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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)

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ACIP recommended the rotavirus vaccine be added to the Vaccines for Children Program, and (3) October 22, 1999-the ACIP rescinded its earlier decision to recommend the rotavirus vaccine.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."

CatherinaJTV Thu 05-Sep-13 11:20:22

Offit voted for RotaShield to be approved

actually, he didn't, he abstained from that vote.

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.

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.

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 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 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 09:18:12

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.

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.

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 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 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 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.

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 23:02:13

ps half of them are your words, pushed back in your direction

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 22:50:41

"owning my words"



arkestra Wed 04-Sep-13 22:47:31

Thank you for owning your words. 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 22:43:14

There we are. Peace.

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 22:29:09

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.

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?

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 22:18:21

Thanks. Decent of you. I haven't abused you.

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.

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.

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