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Andrew Wakefield speaks out

(181 Posts)
babanouche Thu 18-Apr-13 00:02:03

Sorry if this has been done to death. I've never been to this part of MN before. This is a really interesting clip, worth watching to the very end. My LO is due MMR soon and I have my doubts now.

Previous to watching this I was sure he was a bad scientist. He says the measles outbreak in wales may be due to the vaccine not working. He also throws doubt on the people who approved the triple vaccine & challenges certain professionals to a televised public debate. Very thought provoking stuff.

Beachcomber Fri 19-Apr-13 19:44:08

On passive immunity - it seems to be a complex issue with breastfeeding playing a role but the major factor being whether mothers have had measles themselves or have been vaccinated against the disease.


The serological survey of 138 infants aged 8 months and 138 mothers having had protective titers of specific antibodies to measles during pregnancy was made. The study revealed that passively transferred antibodies to measles circulated in infants for a longer time and were detected more frequently under the conditions of breast feeding by mothers having had measles (up to 93.7% of infants). In artificially fed infants, born of mothers having had no measles, but previously vaccinated against this infection, antibodies to measles were detected in rather rare cases (only in 7.3%). In infants, artificially fed, but born of mothers having had measles, the level of antibodies to measles was practically unchanged (81.6%).

Beachcomber Fri 19-Apr-13 19:38:29

Some figures for Sanofi Pasteur who have around 25% of the world's vaccine market;

Sanofi pasteur - 2009 net sales: € 3,483 millions (+9.2% over 2008)
Staff: more than 12,500 employees
More than 1.6 billion doses of vaccines produced yearly to immunize more than 500 million people in the world
Largest product range available, against 20 infectious diseases
A global presence
More than €1 million invested every day in R&D

So no, not as big a business as diabetes treatments but like I say, hardly short change.

bumbleymummy Fri 19-Apr-13 19:26:04

You can't beat having a scapegoat hmm

featherbag Fri 19-Apr-13 19:12:01

That dangerous twat man wants locking up.

Beachcomber Fri 19-Apr-13 19:10:52

Beachcomber, it's upsetting to hear your daughter had an adverse reaction to a vaccination, I hope she is on the road to a full recovery and healthy life.

She isn't (we are just out of hospital again) but thanks all the same. As you say, we all have our various health issues within our families and of course there are loads of other ways to have problems than through vaccines. I don't doubt that the majority of children cope well with vaccines, but not all of them do. Which is why my position is that we should never give an unnecessary vaccination and should never be complacent. My daughter was given Hep B vaccines by a rather jab happy doctor and knowing what we do now we are very angry about that - she didn't need them and they may have contributed to her adverse reaction to DTP.

Yes vaccines do a pretty good job of reducuing levels of infectious disease and that is a good thing. However I don't think enough is done to identify children who are at risk of not coping with vaccines, especially multiples. Balance is what is needed - and I think the obsessions with 'herd immunity' and disease eradication sway that balance into a place where we no longer proceed with caution and treat vaccines as the potent drugs they are. We are also reluctant to recognise vaccine damage/adverse events as they 'taint' the image of vaccines and lead to loss of confidence in 'the programme'. And that, is inadmissible.

Spidermama Fri 19-Apr-13 19:05:29

A few more parents here here Coroong.
I'm not sure what the relevance is of diabetes costs.

Tabitha8 Fri 19-Apr-13 18:03:52

Doesn't immunity pass through the placenta and last about 9 months or so? I thought that was why the first MMR is given at about 12 months (used to be 13 months).

coorong Fri 19-Apr-13 18:02:31

Beachcomber, it's upsetting to hear your daughter had an adverse reaction to a vaccination, I hope she is on the road to a full recovery and healthy life. I think most families, have at some stage, had various health problems and adverse outcomes to deal with. I won't bore you with my list.

BUT. The overwhelming evidence, stats and data point to vaccines saving lives by preventing disease spread and mitigating effects.

As for vaccine market share - google diabetes costs - here are some nice figures from Wikinvest.
The Global Market for Diabetes Management accounted for USD 40 billion in 2010 - that's 40 BILLION in one year. It is estimated that the total market for diabetes products and related care is worth $92 billion in the U.S.

CatherinaJTV Fri 19-Apr-13 17:11:54

Getting measles in childhood, as we should, confers lifelong immunity and also ensures babies get it through breast milk.

Measles immunity is not passed through breast milk (past 2 weeks after birth).

Beachcomber Fri 19-Apr-13 17:02:01

I have a vaccine damaged child coorong.

Confirmed by our doctor when I rushed into his surgery with my daughter's leg doubled in size with a hard red swollen hot area and a lump at the site of injection and my daughter unconscious. She came to 6 hours later and screamed for hours and then didn't stop crying (unless she was asleep) for weeks afterwards. She went on to become very ill with immune system issues, multiple allergies (at one point she could only eat 7 foods), digestive problems, failure to thrive, severe eczema and a whole host of other issues.

Our doctor has no doubt that she reacted to her DTP vaccine. (She reacted three times with the reaction I describe above being the worst and final one).

I can assure you that there are quite a lot of us about.

Beachcomber Fri 19-Apr-13 16:52:49

The court document I linked to earlier estimates that the CDC in the US have spent 750 million dollars on buying MMRII vaccines and that the vaccine has brought them 10 billion dollars in worldwide business since the year 2000.

Hardly small change. And that is just for one vaccine and one company.

coorong Fri 19-Apr-13 16:44:41

Sorry Spiderama - big pharma doesn't make that much money from vaccines . Much more money from chronic lifestyle conditions - type 2 diabetes and heart disease in western countries.

And where are these vaccine damaged children? I've been on the Jabs website and on the Australian Vaccine website (both anti vacc) and can't find any - there are a couple of tragic case stories but no causation.

You can also read Ben GOldacre, who's campaigned against Big Pharma and their unethical habits of not publishing adverse drug trial outcomes. BUT Goldacres also supports MMR - so who do you want to believe?

For measles, Mother nature is NOT better - or would you like to have that conversation with the parents of the 70 children in hospital in Swansea with measles complications?

Spidermama Fri 19-Apr-13 15:36:25

Tilder I see your point, and if I thought I could just vaccinate my children with no risk of adverse reaction and that would definitely help protect weaker people with compromised immunity then I would of course go ahead for the greater good.

I have much bigger problems however with the whole concept of mass vaccination and don't believe many of its claims.

I think mother nature has this covered better than the medics. Getting measles in childhood, as we should, confers lifelong immunity and also ensures babies get it through breast milk. Vaxing hampers this process denying many the opportunity to get natural immunity and creating a vaccine dependent society. If suspicions that the efficacy of vaccines wear off turn out to have any substance, then the need to inject more and more crap into our blood will grow.

Also there ARE vaccine damaged children. No-one denies this. The figures about how many are less clear because of dodgy pracitices when it comes to reporting adverse events. I know it's a small number but I'd rather take my chances with the devil I know - measles - rather than the eggy, mercury, virussy liquid which is being mass produced by, and making a fortune for the pharmaceuticals industry.

bumbleymummy Fri 19-Apr-13 13:34:20

I agree beach. I'm also not sure where the 19 years against mumps comes from. Didn't the investigation into the big outbreaks in 2005/2006 suggest that it waned after around 5/7 years?

Beachcomber Fri 19-Apr-13 13:29:41

I agree Fossilmum. I have just read this on the NHS website;

Is MMR protection lifelong?

The immunity that MMR gives is probably lifelong. We know that people remain immune for at least 30 years against measles, 23 years against rubella and 19 years against mumps.

If in the future evidence shows that immunity is fading, it will be decided whether to offer a further dose of MMR to adults, for example.

Yikes! Especially to 23 years being cited for rubella (not sure I trust the 'probably lifelong'). When do children get their MMR again? What is the average age of motherhood in the UK?

We are creating a vaccine dependent generation which not only will be dependent on booster vaccines for their own sakes, but will also be dependent on others getting vaccinated in order to protect them from waning immunity/vaccine failure. I think denying female children the chance to have natural immunity to rubella is on very dubious ethical ground.

Beachcomber Fri 19-Apr-13 12:47:33

EldritchCleavage, I agree with you about us being poorly served by the media.

I don't think it would be that hard to give a simple report on the Merck mumps issue. It is a very political subject though and I bet any newspaper who reported it would be accused of scaremongering about vaccine efficacy/safety and endangering 'the vaccine programme' and children's lives.

FossilMum Fri 19-Apr-13 12:42:47

Seriously, we really would be better off with NHS-approved singles for the live viral vaccines, wouldn't we? It would improve uptake and quell some reasonable fears. Arguably boys don't need the rubella bit anyway. The measles bit appears to be the most important all round, but also appears to be the component most likely to cause a rare adverse reaction. Why complicate that by giving several other live vaccines at the same time? It is still recommended for singles to be given a month apart to avoid complications, so why on earth is it OK to combine 3 or 4 in one in the MMR shot? And why force children to be exposed to all 3 unnecessarily in cases where a booster to only 1 is needed? Aargh!

Beachcomber Fri 19-Apr-13 12:27:38

Agreed bumblemummy.

Also in the UK vaccination is not compulsory but the government are in effect flouting that by withholding single vaccines. Most people want their child to have a measles vaccine but plenty of people do not want rubella or mumps (or may not need them if the child has already had the disease). By only providing the MMR, the government is forcing people to have vaccines they may otherwise have chosen not to have because it is the only way to protect against measles.

Effectively the government is making rubella and mumps vaccines compulsory if one wishes to protect against measles. And of course people are nervous of measles so they go along with it (and indeed become quite attacking over people who don't go along with it because measles frightens people).

The MMR is not one vaccine, it is three vaccines.

bumbleymummy Fri 19-Apr-13 11:58:09

There is a thread at the moment where the OP has given her child one dose of the MMR and had their immunity tested. They are immune to measles but not mumps and she is now having to debate whether she should get a second MMR just to cover mumps. It's a ridiculous situation to be in - having to get re-vaccinated against a disease you are already immune to simply because there is no alternative available.

The same thing happens when children actually come down with the disease. All the children who have measles in Wales at the moment are going to be offered and probably given the MMR even though they now have lifelong natural immunity to measles.

Beachcomber Fri 19-Apr-13 11:08:36

If you scroll down to page 27 there is mention of a mumps outbreak in 2006 which resulted in 6500 cases in the Mid West in a highly vaccinated population.

There was another outbreak in 2009 of 5000 cases - apparently this reflects the natural 3 year cycle that mumps has.

This led the CDC to consider adding a third MMRII dose to the current schedule - although they don't appear to have taken action on this yet.
Which of course seems like madness (even leaving to one side the issues that Merck was having with its vaccine strain being degraded) - why would you give an extra dose of a triple vaccine in order to try to boost immunity to one disease?

I know that the official line is that vaccines are really really safe (which they may well be for the majority) but surely it is basic common sense and good medicine to not give drugs unnecessarily. I know Merck and the government like to talk about the MMR as though it is one vaccine but it isn't, it is three vaccines in one injection.

I doubt many parents would accept their child being given an extra rubella and measles single vaccine in order to protect against mumps but that is essentially what giving a third MMR would be - a child getting two vaccines it absolutely doesn't need. Still, it has yet to happen and hopefully never will. It does lead one to wonder why the second MMR is given though - is it required for coverage for all three diseases or just one or two? There isn't enough discussion over this aspect of combined vaccines IMO.

EldritchCleavage Fri 19-Apr-13 11:06:50

Of course there is a media blackout on this story

There may well be. Or it may be that this kind of fact-dense, scientific story is poorly valued and badly covered by the media, which prefer to concentrate on softer, easier features-led articles.

We are very badly served by our media and even education system, as a rule, where stories and issues like vaccination, Wakefield, risk and data analysis, statistics and so on are concerned (with one or two honourable media exceptions). The effect of that is palpable when a difficult issue like the MMR controversy comes up.

I'll admit I'm hopeless. I end up asking my DF (scientist) to help me at least understand the basic maths of these things. Poor man. I expect he hoped coaching me through 'O' level maths would be the end of his trauma.

bumbleymummy Fri 19-Apr-13 10:41:11

Yes, the mumps component of the MMR is the least effective of the three - even with 2 doses. Posters who are quite critical of the lack of singles mumps vaccine for those who are choosing to give singles should probably consider having their own children's immunity tested. Protection wanes over time too - potentially leaving them vulnerable during puberty. Not really the best timing!

Beachcomber Fri 19-Apr-13 10:16:28

Tabitha8 there have been calls for the MMR to be boosted every 4 to 8 years. Although the reason cited was waning mumps immunity leading to outbreaks in highly vaccinated populations.

Which brings us back to the complaint filed against Merck by two of its employees under US whistle blower laws.

I linked to it earlier and I'm really surprised that no-one has commented. I know the document is long but it makes for extraordinary reading.

We were talking about 'dodgy vaccines' earlier but nobody commented on Merck's falsifying of test results for the efficacy of the mumps element of the MMRII. They admit that the vaccine strain virus has mutated and does not stimulate the rates of immunity to wild mumps virus that they claim to the FDA and the CDC.

This is extraordinary. It also begs the question of how relevant Merck's safety tests are to the current day MMRII if the mumps element has mutated.

Surely the question also has to be asked whether the same could happen or has happened with the rubella and measles elements. (Which is why I linked earlier to a document which cites that the measles element was isolated in 1960. )

Of course there is a media blackout on this story. But I think it is the basis for Dr Wakefield's concern about vaccine failure. Currently we have no way of knowing if there is vaccine failure happening in Wales and of course it is entirely possible that 95% of cases are happening in unvaccinated people. However we certainly we need an investigation into Merck's testing procedures and we need concrete information on whether they are having similar issues with their measles and rubella elements.

bumbleymummy Fri 19-Apr-13 09:36:45

coorong, your explanation would also explain why people are so worried about dying from measles - or mumps for that matter!

coorong Fri 19-Apr-13 09:30:44

So step back from the vaccination debate and look at overall decision making. We all heuristics ("gut feeling") to make decisions. (wikipedia - simple, efficient rules which people often use to form judgments and make decisions). The problem is that heuristics are mental shortcuts and we focus on one aspect of a complex problem and ignore others. THis is fantastic for the highly skilled (bear with me) - with years of experience. E.g. a car mechanic who's spent years listening to cars, just "knows" the engine sounds dodgy.

However, it's not so useful for assessing information. You get what is called "cognitive bias" - again from Wikipedia - affecting choices in situations like valuing a house or deciding the outcome of a legal case. Heuristics usually govern automatic, intuitive judgments but can also be used as deliberate mental strategies when working from limited information.

A specific application is the "availability heuristic" - In psychology, availability is the ease with which a particular idea can be brought to mind. When people estimate how likely or how frequent an event is on the basis of its availability, they are using the availability heuristic.[6] When an infrequent event can be brought easily and vividly to mind, this heuristic overestimates its likelihood. For example, people overestimate their likelihood of dying in a dramatic event such as a tornado or terrorism. This heuristic is one of the reasons why people are more easily swayed by a single, vivid story than by a large body of statistical evidence.

Then there is confirmation bias.

Nate Silver has written about this regarding the US election. Right wing pundits refused to admit polls showed Obama would win.

So have a look at the actual stats on vaccination rates; outcomes and epidemology from the BIG data sets (with hundreds of thousands; millions of MMR vaccinations). Or, cherry pick data.

I doubt there is anything that would sway some of you of the merits of vaccination. BUT I've seen people devatasted by these preventable disesases (deaths and disability) and yet to meet a single person who's been affected by vaccination.

The MMR is the best available protection at the moment. That may change, but it's been used for close to 40 years in the UK - where are the millions of adverse outcomes?

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