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Lame excuses for not vaccinating

(133 Posts)
JoTheHo Fri 27-Jul-12 08:03:59

Imagine you go to the quack, because of a slight dizzy feeling? 'I'm afraid medicine can't help you, but you've got it for the rest of your days. Be careful because this will mean you are more likely than average to have a car accident'. 'How much more likely?' you ask. I have no idea he replies. Would you stop driving your DC about?

Imagine your friend works for the govt stats office. She tells you that car manufacturers and govt have been conspiring to under-report car accidents. 'Cor' you say, 'how much are they fiddling the numbers'. 'That's just the problem no-one knows because it's all hush hush'. Would you stop driving your DC about?

I'm guessing most people would carry on driving. In which case, why do people use the exact same reasons for not vaccinating?

The anti-vaxer reasons that uncle Bert gets hay fever, hay fever is hereditary and something to do with immune system, vaccine damage is also something to do with the immune system, DC are related to uncle Bert, and are thus more likely than average to suffer vaccine damage. They thus don't vaccinate them.

The anti-vaxer believes that the evil quartet of doctors, scientists, govt and pharma conspire to under-report vaccine damage. All part of their thirst to play god, and make lots of money by making people ill, not forgetting generous measures of incompetence and stupidity. They reason that vaccine damage is under-reported so they don't vaccinate their children.

I have never seen any attempt to quantify whether either 'the more susceptible than average' or the conspiracy theory could plausibly be sufficient to justify not vaccinating. It's incredible lame. Many anti-vaxer start from a position of prejudice against vaccination. They then compile a long list of selective quotes, mis-quotes, anecdotes, quasi-scientific speculations, and conspiracy theories. They say this list is evidence, and that their prejudice has become a rational analysis. It isn?t. It?s an uncritical list of unquantified elements which are superficially consistent with their position.

Catsu Mon 24-Sep-12 22:20:25

The only people I know in real life who haven't vaccinated have done so because they couldn't bear to inflict the pain of sn injection on their child or (more commonly) because it seems to be part of 'attachment parenting' to not vaccinate.

CatherinaJTV Mon 24-Sep-12 21:17:27

Oh and your post is to teach us how to communicate respectfully and to exchange well supported information hmm

againstbullies Mon 24-Sep-12 20:08:25

As a new member and looking through the topic I have never seen such blinkered, narrow minded arrogance that occurs if anyone dares to voice their opinion or challenges vaccination for their own good reasons. They are jumped by a pack of dogs. It's like watching bullies in a playground- shame on you! People have valid arguments and have evidence for their concerns but these pro vaxers are just not interested. FFS broaden your minds you fools it's embarrassing to read. Needless to say I'll find another site to have an adult reasonable discussion I wouldn't waste my time with unintelligent imbeciles. Stay in your little bubbles of delusion and carry on thinking you know it all. I feel very sorry for your childen. angry

ElaineBenes Sat 25-Aug-12 02:28:10

And I didnt want to engage with mrs g/accuracy but for the record, I thought that they had a point in the article she linked to. I'm not a huge fan of these vertical internationally imposed single disease programmes. I'd like to see polio vaccines rolled out with overall health systems strengthening with a focus on improving primary care, ensuring that all basic essential medications are available at the village level and that all childhood vaccines are available. It's not that vaccinating against polio is bad, it's not, but it should be done in a way that builds capacity throughout the health system.

ElaineBenes Sat 25-Aug-12 02:23:28

Actually veryberry, polio diseas surveillance in India meets international standards. The Indians are quite good at censuses and disease surveillance. Their vital registration system is shameful in terms of human rights (ie getting people birth and death certificates) but their sample registration system (what they use to generate vital stats in the absence of sufficient coverage of births and deaths) is very good at generating statistics at the district level.

Sorry, don't buy into the big pharma conspiracy theory. Not that it can't happen - but that it's no more likely with vaccines than any other medication. I mean, how do you know that ibuprofen is 'safe'? And actually, anecdotally, I don't know one person in my life who is 'vaccine damaged'. I don't doubt it can happen but probability suggests that if it is as common as people here suggest, surely I should have come across ONE person? But, no. On the other hand, I do know of quite a few people who are either damaged or dead by vaccine preventable illness.

The reason they can't count the rare side effects is that they are so rare you can't quantify them. This is a good thing.

And the bmgf is transparent but they don't have to be. It's not a public organization but a private philanthropic one. I've worked with them before. I found them to be results focused with clear priorities. And they focus on vaccines because they do what they're supposed do - save lives and prevent disability.

ElaineBenes Sat 25-Aug-12 02:12:46

I know parents of an sn child very well and I dont have a clue what you are on about starlight and what it's got to do with vaccinations.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 22-Aug-12 19:55:15

I don't drive.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 22-Aug-12 19:54:55

If you are or know well a parent of a child with SN you will have experience a considerable amount of bullshit and bullying linked to financial incentives for the bullshitters for sacrificing your child for their gain.

Once that has happened there is a massive reluctance to allow you anywhere near your chikd again or subsequent Children!

veryberrymummy Sun 19-Aug-12 23:01:24

Mostly a reply to Elaine..

Mrs Geramium has some very valid points about the methods of data collection in India. It's also possible and likely in my opinion that vaccine related paralysis has also been given the name Guillain Barre syndrome and therefore this will bring the figures down. I have already said that I think the studies funded by big pharma and biased and the results massaged, giving the above example so you can quote as many pharma sponsored papers as you want, it doesn't guarantee their credibility.

Executives for Merck sit on the board of the CDC which decides vaccine policy in the USA. It's not theory, it's fact.

The CDC say the OPV should not be given to anyone who is in poor heath. How many Indian children do you think that includes?

I know someone who works for the World Bank and they are a lovely individual who's heart is totally in the right place. But they fail to understand how the world bank gets a country into debt and then owns it, makes the divide between the rich and poor wider, usually a country which has previously been destroyed by the military and intelligence arm of the same global elite crowd. For more on the World Bank see the work of Award Winning 'crank' and 'conspiracy theorist', John Pilger.

As for Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, not very transparent are they?

I think you'll find Cave's book analyses scientific data from both sides carefully and in a balanced way.

On anecdotal evidence: If records say a vaccine has injured 1 in 1 million people and then you meet 300 people who have had the vaccine and 10 of them have been injured by it and 30 may have suffered side effects which a Harvard scientists said were linked but then oh, disproved any link, you are going to start questioning the accuracy of those records.

If it wasn't all the parents popping up with their 'anecdotal evidence' about the DTP, would we have the DTap now or would pharma and policy makers still be stubbornly insisting 'No, any adverse reaction' is very rare. Look we have this paper, it says so! The figure is 1 in 1 million!' ?

If you look at product literature it will list the occurence of a number of side effects as 'unknown' as these have occurred in the 'post marketing' period. these include anaphylactic shock and apnoea.

veryberrymummy Sun 19-Aug-12 22:21:57

I suppose suggesting that pharmaceutical companies bribe doctors, fix trial results and pay health professionals to endorse articles written by sales reps promoting their products is way up there in the 'conspiracy theory crankosphere' ..that is until it they are found guilty of doing so in a court of law..

MrsGeranium Mon 13-Aug-12 00:42:35

This is an interesting read.

It's not particularly new (though it's a lot newer than the one Elaine pasted - 2007). But it's a very good look at how the mainly pro-vaccine contributors (Dept of Paediatrics at a new Delhi hosp) can make an intelligent assemssment of the benefits and otherwise of a mas polio campaign, and the strategies needed to fight the disease.

Here's one extract:

Benefits claimed: WHO claims five million children
have been saved from polio paralysis18. It is
instructive to see how this figure is arrived at. In
1988, there were 32,419 cases of paralytic
poliomyelitis19. The WHO arbitarily raised this
number ten-fold to 350,000 claiming incomplete
reporting5. In 2004 with the changed definition, only
culture positive paralysis was considered polio and
there were 2000 such cases. Subtracting 2000 from
350,000, the WHO calculated that 348,000 children
were saved from paralysis that year.

Here's another:

Vaccine efficacy: In India many who have received
10 doses of OPV have contracted poliomyelitis
raising doubts about the efficacy of vaccine in some
populations2,3. Enteric infections, poor nutrition and
poor sanitation are being blamed3,7. This belated
acknowledgement that public health problems cannot
be solved by magic bullets alone (repeated doses of
OPV) may be one of the gains from this
misadventure. Now monovalent OPV (mOPV)8, birth
dose of vaccine8 and inactivated poliovirus vaccine
(IPV)9 are being suggested, without clear evidence
that any will work9. What is evident is that they will
escalate costs several fold. ‘As long as there are
things we haven’t tried, the polio team remains
optimistic’ says an article in Science2, as if there is
merit in using untested remedies.

MrsGeranium Sun 12-Aug-12 21:57:51

There are many other different factors than the vaccine. You simply don't have current numbers for vaccine induced polio paralysis. Do you know ANYTHING about reporting systems in India, about the difference between now and fifteen years ago, about health service supply, about oversight, about collation systems, census and so on?

A survey as old as the one you link has no relevance. If you claim that the quality of survey is no better now than it was then (and it really isn't that reliable now) then it just shows you really don't know a great deal about it.

That figure of one in a million is utter, utter nonsense. And if you are GENUINELY interested and knowledgeable about this you'll know about the figures for non-specific viral paralysis, and have a comment about those too.

ElaineBenes Sun 12-Aug-12 21:53:05

It's the same vaccine. Old doesn't mean wrong. One in a million chance of acquiring vaccine induced paralytic polio. That's the level of vaccine damage which can be detected.

MrsGeranium Sun 12-Aug-12 21:41:22

I think you'll find in India that non-specific acute flaccid paralysis has risen to levels associated with polio paralysis in the 1990s. This suggests that either, a large amount of "polio" paralysis wasn't associated with polio at all; or that polio paralysis has been renamed, or rediagnosed, as acute myelitis, or simply non specific viral paralysis.

Elaine, your study is incredibly old. If you are going to take the mickey out of other people and use words like tosh and crankosphere and bizarro and try to belittle rather than argue points, then you need to do better than that.

ElaineBenes Sun 12-Aug-12 04:06:57

here you go - evidence from India that the rate of vaccine acquired paralytic polio is even lower than in other countries - an estimated chance of one in four million doses! About four doses of OPV are given so it really is a one in a million chance.

This is the kind of risk factor we're talking about here. This is the level of vaccine damage which can be detected. Of course, given the size of India's population and the coverage of OPV, that's still quite a few children and ideally they'd move to IPV but, to quote the authors:

"The risk of paralytic disease from wild poliovirus infection still far outweighs the risk of VAPP in countries where polio is endemic, and experience has shown that OPV, particularly when distributed in mass campaigns, is an essential tool for rapidly raising herd immunity and interrupting wild poliovirus transmission. The results of this analysis and of analyses from other populations indicate that the risk of VAPP remains quite small even when OPV is administered to large numbers of children through mass immunization campaigns. Efforts should therefore be intensified with a view to achieving the goal of global polio eradication by the end of 2002 and the subsequent discontinuation of OPV vaccination to ensure that no child will ever again experience paralytic disease, disability and death associated with either wild poliovirus or vaccine-related poliovirus."

Unfortunately 2002 has been and gone but the target is still the same.

ElaineBenes Sun 12-Aug-12 03:40:09

I should add veryberry that, like you, I'm also very pro vaccine education. It's absolutely vital to counter all the myth, distortions and outright lies out there in the crankosphere and among the anti-vax lobby (whcih thankfully doesn't include you since you're not anti-vax) which lead some very well-meaning parents to put their child's and other children's lives at risk by not vaccinating them against preventable diseases.

ElaineBenes Sun 12-Aug-12 02:03:43

I think every child matters too, it's why I do the work I do.

But you're not being realistic. The number of lives saved for India at this moment to move to IPV is minimal (because very few people actually become permanently paralysed and even fewer die, if at all, through vaccine induced paralytic polio) compared with the number of lives which could be saved by, say, ensuring there is sufficient amoxicillin or oral rehydration packets in each local clinic. That's the harsh reality of health care in a low income country. You want to save as much healthy life as possible with the resources available and it would be wrong to put money into moving to IPV in such a situation.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation does absolutely amazing work. It's a fabulous organization. Very results focused and interested in getting the most out of every dollar.

And, sorry, but what's this about the imperialist World Bank cousin of the WHO? I have friends in both, they're devoted professionals. committed to the cause of improving the well-being of others. It does make you sound like you've spent too long in the crankoshere when you speak like this.

And, no, the difference between us isn't that I believe everything the govt says. I've worked in public health, studied epi, public health policy, stats, research design (and also some medical anthropology and sociology which is why I find the anti-vax movement so fascinating) and come to the conclusion that there is nothing wrong at all with the vast majority of vaccines.

The difference between us is that you place a huge weight on anecdotal evidence and conspiracy theory. I like scientific evidence to inform my decisions.

veryberrymummy Sat 11-Aug-12 23:11:27

Elaine, I think that anyone suffering from a preventable illness or dying unnecessarily is awful. I think people living in a filthy slum and starving when others live in obscene luxury is outrageous. Excuse me for thinking every child matters and deserves the safest vaccination on the market and a choice. But oh yeah Bill and Melinda Gates can only afford to force the OPV on them because their throwing a party at Christmas to congratulate themselves on their philanthropy. Britain have just hosted the Olympics and USA just put a buggy on Mars for Christ’s sake.
If the likes of the global elite are so philanthropic, why don’t they use the money they dodge in tax (22 Trillion) to improve sanitation and diet in developing countries which would do a lot to prevent the spread of infectious disease and drop the debts owed to the imperialist World Bank, cousin of the WHO. I understand where you are coming from but I think you fail to understand the conflicts of interest with big pharma and government. It’s late and I have to get some sleep otherwise I would write a list of examples
As I said before, I’m not anti-vax, I’m pro vaccine education. Vaccines work on the principle that the benefits outweigh the risks but the risks are not truly represented because of the conflicts of interest so even if a Dr has your kid’s best interest at heart they will just be repeating the spiel told by the medical reps - and many medical reps are being told lies by their employers Big Pharma.. I think we’ll just have to accept that we live with very different perceptions of reality. You believe everything the government tells you is true and that bullets can change direction in mid-flight and I don’t. I used to be unquestioning about vax but some things made me start digging beyond the FDA/CDC/NHS/BMA spiel and I couldn’t ignore it. There are only so many incidences of vaccine/adverse reaction/auto-immune/SIDS you can call coincidence before you start wondering, ‘I think these people on the other side of the fence may have a point. The truth does not change according to your ability to stomach it.
I will read the Offit book. I hope you’ll give the Cave one a go. (The whole trouble with this world is that fools and fanatics are so sure of themselves and the wiser, so full of doubt.)

bumbleymummy Sat 11-Aug-12 20:04:04

Will do. Off to amazon/abebooks. smile

ElaineBenes Sat 11-Aug-12 20:02:20

try "Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All"

bumbleymummy Sat 11-Aug-12 19:51:45

Not yet EB, I'll put them on my 'to read' list though. smile which one in particular would you recommend?

bruffin Sat 11-Aug-12 19:45:07

I was right though, I dont need to read the book, to find that out.
And Whale hates Offit, so Offit is obviously a legitimate source of informationgrin

ElaineBenes Sat 11-Aug-12 19:41:15

have you read paul offit's books bumbley?

bumbleymummy Sat 11-Aug-12 19:38:08

Maybe, bruffin but I think Raeding it would be a better way to form an opinion rather than just basing it on the first site her name appears on when googled. You can't really blame Samantha Cove for's SEO.

bumbleymummy Sat 11-Aug-12 19:35:19

Well apparently 'nothing on whale is credible' so I'm not sure about that smile

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