Thursday, December 31, 2009

My Turn for a Reply Turned Post:

My husband posted a link on his facebook that sparked some comments from this guy and my dh was at work so asked me to respond to him.  Link here:

As is typical for me, my first response was off the cuff and wasn't very good and this guy is a smart guy and ripped it to shreds SO I was compelled to craft a better one.  And, also typical for me, it got too long for a facebook reply so I'm posting it here.  Feel free to totally ignore this entire post!

The italics are the other guy.

A: The flu vaccine is updated every year with new strands and strains. It may have old strains in it as well, which would be needed.

There will always be new variations, so can it possibly be 100% effective? No, it can't. Scientists cannot possibly find every single variation and strain that exists.

I'm not arguing that but the reality is that when you or I go into our private doctors and receive the shot, we are not necessarily getting it from the newest batch available. It's not uncommon to be receiving injections that are “out of date” in this regard. Therefore, unless you are specifically requesting to see the vaccine inserts and verifying for yourself that your vaccine is the newest one available (this is obviously not such an issue in extremely high populated areas where they go more quickly) you don't know which strains you're “protecting” yourself from. Furthermore, until they start testing every person diagnosed with the “flu” for which strains they are carrying at any given time, they absolutely canNOT prove that their vaccine is effective at all. They simply don't have the data!

B: True, vaccines cannot offer full protection, but they can offer SOME protection. 50% (usually about 75% for normal flu vax) protection is better than none at all.

I hear this argument all the time and it doesn't make any sense to me. 50%- 70% “protection” against a disease in an entire population isn't protection at all. We're either protected from pandemics or we aren't. If only 50-70% of the people vaccinated are actually effectively immune, then it's not doing much to forestall a pandemic, is it? Because if, as you will argue further down the page, NOT getting vaccinated puts others at risk, so does getting vaccinated and being stubbornly still vulnerable to getting the disease. So really, anywhere from 30-50% of the Vaccinated population is “endangering the lives” of the rest of us. That's NOT an affective program for preventing pandemics!

C: The vaccine has killed ZERO people. None. There have been a few deaths of people with pre-existing serious health conditions that may have died because of the vaccine (re: straw that broke the camels back) but no causal relationship has been proven.

Actually, 25 people died from GBS (a rare disease linked with the h1n1 vaccine) though I'll happily admit that proven causality was never a conclusion reached (though I can't find any reference to any studies being done to determine if it was or wasn't and as such, some officials WERE expressing cautious use of the vaccine because of this, even on the news...I posted a video of it a few weeks back, actually).,2933,539880,00.html (just one I found real quick but this information was broadcast debate-style all over every major news-network over the last several months). That fact, though, is a large part of the controversy in the worldwide medical community. That and well over 500 cases of GBS were documented (this happened during the last “pandemic” of the H1N1, back in the 1970's) and that much, at least, is an accepted risk of the H1N1 vaccine as well as other vaccines.

Again, find me an accredited source. Correlation does not, has not, and will not, ever prove causation.

Exactly right. Find me the same, please, the PROVES that vaccines do NOT cause the problems people are concerned they cause (autism is only one concern, here). I'll get back to your accredited sources in a minute (though at this point, I'm not even sure what you consider “accredited”).

D: Wrong. Not every disease has the potential to be pandemic. Cancer is not pandemic. Cancer does not transfer by bodily contact, fluid transfer, etc.
The vaccines ARE tested. As strenuously as they can given the short time frame with which to work. Scientists and researchers worked around the clock to ensure that H1N1 WOULDN'T become pandemic if something major happened.

Point conceded, I worded that poorly indeed. I was thinking of communicable diseases, I didn't even think about cancer and Auto-Immune disorders or congenital conditions. Let me revise my statement: Any contagious disease has the potential to become pandemic (thought not all of those diseases are likely to cause a lot of deaths, though neither is the flu, for that matter).

No vaccine is toxic to the human body. The only ingredients in a vaccine are a crippled version of a virus that YOU CAN ALREADY GET, and some solution to keep it in, which is also non-toxic. Even the supposed link between the preservative used in vaccines and autism, which was repeatedly proven false, isn't used anymore.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. HOOOHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Seriously? Have you ever read the ingredients list to ANY of the vaccines available? Like, for real? Tell me, what is this “solution to keep it in” made up of? (check out Yeah, not a single toxic substance on the whole page!!! (please tell me you can hear my sarcasm. phenoxyethenol is highly toxic, in case you don't know The preservative you are referring to is called thirmerosal (sodium ethylmercurithiosalicylate ) and you are correct, it was phased out of almost all of the vaccines, with the exception of...wait for it...the flu vaccine! It was phased out because the preliminary research that was done on it's safety was not reassuring. (Though I don't get from the literature that autism, specifically, as it's defined right now, was THE concern so much as neurological damage and this little thing called death). To date, afaik, research has not reached a conclusion either way as to it's safety as a preservative in vaccines (this is because the previous research that was alarming in the first place was on a slightly different kind of mercury so there is some question as to how much of that concern would apply with thirmerosal in the first place).

“As part of the FDAMA review, FDA evaluated the amount of mercury an infant might receive in the form of ethylmercury from vaccines under the U.S. recommended childhood immunization schedule and compared these levels with existing guidelines for exposure to methylmercury, as there are no existing guidelines for ethylmercury, the metabolite of thimerosal. At the time of this review in 1999, the maximum cumulative exposure to mercury from vaccines in the recommended childhood immunization schedule was within acceptable limits for the methylmercury exposure guidelines set by FDA, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), and the World Health Organization (WHO). However, depending on the vaccine formulations used and the weight of the infant, some infants could have been exposed to cumulative levels of mercury during the first six months of life that exceeded EPA recommended guidelines for safe intake of methylmercury. As a precautionary measure, the Public Health Service (including FDA, National Institutes of Health [NIH], Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] and Health Resources and Services Administration [HRSA]) and the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a Joint Statement, urging vaccine manufacturers to reduce or eliminate thimerosal in vaccines as soon as possible. The U.S. Public Health Service agencies have collaborated with various investigators to initiate further studies to better understand any possible health effects from exposure to thimerosal in vaccines.
Available data has been reviewed in several public forums including the Workshop on Thimerosal, held in Bethesda in August 1999 and sponsored by the National Vaccine Advisory Committee, two meetings of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the CDC, held in October 1999 and June 2000, and by the Institute of Medicine's Immunization Safety Review Committee in July 2001 and February 2004. Data reviewed did not demonstrate convincing evidence of toxicity from doses of thimerosal used in vaccines. In case reports of accidental high-dose exposures in humans to thimerosal or ethyl mercury toxicity was demonstrated only at exposures that were 100 or 1000 times that found in vaccines.
its report of October 1, 2001, the IOM's Immunization Safety Review Committee concluded that the evidence is inadequate to either accept or reject a causal relationship between thimerosal exposure from childhood vaccines and the neurodevelopmental disorders of autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and speech or language delay. At that time the committee's conclusion was based on the fact that there were no published epidemiological studies examining the potential association between thimerosal-containing vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders. The Committee did conclude that the hypothesis that exposure to thimerosal-containing vaccines could be associated with neurodevelopmental disorders was biologically plausible. However, additional studies were needed to establish or reject a causal relationship. The Committee stated that the effort to remove thimerosal from vaccines was "a prudent measure in support of the public health goal to reduce mercury exposure of infants and children as much as possible."

All emphasis mine, btw.

E: The investigation is a joke. H1N1 had the potential to be far worse than it was. HAD. We got lucky. We might not get so lucky the next time.

The WHO declared that there WAS a pandemic. The issue is that “By classifying the swine flu as pandemic, nations were compelled to implement pandemic plans and also  the purchase swine flu vaccines.” Furthermore, perhaps you think it's a joke but some people really want to know how you can declare a pandemic before it happens! Every single YEAR the flu has the potential to be far worse than it is! Perhaps the WHO should declare a nationwide pandemic preemptively ever year just so we can all get lucky? "We might not get so lucky next time" is open-ended reasoning that doesn't really MEAN anything. You could use that to "justify" almost anything.

And please, big pharma pushing a vaccine that would STOP PEOPLE FROM GETTING SICK AND THEREFORE BUYING MORE OF THEIR PRODUCTS. Sorry, that doesn't fly. If they got money, it was from the government towards their product and not the ridiculous fees associated with specialty drugs. Also, considering that the majority of makers of vaccines AREN'T big pharma, your theory doesn't hold water.

Your argument here doesn't make sense. For starters, “Big Pharma” is a slang term used pretty liberally to define any major pharmaceutical industry in a debate. It's not as if ALL pharmaceutical companies are actually one really big one that stands to gain from any and all things marketed to consumers. So it is ENTIRELY plausible that one company (say Glaxosmithkline or Novartis- both major pharmaceutical companies that produce vaccines) would stand to gain by a pandemic without concern that all the no-longer sick people would “stop buying their products”, particularly if their product purportedly would keep them from getting long as they kept using it. IN FACT, from same article, that is part of the concern : “What is a pandemic should not be allowed to be defined by an organization that is clearly under the influence of the pharmaceutical companies that profit from the sales of vaccines accompanying such a pandemic. Many of the decision-makers in WHO have worked for the pharma industry and go back to work in the pharma industry.” Obviously, I too, would like to see some documentation on that but that's why it's called an investigation and not a trial. Declaring a pandemic when there isn't one is fishy no matter how you look at it. That is the subject of this thread, not whether or not vaccines should be given or not. I would point out, though, that as it's just an investigation, no one here is saying conclusively that WHO did anything WRONG just that at this current time, something seems off.

Where did they market it? If I saw any commercials, they sure wern't by Pfizer or whatever, telling people to come get their 'special' Swine vaccine. I saw a few commercials by the CDC, thats it. Thats hardly a marketing campaign.

Seriously? Like, for real? When you are watching a commercial or taking your kid into their routine visits, pay attention to who pays for the commercial (it's usually somewhere along the bottom of the screen or quoted at the end of the commercial by the voice-over) or the pamphlets littered everywhere or the posters all over the wall. They are almost ALL paid for not just by the CDC, but by the manufacturing companies (I've seen Glaxosmith Kline, Novartis and Merk many a time on adds and all OVER my ped's well as Lysol and Clorox, depending on the commercial). A marketing campaign does not necessarily have to include a Billy Maye's type character promising you miraculous results in between your favorite television programs. Have you not been listening or paying attention to billboard adds, commercials, the news, radio programs?!

See above for 'untested.' It was tested. A lot.

What's “A lot”? Really? Show me. Show me the 10+ years of testing usually required by the FDA done on this vaccine. Documented, please. I've been all over the CDC's website looking for these studies (on H1N1, NOT the yearly flu vax) but I can't actually find any links to the actual DATA. Just putting “studies show” in a paragraph doesn't equal proof, I wanna see the data! From what I've been reading since this “pandemic” was declared, this has been the debate all along! Not so much that there is a vaccine available but that it was rushed through all it's protocols. This isn't a concern that started with a bunch of ignoramuses like us, either, it's been brewing for a while, starting with the scientific community. I'm not going to bother posting all the links I found regarding the warnings the British Gov't sent out about the possible link between the H1N1 vax and GBS and the concerns about it possibly being a “rush job”. They are all over the place and easily Googled.

Finally: Vaccines ARE necessary. It wouldn't be so bad if not vaccinating a child would only affect said childs health and/or living status. But thats not the case. By one parent not vaccinating their child, they endanger the lives of OTHER PEOPLES CHILDREN.
See the Mumps outbreak in a Brooklyn Jewish community because of ignorant anti-vaxxers.

This entire statement is PURE opinion. Bully for you. Again, allow me to point out that as long as vaccines only offer “partial” immunity, you can't blame “ignorant non-vaxxers” for the outbreaks that happen. Show me the documented PROOF that these “ignorant” people are the sole cause of disease outbreaks in largely vaccinated populations. Proof, mind you, not media speculation or raging hysteria. Interesting to note that one of my daughters used to have a pediatrician that doesn't get vaxed and refuses to even discuss them with her clients until the child in question is at LEAST 6mo old. It's pretty amazing that even doctors that think this way are reduced to “ignorant” in your mind. Do you know who Dr. Marsden Wagner is? Is he ignorant, too? He spent 15 years as Director of Women's and Children's Health for the World Health Organization (responsible for Women's and Children's Health in 45 industrialized countries). I've seen some interesting documentaries with him featured, including one about vaccines. He is also in favor of more research and less blind jabbing.

Seriously, find me actual, accredited proof for any one of your (multi-point) points. Scientific journals, peer reviewed sources.
Jenny McCarthy is NOT an accredited source on vaccine information.

I'll try, though finding “accredited” sources of vaccine information that aren't partially or entirely funded by pharmaceutical companies is a toughy (and that matters because it raises the concern of a conflict of interest):


Pancreatis Caused by Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccine Pancreas vol. 6 no 4 1991 [2]
Mumps Meningitis Following Measles, Mumps and Rubella Immunization Lancet July 1989 [1 pg]
Optic Neuritis Complicating Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccination American Journal of Opthalmology 1978 :86 [4 pgs.]
A Prefecture-wide Survey of Mumps Meningitis Associated with Measles, Mumps and Rubella Vaccine (Infec Dis J 1991 Vol 10 pg 204-209)
Risk of Aseptic Meningitis after Measles Mumps and Rubella Vaccine In UK Children (Lancet April 93 Pgs. 979)
A Prefecture -Wide Survey of Mumps Meningitis Associated With Measles, Mumps and Rubella Vaccine Pediatri Infect Dis J 1991; 10 [6pgs]
Guillain-Barre syndrome after measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine Lancet jan 1 1994 Vol 343 [1 pg]
Two Syndromes Following Rubella Immunization (Suggests a polyneuropathy in both syndromes) (JAMA 1970 Vol 214 no 13) [5pgs.]
Chronic Arthritis After Rubella Vaccination Clinical Infec Dis. 1992 15;307-12 [6pgs]
Acute Arthritis Complicating Rubella Vaccination (ARTHRITIS AND RHEUMATISM 1971 41) [4pgs]
Joint Symptoms Following an Area Wide Rubella Immunization Campaign Report of a Survey Am J of Public Health Vol 62 no 5 [4pgs]
Polyneuropathy Following Rubella Immunization Am J Dis Child 1974 Vol 127 [5pgs]
Postpartum Rubella Immunization: Association with Development of Prolonged Arthritis, Neurological Sequelae, and Chronic Rubella Viremia (THE JOURNAL OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES 1985 vol 152 no 3) [7pgs]

Thrombocytopenic Purpura Following Vaccination With Attenuated Measles Virus Amer J Dis Child Jan 1968 Vol 115 [3pgs]
Investigation of a measles outbreak in a fully vaccinated school population including serum studies before and after revaccination (Pediatr Infec Dis J 1993 12) [8pgs.]
Risk of Aseptic Meningitis after Measles, Mumps , and Rubella Vaccine in UK Children Lancet 1993 Vol 341 [4pgs]
An Explosive point-source measles outbreak in a highly vaccinated population (American Journal of Epidemiology 1989 Vol 129 no 1) [10]
A Persistent Outbreak of Measles Despite Appropriate Prevention And Control Measures ( American Journal of Epidemiology Vol 126 No3) [13pgs.]
Measles Vaccine and Crohn’s Disease Gastroenterology vol. 108 no 3 1995 [3pgs]
Aseptic Meningitis after Vaccination Against Measles and Mumps (Pediatr Infec Dis J 1989 8 pg 302-308) [7pgs]
Measles Vaccine Associated Encephalitis in Canada Lancet Sept. 1983 [2pgs]
Guillain -Barre Syndrome Following Administration of Live Measles Vaccine Amer J of Med 1976 Vol 60 [3pgs]

Pancreatitis Caused by Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccine Pancreas vol 6 no 4 [2pgs]
Measles Vaccine and Neurological Events Lancet May 1997 [2pgs]

Mumps Outbreak in a Highly Vaccinated School Population /evidence for large scale vaccination failure Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 1995 Vol 149 [5pgs] Summary: 54 students developed mumps --of those 54, 53 had been fully immunized.
Aseptic Meningitis as a Complication of Mumps Vaccination (Ped Infec Dis J 1991 Vol 10 No 3) [5pgs]
Guillain -Barre Syndrome occurrence following combined mumps- rubella vaccine Am J Dis Child Vol 125 1973 [2pgs]
Mumps Vaccines and Meningitis/ Heterogeneous Mumps Vaccine (more on Urabe strain vaccine) Lancet Vol 340 1992 [2pgs.]

Flu Vaccine
Neuropathy After Influenza Vaccination (this deals with Swine flu vaccine) Lancet Jan 29, 1977 [ 2 pgs.]
Isolated Hypoglossal Nerve Paralysis Following Influenza Vaccination Am J Dis Child 1976 vol 130 [2pgs]
Guillain -Barre Syndrome Lancet Sept. 1978 [1pg]
Relapsing Encephalomyelitis Following the use of Influenza Vaccine Arch Neurol Vol 27 1972 [2pgs]

Optic Atrophy Following Swine Flu Vaccination Annals of Opthalmology July 1980 [3pgs]

Polio Vaccine
Anaphylactoid allergic reactions to influenza and poliomylitis vaccines Annals of Allergy Vol. 18 1960 [4pgs]
Vaccine Associated Poliomyelitis Lancet March 1994 Vol 343 [3pgs]
Vaccine Associated Paralytic Poliomyelitis New England J of Med 1993 [1pg]
Poliomyelitis and Prophylactic Innoculation against Diphtheria , Whooping Cough and Smallpox (DPT and smallpox vaccines increased chances of polio) Lancet Dec 1956 pg. 6955 [9pgs]
Residual Paralysis after Poliomyelitis Following Recent Inoculation (this on increase in polio after DPT shots) Lancet June 1952 pg. 1187 [3pgs]
The Relation of Prophylactic Inoculations to the Onset of Poliomyelitis Lancet April 5, 1950 [5pgs]
More on Vaccine Associated Paralytic Poliomyelitis New England Journal of Medicine Dec 23,1993 [2pgs]
Outbreak of Paralytic Poliomyelitis in Oman :Evidence for Widespread Transmission Among Fully Vaccinated Children Lancet 1991 Vol 338 [6pgs]
Immune Response of Infants in Tropics to Injectable Polio Vaccine BMJ Jan 1982 [1pg]

DPT Vaccine

Pertussis Vaccination and Asthma: is there a link? JAMA 1994 Vol 272 no 8 [1pg]
Further Contributions to the Pertussis Vaccine Debate Lancet may 16 1981 pg. 1113 [2pgs]
The Whooping Cough Immunization Controversy Arch Dis Child 1981 vol. 56 [4pgs]
Workshop on Neurologic Complications of Pertussis and Pertussis Vaccination Neuropediatrics 1990 Vol 21 [6pgs] Interesting point stated in this article: In evaluating side- reactions to the vaccine the following must be kept in mind:
1 Vaccines are not standardized between manufacturers.
2 For a given manufacturer, vaccines are not standard from one batch to the next.
3 Unless the vaccine is properly prepared and refrigerated, its potency and reactivity varies with shelf life.
4 In fact, the whole question of vaccine detoxification has never been systematically investigated.
Encephalopathy Following Pertussis Vaccine Prophylaxis JAMA Vol 141 [3pgs]
Encephalopathy Following Diphtheria Pertussis Inoculation Arch of Dis Child Vol 28 1953 [2pgs]
Mortality and Morbidity from Invasive Bacterial Infections During a Clinical Trial of Acellular Pertussis Vaccines in Sweden Pediatri Infect Dis J 1988 7 [8pgs]
Adverse reactions after injection of absorbed diphtheria- pertussis- tetanus (DPT) vaccine are not due only to pertussis organisms or pertussis components in the vaccine Vaccine vol 9 1991 [4pgs]

Pertussis Vaccine Encephalopathy JAMA 1990 Vol 264 [4pgs]

Acute Transverse Mylelitis after Tetanus Toxoid Vaccination Lancet may 1992 Vol 339 [2pgs]
Adverse Reactions to Tetanus Toxoid JAMA may 1994 vol. 271 [1]
Unusual Neurological Complications Following Tetanus Toxoid Administration J Neurology 1977 ;215 [2pgs]
Guillain-Barre syndrome after Combined Tetanus- Diphtheria Toxoid Vaccination J Neurological Sciences 1997 147 [2pgs]
Abnormal T- Lymphocyte Subpopulations in Healthy Subjects After Tetanus Booster Immunization New England Journal of Medicine Jan 1984 [2pgs]
Hep B Vaccine
Acute Hepatitis B Infection after Vaccination Lancet Vol 345 Jan 1995
Multiple Evanescent White Dot Syndrome After Hepatitis B Vaccine American J of Ophthalmology Vol 122 No 3 [2pgs]
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Vaccination Against Hepatitis B Nephron 1992; 62 [1pg]
Hepatitis B Vaccines: Reported Reactions WHO Drug Info vol. 4 1990 [1]
Postmarketing Surveillance for Neurologic Adverse Events Reported After Hepatitis B Vaccination American J of Epidemiology Vol 127 no 2 [16pgs]

Childhood Immunization and Diabetes Mellitus New Zealand Medical Journal May 1996 [1pg]
Allergic Reaction Associated with Viral Vaccines (PROGR MED VIROL Vol 13 pgs. 239-270} [17pgs]
Malignant Tumors as a Late Complication o f Vaccination Arch Derm Vol 98 1968 [4pgs]
Vaccine -Induced Autoimmunity Journal of Autoimmunity 1996 Vol 9[5pgs]
Depressed Lymphocyte Function after MMR Vaccination Journal of Infec Dis.vol 132 no 1 1975 [4pgs]
Neurological Complications of Immunization Annals of Neurology Aug 1982 [10pgs]
Multiple Sclerosis and Vaccination BMJ April 1967 [4 pgs ]

Possible Temporal Association Between Diphtheria-Tetanus Toxoid-Pertussis Vaccination and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Pediatric Infectious Disease 1983 Vol 2 no 1 [5pgs]
DTP Vaccination and Sudden Infant Deaths—Tennessee MMWR March 23,1979 [2pgs]
Characteristics of Diphtheria-Pertussis- Tetanus (DPT) Postvaccinal Deaths and DPT- Caused Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS): A Review Neurology April 1986 [2pgs]

What I find interesting about all of these peer-reviewed, reputable sources is that these articles address the many questions that vaccines arise and you'll notice that not a SINGLE ONE OF THEM says anything at all about a possible link between ONE ingredient and Autism. There are many ingredients in vaccines and they obviously vary from vaccine to vaccine and manufacturer to manufacturer. Your arguments overly generalize the entire controversy and completely leave out the concerns of the medical community regarding the OTHER possible problems with vaccines as they currently exist today. Every study that I've read regarding vaccines (the actual studies or abstracts, not media articles covering them or pamphlets in the doctor's office) suggests MORE RESEARCH NEEDS TO BE DONE, NOT that vaccines are absolutely safe.

By the way, on the subject of safety, NOBODY with any real credibility will tell you that they are 100% safe. The US Government has a fund set aside specifically for financially compensating families who have proven damages or death to their children from vaccines (Its called the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program This would not exist if they were “safe”, would it? Honestly, not even the manufacturers themselves would dream of saying that they're 100% safe so your earlier insistence that they don't contain anything toxic to the human body is just plain ludicrous. Even Tylenol contains toxic substances and can make you sick, for goodness sake!

In closing, “But you risk the lives of the children” is, at best, an argument meant to sway people not by rational thought, but by emotional knee-jerk reactions. People aren't saying that vaccinations are a stupid idea and going to kill us all. What people WANT is safe, effective vaccines. Especially parents. The argument that they are “necessary” must be backed up by “they are safe” because as a parent, I personally can imagine that being told that my child's death was “necessary so that little Henry down the street doesn't die from the measles” might not fly as a convincing argument.