrete 10 ng/mL of antibody39 (therefore, vaccine-epitope-specific immune responses found about 1 week after immunization can be generated initially from a single B-cell clone per mL), 4) each vaccine contains approximately 100 antigens and 10 epitopes per antigen (ie, 103 epitopes), and 5) approximately 107 B cells are present per mL of circulating blood,39 then each infant would have the theoretical capacity to respond to about 10 000 vaccines at any one time (obtained by dividing 107 B cells per mL by 103 epitopes per vaccine).

The above is not science. It is nonsense. It is made up.

And yet it was published in Paediatrics under the title of "Addressing Parents’ Concerns: Do Multiple Vaccines Overwhelm or Weaken the Infant’s Immune System?".

Not only has the above got more in common with smoke and mirrors that actual science, it also is designed to influence how parents think about vaccine safety. Which comes under propaganda in my book.

So do you agree with Offit - do you agree with his theory that children can respond to 10,000 vaccines at one time? Do you think his theory would stand up to any actual physical tests? If not, then let's agree that a 'theory' that would maim and or kill anyone it was actually tested on, is not a very scientific theory. It is a bullshit theory.

Now, remind me, why should I read Offit's book? So that he can tell me that my children could in theory (but not in practice) be given thousands of vaccinations? That's a useful piece of information. NOT.

arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 11:57:34

For those who are interested in Offit talking about his own quote, see here

The relevant text is at the end of this message

For BC, this

But I repeat that I am happy to engage if we can find a common language.

I am sorry that you are finding this discussion so upsetting: "rude", "personal", "pompous", "propaganda", "main", "kill", "bullshit", etc.

I am not attacking you as a person, just pointing out that your arguments are not bourne out by either a sensible construction of the texts to refer to, or by any research that verifies your points.

I've had others blow up at me on this thread but then later we seem to manage to talk. Hopefully that will happen with us too.

All I can say is it will help if you assume good faith on the part of the people you are talking to. I do believe you are sincere. I don't think you reckon I am, and maybe that's the problem at this stage. But I don't think that's a problem I can do anything about.

Text below:

A while back, Offit was asked to help put together a reference text on vaccines. Specifically, his colleagues wanted him to write a chapter that assessed the capacity of the human immune system. It was a hypothetical exercise: What was the maximum number of vaccines that a person could handle? The point was to arm doctors with information that could reassure parents. Offit set out to determine two factors: how many B cells, which make antibodies, a person has in a milliliter of blood and how many different epitopes, the part of a bacterium or virus that is recognized by the immune system, there are in a vaccine. Then, he came up with a rough estimate: a person could handle 100,000 vaccines — or up to 10,000 vaccines at once. Currently the most vaccines children receive at any one time is five.

He also published his findings in Pediatrics. Soon, the number was attached to Offit like a scarlet letter. “The 100,000 number makes me sound like a madman. Because that’s the image: 100,000 shots sticking out of you. It’s an awful image,” Offit says. “Many people — including people who are on my side — have criticized me for that. But I was naive. In that article, I was being asked the question and that is the answer to the question.”

KatyPutTheCuttleOn Tue 03-Sep-13 12:02:54

I had whooping cough as an adult, it wasn't great but not bad enough to stop me going to work after I wasn't contagious. Tough...I should have paid to have a booster but I didn't bother to look into the possibility. That's life.

Pagwatch Tue 03-Sep-13 12:13:18


Nope. It's always the dtp.
Even if thy tell you it's just a tetanus (as they told DH when he asked) it is the dtp.

Beachcomber Tue 03-Sep-13 12:14:21

arkestra - why are you not answering the direct questions I have asked you?

Do you agree with Offit's theory?

If Offit is so 'naive' a scientist and doctor as to publish such a silly made up piece of nonsense and use it to influence parental decisions on vaccine safety, do you think he is also too 'naive' to be trusted with serious medical issues which happen in real life to real people?

The article I link to from him was designed to address parental fears about the increasingly heavy vaccine schedule in the US. This vaccine schedule has never been tested for safety. And parents are, rightly, concerned about that. They have a right to proper answers to their concerns - not smoke and mirrors nonsense about 'theoretical' vaccines.

The fact is that Offit has no idea how many vaccines any individual child may or may not be given. His 'theory' is dangerous nonsense. Yes, it does make him sound like a madman - or like a pharma lobbyist who is comparing apples with oranges and thinking that parents are too stupid to notice. Neither of which make me want to read his book or trust his views on the lucrative (for him anyway) business of vaccines.

If he didn't spout stupid 'theoretical' nonsense, wasn't on the board of a pharma lobby and hadn't made a fortune from inventing a vaccine I might be more inclined to read his advice on vaccine safety. As it is he has too many conflicts of interest to be considered anything close to impartial.

Pagwatch Tue 03-Sep-13 12:15:31

'if thy' ?

Verily, I meant 'if they'

I would probably prefer DD to have tetanus but no, only available as a combined vaccine. Another pain in the ass.

Beachcomber Tue 03-Sep-13 12:19:46

Why not just answer the questions I have asked you about Offit, his declarations (or lack of) his conflicts of interests, and his theory about paediatric response to multiple vaccination rather than post silly links to Humpty Dumpty and post faux concern about me being 'upset'.

You are the one recommending his book after all.

nickelbabe Tue 03-Sep-13 12:34:09

shit, that's bad.

i would class tetanus as an important one, if you were to choose any at all.

arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 13:02:57

BC - I can only point you to my previous answers.

If you feel I am not addressing a specific one of your questions it's because I think you are (to quote Paul Dirac) "not even wrong".

I am confident that someone without your burden of cognitive dissonance will conclude I've given your questions a fair hearing. I am either answering them directly where I can, or explaining where why I think the question is nonsensical or irrelevant. I can't do more. Sorry.

Beachcomber Tue 03-Sep-13 13:22:08

arkestra your above posts breaks MN Talk Guidelines as you are engaging in personal attack.

I'm in two minds whether to report you or to leave it to stand.

I have asked you a straightforward direct question "Do you agree with Offit's theory?" more than once. You have posted quite a lot of text but I cannot see a clear direct answer to this question. (You know, along the lines of 'yes I do' or 'no I don't' )

I have asked you other straightforward direct questions such as whether you think his theory would stand up to physical testing and whether ethical clearance would be awarded for such a study. I cannot see a clear direct answer to these questions either.

I have asked you if you think his theory is scientific, whether it is propaganda, etc. The only answers I can see are your personal opinion of me (irrelevant and against MN Guidelines) and a quote from Offit himself who winningly describes himself as 'naive'.

Oh well, I'm losing interest in your opinion of Offit (subject of this thread which you started) what with having to wade through snarky personal attacks and follow rude and immature links (that are personal attacks).

arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 14:57:25

BC - Absolutely, please do report me if you feel I am breaking MN guidelines. I can only repeat that I have already addressed all your questions elsewhere in this thread in direct responses to you.

You don't like the answers. I think this is because I am refusing to accept some of your preconceptions and as a result causing you a great deal of frustration. But I still think you are sincere and there is the possibility for dialogue. Probably not on this thread.

A viewer of this dialogue who has no axe to grind will not get a positive impression of either of us, perhaps, but I'm doing my best to stay polite. It would not cross my mind to report you and attempt to censor you however many names you call me. I think it's better if the statements remain on view for all to see.

I am happy for what I have written and for what you have written to remain on view. You can ask for my comments to be removed if you want but I don't think it will make you come across any better.

I think I am done talking with you on this thread though. If you are angry / upset enough to try and get my comments banned then there's clearly no way we'll get any dialogue going.

nickelbabe Tue 03-Sep-13 15:08:46

BeachComber - i don't see how her reply was a personal attack.

Beachcomber Tue 03-Sep-13 16:06:30

I am confident that someone without your burden of cognitive dissonance will conclude I've given your questions a fair hearing.

This is a personal attack. Referring to someone has having a 'burden of cognitive dissonance' is a personal comment on the poster's character and mental state.

The OP has twice now made comments about me being 'upset' - which is also a personal comment (although I don't consider it an attack) and can be a sneaky way of implying that a person is overly emotional/not rational (which is a borderline personal attack).

I've been on contentious MN threads long enough to have seen this sort of thing many a time.

The MN Talk Guidelines exist for a reason - mainly so that the board can function relatively smoothly and that discussions remain interesting rather than descending into rudeness and insult.

MNHQ ask us to report posts which break the Guidelines as they cannot be everywhere and they depend on forum users to use the report facility.

The OP's comment that I must be angry/upset if I am considering adhering to forum rules on personal attacks and reports thereof, misses the point and is yet another personal comment (as is the statement that were I to follow rules and report personal attacks "it will not make me come across any better").

Don't worry OP - I'm no delicate flower, I just agree with MNHQ that discussions are generally more interesting and fruitful when they stay on topic rather than posters commenting on each other. Having said that I don't see why I should have to put up with you breaking forum rules and making comments on my mental and emotional state - this is not the ethos of MN nor is it robust and fruitful discourse.

Anyway. Moving on to more interesting and on topic subjects than what Arkestra Thinks Of Beachcomber - here is a link to an interesting timeline, commentary and overview of DTP vaccination's links to neurological damage set within the historical context of vaccine manufacturing and licensing. Not only that but it is also a rebuttal of a piece written by our pal Offit.

"Paul Offit attempts to rewrite history when he argues that the DPT vaccine does not cause brain inflammation and permanent brain injury in some children. Two large studies conducted in the United States and Britain, in which the children studied were enrolled prior to vaccination, demonstrated otherwise. The 1981 UCLA/FDA study published in Pediatrics compared DPT to DT vaccine and found that 1 in 875 DPT shots is followed within 48 hours by either a convulsion or collapse/shock episode. The case- controlled 1981 British National Childhood Encephalopathy Study found that the risk of brain inflammation within seven days of DPT vaccination is 1 in 110,000 DPT shots, with permanent brain damage occurring in 1 in 310,000 DPT shots. A re-analysis of the British study was validated in 1994 by the Institute of Medicine. Offit is entitled to his own opinion but not to his own facts. We have only ourselves to blame when we believe everything he says." - Barbara Loe Fisher, Boston Globe

arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 16:13:44

Nicklebabe, Pagwatch

Agreed that not having a contingency plan to allow for single-dose Tetanus seems very odd to me.

Surely there will be some people for which the combined vaccination is contra-indicated?

What do they do?

I totally get why combined vaccinations are great but forcing absolutely everything down that line seems overly-prescriptive.

It's not like everyone wanting a single dose is being a numpty. A close family member having a severe reaction to DTP would give me the willies even if the Green Book says such things should be disregarded.

Obviously I'm pretty pro-orthodoxy on medicine but this just doesn't give me a good feeling.

I wonder if single-shot tetanus is available but just not publically acknowledged in the formal strategy. But that would be really weird too.

Unless there is some reason why you never ever ever get what orthodox medicine would regard as a contra-indication on the combined vaccine.

Which seems unlikely on the face of it to me?

arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 16:26:38

BC - please report me if that is what you want to do.

Cognitive dissonance is nothing to do with character or mental stability or anything of that sort.

It refers to the discomfort felt by people trying to integrate conflicting ideas into a strongly-held existing belief system. It can make people very uneasy.

It's a necessary part of changing your mind in any non-trivial manner and so it's not actually a mental state to avoid.

As I have repeatedly said on this thread I think your motives are sincere but that your beliefs are incorrect.

I don't want you going around saying that I am making personal attacks on you without following through with consistent actions.

So please either ask for the comment pulled if it is bothering you, or let it go and talk about the issues instead.

I don't think saying that someone has congnitive dissonance is in any way a personal attack.

But if MN disagree then it's their call at the end of the day.

Pagwatch Tue 03-Sep-13 16:27:29

I know. I probably would want DD to have tetanus but I can't get it on its own and i can't risk the dp. So the alternative for us is she doesn't have it.
Stupid eh.

nickelbabe Tue 03-Sep-13 16:27:53

"I am confident that someone without your burden of cognitive dissonance will conclude I've given your questions a fair hearing.

This is a personal attack. Referring to someone has having a 'burden of cognitive dissonance' is a personal comment on the poster's character and mental state. "

but she's implied by her wording that you have the burden, and that someone who doesn't have that burden would struggle to understand.

But as front Pointed out, often the decision not to vaccinate is made by the parent rather than the medical professional, on the basis of their knowledge about their individual circumstances.

When I told my GP why I could not give my baby the DTP, she looked very confused. Not only had she not heard that the DTP could cause my DB's terminal illness, she'd never even HEARD of my DB's illness.

She certainly was in no place to advise that my baby shouldn't have the DTP, nor have it. The best she could do was say 'It's probably alright'. She wasn't prepared to refer us to any experts to clarify that this was or wasn't the case, though she accepts why we might want to refuse it and respects that.

So I refrained from giving my baby the DTP. And it wasn't on medical advice. I had the DTP after all and I'm okay right? NO. I didn't want to risk it.

So, those who are choosing not to vaccinate, have reasons, and they are nowhere near as simply as being scared by irresponsible journalism.

Should the GP have referred my baby for extensive testing, and a meeting with the expert in my DB's rare disease? Should they spend more money generally, identifying those children for whom a particular vaccination is likely to cause issues?

Well, yes, they probably should. But there is very little of this research being done, because firstly who will fund it?, and secondly any agreement to funding would raise doubts about the efficacy or safety of those vaccinations and undermine the vaccination programme.

Incidently, my baby has now had his DTP, because he has just turned one and taking his first steps and we do an awful lot of camping which is a risk for him not being protected by the tetanus. He has also slightly reduced his manic breastfeeding (which can interfere with some vaccinations from 'taking' properly coz of the mothers anti-bodies).

It 'felt' like the right thing to do at that time, and that was a scientific as it got, though I like to think there was some thought and consideration gone into it. After my encounter with my GP I had realised that she'd be no wiser than me about whether I was making the right decision.

nickelbabe Tue 03-Sep-13 16:28:22

and i think you're being obtuse just for the sake of argument

nickelbabe Tue 03-Sep-13 16:29:13

not you Starlight shock

arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 16:30:38

I think the tetanus single-jab thing is worth a thread all to itself. Best if I don't start it though smile

Why just the tetanus though. Why not mumps? Why not all jabs offered as singles?

arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 16:33:33

Starlight: sure, why not? Sounds fair enough to me. Even if we started with tetanus it would broaden out straight away anyway.

nickelbabe Tue 03-Sep-13 16:34:47

I don't think they should be offered as a single jab.

Because I would be worried that a lot of people would choose the single jabs, thus resulting in the poor child having to be stuck 13 times for the first course and then repeated for all the boosters.
That's the joy of combination.

But I do think they should be there as an option once a parent states "no, I do not want that one"

say: dialogue goes:
GP: here's the list of all the vaccines in this jab
Parent: I don't want my child to have pertussis because of family history
GP: right, well, then we will give mumps and tetanus, but not the combination one
parent: lovely , thank you , it's good to know that she will have at least the jabs she needs

but it won't be advertised as being available - only on a case by case basis.

BeCool Tue 03-Sep-13 16:37:27

HRWT - bu wanted to say my RUBELLA vaccination wore off. I was immune for PG1, but when I was tested during PG2 I was no longer immune to rubella.

There were outbreaks of rubella local to me at the time, due to so many children not being vaccinated.

My beautiful 2nd DD could have been born with congenital defects had I contracted rubella too.

It was a horrible time.

I could have been privately tested prior to getting PG, but really I wasn't even aware I could lose the immunity.

See, I want DS to be protected from mumps when he is going through puberty.

The current MMR schedule doesn't guarantee immunity then for either rubella or mumps, so we are postponing it until he is around 9yrs.

In the meantime he is at risk of measles because if I were to give him the measles single, he'd have to take the risk a-bloody-gain and have over her lifetime more than the recommended dose as you can't get the mumps without it.

It is measles I am worried about. But I cannot jab him, even with a paid for single because I want him to be protected from mumps when it matters.

Similar-ish story for my dd.

Beachcomber Tue 03-Sep-13 16:39:52

I'm perfectly aware of what cognitive dissonance is. To post that someone has a 'burden of cognitive dissonance' that affects how they draw conclusions about an MN discussion (and finds those conclusions wanting) is absolutely a personal attack as it is a comment on a person's mental state.

"Cognitive dissonance is the distressing mental state that people feel when they "find themselves doing things that don't fit with what they know, or having opinions that do not fit with other opinions they hold."

"cognitive dissonance is the discomfort experienced when simultaneously holding two or more conflicting cognitions: ideas, beliefs, values or emotional reactions. In a state of dissonance, people may sometimes feel "disequilibrium": frustration, hunger, dread, guilt, anger, embarrassment, anxiety, etc"

"cog·ni·tive dis·so·nance
The state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, esp. as relating to behavioural decisions and attitude change."

nickelbabe Tue 03-Sep-13 16:44:37

please report the posts then , BC rather than clogging up a really interesting discussion with your complaint.
that's what MN guidelines ask you to do.

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 17:25:06

I support Beachcomber in this. Arkestra, you didn't answer her questions; I'm interested in the answers too.

CatherinaJTV Tue 03-Sep-13 17:41:56

surely the mention of Barbara Loe Fisher as a relevant source must also invoke Scopie's law? She sued Offit and her law suit was dismissed. I am not surprised she doesn't like him, but her personal pride really doesn't constitute evidence. Are you not embarrassed by the "quality" of people on "your" side?

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 17:43:36

Perhaps Arkestra disagrees with you: she relies only on the cogency of an argument and nothing else.

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 17:46:30

It might actually be quite hard for some people to rely on the cogency of an argument, when the normal mode of operation is defamation and insults. But it's nice to try.

Beachcomber Tue 03-Sep-13 17:54:53

CatherinaJTV - do you disagree with Barbara Loe Fisher's timeline?

Do you disagree with her statement on DTP vaccines?

Do you contest that the IOM published a report stating "the balance of evidence is consistent with a causal relation between DPT and the forms of chronic nervous system dysfunction in the NCES in those children who experience a serious acute neurological illness within 7 days after receiving DPT vaccine" ?

Do you think Offit is right that there is no issue with DTP and neurological damage and that the IOM is wrong?

Of all the vaccines which have been routinely used by children in the past century, the brain damaging effects of the pertussis (whooping cough) portion of DPT vaccine is among the most well documented in the scientific literature. Created in 1912, the crude pertussis vaccine basically consisted of B. pertussis bacteria killed with heat, preserved with formaldehyde, and injected into children. In the early 1940's, aluminum was added as an adjuvant and later the mercury preservative, thimerosal, was added when pertussis was combined with diphtheria and tetanus vaccines to create DPT. Pertussis vaccine was never studied in large clinical trials before being given to children in the first half of the 20th century or after it was combined into DPT and recommended for mass use by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1947.

The pertussis vaccine's ability to kill was first signaled in 1933 when T. Madsen reported two babies died within minutes of vaccination. In 1947, Matthew Brody gave detailed descriptions of two cases involving brain damage and death after pertussis vaccination. But, it was the 1948 published case study by Byers and Moll that gave the strongest warning that children were suffering brain inflammation within 72 hours of pertussis vaccination and being left with various kinds of brain damage. Forty years later, the prospective UCLA/FDA study published in Pediatrics in 1981 comparing DT and DPT vaccines would find that 1 in 875 DPT shots is followed by either a convulsion or collapse shock episode within 48 hours of vaccination.

Biological mechanisms for pertussis vaccine induced brain damage center on pertussis toxin (PT), one of the most lethal toxins in nature. Pertussis toxin is a known neurotoxin, a reliable inducer of brain inflammation and brain damage, which is why it is used in lab animals to deliberately induce EAE (experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis). Pertussis toxin is implicated in brain inflammation caused by pertussis (whooping cough) complications as well as pertussis vaccine complications. Unfortunately, pertussis toxin is also thought to be responsible for stimulating immunity which is why it remains in DPT, DTaP and Tdap vaccines.. Other ingredients in DPT vaccine, which have been associated with neuroimmune dysfunction and may interact synergistically with pertussis toxin to cause shock, brain damage or death are: endotoxin, aluminum, and mercury.

After decades of reports in the medical literature that the pertussis portion of DPT vaccine was causing brain damage in some children, the large, case controlled National Childhood Encephalopathy Study was conducted in Britain and published in 1981. It confirmed a statistically significant association between pertussis vaccine or pertussis-containing vaccines (DPT) and acute brain inflammation leading to permanent brain damage. An NCES reanalysis 10 years later re-confirmed the finding. In 1994, the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, published a report validating the conclusions of NCES, stating that " "the balance of evidence is consistent with a causal relation between DPT and the forms of chronic nervous system dysfunction in the NCES in those children who experience a serious acute neurological illness within 7 days after receiving DPT vaccine."

Beachcomber Tue 03-Sep-13 17:58:36

I support Beachcomber in this. Arkestra, you didn't answer her questions; I'm interested in the answers too.

Cheers Crumbledwalnuts!

Arkestra perhaps you would also be good enough to tell me clearly why you posted this link and said it was 'for Beachcomber' .....

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 18:09:33

Now that's a forceful argument and deserves more than hidden digs in response.

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 18:10:00

Sorry I seem to have turned into a sort of football commentator on the thread! Must try harder.

arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 18:27:44

Crumbled: given the turn things have taken, I need to step back from dealing with BC on this thread. If you have a question re Offit or anything else I am happy to tackle it since we seem to be OK.

I genuinely feel BC is asking me the same questions again and again, and I can't seem to give them a response they find satisfactory, and don't know how to take it any further. It could be a personality clash, it could be all my fault, it hardly matters.

If I can't take things forward on my part after this go I will just quit the thread and stop wasting people's time - we already seem to be on orher topics now anyway - but I am willing to give it a go if you can face it. May be a while before I get back since kids evening shift starting but I will try.

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 18:34:15

I'm sure Beachcomber won't mind engaging if you stop implying things about her mental condition. It's extremely unfair. She's asking you good questions, and it's open to you to say - I don't know, until two days ago I didn't even know there was another side to this, I need to get my head round all this new information. But instead of answering to imply she's got mental problems is terrible

I do have a question about Offit.

Do you agree with Offit's theory?

Beachcomber Tue 03-Sep-13 18:37:19

Are you not embarrassed by the "quality" of people on "your" side?


Fisher's work in 'A Shot In The Dark' has been used by the Institute of Medicine. If they are not 'embarrassed' to use her as a source, I don't see why I should be....

The book DPT: A Shot in the Dark by Coulter & Fisher was published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, documenting scientific evidence for DPT vaccine-induced brain and immune system dysfunction and included more than 100 new original case histories. The book would eventually be used by the Institute of Medicine as a reference for its 1991 report "Adverse Effects of Pertussis and Rubella Vaccines," which confirmed a causal relationship between DPT vaccine and acute encephalopathy.

Adverse effects of pertussis and rubella vaccines:a report of the Committee to Review the Adverse Consequences of Pertussis and Rubella Vaccines

Erm, I didn't know I was on a 'side' (am I? confused) and I'm pretty sure I'm not poor quality.

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 18:39:08

Stellar quality actually (see what I did there?)

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 18:40:57

In fact who does agree with Offit's theory? Catherina? JotheHot? Nickelbabe? Do you all agree or not agree. Interesting to see how much of a foothold this kind of thing has.

arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 19:03:05

Hi crumbled. Total crossed wires. I refer to myself as experiencing cognitive dissonance on a regular occasion. It slows you down while it us happening but it's a necessary part of forming new ideas. In an ideal world my preference would be to have something like that going on all the time. I absolutely did not mean to imply that BC has a mental condition shock seriously I am actually quite taken aback at that inference. I think BC is as sane and mentally stable as I am and I truly apologise that I came across any differently. I just meant they seemed to be having trouble processing what I was saying because it didn't fit their mental categories. Lazy shorthand on my part.

In short, just because BC's beliefs seem seriously far away from mine does not mean I think they are bonkers.

Re the Offit theory are we talking about "10,000 vaccines", the DTP stuff, or something else? Happy to try and give my honest take on things and avoid snark.

Beachcomber Tue 03-Sep-13 19:07:26

Although I don't really consider things in terms of 'sides'.

Fisher is an advocate for informed consent and speaks out a lot on safety - apparently the IOM don't see things in terms of 'sides' either as they (and Congress) listen to her. Which is good smile

I think Offit's 10,000 vaccines paper is embarrassing - however I don't think it embarrasses anyone other than himself (other than perhaps whoever from Paediatrics thought it was a good idea to publish it!)

arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 19:32:34

Crumbled; I'll assume it's DTP. Claim being that Offit is denying well-attested negative vaccine reactions? I will have to read the original research but promise that I will do so. For something like this you won't get an immediate response but it sounds interesting.

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 19:36:47

Actually first and foremost, it was the claim of ten thousand vaccines in one go. Denial of vaccine reactions is, sadly, par for the course it seems.

CatherinaJTV Tue 03-Sep-13 20:14:29

BC - an NVIC quote? You are really reaching here...

I am going with Offit and I do agree with his statement about what the infant immune system can theoretically handle.

arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 20:17:47

I have tackled this in dribs and drabs but will do my best to put everything together in one go. You will I am sure disagree with some aspects but it is my honest opinion.

The meaning behind the quote is that the body has a theoretical (in a very back-of-the-envelope fashion) capacity to handle up to 100,000 antigens at once. This is the equivalent of 10,000 vaccines.

The intention is to make it clear just how much headroom there is when you administer 5 vaccines at once (the max under the US schedule), each with 10 antigen = 50 antigens in all.

Two comments from me:

1) The original quote is a complete hostage to fortune. If Offit had said something more along the lines of "the body can handle hundreds more antigens than even 5 vaccines together" this would have been far better. I think Offit is of the same mind (see his quote below).

2) The back-of-the-envelope assumption relies on vaccines not interacting. CDC position (and Offit) are very firm that this interaction is not a practical issue. Obviously if interaction was a practical issue the assumptions on headroom would completely fall apart. I did ask BC and general people for any evidence on vaccine interaction but no response so far. Interested to read any if people have it.

Need to split again now - anyway I honestly hope this helps.

Here is Offit talkng about the quote:

A while back, Offit was asked to help put together a reference text on vaccines. Specifically, his colleagues wanted him to write a chapter that assessed the capacity of the human immune system. It was a hypothetical exercise: What was the maximum number of vaccines that a person could handle? The point was to arm doctors with information that could reassure parents. Offit set out to determine two factors: how many B cells, which make antibodies, a person has in a milliliter of blood and how many different epitopes, the part of a bacterium or virus that is recognized by the immune system, there are in a vaccine. Then, he came up with a rough estimate: a person could handle 100,000 vaccines — or up to 10,000 vaccines at once. Currently the most vaccines children receive at any one time is five.

He also published his findings in Pediatrics. Soon, the number was attached to Offit like a scarlet letter. “The 100,000 number makes me sound like a madman. Because that’s the image: 100,000 shots sticking out of you. It’s an awful image,” Offit says. “Many people — including people who are on my side — have criticized me for that. But I was naive. In that article, I was being asked the question and that is the answer to the question.”

Beachcomber Tue 03-Sep-13 20:46:02

I am going with Offit and I do agree with his statement about what the infant immune system can theoretically handle.

CatherinaJTV - do you think that Offit's theory can be tested? I mean physically, clinically tested with actual vaccines on actual children? If it cannot (and I don't believe it would get ethical clearance) then what is the point of such a theory? It is purely hypothetical and has no bearing on real live vaccine safety and science in real live children. It is therefore empty rhetoric, unscientific and utterly irrelevant to the current vaccine schedule and or the safety of combined vaccines and the safety of administering several vaccines in one visit.

So what exactly is there to agree with? confused

I'm really interested in your response to the direct straightforward questions I asked you upthread about Barbara Loe Fisher (and the IOM) Do you think the Institute of Medicine is wrong for referencing her book, etc?

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 20:51:55

Catherina do you think a baby can cope with 10,000 vaccines at one time?

Do you think your baby can cope with 10,000 vaccines at one time?

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 20:52:41

A theory is there to be tested. If we test the theory by giving a baby 10,000 vaccines, do you think the theory will be proved right? Or do you think the theory will be proved wrong?

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 20:53:43

Would you like my view? I think the baby would probably die. What's your view? Would his theory be proved right, or wrong?

CatherinaJTV Tue 03-Sep-13 20:57:29

akestra posted Offit's full statements, the original and his later explanation. Paul Offit is a man of high integrity who knows his immunology and vaccines. I have no reason to doubt his Pediatrics statement and neither he nor I propagate testing it. Interestingly, kids today get way fewer antigens in their vaccines than we did (at least than I did, I am old - BCG, smallpox, whole cell pertussis, OPV were real whoppers in terms of antigens and probably came closer to the 10k than any combination infant vaccines today).

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 20:57:57

I really think I've killed the thread. Surely nobody, nobody will say his theory will be proved right.

CatherinaJTV Tue 03-Sep-13 20:58:08

Crumbled - no one proposed that. Compose yourself.

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 20:59:06

whoops spoke too soon.

Catherina can you answer my question. If 10,000 vaccines were given to a baby, would his theory be proved right or wrong?

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 20:59:30

So his theory would be proved wrong?

CatherinaJTV Tue 03-Sep-13 21:05:36

BC - do you know what the IOM cites Fisher's book for? For the history of their own organisation. Of course they are not wrong to cite her for that, but they did not use her book for scientific evidence. NVIC may just have forgotten to mention that in their blurb.

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 21:07:00

Why are you avoiding the question? Come on Catherina. It's not that hard. Here's a theory. We can't test it. But we can say whether we think it would be proved right or wrong. We all have a certain level of knowledge to make an evidence based guess. Mine is that it would be proved wrong. What's yours, or Arkestra's, or JotheHot's, or Nickelbabe?

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 21:14:11

ok now I killed it. I'm going to watch a movie.

arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 21:16:13

I think there is a difference among the people in this thread over how people are using the word "theory" and applying it to the passage in Offit's paper that uses the word "theoretical", and how much the two quoted words align in their meaning.

I will try and make that statement more precise later but I think this is why you are getting a lack of response or general engagement from the pro-Offit crowd when you are talking about Offit's "theory" and how it should be tested; people do not agree that Offit's paper amounts to an assertion that one should test 10,000 vaccines on a child.

It is going to be hard to formulate this in a way that both sides will agree with.

Food first I think smile

CatherinaJTV Tue 03-Sep-13 21:17:04

it is an academic question, crumbled.

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 21:19:31

So, no. You think a baby can't cope with 10,000 vaccines at once.

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 21:22:24

"I think there is a difference among the people in this thread over how people are using the word "theory" and applying it to the passage in Offit's paper that uses the word "theoretical", and how much the two quoted words align in their meaning. "

I think there's a certain amount of knot-tying not to say contortionism going on here because it's so, so hard for some people to say what is so obviously true.

Beachcomber Tue 03-Sep-13 21:22:41

But Offit wasn't talking about TCIDs (tissue culture infectious doses).

He was talking about vaccines. His paper isn't terribly clear but from what he follows up with he is obviously talking as in; one vaccine = one disease. Therefore 10,000 vaccines = vaccination with 10,000 diseases.

Of course, most vaccines contain far fewer than 100 antigens (for example, the hepatitis B, diphtheria, and tetanus vaccines each contain 1 antigen), so the estimated number of vaccines to which a child could respond is conservative. But using this estimate, we would predict that if 11 vaccines were given to infants at one time, then about 0.1% of the immune system would be “used up.”

If you take the MMRII vaccine as an example if contains three vaccines for three diseases. It also contains 14,500 TCIDs of these three diseases (1000 for measles and rubella each and 12,500 for mumps).

TCIDs and vaccines are different things. When a child gets MMRII they receive three vaccines and approximately 14,500 TCIDs.

Offit definitely says 10,000 vaccines not 10,000 TCIDs

I agree with Crumbledwalnuts assessment of Offit's theory - if a baby were to be given 10,000 vaccinations the baby would die.

arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 21:27:20

OK let's try this.

Take an example of a platform in a children's playground.

Someone says it's too flimsy and a child is in danger if the stand on it.

An engineer checks it out. He says the theoretical max of kids in the platform is 100 so you are fine. He has a theory of structural integrity underlying his assertion.

Should you test it by putting 100 kids on the platform? After all it is a theory. And if the engineer protests, he is guilty of misleading you etc.

Maybe this will turn out to be a rubbish analogy but I thought I'd give it a shot before switching off.

LaVolcan Tue 03-Sep-13 21:41:31

Should you test it by putting 100 kids on the platform?

Yes, why not? Don't bridge engineers do that sort of thing all the time?

What your engineer wouldn't be able to guarantee would be what if happened to the 101st child - it might be OK, but he wouldn't guarantee that.

But Offit didn't say that. He first came up with a nonsensical 100, 000 figure and then revised it to 10,000. Perhaps he will keep going, 1,000, or 100, or 10? Who knows?

arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 21:42:30

To add more context: the engineer's theoretical maximum of 100 kids on the platform is an upper safety limit derived from an elementary back-of-the-envelope calculation.

So it could really be 90 or 110. Or even further away from 100 than that.

But he is very confident it is way bigger than 1.

And he doesn't understand why you think he is lying or acting in bad faith unless he puts 100 kids on the platform to "test the theory".

Why does he need to "test his theory" by putting 100 kids on the platform?

arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 21:45:43

LaVolcan: you'd test the bridge or platform with sacks of cement rather than people. Also I believe Offit has always been consistent at 100k antigens, 10k vaccines. Happy to see proof to the contrary though...

arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 21:50:08

Also: the engineer would never dream of putting 100 kids on the platform. He wishes now he'd just said "the platform is definitely more than 50 times stronger than you need".

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 21:50:56

We don't need any more fancy analogies. Would a baby survive being given 10,000 vaccines? Arkestra - it's a simple question. What's your best guess?

I can't harangue you any more after this. If you don't answer I think it looks very very bad for your argument. I think it means you KNOW the answer is no, but can't bear to say it.

For the last time. I'm not asking if you know, I'm asking for your best guess. Do you think a baby can survive being given 10,000 vaccines in one go? Yes or no?

CatherinaJTV Tue 03-Sep-13 21:54:57

arkestra - grin at your engineer's despair

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 21:57:01

Catherina, would a baby survive 10,000 vaccines? Your best guess?

This is the last time, and I will ask you no more, as you're plainly very, very reluctant to answer, and I think I've made my point. I think you know a baby would not, but for some reason you're reluctant to say so. It weakens your argument tremendously that you cannot even venture a guess.

LaVolcan Tue 03-Sep-13 22:01:41

We have rather flogged the load analogy to death, but would Offit even say 10, 20, 100 vaccines? If not, why not? Would he be prepared to test his theory on his own children?

arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 22:02:25

Crumbled: no one - including Paul Offit - has ever thought that giving a baby 10k vaccines is sensible. I have no idea what would happen. I doubt it would be good. Offit himself has said it was not a helpful way to formulate his point, which is that the theoretical safety limit is miles above what multiple vaccines impose.

I have done my best to explain the difference between an approximate upper safety limit and something you'd actually want to do on real life. An upper safety limit derived from theoretical concerns is necessarily not the same thing as a theory that should be scientifically tested, particularly if the testing would involve putting people at risk.

Characterising Offit as someone who thinks it is OK to stick 10,000 needles into a baby is - well - it is what it is. I think it doesn't help address anything. Why not directly take on the contention around whether multiple vaccines interact?

CatherinaJTV Tue 03-Sep-13 22:02:50

hogwash, Crumbled, you just want to derail the discussion, because our experts are better than yours grin

Beachcomber Tue 03-Sep-13 22:04:09

BC - do you know what the IOM cites Fisher's book for? For the history of their own organisation. Of course they are not wrong to cite her for that, but they did not use her book for scientific evidence. NVIC may just have forgotten to mention that in their blurb.

I'm afraid that isn't the case.

The IOM refers to Coulter and Fisher's work in its 1991 report Adverse Effects of Pertussis and Rubella Vaccines just as stated by Fisher in the link I gave above.

Anyone can search the report in google books and check.


Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 22:06:00

I see no reason for humour here Catherina: you are caught out. Embarrassingly so.

"no one - including Paul Offit - has ever thought that giving a baby 10k vaccines is sensible."

He didn't say that did he? Did he qualify it by saying "Of course you couldn't give a baby 10,000 vaccines - it just goes to show how lab work can be misleading where vaccines are concerned".

Of course he didn't. He was trying to minimise and even ridicule parents fears.

You both know the answer is no, they couldn't survive, and Paul Offit's theory is wrong.

arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 22:06:52

CatherinaJTV: the engineer gives up engineering because of all the arguments. He wants to find a career where everyone respects him. He goes for vaccine research. I must draw a discreet veil over what follows...

Anyway I think I'm done for the evening. At least I gave it a shot!

CatherinaJTV Tue 03-Sep-13 22:08:09

BC - I did check and I checked what they cited them for, too. Their uses of that book do not lend it any scientific credibility.

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 22:09:05

Not even in his comments does he say his claim that a baby could handled 10,000 vaccines is wrong. He is not naive. He is a calculating egotist who realised that what he'd said was quite insane.

CatherinaJTV Tue 03-Sep-13 22:09:39

arkestra - you are far more patient than myself. I am glad Paul Offit is doing his work and writing his fabulous books smile

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 22:11:09

Catherina: you really have nothing to be patient over. Unless it's waiting for people to roll over and say that what's patently wrong is right, and the black is indeed white, which is not going to happen.

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 22:12:40

He's a power-hungry crazy driven by egotism rather than science and patient care, Catherina, and the fact that you agree with him says a lot.

arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 22:18:18

CatherinaJTV: it's not been exactly a meeting of minds smile but overall people have been way nicer to each other given their differences than I've seen in forums elsewhere. Things like the JABS site - whoah. Lots of people flaring up but some info too. Gotta love MN.

At this point I will detach from the thread. Can't think of anything else to say really.

Think my Wakefield book arrives tomorrow....

arkestra Tue 03-Sep-13 22:22:25

& thanks to you Crumbled - easy to be nice when one agrees with people, a lot tougher otherwise. Hopefully next time we meet it will be something inconsequential on AIBU grin

Beachcomber Tue 03-Sep-13 22:30:21

So where are we at then? Has anyone admitted that Offit's theory of giving 10,000 vaccines to a child is a bullshit theory?

Perhaps the platform analogy can be of use.

Let's imagine Offit is an engineer and he states that in theory it would be safe for 10,000 children to stand on a platform he has made. But a) the platform is too small to hold 10,000 children and b) the platform is obviously not up to bearing the weight of 10,000 children and it is clear that children would be hurt and killed if Offit's theory were to be put to physical test.

Would his theory be of any practical relevance or use to platform safety? No, of course it wouldn't.


Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 22:35:43

I think it's enough to know that in their hearts they know he's wrong <beatific>

Beachcomber Tue 03-Sep-13 23:42:06

Arf at <beatific>

I think I have got my head round it. They agree with the theory but not with the theory in practice. Or something.

CatherinaJTV Wed 04-Sep-13 07:01:15

He's a power-hungry crazy driven by egotism rather than science and patient care,

Nothing in his achievements and behaviour supports that notion, really.

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 07:08:19

But Catherina you support his theory that a baby could cope with 10,000 vaccines at once. So your judgement is... flawed in this respect.

CatherinaJTV Wed 04-Sep-13 07:18:23

Well, I have read MUCH more written by Paul Offit than you have, so I will claim much better knowledge than you have.

LaVolcan Wed 04-Sep-13 07:25:07

Well, I have read MUCH more written by Paul Offit than you have, so I will claim much better knowledge than you have.


Without knowledge of what others have read I don't see how you can make that claim. Has anyone here listed what they have read of Offit's?

CatherinaJTV Wed 04-Sep-13 07:35:48

go on then - what have you read of his works?

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 07:38:16

Catherina, you agree with Offit's theory that a baby could have 10,000 vaccines at once. To even posit that, as a theory, is so ludicrous, and the motive is so wicked, that to agree with it means that your judgement on what you've read is obviously deeply flawed. I'm sorry, but there it is.

LaVolcan Wed 04-Sep-13 07:45:36

go on then - what have you read of his works?

Unfortunately to me this sounds like the sort of response a six year old in the playground would make.

You are stating that you know MUCH more that anyone else. You can't know whether you do or not. I am not making that claim.

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 07:48:14

I think this is one of the problems - sometimes it's quite hard to recognise egotism when you literally do believe that you know more than anyone else, and therefore must always right and cannot possibly entertain another point of view, or even acknowledge when you are plainly bang out wrong. It's hard to recognise egotism in others you admire, and it's very hard to see it in yourself.

Pagwatch Wed 04-Sep-13 07:49:31

Can we see how far we can pee next?

CatherinaJTV Wed 04-Sep-13 08:33:43

Offit's motive is child health. It is also to alleviate parents' fears (and I admit he may be clumsy at that at times). He is an active pediatrician, successful researcher, teacher, activist and author. A good man, all around. And I know that because I have read his books, taken one of his courses, read some of his papers, several of his interviews. You don't know this, so I am guessing you have not done any of that.

LaVolcan Wed 04-Sep-13 08:42:43

Despite Offit's many credentials to show that he is of a finer clay than others, it looks as though he could do with adding a PR course to his portfolio, because making a claim about 100, 000 vaccinations later reduced to 10,000 was stupid and makes him look a fool.

Some of his papers, several of his interviews? Shouldn't that be all of his papers and interviews to back up your claim that you know MUCH more?

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 09:29:54

Andrew Wakefield's motive is child health, and to investigate parents' concerns. He is a profoundly talented surgeon and successful researcher - a good man all round. He was deliberately destroyed.

Offit's claim about 10,000 vaccines, which he has never withdrawn, fatally flaws him. It's not clumsiness. His motive was not child health when he said it. His motive was propaganda, to quash parents' concerns and ensure greater uptake of vaccines from which he derived significant profit.

Beachcomber Wed 04-Sep-13 09:44:34

I've read plenty by Offit. (Although not Deadly Choices as I was put off by the sensational use of 'anti-vaccine movement' which implies an attempt to polarize a serious issue and dismiss legitimate parental concerns, over the heavy and untested current vaccine schedule, as extremist views - a political tactic which implies an irresponsible attitude towards individual children's health).

I read this for example. The link is to the amended version which had to be published after Jon and Terry Poling pointed out the numerous errors in Offit's original piece.

I have also read this opinionated piece by Offit (which as we saw upthread was criticised for accuracy by Barbara Loe Fisher) and which was challenged for lack of accuracy yet again by the Poling family.

The message in his second piece about Hannah Poling and others who dare seek compensation for vaccine damage is frankly disgusting. Offit clearly seeks to rubbish government awarded compensation claims because they are bad for the reputation of the vaccine programme. He makes claims about the number of vaccines people can receive which are neither based in safety testing nor in clinical trials. He also doesn't seem to have a realistic grasp of what a vaccine actually is - he says that Hannah received 5 vaccines and then blithely lists the nine vaccines that she received. Has Offit been so influenced by the millions he and Merck make that he has forgotten the difference between an injection and a vaccine ? Or is he just assuming stupidity on the part of parents (again)?

Offit is a talking head for vaccine manufacturers and in particular Merck with whom he consults, receives research money and with whom he developed a vaccine which made him millions of dollars.

As to claims on here that Offit is a 'good man'. Mmmm, Offit is a rich man, Offit is a powerful man, Offit is a conflicted man, Offit is a man who spouts nonsense, Offit is a man who gets his facts wrong, Offit is a man with his finger in both pies; that of vaccine manufacture and public health legislature.

Beachcomber Wed 04-Sep-13 09:49:39

Crumbledwalnuts I agree with you that if Offit were a 'good man' he would have withdrawn his silly misleading paper on how many vaccines a child could receive. His 10,000 crap should never have been published in a respected medical journal in the first place - if it had been written by a less powerful figure than Offit I doubt it would have been.

It shows a particular sort of arrogance for a doctor to publish such bullshit and then not withdraw it when it is challenged as being unscientific nonsense with no basis in medical reality.

I prefer my doctors to show a little more humility. An arrogant doctor is a dangerous doctor.

arkestra Wed 04-Sep-13 18:21:14

Beachcomber - an end-of-thread gift for you, which I came across while catching up on some of the issues this thread raised.

You may have seen this already, but it felt like it was a stronger indication of "alarming (pertissis) mutations" than either of the two such papers you posted earlier - in that it puts toxin (Ptx) increase driven by vaccine selection pressure front and centre of the whole paper (rather than being solely or partly about less virulence-related aspects such as pertactin).

So I think I now have a better idea of what you were talking about re "alarming mutations", and I agree with you that this is interesting stuff.

The paper states:

"We propose that the crucial event, which shifted the
competitive balance between ptxP1 and ptxP3 strains, was
the removal by vaccination of immunologically naive infants
as the major source for transmission,"

Eg their proposal is that vaccination is driving the virulence by virtue of infants being protected. So is it better to stop vaccinating, and go back to infants getting pertussis? Perhaps not. But clearly there is a problem here, and how to improve things is not clear to me at all.

It is a pity that the pro- and anti-Offit posters could not get any kind of shared view on the Offit "10,000" quote. But I guess there are such vastly differing views of Offit's moral worth in play here that hoping for any common ground on how we interpret his words and actions is pretty idle? Probably best we don't go there again on this thread smile.

But I am interested in what you think of the paper, if you can face any more pertussis.

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 18:34:43

"It is a pity that the pro- and anti-Offit posters could not get any kind of shared view on the Offit "10,000" quote."

What on earth kind of shared view do you expect? He posited a ludicrous theory which is impossible to test and would no doubt lead to an infant's death if such a test were possible. His motive was not child health but profit, power and reputation. What possible middle ground do you imagine could ever be reached people between who support that point of view and those who believe it's morally disgusting?

arkestra Wed 04-Sep-13 19:19:42

Crumbled: I totally get how bad you think Offit is. It's just we aren't getting anywhere on a shared view there.

The increased virulence point has a really interesting entwining of good and bad vaccine consequences and I'm thankful to BC for pointing it out - and wondered what people's thoughts were.

If people insist they only want to discuss Offit's moral failings then I'm unlikely to learn anything. I know you think poorly of him already! I think the least interesting part of this debate is people calling others wrong and bad. It just doesn't interest me as a debating point. I find it boring when pro-vax people call vaccine sceptics selfish too. It's just not my scene.

arkestra Wed 04-Sep-13 19:25:43

Evening routine now but will check in later. Quite understand if everyone too bored to respond!

Beachcomber Wed 04-Sep-13 20:34:56

Um, thank you arkestra for the link. As it happens I have read it before as it is part of the body of work by Frits R. Mooi that the study "Small Mutations in Bordetella pertussis Are Associated with Selective Sweeps" which I linked to upthread is the most recent.

I'm surprised that you think the 2009 paper is a "stronger indication of alarming (pertussis) mutations" than the 2012 paper I posted. Perhaps you didn't read the 2012 paper in its entirety? The concern posed by both pieces of work is the same - the emergence of ptxP3 strain, the virulence of said strain and the relevance of its emergence on public health.

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 20:48:09

In terms of public health: the breakdown of bortella pertussis and parapertussis cases is not given in the part of NHS England that's easily available to public search. In fact if you search "parapertussis" on the website NHS England, there are no hits at all. None, zero. There's no breakdown in the number of cases of pertussis and parapertussis and no information about a variant of vaccine resisitant pertussis. That is, no information that the vaccine does not protect you against a growing strain of whooping cough. That is very bad. Do you agree Arkestra? That's misleading by omission and has implications for informed consent.

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 20:50:45

You have to think of it in terms of people who do not look at scientific papers but might, for example, search the website for information about their concerns. Interestingly there's nothing on the BBC website either. Interestingly because of the historic and continuing lack of interest among health correspondents in any story which challenges the DoH orthodoxy.

arkestra Wed 04-Sep-13 20:51:08

Hi BC - thought you had probably already seen it but thought it worth mentioning.

I thought that the 2009 concentrated more exclusively on the Ptx aspect. After reading the 2009 paper, I went back to both papers you sent. That 2012 did indeed flag the Ptx, but I felt it was far less salient as it also covered a number of other aspects of the consequences of vaccine selection pressure.

So I didn't quite really pick up on the connection between those changes and your comment on "alarming mutations" from the 2012 paper, but from the 2009 I got both a very immediate "that's what Beachcomber was talking about!" reaction, and also their take on the mechanics behind the selection which I actually can't see mentioned in the 2012 paper at all.

I find the mechanics fascinating, because it means the vaccine protection for infants that I am so nauseatingly enthusiastic about may be the direct cause of my getting a heavy dose of Ptx. Ironic or what smile.

So while the 2012 paper may well, to a reader more careful and educated than myself, be a better source on pertussis vaccine selection pressure, I found the 2009 paper was actually a far more direct take on what I felt was your central point about the selection pressure acting to increase toxicity. So the next time you are talking to a pro-vaccine type who you reckon could use more context, you may get more kick out of the 2009 paper because it makes it harder for them to miss the point.

That's all I meant to say really, apart from asking what you felt the answer was, if indeed there is one?

arkestra Wed 04-Sep-13 21:32:17

Crumbled: I had not heard of parapertussis before this thread. Nor did I realise that pertussis outbreaks are a 3-to-5 yearly inevitability as far as current control techniques appear to allow. Etc. Most institutions have an understandable reluctance to even admit - and certainly to spread - information which they feel may undermine their current publicly stated position.

Not everyone who self-identifies with chunks of the medical establishment is blinkered or captured by special interests. Read "Bad Pharma" by Ben Goldacre for an example of this.

All I can really say on a personal level is that the more individuals on the opposite sides of issues can communicate to whatever degree is possible, the better it is for some all. It's not a football match with winners and losers - I know you know this from your previous comment!

arkestra Wed 04-Sep-13 21:44:51

Crumbled: I didn't really answer your question re "is the website rubbish?" I think that we could maybe do better. But how? What do we write on the website? What do we change that will better help make people go the right thing? For instance, do you think pertussis vaccines are not a good thing overall, or is it more the information hiding that annoys? Perhaps the (certainly paternalistic if so) thinking is "don't mention parapertussis or they won't get their shots!" What is the way forward from that?...

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 21:45:50

It's not in any way understandable that public health institutions should seek to hide information of importance to public health and informed consent. It says a lot that you think it is understandable. It's not: it's wrong.

Please stop advising me to read Bad Pharma. There are more people in the world than Paul Offit and Ben Goldacre.

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 21:48:01

Let people make up their own minds. Supply the information. Parents' brains do not stop functioning after a baby is born.

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 21:49:16

Excuse the brusqueness but you keep talking as if you are only interested in information - but your posts contain loaded and judgemental comments.

arkestra Wed 04-Sep-13 21:54:53

By "understandable" I mean it's an obvious consequence of what happens with any group of people in the real world. You get groupthink and exclusion of alternative perspectives.

This applies to any self-identified collective.

I'm not saying it's something we should resign ourselves to. Just that ignoring it and trying to effect change makes as much sense as trying to build a brick wall while viewing gravity as a fictional and arbitrary social construct.

The problem is trying to break out from my own ghetto of preconceptions and learn something new.

No more reading suggestions from me - and sorry for causing offence.

Beachcomber Wed 04-Sep-13 22:07:11

Here's a reading suggestion for you as someone who recommends Offit's book. I can't find a link to the text on the internet so here is a C&P of it. I have bolded a sentence that I think is relevant to the worth of Offit's book, but the whole of Congressman's opening statement is well worth reading.


Below is Congressman Burton's Opening Statement Opening Statement
Chairman Dan Burton, Committee on Government Reform
“FACA: Conflicts of Interest and Vaccine Development: Preserving the Integrity of the Process”
Thursday, June 15, 2000, 1:00 pm , 2154 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515

Today, we are going to continue our series of hearings on vaccine policy. For the last few months, we’ve been focusing on two important advisory committee and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rely on these advisory committees to help them make vaccine policies that affect every child in this country. We’ve looked very carefully at conflicts of interest. We’ve taken a good hard look at whether the pharmaceutical industry has too much influence over these committees. From the evidence we found, I think they do.

The first committee is the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC). This Committee makes recommendations on whether new vaccines should be licensed. The second committee is the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices (ACIP). This committee recommends which vaccines should be included on the Childhood Immunization Schedule.

To make these issues easier to understand, we’re going to focus on one issue handled by these two committees – the Rotavirus vaccine. It was approved for use by the FDA in August 1998. It was recommended for universal use by the CDC in March 1999. Serious problems cropped up shortly after it was introduced. Children started developing serious bowel obstructions. The vaccine was pulled from the U.S. market in October
1999. So the question is, was there evidence to indicate that the vaccine was not safe and if so, why was it licensed in the first place? How good a job did the advisory committees do? We’ve reviewed the minutes of the meetings. At the FDA’s committee, there were discussions about adverse events. They were aware of potential problems. Five children out of 10,000 developed bowel obstructions. There were also concerns about children failing to thrive and developing high fevers, which as we know from other vaccine hearings, can lead to brain injury. Even with all of these concerns, the committee voted unanimously to approve it.

At the CDC’s committee, there was a lot of discussion about whether the benefits of the vaccine really justified the costs. Even though the cost-benefit ratio was questioned, the Committee voted unanimously to approve it. Were they vigilant enough? Were they influenced by the pharmaceutical industry? Was there appropriate balance of expertise and perspectives on vaccine issues? We’ve been reviewing their financial disclosure statements. We’ve interviewed staff from the FDA and the CDC. The staff has prepared a staff report summarizing what we’ve found. At the end of my statement, I’ll ask unanimous consent to enter this report into the record. We’ve identified a number of problems that need to be brought to light and discussed.

Families need to have confidence that the vaccines that their children take are safe, effective, and truly necessary. Doctors need to feel confident that when the FDA licenses a drug, that it is really safe, and that the pharmaceutical industry has not influenced the decision-making process. Doctors place trust in the FDA and assume that if the FDA has licensed a drug, it’s safe to use. Has that trust been violated? How confident in the safety and need for specific vaccines would doctors and parents be if they learned the following:
1 That members, including the Chair, of the FDA and CDC advisory committees who make these decisions own stock in drug companies that make vaccines.
2. That individuals on both advisory committees own patents for vaccines under consideration or affected by the decisions of the committee.
3 That three out of five of the members of the FDA’s advisory committee who voted for the rotavirus vaccine had conflicts of interest that were waived.
4. That seven individuals of the 15 member FDA advisory committee were not present at the meeting, two others were excluded from the vote, and the remaining five were joined by five temporary voting members who all voted to license the product.
5. That the CDC grants conflict-of-interest waivers to every member of their advisory committee a year at a time, and allows full
participation in the discussions leading up to a vote by every member, whether they have a financial stake in the decision or not.
6. That the CDC’s advisory committee has no public members – no parents have a vote in whether or not a vaccine belongs on the childhood immunization schedule. The FDA’s committee only has one public member.

These are just a few of the problems we found. Specific examples of this include: Dr. John Modlin— He served for four years on the CDC advisory committee and became the Chair in February 1998. He participated in the FDA’s committee as well owned stock in Merck, one of the largest manufacturers of vaccines, valued at $26,000. He also serves on Merck’s Immunization Advisory Board. Dr. Modlin was the Chairman of the Rotavirus working group. He voted yes on eight different matters pertaining to the ACIP’s rotavirus statement, including recommending for routine use and for inclusion in the Vaccines for Children program. It was not until this past year, that Dr. Modlin decided to divest himself of his vaccine manufacturer stock.

At our April 6 autism hearing, Dr. Paul Offit disclosed that he holds a patent on a rotavirus vaccine and receives grant money from Merck to develop this vaccine. He also disclosed that he is paid by the pharmaceutical industry to travel around the country and teach doctors that vaccines are safe. Dr. Offit is a member of the CDC’s advisory committee and voted on three rotavirus issues – including making the recommendation of adding the rotavirus vaccine to the Vaccines for Children’s program.

Dr. Patricia Ferrieri, during her tenure as Chair of the FDA’s advisory committee, owned stock in Merck valued at $20,000 and was granted a full waiver.

Dr. Neal Halsey, who serves as a liaison member to the CDC committee on behalf of the American Association of Pediatrics, and as a consultant to the FDA’s committee, has extensive ties to the pharmaceutical industry, including having solicited and received start up funds from industry for his Vaccine Center. As a liaison member to the CDC committee, Dr. Halsey is there to represent the opinions of the organization he represents, but was found in the transcripts to be offering his personal opinion as well.

Dr. Harry Greenberg, who serves as Chair of the FDA committee, owns $120,000 of stock in Aviron, a vaccine manufacturer. He also is a paid member of the board of advisors of Chiron, another vaccine manufacturer and owns $40,000 of stock. This stock ownership was deemed not to be a conflict and a waiver was granted. To the FDA’s credit, he was excluded from the rotavirus discussion because he holds the patent on the rotashield vaccine.

How confident can we be in the process when we learned that most of the work of the CDC advisory committee is done in “working groups” that meet behind closed doors, out of the public eye? Members who can’t vote in the full committee because of conflicts of interest are allowed to work on the same issues in working groups, and there is no public scrutiny. I was appalled to learn that at least six of the ten individuals who
participated in the working group for the rotavirus vaccine had financial ties to pharmaceutical companies developing rotavirus vaccines. How confident can we be in the recommendations with the Food and Drug Administration when the chairman and other individuals on their advisory committee own stock in major manufacturers of vaccines?

How confident can we be in a system when the agency seems to feel that the number of experts is so few that everyone has a conflict and thus waivers must be granted. It almost appears that there is a “old boys network” of vaccine advisors that rotate between the CDC and FDA – at times serving simultaneously. Some of these individuals serve for more than four years. We found one instance where an individual served for sixteen years continually on the CDC committee. With over 700,000 physicians in this country, how can one person be so indispensable that they stay on a committee for 11 years?

It is important to determine if the Department of Health and Human Services has become complacent in their implementation of the legal requirements on conflicts of interest and committee management. If the law is too loose, we need to change it. If the agencies aren’t doing their job, they need to be held accountable. That’s the purpose of this hearing, to try to determine what needs to be done.

Why is this review necessary? Vaccines are the only substances that a government agency mandates a United States citizen receive. State governments have the authority to mandate vaccines be given to children prior to admission to day care centers and schools. State governments rely on the recommendations of the CDC and the FDA to determine the type and schedule of vaccines.

I am not alone in my concern about the increasing influence of industry on medicine. Last year, the New England Journal of Medicine learned that 18 individuals who wrote drug therapy review articles had financial ties to the manufacturer of the drugs discussed. The Journal, which has the most stringent conflict of interest disclosures of medical journals, had a recent editorial discussing the increasing level of academic research funded by the industry. The editor stated, “What is at issue is not whether researchers can be 'bought' in the sense of a quid pro quo, it is that close and remunerative collaboration with a company naturally creates goodwill on the part of researchers and the hope that the largesse will continue. This attitude can subtly influence scientific judgment.”

Can the FDA and the CDC really believe that scientists are more immune to self-interest than other people? Maintaining the highest level of integrity over the entire spectrum of vaccine development and implementation is essential.

The Department of Health and Human Services has a responsibility to the American public to ensure the integrity of this process by working diligently to appoint individuals that are totally without financial ties to the vaccine industry to serve on these and all vaccine-related panels.
No individual who stands to gain financially from the decisions regarding vaccines that may be mandated for use should be participating in the discussion or policy making for vaccines. We have repeatedly heard in our hearings that vaccines are safe and needed to protect the public. If the panels that have made the decisions on all vaccines on the Childhood Immunization Schedule had as many conflicts as we found with rotavirus, then the entire process has been polluted and the public trust has been violated. I intend to find out if the individuals who have made these recommendations that effect every child in this country and around the world, stood to gain financially and professionally from the decisions of the committees they served on. The hearing record will remain open until June 28 for those who would like to submit a statement into the hearing record

arkestra Wed 04-Sep-13 22:08:15

Both sides in vaccine threads build a demon on the other side and load it up with bogeyman-style characteristics.

It's just so boring. Both camps are like this:

Us: Not A "Camp" At All, How Dare You
Them: Definitely A Camp

Us: Trying To Prevent Needless Suffering And Death
Them: Responsible For Needless Suffering And Death

Us: Open-Minded
Them: Closed-Minded

Us: Generally Calm and Rational
Them: Often Aggressive, Sneery and Defensive

Us: Caring
Them: Selfish

Us: Arguing In Good Faith
Them: Relying On Dishonest / Misleading Rhetoric

Us: Trying To Get At The Real Issues
Them: Avoiding The Real Issues

Boring, boring, boring. Everyone shouts at a mask and runs a mile rather than make the slightest concession. Collectively the whole thread has really got no further than saying "read Wakefield and Offit and make your mind up".

And I am as bad as everyone else. What a waste of time!

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 22:09:37

You started off this thread with talk of lost causes and zealots. If you dislike it so much you could apologise for it, sincerely.

arkestra Wed 04-Sep-13 22:11:18

That is not a swipe at your post BC by the way, which I didn't see until I'd made mine.

I completely agree that conflicts of interest in the vaccine industry are a huge potential source of issues and well worth investigating.

I only keep on mentioning Ben Goldacre because he is someone on the orthodox side who agrees and so is hopefully evidence that not everyone is completely blinkered.

I have clearly reached the end of my tether so will bugger off for the night. Peace.

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 22:13:00

He was vile to MMR parents.

arkestra Wed 04-Sep-13 22:14:37

Crumbled: I do not think you are a lost cause or a zealot and sincerely apologise for calling you both.

arkestra Wed 04-Sep-13 22:16:18

Crumbled: now if you can search through the thread and find the various points where you have abused me, I would be content for either an apology or for you to simply make the effort to gather them all together and confirm that you stand by them.

arkestra Wed 04-Sep-13 22:17:17

But neither is necessary for my apology to you to stand. Name calling is useless and I should not have done it.

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 22:18:21

Thanks. Decent of you. I haven't abused you.

Beachcomber Wed 04-Sep-13 22:20:17

arkestra sorry this discussion is so boring for you.

Do you stand by your recommendation of Offit's book?

arkestra Wed 04-Sep-13 22:29:09

Crumbled: in order - patronising, zealot, nasty, selfish, nasty, evangelical, hypocrite, abusive, hypocritical, selfish, selfish, narcissistic, freeloader. We hit a good patch, at least temporarily, after that so I won't bother to look further.

I am not expecting an apology but dear lord will you at least take ownership of your own words?

BC: I would recommend anyone trying to make their mind up reads books rather than a thread like this. Offit's book and Wakefield's book would be my current recommendations.

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 22:37:55

In fact you also called me incapable of dialogue and not worth engaging with. And you questioned Beachcomber's mental stability. Frankly, for someone who doesn't like that kind of thing, you got in quite a lot of practice on this thread.

arkestra Wed 04-Sep-13 22:43:14

There we are. Peace.

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 22:46:41

What are you like?

You used freeloader. I pointed out that under your definition of freeloader, you are one. I don't use the word freeloader in vaccine terms. I don't think people who are not immune are freeloaders.

The point where your OP talks about vaccines being "icky and upsetting" is patronising rubbish.

You called me a zealot - remember? Are you complaining because I said in effect that in that case you're a zealot on the other side? Are you actually joking?

Evangelical? Stand by that. It's not even an insult. You wanted to spread the word. That's why you started the thread. You said so.

Hypocrite? Stand by that if you don't get your immunity checked and any required booster vaccinations. I said anyone who doesn't do that is a hypocrite. Is that you? Only you know.

Abusive? Well you were. You just apologised hmm

Selfish? I said an adult who expects babies to take a risk so that they don't have a ruined summer is selfish. Is that you?

Narcisstic ? I said your posts come across as narcisstic after you tried to "allow me back into the fold" of people worth talking to. And they do. Perhaps read them back.

arkestra Wed 04-Sep-13 22:47:31

Thank you for owning your words. Peace.

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 22:50:41

"owning my words"



Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 22:50:58

ps you can apologise for the other insults in your own time

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 23:02:13

ps half of them are your words, pushed back in your direction

arkestra Wed 04-Sep-13 23:13:05

I think I am more than content to leave the thread as is. I am happy to re-engage if there is anything to engage with but that's not the way things are going.

And I will read the Wakefield book.

Night night.

Beachcomber Thu 05-Sep-13 08:24:00

OK so just to make sure things are clear, arkestra, you are recommending a book written by a man who has disclosed the following to congress;

that he holds a patent on a rotavirus vaccine and receives grant money from Merck to develop this vaccine. He also disclosed that he is paid by the pharmaceutical industry to travel around the country and teach doctors that vaccines are safe. Dr. Offit is a member of the CDC’s advisory committee and voted on three rotavirus issues – including making the recommendation of adding the rotavirus vaccine to the Vaccines for Children’s program.

and who has been mentioned in a congressional committee probe named "Conflicts of Interest and Vaccine Development: Preserving the Integrity of the Process." as an example of 'a problem'.

Okkaaaaay. hmm

arkestra Thu 05-Sep-13 08:29:32

Yes, I am perfectly happy to recommend Offit's book, together with Wakefield's book, as providing a way in to both sides of the debate.

I would prefer to offer a single book recommendation that was acknowledged by both sides to sum up the debate fairly. Let me know if you find one.

Beachcomber Thu 05-Sep-13 09:12:04

Have you read Wakefield's book yet?

You said upthread that you had ordered it but not that you had read it.

Are you recommending a book you haven't actually read?

arkestra Thu 05-Sep-13 09:16:32

PS Offit did not, of course, vote on his own (Merck "RotaTeq") vaccine but the earlier (Wyeth "RotaShield") one. I am sure you are aware of this, but it is an important aspect of the issue and worth pointing out.

The report states that this still creates a conflict of interest because recommendation for one would tend to pave the way for recommendation of the other.

I do think it would have been better if he had not voted on the Wyeth vaccine. The problem here is people want authorities on the areas involved to be able to come to the right decision. But it is important to avoid conflicts of interest, even if the interest is at one remove.

The report also recommends that those not allowed to vote should not be allowed to participate either in the debate or the working group. At this stage one is saying that anyone working for or with a vaccine manufacturer should not vote or participate in the process. I think that is at least debatable. Personally I would prefer to allow participation in public working group meetings. Then you can have involvement without being hidden.

The report goes on to say that it does not accuse anyone of taking corrupt actions or acting with malicious intent.

Before you ask, I am still happy to recommend the book etcetera.

arkestra Thu 05-Sep-13 09:18:12

I have read plenty of reviews and have a recommendation from Crumbled. I am unlikely to agree with the book - the important thing is that the vaccine sceptic camp feel it represents their views fairly. If you have a better suggestion I will read that too? I like reading.

Beachcomber Thu 05-Sep-13 09:43:25

Offit did not, of course, vote on his own (Merck "RotaTeq") vaccine but the earlier (Wyeth "RotaShield") one. I am sure you are aware of this, but it is an important aspect of the issue and worth pointing out.

Yes it is important to point this out.

Offit voted for RotaShield to be approved and included in the vaccine schedule despite known safety issues with the vaccine. The vaccine then had to be withdrawn when it proved itself to be dangerous for children and was replaced by Offit's own vaccine (which wasn't ready at the time of the vote). Do you think the fact that Offit had a competing vaccine in the pipeline had the potential to influence his enthusiasm for adding a rotavirus vaccine to the schedule - even one that had safety issues?

How odd that you are recommending a book you haven't read.

And how odd that you recommending another book by a doctor who regularly gets his facts wrong on high profile vaccine compensation cases, who makes millions through his ties with Merck, who publishes nonsense about children being able to have 10,000 vaccines and who was sued for misrepresenting people in one of his previous books.

From the action;

Nature of Action This is an action brought by Plaintiff against Columbia University Press ("the Press") and Paul A. Offit, M.D. ("Offit") (collectively, "Defendants") for false light invasion of privacy arising from a fictionalized online "conversation" between Plaintiff and Kathleen Seidel. The fictionalized conversation appears in Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure, a book authored by Offit and published by the Press. Offit fabricated the online conversation to portray Plaintiff, a respected spokesperson and advocate for biomedical treatment of autism, as responding unreasonably and in a threatening manner to a "plea" by Seidel, a supporter of Offit's pro-vaccination views. In truth, as a simple inspection of the relevant websites reveals no such "plea" was ever made by Seidel, and the response attributed to Plaintiff never occurred as stated by Offit. Offit simply made up the exchange because it suited his purpose of villainizing Plaintiff in the community of parents, volunteers, and members of the public concerned about the link between vaccines and autism.

2.The central premise of AUTISM'S FALSE PROPHETS pits Offit's pro-vaccination beliefs against those more cautious about the use of vaccines. Those in the pro-vaccination camp, like Offit (who invented a vaccine that he actively promotes the use of), believe that there is no link between vaccines and autism. Others, such as Plaintiff and his group Generation Rescue, believe that some children, like Plaintiff's son, are victims of too many vaccines administered too early, triggering a regression into autism.

3.To stoke the fires of this controversy, to sell more copies of his book, and to place supporters of his pro-vaccination views in a more favorable and sympathetic light, Offit fictionalized the exchange between Seidel, a supporter of Offit's views, and Plaintiff, one of Offit's sharpest critics. Offit accomplished this fabrication by creating a made-up "plea" by Seidel for Plaintiff to stop promoting a certain autism therapy. Offit then falsified a "response" to this phony "plea" by quoting, completely out of context, a message that Plaintiff had posted on a different message board in response to an entirely different topic.

4.To be clear, the online conversation described in Offit's book never happened. Offit purposely and deceptively linked these two statements in an effort to put Plaintiff in a disreputable and false light, damaging his reputation, credibility, and goodwill, both in the autism community in which he actively advocates and in the business community where he manages a well-known global private equity firm.

5.Plaintiff does not question or challenge Offit's right to report factual information and make fair comment on issues of public concern. Legitimate reporting and public debate end, however, when inflammatory statements are falsely attributed and fabricated conversations are reported as fact. Accordingly, Plaintiff brings this action to vindicate his rights and reputation under civil law. As a result of Defendants' conduct, Plaintiff's reputation and goodwill as a spokesperson for Generation Rescue and its causes has been damaged. Plaintiff has been further damaged in having to expend substantial resources to retain and repair his reputation. Because of these and other injuries sustained as a result of Defendants' conduct, Plaintiff is entitled to damages in an amount to be determined at trial but, in any event, no less than $65,000.

6.Upon discovery of the fictionalized account in the book, Plaintiff, through his attorney, confronted Offit and the Press with the error and demanded that it be retracted and removed from future editions of the book. The Press, on behalf of itself and Offit, refused to admit Offit's error in fabricating the exchange, refused to issue a retraction, and refused to remove the fabricated exchange from future publications of AUTISM'S FALSE PROPHETS. Because Plaintiff thus faces the prospect of continuing irreparable harm as a result of the damaging and disparaging characterizations in Defendants' publication, Plaintiff seeks—in addition to compensatory damages—an order requiring Defendants to retract the fictionalized exchange from already-published copies of Autism's False Prophets, and an order prohibiting its inclusion in future editions of Autism's False Prophets.

arkestra Thu 05-Sep-13 09:48:29

I am sure lots of people sue Offit.

Thank you for acknowledging your (I am sure completely accidental) oversight.

Beachcomber Thu 05-Sep-13 10:01:18

Please could you answer the direct question I asked you?

Do you think the fact that Offit had a competing vaccine in the pipeline had the potential to influence his enthusiasm for adding a rotavirus vaccine to the schedule - even one that had safety issues?

Am I to understand that you are happy to recommend a book by a man who was sued for fabricating conversations in order to push his agenda, in a previous book?

arkestra Thu 05-Sep-13 10:10:41

I repeat, I am sure plenty of people sue Offit.

The effect of repairing your omission was to change the charge from a direct and obvious conflict of interest to a far less obvious conflict at one remove, which the report itself does not censure Offit for.

The rest is interpretation of Offit's motives. Here we differ, I think, as starkly as is possible. I do not believe that he in any way acted to further his own commercial interests by putting babies at risk, no. All your interpretation of events reveals is your own, already-stated, low opinion of Offit. That is, it actually conveys no information whatsoever.

If you are actually trying to provide evidence that will change anyone's mind, you would do better to focus (harder) on getting the facts straight and laying off insinuations on motives and morals. I don't have a window into the souls of Offit or Wakefield. In an ideal world I would have a worldview where neither was irredeemably flawed. I will see how I feel once I have read his book.

arkestra Thu 05-Sep-13 10:36:50

I think I have said everything I can at this stage. I am sure you would like to have the last word so here you go!

We clearly differ fundamentally on our views in many respects but I did find your info on vaccine selection pressure genuinely interesting. Thank you.

I would like to discuss that kind of thing again if we can keep off the areas where we flare up. But I can't deal with any more Offit right now.

CatherinaJTV Thu 05-Sep-13 11:20:22

Offit voted for RotaShield to be approved

actually, he didn't, he abstained from that vote.

Beachcomber Thu 05-Sep-13 11:48:19

CatherinaJTV - I thought the vote he abstained from was the vote to withdraw (which he was quite right to do) recommendation for Rotashield?

At ACIP meetings from February 11, 1998, through June 17, 1999, there were eight votes related to the their approval of the rotavirus vaccine for routine use. Three of these votes were particularly notable. They include: (1) June 25, 1998 - The ACIP approved the statement recommending the rotavirus vaccine for routine use, (2) October 22, 1998 - The ACIP recommended the rotavirus vaccine be added to the Vaccines for Children Program, and (3) October 22, 1999-the ACIP rescinded its earlier decision to recommend the rotavirus vaccine.

a. Dr. John Modlin-Chair beginning 2/11/98 (Exhibits 35-37)

Dr. Modlin owned 600 shares of stock in Merck as listed on his OGE 450. He serves on Merck's Immunization Advisory Board but receives no remuneration. Dr. Modlin informed committee staff that he divested his shares in Merck some time in 1999.

Dr. Modlin was the Chairman of the Rotavirus working group. He voted yes on eight different matters pertaining to the ACIPs rotavirus statement, including recommending for routine use and for inclusion in the VFC program.

b. Dr. Paul Offit (Exhibits 38-41)

Dr. Offit shares the patent on the Rotavirus vaccine in development by Merck and lists a $350,000 grant from Merck for Rotavirus vaccine development. Also, he lists that he is a consultant to Merck.

Dr. Offit began his tenure on ACIP in October of 1998. Out of four votes pertaining to the ACIP's rotavirus statement he voted "yes" three times, including, voting for the inclusion of the rotavirus vaccine in the VFC program.

Dr. Offit abstained from voting on the ACIP's rescission of the recommendation of the rotavirus vaccine for routine use. He stated at the meeting, "I'm not conflicted with Wyeth, but because I consult with Merck on the development of rotavirus vaccine, I would still prefer to abstain because it creates a perception of conflict."

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