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132 thoughts on ““Medical Voices” on vaccines: Brave, brave Sir Robin…

  1. Th1Th2 says:

    weing,

    I thought my question was clear. OK let me revise it a little bit: If you happen to rescue an agitated bleeding HBV positive patient and you are vaccinated, would you use gloves?

    Now, that’s fair enough.

  2. Harriet Hall says:

    Th1Th2,

    No, your question is not fair enough. It is not even relevant. No matter which way weing answered, his answer would reflect his personal opinion and his confidence that the vaccine would protect him in that specific situation, and his belief that the vaccine did or didn’t 100% guarantee immunity to every person who got it.

    We don’t want to know about any individual’s personal beliefs. We want to know whether the vaccine reduces the burden of illness in those vaccinated, whether vaccination reduces the burden of illness in the community including the non-vaccinated, and whether those not vaccinated are worse off than those vaccinated. The data are clear, and you have no data to refute them. Your arguments are not coherent, your responses to the comments are not responsive, and you keep saying the same obviously untrue things over and over. It’s becoming quite tiresome.

    I asked why you support not vaccinating when you admitted you had no evidence that the unvaccinated were better off. You never answered. I think you should make answering that question a priority.

  3. orange lantern says:

    Junkies, doctors and parents all wanted to get high. The more immunogenic a vaccine is, the higher antibody yield. The only difference is an alcohol pad.

    Vaccination is to mild sexual harassment and natural infection/diseases is to rape. Of course, vaccine apologists would rather want to be sexually harassed than the burden of getting raped.

    So by default, children MUST receive some mild form of sexual harassment because if not, they will suffer the painful consequences of getting raped in the future.

    OK, this crazy train has officially gone off the rails.

  4. Th1Th2 says:

    Science Mom,

    I have already debunked your myth. Unvaccinated infants are capable of resisting and eliminating PS encapsulated bacteria at the innate level before any infection can occur and more so with adaptive mechanisms.

    You said: “You have done nothing to answer the fact that infants, until ~2 years old, in fact, lack the capacity to mount a sufficient humoral, namely IgG response to polysaccharide bacteria, which provides immunological memory.”

    So how do you plan to infect an unvaccinated baby with PS encapsulated bacteria at the humoral level?

    “Infants cannot mount protective IgG antibodies and this is where you go completely off the rails asserting that it is an iatrogenic disease.

    HiB are restricted and stable in the skin and mucosal epithelium due to nonadaptive mechanism of the innate immunity (non-humoral). So any antibody mediation is unnecessary without an existing focal infection and one way of breaching the innate barrier is thru direct inoculation of Hib components to muscle tissues to induce humoral response.

    “By that logic, Hib disease should have increased with vaccination, but just the opposite has occurred.”

    Hib disease can be asymptomatic, so what’s your point?

    “So, to make it easier for you, have any immunocompetent infants acquired Hib disease pre-vaccine?”

    Have you been tested for HiB titer, by any chance?

  5. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

    @ Th1Th2,

    “This is the most idiotic crap that I have ever heard in this forum so far. I bet you still use a baby walker when you walk, don’t you?”

    I’ll assume that is your concession of defeat. I in fact, both walk and run regularly without the use of assistance devices.

    “Junkies, doctors and parents all wanted to get high. The more immunogenic a vaccine is, the higher antibody yield. The only difference is an alcohol pad.”

    Well, you’ve got something right in your second sentence. Your first is pretty much another indication you lack a valid argument. At least we’ve established that.

  6. gaiainc says:

    When I saw Th1Th2 show up here, I was hoping people would leave him/her alone, given how past threads have gone. I didn’t think I’d hear anything new, but I did. Somehow in wanting to protect my child and patients from disease, I am wanting to get high (or they are wanting to get high… actually, I’m not even sure which it is). News to me.

    I almost want to ask Th1Th2 about GBS and why it is so devastating to neonates, but I’m not sure the answer is worth it.

    As for being back on target, I can have as many facts on my side as I want, but that doesn’t mean I’ll win the argument. As has been noted before, you cannot reason someone out of a position that she/he didn’t reason themselves into in the first place. Our brains are better hardwired for anecdote, which I sometimes use if I want to convince a patient go a particular way. It seems to work more often than just presenting the facts (recall bias and confirmation bias always possible confounders).

  7. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

    Th1Th2:

    “You misread. Vaccination is to mild sexual harassment and natural infection/diseases is to rape. ”

    No, that was my point – vaccination is not like mild sexual harassment. Vaccination is like self-defence training in that it prevents infection. I got it, and provided an analogy that was, in my mind, much, much more appropriate.

    “I thought my question was clear. OK let me revise it a little bit: If you happen to rescue an agitated bleeding HBV positive patient and you are vaccinated, would you use gloves?”

    Considering there are many possible diseases spread by blood, you’re unlikely to know whether the person is infected, and vaccination is imperfect, the only sensible answer is “yes”. Acknowledging that vaccination is a powerful in the prevention of infection doesn’t mean it is a panacea that eliminates all risk. That kind of absolutism isn’t science, it’s pseudoscience (or propaganda).

    “Unvaccinated infants are capable of resisting and eliminating PS encapsulated bacteria at the innate level before any infection can occur and more so with adaptive mechanisms.”

    Unvaccinated infants can resist these bacteria, innate barriers can prevent infections, but they don’t in all circumstances. Hence vaccination.

    “Hib disease can be asymptomatic, so what’s your point?”

    If Hib disease went from being symptomatic to asymptomatic because of vaccination, then hasn’t vaccination worked? What’s the difference, in practical terms, between being asymptomatically infected with Hib, and not being infected at all? Aside from some sort of platonic ideal, I can’t see any and I don’t think anyone can show me a downside to asymptomatic infection. In fact, I think most researchers would argue that that is essentially the whole point of vaccination – to create safe, asymptomatic infection.

  8. Th1Th2 says:

    WLU,

    You said this:

    “Vaccination is like self-defence training in that it prevents infection.”

    And later this:

    “the whole point of vaccination – to create safe, asymptomatic infection.”

    This explain why vaccine apologists would cower in any debate because the same science they have been teaching and practicing will eventually lead to embarrassing contradiction.

    No wonder they don’t want to taste their own medicine.

  9. Rogue Medic says:

    @ Th1Th2 – on 21 May 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Rogue Medic,

    “Not vaccinating is more harmful than vaccinating.”

    So by default, children MUST receive some mild form of sexual harassment because if not, they will suffer the painful consequences of getting raped in the future. And this event, like WLU said earlier, is “inevitable”, such as children are destined to get raped sometime in the future.

    Vaccination has nothing to do with sexual harassment of children. Why do you continue to write about your fantasy about child sexual harassment rape?

    What kind of a sick parent are you??

    I am not the one continually writing about sexually harassing and raping children. This is your sickness to defend, not mine.

  10. Rogue Medic says:

    @ Th1Th2 – on 21 May 2010 at 5:12 pm

    weing,

    I thought my question was clear. OK let me revise it a little bit: If you happen to rescue an agitated bleeding HBV positive patient and you are vaccinated, would you use gloves?

    I use gloves when blood is present, because it is the right thing to do to minimize the spread of blood and to protect others.

    Since you never seem to think of others, you do not appear to understand this.

    It is also reasonable to use gloves to protect myself, since no vaccine is 100% effective and it is to be expected that the blood, or other bodily fluid, is infected with whatever we would least like to be infected with.

    Why shouldn’t I assume that the patient is HIV+?

    I do assume that, until proven otherwise, the patient is HIV+ and hepatitis C+, the hepatitis B is the least of my concerns, since I have been vaccinated against hepatitis B.

    Nobody pretends vaccines are 100% effective, but people who do not understand risk management mistakenly see this as a problem. It would be nice if vaccines were 100% effective. Since this bothers you so much, maybe you can try to create a 100% effective vaccine.

    If gloves were not available, then I would still attempt to control the bleeding.

    I would expect you to be across the street, taking pictures to sell to the media.

    Now, that’s fair enough.

    You never seem to make any attempt to be fair. You also seem to avoid honesty like the plague. After all, you have not been vaccinated against plague, have you?

  11. Th1Th2 says:

    Harriet,

    “No, your question is not fair enough. It is not even relevant. ”

    Blood, Hepatitis B, HepB vaccine and gloves are not relevant ? Would you be happy if I take the gloves out of the equation?

    “I asked why you support not vaccinating when you admitted you had no evidence that the unvaccinated were better off. You never answered. I think you should make answering that question a priority.”

    I responded to that question ages ago. Here it is and I quote:

    Th1Th2on 21 May 2010 at 1:54 am

    “because no such studies do exist. It is not known how many infections are dealt solely by the nonadaptive mechanisms of innate immunity unless someone who is unvaccinated is willing to be infected.”
    ————————————————-

    In return, do you have any evidence to show that the vaccinated are less likely to contract exogenous diseases and/or infection?

  12. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

    @Th1Th2, and with some context:

    Me: “the whole point of vaccination – to create safe, asymptomatic infection.”

    Th1Th2: “This explain why vaccine apologists would cower in any debate because the same science they have been teaching and practicing will eventually lead to embarrassing contradiction.

    Vaccine apologists (on this blog, “promoters of science-based medicine”, elsewhere, probably just “people who trust doctors”) don’t cower in any debate – in fact, any comments section you post in quickly descends into nothing but debate. They don’t cower in scientific journals or other legitimate areas of debate – they simply insist on evidence and sound methodology rather than, again, platonic idealism. There has been years of debate over the safety of vaccination, in fact, resistance to vaccines is older than even homeopathy.

    An asymptomatic infection isn’t a contradiction. Every time we are exposed to an infection we already have acquired immunity to, we become asymptomatically infected. The pathogen is still there, still creating antigens, they just aren’t causing symptoms because they are controlled or attenuated by antibodies and other immune reactions. Again, the whole point of a weakened antigen exposure (vaccination) is to cause acquired immunity without the risks of full-on infection. There’s no contradiction – infection is the presence of pathogens in the body. Symptoms are manifestations of the body fighting of the infection, or the infection harming the body. Not all infections cause symptoms, particularly not when the body already has immunity to the pathogen. Simple, and only a contradiction if there is an erroneous belief that infections have a 1:1, absolute relationship rather than an association.

    “No wonder they don’t want to taste their own medicine.”

    On Orac’s blog a while bag, someone made the claim that vaccine promoters secretly refuse vaccination. There was an immense pile-on of people who freely and quickly admitted to receiving numerous vaccinations in the recent past. I got four last year – H1N1, seasonal influenza, Hep A and typhoid. When I went to Asia a while back, I got yellow fever and Hep B, plus a tetanus-diphtheria booster. I think I got Hep C too, and I might ask for rabies and a measles booster the next time I see my doctor. I’ve no reason to lie, and neither will anyone else here. You can always fall back on “conspiracy”, but that’s pretty much the weakest argument anyone can make. The only thing weaker is to invoke Godwin’s law.

  13. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

    Oops, how embarrassing.

    I did say both “Vaccination is like self-defence training in that it prevents infection” and “the whole point of vaccination – to create safe, asymptomatic infection.”

    Allow me to correct my statements: Vaccination is like self-defence training in that it prevents symptomatic infection. The whole point of vaccination is to create a safe, asymptomatic acquired immune reaction. Precision is important! And my point still stands. Vaccination produces a controlled, limited reaction through exposure to an attenuated live virus or killed antigen fragments. Subsequent exposure to the same virus or antigens produces a significantly larger reaction that again prevents symptoms and allows the body to fight off a pathogen without serious risk.

  14. Th1Th2 says:

    Rogue Medic,

    I said and asked this: I would love to be HbsAg-free, wouldn’t you?

    And you replied:

    ” Rogue Medic on 21 May 2010 at 3:18 am

    “No. Absolutely not.”

    And now you’re gonna use gloves??

    Contradiction.

  15. David Gorski says:

    It makes no sense to debate Th1. He has no idea what disease is. He makes claims but has no evidence to support it. He rejects clinical evidence as it does not support his delusional claims. It’s a waste of time. It’s akin to debating someone that believes the moon is made of green cheese.

    It is, as Professor Lipstadt put it, like trying to nail jelly to the wall.

    Th1/Th2 would fit in very well at Medical Voices or on a creationist website.

  16. lillym says:

    Captain Logic is not steering Th1Th2′s tugboat

    Th1Th2′s posts read like some kind of bizarre Mad Libs all you have to do is make a word salad and throw in innate and naive a few times.

  17. Science Mom says:

    I have already debunked your myth. Unvaccinated infants are capable of resisting and eliminating PS encapsulated bacteria at the innate level before any infection can occur and more so with adaptive mechanisms.

    No you didn’t you merely keep asserting fallacious statements and refuse to answer my questions in a straightforward manner. Polysaccharide-encapsulated bacteria such as Hib, S. pneumoniae, N. meningitidis are able to evade host innate immune defences and have very limited humoral response. All can and do lead to pathology. You haven’t provided a single shred of evidence to the contrary, and no, hand-waving doesn’t count.

    You said: “You have done nothing to answer the fact that infants, until ~2 years old, in fact, lack the capacity to mount a sufficient humoral, namely IgG response to polysaccharide bacteria, which provides immunological memory.”

    So how do you plan to infect an unvaccinated baby with PS encapsulated bacteria at the humoral level?

    I plan on doing nothing of the kind; unfortunately for you, that is a consequence of simply being alive and even more so for an unvaccinated infant.

    “Infants cannot mount protective IgG antibodies and this is where you go completely off the rails asserting that it is an iatrogenic disease.

    HiB are restricted and stable in the skin and mucosal epithelium due to nonadaptive mechanism of the innate immunity (non-humoral). So any antibody mediation is unnecessary without an existing focal infection and one way of breaching the innate barrier is thru direct inoculation of Hib components to muscle tissues to induce humoral response.

    Your obsession with innate immunity is odd as is your idea that it is somehow infallible, if not perfect but it isn’t. Are you really contending that Hib is never invasive sans vaccination? I would love to see your references for that.

    “By that logic, Hib disease should have increased with vaccination, but just the opposite has occurred.”

    Hib disease can be asymptomatic, so what’s your point?

    “So, to make it easier for you, have any immunocompetent infants acquired Hib disease pre-vaccine?”

    Have you been tested for HiB titer, by any chance?

    You seriously can’t answer simple questions can you? Does it hurt that much that the answers will cause your paradigm to cease to be? So let’s try this, a simple dichotomous answer required.
    1.) Has Hib caused serious sequelae and death in infants pre-vaccine?
    2.) Does N. meningitidis cause serious sequlae and death in infants (U.S. no vaccine for infants)?
    3.) Has S. pneumoniae caused serious sequelae and death in infants pre-vaccine?

    And I’m only interested in the simple, direct answers to those questions, not anything else. Oh yes, I have never had any reason to test my Hib titres, which is completely irrelevant since I am over the age of 2.

  18. Rogue Medic says:

    @ Th1Th2 – on 21 May 2010 at 9:27 pm

    Rogue Medic,

    I said and asked this: I would love to be HbsAg-free, wouldn’t you?

    And you replied:

    ” Rogue Medic on 21 May 2010 at 3:18 am

    “No. Absolutely not.”

    And now you’re gonna use gloves??

    Contradiction.

    No contradiction at all.

    Not even close to a contradiction.

    I already explained in the comment on 21 May 2010 at 8:57 pm that you did not quote from.

    I explained that in a way that should have been clear. I included an explanation because I expected this childish response.

    Assuming that you really understood some of it, what part did you not understand?

  19. Th1Th2 says:

    WLU,

    “Allow me to correct my statements: Vaccination is like self-defence training in that it prevents symptomatic infection. The whole point of vaccination is to create a safe, asymptomatic acquired immune reaction.”

    So vaccination cannot cause an asymptomatic infection, is that what you meant?

  20. Chris says:

    Science Mom:

    No you didn’t you merely keep asserting fallacious statements and refuse to answer my questions in a straightforward manner. …

    Your obsession with innate immunity is odd as is your idea that it is somehow infallible, if not perfect but it isn’t. Are you really contending that Hib is never invasive sans vaccination? I would love to see your references for that.

    ..
    You seriously can’t answer simple questions can you? Does it hurt that much that the answers will cause your paradigm to cease to be? So let’s try this, a simple dichotomous answer required.

    Dr. Crislip has a very recent Quackcast based on his “Nine Questions, Nine Answers” article here. It is worth a listen. In it he reveals that he (like me, and it makes sense since we are the same age) spent too much of his allowance on Superman comics. He makes a reference to Bizarro World. This is obviously where Troll1/Troll2 lives.

  21. momkat says:

    TH1TH2, if this innate immunity is so powerful and protective, please explain to me how a newborn can die from massive Group B strep colonization within hours of birth, or within days from herpes colonization And what about congenital syphilis and rubella?

  22. Rogue Medic says:

    @ Th1Th2 – on 21 May 2010 at 11:19 pm

    WLU,

    “Allow me to correct my statements: Vaccination is like self-defence training in that it prevents symptomatic infection. The whole point of vaccination is to create a safe, asymptomatic acquired immune reaction.”

    So vaccination cannot cause an asymptomatic infection, is that what you meant?

    In the quote you provided, he specifically states that, “The whole point of vaccination is to create a safe, asymptomatic acquired immune reaction.”

    You mistakenly conclude that he means the opposite of what he writes.

    How do you manage to interpret, “The whole point is . . . ” to mean “cannot”?

  23. BillyJoe says:

    The Fool’s Tale.

    Thick@Thicker thinks that the following is the order of preference:

    1) Not infected (= intact)
    2) Infected by vaccination (= sexual harrassment)
    3) Infected by pathogenic organisms (= rape)

    He thinks innate immunity is sufficient to prevent infection provided skin and mucousal surfaces are not breached.

    He thinks it is actually possible to maintain intact skin and mucousal surfaces throughout life.

    He attributes innate immunity at least partly to passive transfusion of maternal antibodies, which means he is relying on his mother having being repeatedly “raped”.

    (Of course the rest of his innate immunity is the result of evolution of the immune system which presumably relied on the repeated “rape” of his ancestors)

  24. Th1Th2 says:

    Billy Joe,

    “He attributes innate immunity at least partly to passive transfusion of maternal antibodies, which means he is relying on his mother having being repeatedly “raped”.”

    “Passive transfusion of maternal antibodies” is NOT classified as part of innate immunity.

    Epic fail. Try again.

    “(Of course the rest of his innate immunity is the result of evolution of the immune system which presumably relied on the repeated “rape” of his ancestors)”

    And how many times have you been “sexually harassed”? How does it feel like? Do you feel protected at all? When is your next visit?

  25. BillyJoe says:

    …another informative post from thick@thicker

  26. Scottynuke says:

    It’s well-established that SBM (and Dr. Gorski’s other outlet) want an unfettered flow of information, so there’s no moderation (except for egregious personal attacks, spamming, etc). However, mindless threadjacking by the clueless chews up far too much space and time on this blog.

    A suggestion — create an SBM page where you list “threadjackers” and their pet topics, inability to accept reality, and so on. When they show up in a thread, any regular commenter can simply post the URL to the threadjacker’s entry and suggest people ignore the troll. That way, even the uninitiated can be waved off from engaging the trolls yet again over the same ‘ol drooling unreality.

  27. Th1Th2 says:

    Science Mom,

    “Polysaccharide-encapsulated bacteria such as Hib, S. pneumoniae, N. meningitidis are able to evade host innate immune defences and have very limited humoral response.”

    Are you sure your host still alive? You have been too adamant to disregard the protective skin barrier of the neonate, which is just one of so many factors of innate immunity, and the dominant maternal IgG that are able to neutralize in the event PS-encapsulated bacterial infections amid ongoing neonatal B cell maturation.

    I asked you: So how do you plan to infect an unvaccinated baby with PS encapsulated bacteria at the humoral level?

    You replied, “I plan on doing nothing of the kind; unfortunately for you, that is a consequence of simply being alive and even more so for an unvaccinated infant.”

    Seriously, you planned on doing nothing to breach the baby’s “innate system”. Thank you for being honest.

  28. Maz says:

    I read through this rather lengthy, and silly, debate with Th1/Th2 and was impressed with his cool repose and firm grasp of the facts.

    I even went so far as to chelate myself this morning to filter out all of the vaccines I have taken (so as to protect my innate immunity from further compromise).

    Alas, my confidence in Th’s accuracy was short lived. Not two minutes ago I finished building my Machine-That-Knows-Everything and ran it through the motions. After deriving the Standard Model of Physics from observing a simple goldfish, I was sufficiently convinced of my machine’s abilities. When asked about the multitude of “facts” and assertions made by Th, the machine promptly smacked me in the face, told me to go get vaccinated and then exploded (leaving no evidence whatsoever).

    So, what have we learned? Well, we can conclusively say that Th is a troll or moron who is only out to pester the skeptics of SBM. Moreover, he/she may put a little too much thought into sexually harassing babies.

    Don’t believe me? You don’t have to! My machine said so, and everyone knows crap that computers tell you is always true. Now, can we all agree to ignore Th now that his or her position has been totally annihilated?

    (As one of the members of SBM reminded us a couple of weeks ago: “An assertion made with no evidence can be refuted with the same”)

  29. SD says:

    Ah, Cde. Gorski. Since I saw you pining for my wisdom in the other thread, I figured I’d jump in this one.

    Oddly enough, I agree – you shouldn’t debate these people. That’s because – how can I put this delicately? – you, as well as most scientists, have a personality that is about as appealing to the general public as a sewage-treatment pond.

    Also oddly enough, let me say that I say that without rancor (in this instance). That’s just how it is. You, like most scientists, are not wired to build rapport with people, it seems. If you were, the odds are good that you wouldn’t have become a scientist.

    Okay, so Rule Zero of debate these days is a concept that has been summarized relatively recently on teh Intarwebs: “tl;dr”. That’s short for “too long; didn’t read”, for those who are not l33t. This concept is a pithy summary of an eternal truth; your audience has only so much attention, so you’d better make your pitch short and punchy, and preferably entertaining. Not for nothing has “oration” considered a proper subject of study for civilized gentlemen in all ages.

    So, SD – you ask – criticism is all well and good, but how would *you* debate these folks?

    Well, in my mind, it would go something like this:

    “Hello, ladies and gentlemen of the Anti-Vaccination Symposium. Looks like I’m the public defender assigned to Satan in today’s docket, huh? Lu… cky… ME!

    Okay. Well, let me start off by saying this – I am not a fan of doctors. To my mind, they are some of the most pompous assholes you’ll ever meet in your life, perpetually in love with what they *think* they know. You know how the old joke goes about the difference between God and a doctor, how God doesn’t think he’s a doctor? Yeah. That tells you all you need to know about most MDs. In fact, I could tell you some stories about chemistry professors I know, and how they make it their mission to bust pre-meds cheating… That’s a story for another time, though.

    Here’s the deal, guys. Whether you like doctors or don’t like them, the truth is that *most* of them are just trying to do the best they can for their patients, with the best knowledge they have. Yes, I agree, that is in many ways influenced by the amount of money involved; don’t even get me started on how Big Pharma puts its thumb on the scales, okay? However, these people have to sleep at night, and I defy you to find one person, one *doctor*, who will knowingly sell out a patient, give them known bad medicine, for a chunk of change. That sort of thing gets to you pretty quick, and those guys are weeded out pretty quick, because nobody likes to think that they’re Judas, and the ones that are okay with that idea tend to stand out. If anything, doctors have a friggin’ hero complex – they *love* to save lives and maybe afterward enjoy a few moments of sexual tension with the hot nurse, am I right?

    So, the question is how they get the knowledge they use. Now, there’s a million things we *don’t* know about how life works. It’s still a huge mystery. Anybody who tells you differently, is selling something. Now, we have two major problems with obtaining knowledge about how the human body works: one, everybody is different, and two, it’s not ethical to just pin someone down to the table and do a bunch of Nazi biology experiments on them to figure out what makes them tick. We pretty much don’t do that anymore; ethical breaches tend to be limited to things like “using blood samples for more purposes than we told the donors about”, and other suchlike. That’s pretty tame, truth be told, and if that’s as bad as it gets, then we don’t have much to complain about. However, that limits us; in order to get any kind of meaningful result under those conditions, we have to take samples of treatments across a whole bunch of *different* people, then crunch some numbers and see if the result indicates that it’s better to inject something than to dance naked under the full moon.

    (Not that I am discounting the benefits of dancing naked under the full moon, of course. *wiggles eyebrows*)

    So, that’s what we call a study. Most of you probably know that already. I’ll be the first to say it – these studies suck. The math is almost as boring as the papers they write about it. The best you can say about them is that, with enough studies, although you haven’t quite found the Truth about what’s going on, you can sort of make out the shape of the Truth in the numbers.

    So here’s the Macguffin: what studies tell us is that it is generally better for kids to be vaccinated than not. I mean, think about it – if the kid is going to have a problem with the vaccine, then what kind of problem do you think he’ll have with the disease, should he contract it? That seems pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? Now, this might not be true in every instance. It is the job of parents to make that decision – is my child better vaccinated, or better not? In most cases, the answer is, “Better vaccinated”. The only case in which that might not be true is an obvious and severe reaction to the vaccination. Trouble is, you don’t always know who will or won’t have such a reaction. Most people tolerate it pretty well – the majority of the people in this room were vaccinated, right? Let’s see hands. Who got vaccinations as a kid? Come on, be honest… Okay, now take a look around. Apparently healthy individuals standing all around you, each of whom got stabbed with a needle as a kid. As I said, most people don’t have a problem with it, and the benefits outweigh the risks. Things like measles still kill, all over the world, and there are nasty complications that can arise later if the disease is contracted as a kid, or worse, if the disease is *not* contracted as a kid and then contracted later in life. As an example, one reason why mumps was so dreadful is because it causes testicular damage to men if it’s contracted after puberty. Yup, they swell up and are frequently damaged to the point of infertility. Nasty, huh?

    Now, their pomposity notwithstanding, there *have* been investigations done by doctors into the questions and concerns raised by the anti-vaccination community. F’rinstance, thimerosal. Now, I agree, the notion of injecting mercury into kids is not one that I’m hugely thrilled about, but let’s not forget, they still sell mercurochrome over the counter to put on scrapes and bruises, and that was even more prevalent back in the day. Both mercurochrome and thimerosal are organic mercury compounds; in fact, thimerosal should be a little nicer, because it has a nice big sulfur atom that the mercury doesn’t want to let go of to go ricocheting through the body wreaking havoc…

    But I’m getting too far into propeller-headed stuff. Sorry. Suffice it to say, the information is out there. Now, the problem is this – it doesn’t sound very good, because ‘we weren’t able to find anything in this study’ is not the same thing as ‘there’s nothing there’. That’s where you come in. The best we have right now is that, once all the statistics are cooked and analyzed, there doesn’t seem to be a correlation between vaccination and these diseases. The studies are, unfortunately, pretty good. Usually, that means that what you’re looking for isn’t there; there’s some other cause, or some other effect. In order to find those causes or effects, you have to cast your minds across different theories and see if any associations pop out. It might be that vaccination is part of the problem, but – and I hate to say this – unless you can find statistical evidence of a link, or a plausible biochemical mechanism of action that can be detected (and such effects are WICKEDLY hard to detect in living beings, particularly effects on cognition), then the best advice is ‘Vaccinate, because the disease is almost certainly going to be worse than the vaccine reaction’.

    You might not believe that, of course, and it’s your right to make that decision. Like most such decisions, just remember one thing: your kids are the ones who have to bear the cost if you guess wrong. Since you were vaccinated as a kid, it won’t be you to suffer from that illness. I don’t envy you your decision.

    So, that’s where it is. We kind of muddle through, trying to do the best we can, making the best choices with the information we have at the time – the same way as everybody else. In all this debate, try to rememeber that. Nobody likes to see a kid hurting… not even a doctor with a God complex, or a scientist who takes a vacation from thinking like a human being for awhile. Try always to remember that they have families too, and that they are trying to help yours, and that we’re all human beings here, and that most of us have good will.

    Thank you. If anybody has any questions for me, I’ll be dancing naked under the full moon.”

    That’s about 15-20 minutes worth of speech, I think. I suspect I’d get applause. for it, too, even from that crowd. I encourage study of the style; it communicates the substantial majority of your position while not coming off like a total prick, and encourages thought (and sympathy) on the part of the audience.

    “jedi mind trick ftw”
    -SD

  30. tankgrrl says:

    Wow. SD, if your intent was to show an example of “pompous” and tl;dr, then bravo. You succeeded.

  31. trrll says:

    Th1Th2 writes, “Well, I do not get cuts everyday, do you? ”

    Do you brush your teeth? Chew your food?

    Both of these activities have been shown to introduce bacteria into the bloodstream.

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