Archive for the 'Vaccination inanity' category

No shame: antivaccine ghouls defame the dead, and elevate the disgraced

Nov 18 2009 Published by under Absurd medical claims, Medicine, Vaccination inanity

There are a couple of quotes circulating widely claiming that major players in flu vaccine development are "denouncing" the vaccine.
From (shudder!)

"Dr. Anthony Morris, a distinguished virologist and former Chief Vaccine Office at the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA), states that "There is no evidence that any influenza vaccine thus far developed is effective in preventing or mitigating any attack of influenza" and that "The producers of these vaccines know they are worthless, but they go on selling them anyway."


And in November 2007, the UK newspaper The Scotsman, made public warnings by the inventor of the "flu jab," Dr. Graeme Laver.
Dr. Laver was a major Australian scientist involved in the invention of a flu vaccine, in addition to playing a leading scientific role in the discovery of anti-flu drugs. He went on record as saying the vaccine he helped to create was ineffective and [that] natural infection with the flu was safer. "I have never been impressed with its efficacy," said Dr. Laver."

Who are these guys?

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15 responses so far

A crank is a crank

Nov 07 2009 Published by under Absurd medical claims, Medicine, Vaccination inanity

I'm told that mathematicians and physicists get a lot of mail from folks with "big discoveries". These discoveries are often of the "Einstein was wrong and I figured out the Theory of Everything" variety. Many of us refer to these folks as "cranks", a catch-all, derogatory term for people who, through their own arrogance and ignorance, think they have, despite little education or work, disproved ideas that have taken lifetimes to assemble.

Enter the anti-vaccination cranks. Immunoprophylaxis---the manipulation of the immune system to prevent disease---is centuries old, and over those centuries has become more refined and sophisticated. We have moved from inoculating people with smallpox pus to using recombinant DNA to create safer vaccines. We have moved from the Royal Experiment, in which a few prisoners were inoculated and counted, to sophisticated epidemiologic methods of evaluating the burden of disease and the efficacy of vaccination. We have eradicated some diseases, and could, with adequate commitment, eliminate more though mass vaccination programs. In the two centuries since smallpox vaccination became an accepted technique, biology, medicine, and epidemiology have become modern, science-based fields that allow for creation of methods and materials to prevent disease, and the means to evaluate their efficacy.

But human beings are superstitious animals. Like the ancients, we use our personal experiences to create generalizations about how the world works, generalizations that often fail when examined in a more rigorous manner. If we get a flu shot, and then get sick, we blame the flu shot, despite the flu shot's inability to cause a rhinovirus infection.

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18 responses so far

What do we need most during a flu pandemic? Zombie quacks!

Nov 02 2009 Published by under Absurd medical claims, Medicine, Vaccination inanity

One of my dear readers just left the internet equivalent of a flaming bag of turd on my bloggy doorstep:

Everybody should read this article by Dr. Russell Blaylock

These are the facts folks, all information is derived from Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the New England Journal of Medicine.

Whenever stamping out the flaming bag of poo, it's wise to remember ones shoes may become sullied. Still, how can I resist?

Before we explore the link kindly given by our reader, let's look at the messenger. He recommends reading Dr. Russell Blaylock. Who is this man?

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24 responses so far

The anti-vaccination movement is morally bankrupt

Oct 28 2009 Published by under Absurd medical claims, Medicine, Vaccination inanity

A hat-tip to my buddy Abel over at TerraSig for keeping this story alive and inspiring me to chime in.  --PalMD

It's no secret that I find the anti-vaccination crowd to be abhorrent. The public's health is the first victim, followed closely by individual patients and parents struggling with individual health decisions. I cannot fault patients for making bad decisions---the anti-vaccination movement has a very effective propaganda arm. Folks like Jenny McCarthy have a large audience and make no secret of their desire to see infectious diseases increase in others:

I do believe sadly it's going to take some diseases coming back to realize that we need to change and develop vaccines that are safe. If the vaccine companies are not listening to us, it's their f___ing fault that the diseases are coming back. They're making a product that's s___. If you give us a safe vaccine, we'll use it. It shouldn't be polio versus autism.

These folks are so focused on their own quasi-religious delusions that they can no longer properly evaluate reality.  That would be fine if they lived in isolated caves away from electronic media.  But they don't.

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61 responses so far

Crank convergence on flu vaccination

Oct 21 2009 Published by under Absurd medical claims, Vaccination inanity

How may topics are there on which Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Arianna Huffington, Bill Maher, and now Louis Farrakhan can agree?
One, and one only: flu vaccination.
Let's give a run down of the "reasoning":

  • Glenn Beck: the safest option is doing the exact opposite of what the government recommends.
  • Limbaugh won't get one because HHS Secretary Sibelius recommends it
  • HuffPo: need i say more?
  • Maher: too bat-shit insane to think properly about it
  • Farrakahn thinks it's a plot to reduce the Malthusian crush of minorities

Anything that unites these folks just has to be wrong.

8 responses so far

Swine flu in my home state--grim news

Oct 20 2009 Published by under Absurd medical claims, Medicine, Vaccination inanity

Michigan has suffered enough. We've been devastated by economic and manufacturing changes, leading to mass unemployment, poverty, and poor education. That last one is really killing us.
According to news reports, more than half of Michiganders plan to forgo vaccination, mostly for reasons that betray a lack of education. This is at a time when schools across the state are closing their doors because of the flu. They aren't closing their doors out of irrational fears, or for quarantine or isolation purposes, but because so many people are sick that it's not worth it to keep the doors open. The economic impact of school closures and parents needing to stay home is likely to be significant.

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27 responses so far

HPV vaccinination---this is real, people

Oct 14 2009 Published by under Cancer, Vaccination inanity

First let me remind you that I've written extensively about HPV infection, cervical cancer, and Gardasil, the vaccine to prevent these. The links are at the bottom of the post for your reference.
OK, here's the deal. A bloggy friend of mine is dealing with some serious health concerns due to HPV infection. I've written lots of pieces about the more intimate side of medicine, but no one can tell it like a patient. How someone deals with disease is a personal matter, and she has decided to "come out" and share her story in order to help others. (Digression: a great book called Everything Changes about dealing with cancer as a young adult is out, and it is also a bit harsh on our current health care system. It's a Studs Terkel type oral history, and a good read.)
I'm sorry to keep getting derailed here, but for some reason, a lot of my friends have cancer, and it's right in my face these days. I have one friend who's had ovarian cancer since her baby was born four years ago, another who just had a bilateral mastectomy, another with metastatic melanoma---you get the idea. If there had been some way to prevent these cancers, either by aggressive screening to identify early disease or by primary prevention through, say, vaccination, I'd be a much happier person.
Which brings me back to my friend. The internet is a funny place. Stephanie and I certainly don't agree about everything, but we do read each other's stuff fairly regularly and have had the chance to meet in person, albeit far too briefly. I'm hoping she and her hirsute hubby will make it to ScienceOnline this winter. Anyway, like many Americans, Stephanie hasn't always been able to get regular screening exams, and whether it's because of insurance, finances, laziness, or aliens, the point is that screening (that is, Pap smears) requires an action on the part of the patient to understand risk and to present themselves to a doctor for an invasive and expensive exam at least once a year.
Like many American women, Stephanie harbors the human papillomavirus, and apparently her guest is one of the cancer-causing strains. This virus lives in her cervix and messes with the genes of cervical cells, causing them to reproduce uncontrollably. In her case, the malignant cells haven't yet figured out how to invade very deeply, but they are spread out rather diffusely, making cure certain, but not easy. Stephanie has a good picture up at her place, but let me give you a little more detail. I find that people who don't actually dig into other people regularly don't always have a good feel for more hidden anatomy. You can check out the linked picture, but more helpful (at least for women) would be to ask for a mirror at your next gynecology appointment.

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27 responses so far

Playing catch up on flu rumors

Oct 11 2009 Published by under Absurd medical claims, Medicine, Vaccination inanity

I was going to try to sleep in this morning but my kid couldn't find her femur---long story. So I figured I might as well brew up a pot of Pal's Special, put up some Irish steel cut oatmeal, and review this weeks insanity.

This has been a rough week for the public's health education. The flu pandemic is still on the rise, and if trends continue, we will hit a record number of cases quite soon. Currently the best primer on influenza is Joe Albietz's, which I encourage you to read. But rumors about the flu are spreading nearly as fast as the virus, and we need a nearly real-time response to keep up. I've been doing quite a bit of tweeting and facebooking, responding to specific questions and concerns, and here I'll summarize a bit of that.

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17 responses so far

Altmed gurus not killing enough people, trying to improve

Oct 09 2009 Published by under Absurd medical claims, Medicine, Vaccination inanity

Alternative medicine boosters promote bad health practices that hurt real people---that's been a theme in my writing for nearly three years. It's bad enough that they sell people fake cures and encourage them to avoid real medical care, but apparently, that's not enough anymore. It's getting to the point where they might as well line their victims up against a wall and shoot them. You see now, not satisfied with their current body count, they are suing the FDA to remove the current pandemic flu vaccine. This not only affects the members of their medical cults, but all of us.

According to Mike Adams(!), the lawsuit is being filed on behalf of Gary Null, whom he generously describes as a "licensed health care worker". The actual lawsuit is nowhere to be found yet, but what possible standing could Gary Null, Fake Doctor, have to file such a suit? What claim of harm could he possibly make?

Look, assnuts, if you're weird health religion doesn't let you get a flu shot, fine. But the rest of us don't need you fucking with the public health. What's next, suing the drain commission to allow us to have access to pure, untreated brown water? I thought these idiots were supposed to be about prevention! Poor John Snow is turning in his grave, batting away images of pump handles being placed on contaminated wells.

I very much hope that if this gets filed, some wise judge tosses these guys out on their asses, preferably with onerous fines.

5 responses so far

Hab rachmones! Anti-vax inanity in my email!

Oct 05 2009 Published by under Absurd medical claims, Medicine, Vaccination inanity

From time to time, my wife or one of our friends will forward one of the latest health rumors going through the email lists in our community. The usual email list is the one that goes out to moms of young kids living in our ethnic/geographic community. Usually I shrug it off, but every once in a while, my wife and I get fed up and try to spread the truth.

The latest was sent by a friend and colleague who took one look at it and thought, "I bet this'll piss off Pal." She was right. The email contained a link to a notorious anti-vaccination site, and to one post in particular that repeats every inane vaccine myth as if it were fact.

It's not that there don't exist legitimate questions about some vaccines---it's that this author, well-known to me from many internet discussions, spews out the most ridiculous assertions as if they were facts. I beg of you---really, I'm begging---if you're on this email list, read a little further here, and spread the word, before it's too late.

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55 responses so far

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