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Saturday, April 12, 2014

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Khajas

So instead of trying to use counter arguments, you attack the person itself.

How very political.

Well I'm all for natural selection, should kids end up dying because they're not vaccinated against diseases, I'll just view it as a cleaning of the genepool.

Harsh words? Yeah, but I've noticed idiots breed idiots, so no tears lost.

Chris

"I'll just view it as a cleaning of the genepool."

Would it be an attack or just an accurate description to call you a eugenicist?

Cautious Consumer

Since when is examining someones credentials and qualifications a personal attack?

LIz Ditz

There's another one. And I need to update this to address Kajas confusion.

http://rinamarie.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/dear-parents-youre-still-being-lied-to/

Chris

Oh, this is a howler, and really shows she is deliberately trying to deceive. Or just does not understand the difference between "mortality" and "morbidity."

After she says: "Consider, for instance, the fact that many childhood illnesses were well on the decline BEFORE vaccines were introduced:"....

She follows it with a graph of mortality!

For her friends who are lurking: mortality is a measure of death, and it essentially shows the improvement of medical care for those who get the disease.

To actually show a decline of diseases, you have to show a graph of "morbidity", or the incidence of the disease. The folks actually catching it.

Rina Marie

Chris, thank you for pointing this out. Jennifer Raff’s link (which I was specifically addressing) referenced the mortality rates of the diseases in an effort to prove that vaccines are effective (in the United Kingdom, Scandinavia and Bangladesh.) My response also deals with the mortality rates, with the difference being that I reference the mortality rates in the UNITED'S STATES. For clarity's sake, I have now added the words "mortality rates" to that sentance (ie.Consider, for instance, the fact that the mortality rates of many childhood illnesses were well on the decline BEFORE vaccines were introduced.)
As for my "qualifications" and those of others who have writen articles on this subject, the medical community and big pharma would probably like for parents to believe that you must have a set of letters behind your name in order to make informed decisions about your childs heath care. Fortunately, this is not the case.

lilady

"As for my "qualifications" and those of others who have writen articles on this subject, the medical community and big pharma would probably like for parents to believe that you must have a set of letters behind your name in order to make informed decisions about your childs heath care. Fortunately, this is not the case."

I beg to differ with you Rina Marie. You've already proven to us that you are incapable of research about vaccines and the serious, sometimes deadly, diseases they prevent.

Would you care to refute any of the data about the decrease in cases of invasive H. influenzae in the United States, before and after HiB vaccine was developed, as contained in this chart here?

Be specific, and include data for invasive HiB disease hospitalizations, morbidity and mortality.

http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/vaccines/understanding/pages/vaccinebenefits.aspx

Chris

Rina Marie, that is lovely that you replaced the words in that sentence. But what does "mortality" rate tell you?

It actually tells you that treading the diseases improved during the twentieth century. But that improvement included both antibiotics (like for strep throat, which can turn into scarlet fever) and very expensive hospital equipment to help people breath: ventilators.

Why do you think it is better treat a disease rather then prevent the disease? How is that cost effective and less painful for kids.

My oldest has been in the hospital a few times (once for a now vaccine preventable disease), and trust me, you do not want to see a kid on respiratory support.

Chris

Rina Marie, I looked at you last post and this is what you say: "But what about all these bad, horrible, “not to be toyed with” complications? What about the deaths?!"

How do you know that the infants who now have measles in the USA will not die from SSPE in a few years? How many of the hundreds of kids in the USA with measles will end up with permanent neurological damage? How many are in the hospital, and who is paying for that?

And did you ever think the reason that the numbers are low is because most people vaccinated their children?

Also, why would you rather have kids get very very sick at all?

And finally, the MMR vaccine has been used in the USA since 1971. If you are under forty five, you may have received it yourself as a child. If the MMR causes autism, it would have been noticed by the end of the 1980s, because the USA is a much larger country than the UK... and has been using the MMR for much longer.

Where is the documentation dated before 1990 showing an increase in autism in the USA in the 1970s and 1980s to correspond to the use of the MMR vaccine? If we had that, we'd have something other than "Wakefield made it up."

Rina

Chris and lilady, you both bring up excellent points.

Not once in my article have I stated that vaccines are ineffective. In fact, I have agreed with Raff that vaccines can save lives and I have stated that there is evidence to support BOTH sides of the argument. My article was not written to push an anti-vaccination agenda, but to expose some of the misinformation presented by Jennifer Raff and give real statistics for the scary statements that are often thrown out there (i.e. Statement: "measles is deadly." ... Statistic: Measles hasn't caused a death in over a decade.)

Given the facts, it's up to PARENTS to decide whether measles is a risk worth vaccinating for and I respect the fact that we can come to different conclusions on this issue. I'm thankful that we still live in a country where we're ALLOWED to make that choice.

Chris

"Statistic: Measles hasn't caused a death in over a decade.)"

That is a wee bit of selective data gathering. Measles caused almost 200 deaths in the 1988-1992 epidemic.

Which remains, both of your posts seem to favor treatment of disease over prevention. So the question is why do you want kids to get sick, and who gets to pay for their hospital care?

And death is not the only endpoint: there is also permanent disability like blindness, deafness, etc. Also, your article is claiming that those diseases are not found much anymore... and you dismiss the that very real community immunity from those responsible parents who do vaccinate their children.

This is what you should add to both articles:

Dear members of my community who have decided to vaccinate: thank you! Because you have increased the immunity to these diseases my family has a much lower chance of getting those diseases. It is due to your responsible actions that I can choose to not vaccinate my children and know that they can still be safe.

So thank you, my lovely neighbors, for letting our family leech off of your immunity.

Sincerely, Rina Marie

PS: Of course it won't help with tetanus or scarlet fever. Tetanus is ubiquitous in the environment, and scarlet fever is a strep infection that has gone very wrong. But we are grateful for the invention of antibiotics.

Rina

Chris, lets presume for minute that you are correct and that the reason these diseases are not found much anymore is due to vaccinations. As I asked in my article, what are the criteria for determining when a vaccination is no longer necessary? Is it possible that we’re still vaccinating for illnesses we no longer need to vaccinate for? At what point is enough enough and who gets to make that decision?

lilady

Rina Marie: I'm still waiting for your compare and contrast arguments based in science, to refute the value of HiB vaccines, based on the number of hospitalizations, the morbidity and the mortality of confirmed invasive HiB disease, before the HiB vaccine was developed and after the HiB vaccine was developed.

You are still under the delusion that there are two sides of the argument,("In fact, I have agreed with Raff that vaccines can save lives and I have stated that there is evidence to support BOTH sides of the argument". So, time now for you to put up your argument or shut up.


I doubt that you have ever tracked the number of pediatric influenza deaths each year, because you minimize the confirmed 85 pediatric deaths that are reported week-by-week by the CDC:

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/index.htm#MS2

(continued below)

lilady

"Chris, lets presume for minute that you are correct and that the reason these diseases are not found much anymore is due to vaccinations. As I asked in my article, what are the criteria for determining when a vaccination is no longer necessary? Is it possible that we’re still vaccinating for illnesses we no longer need to vaccinate for? At what point is enough enough and who gets to make that decision?"

If you had really done your research, you would have a clue about the tens of thousands of health care workers responsible for the obliteration of smallpox. The last children in the United States who received smallpox vaccine as part of their childhood vaccines, was the birth cohort born in 1970. They received their smallpox vaccine at age one, in 1971. The CDC removed smallpox vaccine from the childhood vaccine schedule, January 1, 1972.

The last wild smallpox case was reported in a Somalian young girl, 1977 and smallpox was declared eradicated by the WHO, 1980.

http://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/timelines/smallpox

You ask "who makes the decision to stop vaccinating against a particular disease. Public health officials, who have letters after their name, scientists who have letters after their name and physicians who have letters after their name, make that decision after monitoring confirmed cases distributions for many years and determining that large areas of the world are declared free of endemic transmission, and after there are no more cases of a disease. I don't see any members of this team whose only credentials are that they are farmers, photographers or parents of seven children, do you?

http://www.polioeradication.org/resourcelibrary/strategyandwork.aspx

Chris

Just like lilady said: either when those diseases that only have humans as vectors are eradicated from this planet, or all travel beyond our small communities are impossible. The latter being that there would be no more airplanes, ships, trains, cars, bicycles, roads, etc.

Also, when do you think we should stop vaccinating for tetanus or influenza?

By the way, Rina, have you thanked your responsible neighbors, friends, and family who vaccinate for the immunity they provide? Don't you think you should acknowledge that you are getting a free ride from them? I was taught by my parents to say "thank you" whenever someone gave me something for free. So, please, go write that thank you note.

Chris

Rina: "Chris, lets presume for minute that you are correct and that the reason these diseases are not found much anymore is due to vaccinations"

Here are some papers you should read:

First, Successful Control of Epidemic Diphtheria in the States of the Former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: Lessons Learned, which says:

From 1990 through 1998, >157,000 cases and 5000 deaths were reported by the countries of the former Soviet Union, representing >80% of diphtheria cases reported worldwide.

Second, Measles vaccine coverage and factors related to uncompleted vaccination among 18-month-old and 36-month-old children in Kyoto, Japan. Which says:

According to an infectious disease surveillance (2000), total measles cases were estimated to be from 180,000 to 210,000, and total deaths were estimated to be 88 [11,12]. Measles cases are most frequently observed among non-immunized children, particularly between 12 to 24 months.

Now go write that thank you note to those responsible people who are protecting your family by increasing community immunity through vaccination.

Chris

And yet, more reading for you Rina...

What about the costs? Who gets to pay for the measles outbreaks? How much do vaccines cost versus the actual diseases?

Let's start with the 1990 measles epidemic, Pediatric hospital admissions for measles. Lessons from the 1990 epidemic., which says:

The average hospital admission cost was $8,201, and the average length of hospital stay was 4.6 days. Hospital costs amounted to $18 million, two thirds of which was paid for by Medi-Cal.

And there is the cost to contain the outbreaks:
Vaccine. 2014 Mar 5;32(11):1311-7. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.10.012. Epub 2013 Oct 14.
The economic burden of sixteen measles outbreaks on United States public health departments in 2011

Which says:

RESULTS:

In 2011, the US experienced 16 outbreaks with 107 confirmed cases. The average duration of an outbreak was 22 days (range: 5-68). The total estimated number of identified contacts to measles cases ranged from 8936 to 17,450, requiring from 42,635 to 83,133 personnel hours. Overall, the total economic burden on local and state public health institutions that dealt with measles outbreaks during 2011 ranged from an estimated $2.7 million to $5.3 million US dollars.

And finally: Economic Evaluation of the Routine Childhood Immunization Program in the United States, 2009, which says:

Analyses showed that routine childhood immunization among members of the 2009 US birth cohort will prevent ∼42 000 early deaths and 20 million cases of disease, with net savings of $13.5 billion in direct costs and $68.8 billion in total societal costs, respectively. The direct and societal benefit-cost ratios for routine childhood vaccination with these 9 vaccines were 3.0 and 10.1.

Remember to put in your thank you note to those responsible members of your community that vaccinate that they are helping to save lots of tax dollars, are keeping down hospital costs and saving many families from hardship and grief.

Chris

Rina, when will you write that thank you note to all of the responsible folks in your community that vaccinate, which helps keep diseases away for your family?

You might also add an apology for linking to Ginger Taylor's terrible list of "studies" that claim a connection between autism and vaccines. Because they don't:
http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2013/08/-those-lists-of-papers-that-claim-vaccines-cause-autism-part-1.html

Of course you can also apologize for being a parasite on your community, and actively campaigning for a reduction of immunity to measles, pertussis, etc. Obviously, it is not a good thing to be a public health threat.

Rina

Hi again, lilady and Chris...

We could probably get bogged down in this point by point for the rest of our lives if we wanted to and I have not the time nor the desire to do that.

On the subject of all those people "who have letters after their names," we would do well to remember that doctors once advertised for cigarettes, said that Xrays were safe for pregnant women, and the 4th leading cause of death in the US is caused by doctors "properly prescribing" medications. Doctors are not infallible and when it comes to my child's healthcare, I am ultimately responsible for the well-being of my children.

In regard to the rest, I think that we're ultimately on the same side in this issue. We all want what's best for our children and we're all obviously willing to study this issue for ourselves - which is the very point I was trying to make in my article... the need for parents to STUDY this issue and not rely on exaggerated claims or misinformation simply because it sounds good in a blog post. If you have studied the argument and come to the conclusion that vaccines are necessary for your children, I applaud the fact that you've been willing to study and make your own decisions and certainly won't argue against that.

Rina

PS. In response to the comment "You've already proven to us that you are incapable of research about vaccines and the serious, sometimes deadly, diseases they prevent."

Would either of you be willing to point out to me the information I have provided in my article that is FALSE? Granted, we may have come to different conclusions BASED on that information (and we obviously have,) but of the RESEARCH I've presented, the statistics and numbers I've shown, can anyone show me where my information is incorrect? If so, please do because while my opinions are certainly subject to criticism, I have no desire to present false information.

Chris

Rina: "On the subject of all those people "who have letters after their names," we would do well to remember that doctors once advertised for cigarettes..."

Those were not doctors but actors. Do not mistake the tobacco ads for medical advice:
http://tobacco.stanford.edu/tobacco_main/index.php

"said that Xrays were safe for pregnant women..."

Well not when I was last pregnant twenty years ago!

" 4th leading cause of death in the US is caused by doctors "properly prescribing" medications."

Citation needed. Because the following chart shows things like unintentional injuries, cancer, suicide, homicide, etc, depending on age:
http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/pdf/10LCID_All_Deaths_By_Age_Group_2010-a.pdf

"Would either of you be willing to point out to me the information I have provided in my article that is FALSE?"

Yes, the I gave you the link this morning showing the studies in Ginger Taylor's website do not show vaccines cause autism. Go look at it.

Then there is the bit about using mortality as a measure of vaccine efficacy instead incidence.

There would be more, except the page has very annoying formatting.

So, how is that thank note coming?

Chris

Well then there is this: "Illness is dangerous!
People could DIE!"

Well, you seem to neglect that the worry is not just death, but disability and costs. Why are you ignoring that kids who get these diseases sometimes require very expensive hospital to stay alive, and that some may end up permanently disabled?

You minimize the number of measles by saying: "To put this in perspective, that’s 1 out of every 1,500,000 (1) in the United States. That’s hardly an epidemic."

You are totally ignoring the reason that numbers so low is because we vaccinate. Please go up and read the links I gave to the diphtheria epidemic in the former Soviet states and measles returning to Japan.

"In the United States, however, the CDC estimates the death risk of measles to be 1-2 out of every 1,000 who get the disease (and only about 150 people per year even contract measles in the US!)"

Those numbers are from the 1990 measles epidemic in the USA. See the link I gave on the real financial impact that had in California.

"That’s a much better statistic. So chickenpox at it’s very worst killed 50 children every year. "

Actually, it was often a hundred or more per year. You are off by a factor of two. Go read the CDC Pink Book chapter on varicella.

"In other words, although the flu can cause serious complications in immune-compromised adults and children, vaccinating against the flu is a gamble, at best."

Wrong. Many the kids who were hospitalized and died from flu were healthy. Most of them were not vaccinated. Just go to the CDC Flu update page and click on the "Pediatric Deaths" bit.

"Consider, for instance, the fact that the mortality rates of many childhood illnesses were well on the decline BEFORE vaccines were introduced:"

As noted before, the mortality rates have nothing to do with vaccine effectiveness. That would be the graphs of incidence/morbidity. Each disease only started to do down when there was vaccination. This is especially true for polio, measles, mumps, rubella, Hib and rotavirus.

"Consider, for a moment, vaccinations against yellow fever, malaria, and typhoid."

There is no vaccine for malaria. But if you travel to South America you should get both a typhoid and yellow fever vaccine. When I lived in Panama if you did not have proof of yellow fever vaccine on you when you went into the interior, the police were obliged to take you in to get one whether you wanted it or not.

" Likewise, is there a good enough reason to vaccinate infants against the sexually transmitted disease hepititus B, or two-month olds against tetanus?"

HepB is transmitted by kids to kids through blood and saliva. A two month old can be punctured with a diaper pin (I know I did that once, not everyone does the paper diapers, some of us much prefer cloth).

"The study Raff linked to here has NO information whatsoever as to whether natural infection is better than vaccination!!!"

How about the fact that one suffers greatly, that there is a much higher chance of becoming disabled, and that diphtheria and tetanus provide no immunity if you survive. Oh, and getting chicken pox means you have a higher chance of getting shingles.

The rant of "natural remedies" makes no real sense.

"Considering that prescription drugs are the 4th leading cause of death in America, and that over 100,000 people die every year from adverse reactions to prescription drugs,"

Those links have nothing to do with vaccines, plus the links don't really say what you think they say.

"I counter that the complications due to vaccine-preventable diseases are mild except in very rare cases."

Oh, really? Do provide the PubMed linked studies by reputable qualified researchers that the MMR causes one out of five to get pneumonia and one out of thousand to get encephalitis (http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/189/Supplement_1/S4.long)

"I’d be interested to know who funded those studies… here is a list of over 80 studies that show otherwise:"

... which goes to Ginger Taylor's page... see the page on this blog that goes through each paper and shows why it doesn't.

And as far as who paid for the studies that disprove the autism/vaccination link, why don't you go through each paper in the following link and tell us:
http://www2.aap.org/immunization/families/faq/vaccinestudies.pdf

That is all I have time for today. Especially since you provide fear of aluminum. So does your farm use aluminum free soil?

Rina

Thank you, Chris, for pointing out that the advertisements themselves used actors and not doctors. The point I was making remains the same, but I chose a bad example to make it with. Can you think of ANY examples where the medical community and people considered most intelligent in the world have gotten it wrong? Can you think of ANY instances where what was commonly thought to be good for people was proven to be harmful (or vice-versa?) Can you think of ANY situations where scientists have been corrupted and published unsupportable claims (how about Andrew Wakefield?) Can you think of ANY doctors, scientists, researchers (with letters behind their names) who are are ANTI-vaccination? Shall we dismiss them all as crazy nuts? That may have been easy to do when there were only one or two, but more and more medical professionals are beginning to speak out against vaccines, and it's hard to dismiss them all. The point is that degrees and titles don't make people infallible and I honestly think that we can both agree on that.

As to the two points you pulled from my article that you believe are false...

Ginger Taylor's website: thank you for pointing out the rebuttal, and I will add it to my article.

Mortality as a measure of vaccine efficacy: I've already explained that my intention was to address the same point that Jennifer Raff addressed - the morbidity of the diseases.

Thank you for taking the time to respond.

Chris

"Can you think of ANY examples where the medical community and people considered most intelligent in the world have gotten it wrong?"... followed by more non-sequitors...

What king of questions are those? If you have read the history of medicine you would find several. But that is why it changes.

And why there are bodies that look for fraudulent behaviors among researchers. Just go look at http://retractionwatch.com/ ... and why folks like Wakefield, Fudenberg and the Geiers may no longer practice medicine.

It has nothing to do with the relative safety of vaccine versus the diseases, and their efficacy. All of which you did not address, but expressed strawman arguments ("OMG, the kids are going to die!", "Oh, look, some drugs have cross reactions in those who are under medical care!").

If you think the MMR vaccine is more dangerous than measles, provide that data.

If you think the MMR causes autism, provide the documentation dated before 1990 that its introduction in 1971 caused autism to rise during 1970s and 1980s in the USA (a country much larger than the UK, using the vaccine for about twice as long).

If you think the DTaP is more dangerous than diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, provide the verifiable journals to show that.

But they have to be relative risks.

If you don't think that vaccines have caused a drop of disease incidence, then only provide data on the morbidity (incidence). Because according to the CDC Pink Book Appendix G, measles dropped 90% between 1960 and 1970, and polio incidence also dropped lots after 1955.

Then if you have an issue with who pays for studies, then actually look at the ones in that list and tell us who paid for them, and why we should not trust them. Explain clearly how the CDC and NHS are nefarious operations.

If you need to go into costs, be sure to balance the costs of the vaccines against treating the diseases. Like the of cases of liver cancer in thousands each year in those who caught hepatatis b as children.

The point is that you need to make your arguments honest. That means you need to actually read the sources yourself, and not use the standard arguments from certain sites that have a reputation for bending the truth. This is why you made the common trope of using a graph of mortality instead of incidence. It is also why you blindly linked to Ms. Taylor's website without even looking at the papers. And why you made the claim that "prescription are 4th cause of death" without actually reading the FDA link (it was for a specific set of patients, and has nothing to do with vaccines... a completely different kind of medical intervention). And why you put too much weight on the raw self-selected reports of VAERS (read the disclaimer on its official portal: http://vaers.hhs.gov/data/index)

So do the research, but link to the original studies. Make sure they are PubMed indexed and done by reputable and qualified researchers. This means no one who had their medical license revoked, or does not have the requisite education (no lawyers, journalists, geologists, etc).

Here is good short book to help you with your research:
Lies, Damned Lies, and Science: How to Sort Through the Noise Around Global Warming, the Latest Health Claims, and Other Scientific Controversies by Sherry Seethaler

Rina

Chris, thanks again for your response. If I ever decide to sit down and write an anti-vaccination article, I will certainly take everything you've said into consideration and elaborate on some of the issues you've mentioned. In this case, however, my desire (as stated) was to show where Jennifer Raff's conclusions were exaggerated, and in some cases the links not backed up with any relevant information. To play "devils advocate" if you will.

Having said that, although I have no desire to write an anti-vaccination article at the present time, I do see how some of my claims could be better supported and I will try to work on that in the near future.

You mentioned the statement that "prescriptions are the 4th leading cause of death" and said that this has nothing to do with vaccines, but I disagree. Because the mentality that allowed patients to blindly follow swallow what their doctor handed to them is the same mentality that parents have who blindly give their children vaccinations (or antibiotics, or any medical care) without doing any research for themselves. I doubt that very many of those doctors intended to kill their patients, but that's exactly what happened. If those patients had gone home and done even a small amount of research, they may have discovered that their doctors had prescribed something to them that would adversely react to a medication they were already taking. But we don't DO that. We blindly trust those people with letters behind their names, and I think this is a mistake.

Ultimately, if someone comes away from my article with the desire to do more research on this subject, than I'm happy and have achieved what I set out to achieve - no matter WHAT conclusion they come to on this issue.

Chris

"Because the mentality that allowed patients to blindly follow swallow what their doctor handed to them is the same mentality that parents have who blindly give their children vaccinations (or antibiotics, or any medical care) without doing any research for themselves."

It still has nothing to do with vaccines. It is like claiming that if a GM truck gas tank causes explosions, then all trucks are dangerous!

You need to stick to the subject. Stop generalizing because it happens to be one out of thousands of medical intervention.

"In this case, however, my desire (as stated) was to show where Jennifer Raff's conclusions were exaggerated, and in some cases the links not backed up with any relevant information."

Have you ever heard of irony meters? Because your article exploded many.

The problem is that you exaggerated the harm from vaccines, but downplayed the effect of vaccines. Plus you played the "diseases are no longer relevant"... but forgot you live in a community where the majority are vaccinated. (have you written that thank you note to those responsible folks who vaccinate?)

You can't do that. You really need to look at the real effects between a vaccine versus the real effects of a disease. Don't claim no one gets the disease anymore as a reason to stop the reason the disease cannot spread (vaccination).

I know you want to be honest and true. But you have been betrayed by some beliefs and led down blind alleys of misinformation. You really need to read the articles I posted above on what happened when vaccine programs broke down. And don't think it can't happen in the USA, my boys were wee babes during the 1990 measles epidemic. I got my younger kids their second MMR vaccines early when there was a measles outbreak in a private school that was too close for comfort.

"But we don't DO that. We blindly trust those people with letters behind their names, and I think this is a mistake."

But why should we blindly trust those with a website and heartfelt Christian beliefs? Be true to your beliefs and find the real answers with evidence. Use the brains that God gave you and search the actual scientific evidence so that no child should have to suffer from measles, Hib, mumps, tetanus or pertussis due to ignorance. Do not blindly follow false prophets. Verify their evidence with primary sources.

Chris

Le sigh, sorry...

"The problem is that you exaggerated the harm from vaccines, but downplayed the effect of vaccines"...

should be: "The problem is that you exaggerated the harm from vaccines, but downplayed the effect of diseases"

Seriously, you need to produce actual scientific documentation for each and every vaccine that it is more dangerous than the disease. I say this as a parent of child who had to go by ambulance to the hospital for a now vaccine preventable disease (over twenty years ago). Why do you think I harp about the cost of hospitals? I have the bill to show it costs $700 to travel two whole miles to a hospital.

I have had to see the bills for the hospital treatment for a disease we now vaccinate against. So you really really need to show that it is cost effective to let those diseases return.

Rina

Chris, first of all I want to thank you again for the fact that you've kept this conversation civil! I appreciate that very much and while we come from two different sides of the issue, I appreciate the information you've provided and look forward to digging into it in the future.

As for the points you made... I don't think my article exaggerated the harm from vaccines... aside from the autism studies (which I've addressed in the article), I simply mention the fact that there ARE risks (even the package inserts will attest to that) and have pointed out the flaws in Raff's logic (ie. aluminum levels in breastmilk vs. vaccines.) As for downplaying the effects of disease, I provided accurate statistics of what those risks actually ARE. Someone else could certainly come along and decide from the exact same statistics that the risks serious, but I admit that I'm guilty of adding commentary to make my position on the matter clear. I don't claim to be unbiased or not to have my own opinion, I only claim that there is evidence to support BOTH sides of the issue.

"Plus you played the 'diseases are no longer relevant'... but forgot you live in a community where the majority are vaccinated."

Just because the diseases are no longer relevant due to vaccination doesn't mean we should still be vaccinating against them (case in point: smallpox.) You yourself agree that vaccines aren’t the only way to reduce mortality rates. If, once upon a time, people died from mumps because poor sanitation and poor nutrition made complications from mumps deadly but now, in addition to better sanitation and better nutrition, the use of antibiotics have made complications from mumps virtually nonexistent, should we still be vaccinating for the disease? I’m sure that you would answer "yes." But it is my opinion that in SOME cases there are better ways to handle disease.

You seem to make the assumption that I have "blindly followed false prophets" so I thought I'd share (as briefly as possible) where my conclusions on this come from...

My husband is a nurse and when we got married he told me we would NEVER refuse vaccinations. Then one day I asked him if he would be willing to at least consider the issue and he told me he would on one condition: I would have to present him with BOTH sides of the argument. From there I set about trying to find the answers to six important questions:

1. What are the diseases the CDC tells me I need to vaccinate my children against?

2. How common are these diseases in the United States?

3. What are the possible complications of these diseases if contracted, and how often to the diseases lead to these complications?

4. What is the treatment for these diseases if contracted, and what is the success rate for the treatment?

5. What are the possible complications of administering the vaccination?

6. Do the benefits of the vaccinations outweigh the risks of possible complications due to the vaccine?

Now, I'm perfectly willing to admit that my reasoning may be flawed or that you might answer these exact same questions and come to a completely different conclusion. But I do want to make the point that I never had to resort to anti-vaccine websites or propaganda in any of my research on the issue. The CDC, FDA and vaccination package inserts provided us with enough information with which to answer these questions and determine whether we should vaccinate and, if so, against what.

I really think at this point we've debated long enough as to whether we should vaccinate our children. I will read the links you have provided and I thank you for them. I also thank you for pointing out where my article could use work and, as I mentioned before, keeping this conversation civil!

I hope you'll forgive me if at this point I step out of the discussion.

Chris

"I don't think my article exaggerated the harm from vaccines.."

It did by the bare fact you neglected to mention the harm from the diseases. Another paper for you to read: Historical Comparisons of Morbidity and Mortality for Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in the United States

"I simply mention the fact that there ARE risks (even the package inserts will attest to that) and have pointed out the flaws in Raff's logic (ie. aluminum levels in breastmilk vs. vaccines.)"

I did not get into that, but you are exaggerating the "danger" of aluminum and ignoring that it is in the environment. One of the more important vaccines with an aluminum adjuvant is the DTaP. The toxins created by the actual bacteria are far greater than any aluminum salt, so you need to truly provide actual data to show the vaccine is worse than pertussis, diphtheria and tetanus.

"Just because the diseases are no longer relevant due to vaccination doesn't mean we should still be vaccinating against them (case in point: smallpox."

That is because smallpox is extinct except in labs. But measles, pertussis, and others are very much still around.

"You yourself agree that vaccines aren’t the only way to reduce mortality rates."

By mentioning several times the high cost of hospital care to keep those with VPD alive.

"the use of antibiotics have made complications from mumps virtually nonexistent,"

Mumps is a viral disease. Plus antibiotic use needs to be reduced due to bacteria getting resistant to them. Remember it an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

You really need to explain very carefully how it is so much better to treat measles, pertussis, Hib, tetanus and rotavirus rather than prevent them. Along with explaining why it is okay dokay for a child to spend ten days to several weeks in feverish pain to avoid a simple jab in the arm (or a consume a little bit of liquid to avoid rotavirus).

"1. What are the diseases the CDC tells me I need to vaccinate my children against?"

Easy to look up, they are all outlined with the risk and benefits in the CDC Pink Book which is available for free online. You need to become familiar with.

"2. How common are these diseases in the United States?"

Irrelevant as long as there are people who can cross the border from other countries, and those diseases still exist on this planet.

"3. What are the possible complications of these diseases if contracted, and how often to the diseases lead to these complications"

Again, read the CDC Pink Book. For many of them it is respiratory problems requiring expensive equipment to keep folks alive. Many cause encephalitis and meningitis, and a couple cause cancer.

"4. What is the treatment for these diseases if contracted, and what is the success rate for the treatment?"

Very expensive hospital care for too many. Have you even looked at any of the links I gave? Do you really want kids attached to ventilators? Here is yet another paper you should read: Philosophic objection to vaccination as a risk for tetanus among children younger than 15 years

"5. What are the possible complications of administering the vaccination?"

Much less than with the disease. Do actually try looking it up. Actually read the paper on the clinical significance of measles I linked to, like the first paper in this comment.

"6. Do the benefits of the vaccinations outweigh the risks of possible complications due to the vaccine?"

Of course they do. You tell us if four to five hundred children die each year from measles as they did before 1963. Explain to us if there are now thousands of cases of congenital rubella syndrome like there was during the rubella epidemic in the 1960s. How many kids get meningitis from HiB like they did in the 1980s (and I met a woman who first child died from it).

" But I do want to make the point that I never had to resort to anti-vaccine websites..."

Excuse me? Did you forget your link to Ginger Taylor's website?

"The CDC, FDA and vaccination package inserts provided us with enough information with which to answer these questions and determine whether we should vaccinate and, if so, against what."

Except you misconstrued what they said, as I explained multiple times. Plus, do not use the lawyer written package inserts as evidence.

Rina Marie

As I mentioned before, its not my desire to debate this issue any longer, but I would like to know your reasoning behind "not trusting the package insert." Since even doctors rely on the package inserts and parents are told by the cdc that they should read them, im curious as to why youd advose people not to trust them.

Chris

The package insert is a "cover their posterior" screed composed by lawyers to minimize liability. They do not include the relative risks.

And just like VAERS, they list things that have just been "reported", but often they are not verified. I urge you to not consider them verifiable scientific evidence.

Just stick to the published research that is indexed on PubMed. One good place to start is the Vaccine Safety Datalink papers:
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/library/vsd_pubs.html

By the way, I am checking Google News for the latest measles numbers. Here is what I see so far:

New York: 26

California: 56

British Columbia (just north of the border): over 200

Washington (just south of British Columbia): 12

(half of those are from a family infected by a member going to British Columbia)

Rina

Okay, but you admit that side effects listed aren't just made-up... they didn't just put a bunch of names into a hat somewhere and draw them out and list them.

As for VAERS, I agree with you and wouldn't consider that scientific evidence, but I would consider the package inserts verifiable... granted, the risks may be low, but in many cases that number is also reported, so it's not like you can just assume the risk is huge.

Thanks for your response.

Chris

"Okay, but you admit that side effects listed aren't just made-up... they didn't just put a bunch of names into a hat somewhere and draw them out and list them."

Actually no, I did not admit that. I said that there were "reports of side effects", that implies nothing about their validity. And sometimes something happens just by coincidence, and has nothing to do with the vaccine.

"but I would consider the package inserts verifiable"

No, they are not. If there is no link to a study verifying the reports, then they should be ignored. They are just like these kinds of legal warnings:
http://lawhaha.com/tortland/warning-labels/

In the future, just stick to PubMed indexed studies by qualified reputable researchers, and always avoid medical writings by lawyers. Also make sure the studies are actually on vaccines and not other medical things like IV saline solutions.

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