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Delaying Vaccines Not A Good Idea

AndEvil Mr. Vaccine and the consequences of vaccination.

There’s nothing like cold hard data to counteract opinion and propaganda. The anti-vaccine movement hit upon a clever marketing phrase with their “Too Many, Too Soon” campaign. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to capture the complexity and nuance of scientific data with a witty slogan, so such slogans tend to work better for those who don’t really care about such things as scientific data.

I’ll give it a try in any case: how about “too few, too late.” Or maybe, “A day late and an antigen short.”

OK, now you know why I’m not in the marketing business. So let’s talk about the actual scientific data.

The recommended vaccine schedule is not, it turns out, arbitrary or designed to maximize the profits of the vaccine industry. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommended vaccine schedule is designed to give children vaccines as soon as they need them and are old enough to handle them – maximizing benefit while minimizing risk. Booster shots are optimized to produce a sufficient antibody response for maximal protection. I don’t think anyone would argue that the schedule is perfect, but it is rational and evidence-based.

Also, no one argues that the risk of vaccines is zero. No medical intervention has a zero risk. In medicine we look at risk vs benefit. Vaccines have one of the highest (if not the highest) benefit to risk ratios of any major medical intervention we have developed. It is ironic that it is attacked by ideologues as unsafe.

One potential risk of vaccines is that the immune response they elicit may cause a fever which in turn might cause, in susceptible children, a febrile seizure. In rare cases vaccinations have been followed by encephalitis (brain inflammation) with not only seizures but more serious neurological complications. The incidence of post-vaccination encephalitis is 1-2 cases per million vaccines, and this is just association, without knowing how many represent true cause and effect.

A recently-published study sheds further light on the risk of seizures following vaccination, and also compares the recommended vaccine schedule to delayed schedules.” Timely Versus Delayed Early Childhood Vaccination and Seizures“, was recently published in the journal, Pediatrics. They found:

METHODS: In a cohort of 323 247 US children from the Vaccine Safety Datalink born from 2004 to 2008, we analyzed the association between the timing of childhood vaccination and the first occurrence of seizure with a self-controlled case series analysis of the first doses of individual vaccines received in the first 2 years of life.
RESULTS: In infants, there was no association between the timing of infant vaccination and postvaccination seizures. In the second year of life, the incident rate ratio (IRR) for seizures after receipt of the first measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR) dose at 12 to 15 months was 2.65 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.99–3.55); the IRR after an MMR dose at 16 to 23 months was 6.53 (95% CI 3.15–13.53). The IRR for seizures after receipt of the first measles-mumps-rubella-varicella vaccine (MMRV) dose at 12 to 15 months was 4.95 (95% CI 3.68–6.66); the IRR after an MMRV dose at 16 to 23 months was 9.80 (95% CI 4.35 –22.06).

What this means is that, in the first year of life, there was no difference in seizure risk between children who received the full vaccine schedule on time, and those who had delayed or reduced vaccines. In this age group, alternate vaccine schedules had no benefit on the risk of seizures.

In the second year of life, however, those who delayed the MMR vaccine to 12-15 months had almost triple the seizure risk, while those delaying to after 16 months had a 6 times greater risk. This increased risk was even higher for the MMRV vaccine.

This data strongly suggests that getting vaccines on time has a lower risk of post-vaccination febrile seizures than delaying to the second year of life, when the inherent risk is greater.

While this is a large study with rigorous methods, it is a retrospective cohort study, not a prospective randomized study. Therefore it is possible that there are confounding factors. Still it provides strong evidence that the current vaccine schedule is superior to alternative or delayed schedules.

A 2010 study using the same database found no correlation between timely vaccines and any adverse neurological outcome. In other words – delaying the vaccine schedule did not reduce the incidence of neurological disorders.

Further there are many studies showing that delayed or reduced vaccine schedules increase the risk of contracting the diseases from which the vaccines protect.

Conclusion

The optimal timing of vaccines and number of boosters to be given is an important question in order to optimize the benefit and minimize the risks of vaccines. The current schedule, while it requires ongoing research and monitoring, is based on the best evidence that we currently have.

Popular delayed or alternate vaccine schedule are not based on evidence. They are based on fear and marketing.

It should come as no surprise that the evidence supports the use of an evidence-based vaccine schedule over a fear-based vaccine schedule.

Posted in: Vaccines

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85 thoughts on “Delaying Vaccines Not A Good Idea

  1. goodnightirene says:

    And yet, even many otherwise rational people who don’t abide pseudoscience in general will question “putting so much stuff into a tiny baby can’t be good”.

    As you say, it takes time to explain why this is an unfounded fear. I would like a quick response to this aspect of “vax fear” that I encounter, because some of these people are reachable and still open to information, but there often isn’t time for lengthy explanations. Just saying, “that’s not true” or “well, there’s this blog”, isn’t enough.

  2. Andrey Pavlov says:

    And yet, even many otherwise rational people who don’t abide pseudoscience in general will question “putting so much stuff into a tiny baby can’t be good”.

    How about the fact that they put dirty things in their mouths from the time they can grasp? Or the fact that they pass through a canal chock full of bacteria and antigens right next to another canal that is (often) simultaneously effluxing even more bacteria and antigens? How about the fact that we evolved in a world that, until very recently, had no concept of bacteria and antigens and thus we were chronically exposed to “so much stuff as tiny babies”?

    Of course the easy (but fallacious) rebut is that the injection bypasses the (supposedly) necessary skin defenses. Well… then why aren’t babies with skinned knees dying and developing autism? And why don’t we desperately fear and clutch our pearls when infants get a cut? What about direct birth trauma?

    1. nutrition prof says:

      http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=123369940
      I realize this is a bit dated, but I believe this particular quote is pertinent:
      “The biggest change has been in the pertussis vaccine, which used to contain about 3,000 antigens from the whole pertussis bacterium. Now, vaccinologists have plucked out the five molecules that by themselves can set off an immune response.”

      More vaccines…less antigen-next question?

    2. irenegoodnight says:

      Thanks, but I’m not sure about dirty things in mouth being comparable to big ugly needle full of TOXINS. I think Mark Crislip gave a nice comparison once of the daily amount of nasty stuff babies are exposed to, but I haven’t been able to locate the post.

      Also, do you know a mother who doesn’t exhibit fear and clutch her pearls if her baby gets a cut? I nicked my daughters pinky while trimming her nails once and cried for days! Didn’t have any pearls at the time, but I nearly called the child abuse hotline and turned myself in. :-)

  3. stanmrak says:

    I don’t have a stake in the vaccine debate (I’m done for life), but items like these make me wonder:

    A new peer reviewed paper was published in a recent issue of Molecular and Genetic Medicine (s1:025)(s1:2014) that presents convincing evidence that the rapid increase in the number of vaccines given to US children has now created a state of immune overload in the majority, or close to the majority, of young US children and that this is being manifested by related health issues including epidemics of obesity, diabetes, and autism.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-paper-provides-convincing-evidence-vaccine-induced-immune-overload-and-related-serious-health-issues-is-becoming-the-norm-not-the-exception-in-us-children-2014-05-13

    In addition, you have no way of knowing whether or not vaccine studies and research that you accept as “peer-reviwed science”are legitimate and valid. Drug companies commit scientific fraud as a regular way of doing business; manipulating studies to get positive results is one of their most frequent offenses, and it often takes years before they’re caught:

    http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/06/27/47851.htm
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikakelton/2013/07/29/is-big-pharma-addicted-to-fraud/
    http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/ciencia_industrybigpharma89.htm
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/29/opinion/useless-pharmaceutical-studies-real-harm.html?_r=2&

    … and on and on.

    And, gee… wasn’t the mercury taken out of flu vaccines years ago? Apparently not:
    http://www.naturalnews.com/045418_flu_shots_influenza_vaccines_mercury.html

    1. Andrey Pavlov says:

      A new peer reviewed paper was published in a recent issue of Molecular and Genetic Medicine (s1:025)(s1:2014) that presents convincing evidence

      Stan, we all know you are absolutely incapable of determining whether something (particularly something as technical as this) is convincing evidence of anything. I got a shiny nickel that says it doesn’t even say what you think it says.

      And citing Natural News? Automatic fail Stan. Yes, thimerosol was removed from vaccines, except for the multi-dose influenza vaccine which is used in the minority of cases and almost never in children so it has pretty much zero bearing on autism. Jeez Stan, you’d think by now you’d at least up your game if not actually learn something with all the time you spend here.

      1. stanmrak says:

        wow- that’s a real science-based rebuttal!

        1. Andrey Pavlov says:

          That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

          That which is asserted without science and using known crappy sources can be dismissed without science and an indication of how crappy those sources were.

          1. Chris Hickie says:

            I’d take a phone number on a public bathroom wall as likely more valid than *anything* posted on Natural News.

        2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          wow- that’s a real science-based rebuttal!

          So says the man who cites natural news with a straight face.

          Besides stan, if you actually cared about science, you wouldn’t shill supplements, or deny the effectiveness of vaccines, or cite Classen’s work for any reason except to deride it.

          You only care about science when it supports your pre-existing beliefs. Like all pseudoscientists, you use it as a drunk uses a lamp post – as a prop, not a source of illumination.

          1. pharmacistnewb says:

            My favorite part is “look at this study proving you wrong” almost immediately followed by “research is so easy to fake…”

      2. Sulivanthepoop says:

        No to mention the “Heath Danger” used a mass spec to discover something that a vaccine insert and a calculator could have told him.

    2. Pharmacist-in-Exile says:

      So a (supposedly) peer-reviewed piece in a journal published by a less than reputable open access publisher has no potentially biased or fraudulent issues a long the lines in the second half of your comment?
      The fact that the paper is just a compilation of views from an individual running a scare-mongering consultancy business built on vaccine myths should otherwise put anyone who “don’t have a stake in the vaccine debate” on slightly less sure-footed ground. Reading the “mini-review” is just a laugh – the first reference “confirming” the anticipated “immune overload” is a patent by the author; the second reference providing evidence for the vaccine-induced epidemy of inflammatory disease is yet another publication by the author; in fact almost 25% of cited references in this “mini-review” is authored by the same person! If this is not cause for concern in a review on a subject that is far from ignored by the major epidemiologically and immunologically competent research institutes and health services – I wonder what would be.

    3. Tim says:

      Stan,
      “And, gee… wasn’t the mercury taken out of flu vaccines years ago? Apparently not:”

      No, NaturalNews misrepresented the claim, or they’ve been hearing a distorted version. The FDA says, “Thimerosal has been removed from or reduced to trace amounts in all vaccines routinely recommended for children 6 years of age and younger, with the exception of inactivated influenza vaccine (see Table 1).”
      http://www.fda.gov/biologicsbloodvaccines/safetyavailability/vaccinesafety/ucm096228
      —————————
      Also, NaturalNews’ description of mercury seems to be a lie by half-truth & distortion.

      The EPA limit they mention is for inorganic mercury–not a mercury compound like Thiomersal.

      (To compare that kind of distinction to another element: Elemental sodium explodes on contact with water, and elemental chlorine is toxic. But sodium-chloride is table salt. This distinction really, really matters.)

      So, if the mercury they tested for was thiomersal, then they’re blatantly lying.

    4. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      I don’t have a stake in the vaccine debate (I’m done for life), but items like these make me wonder

      That’s a bit deceptive. You’re ideologically opposed to scientific medicine, vaccination is an enormously important part of scientific medicine, therefore you are ideologically opposed to vaccination. QED. I mean, it’s a little deceptive – in fact it’s essentially an obvious lie – to try to portray yourself as a neutral observer.

      A new peer reviewed paper was published in a recent issue of Molecular and Genetic Medicine (s1:025)(s1:2014) that presents convincing evidence that the rapid increase in the number of vaccines given to US children has now created a state of immune overload in the majority, or close to the majority, of young US children and that this is being manifested by related health issues including epidemics of obesity, diabetes, and autism

      I don’t know who Dr. Classen is, but he appears to be following in Andrew Wakefield’s footsteps – generating fear, uncertainty and doubt about vaccines in an effort to sell his own allegedly safer version.

      Anyway, whoever Classen is, he’s not the only scientist in the world – and the general concern of the majority of those who are experts in this area is not that vaccines overwhelm the immune system. Far from it – newer vaccines use fewr and fewer antigens. Kids growing up today get exposed to a hundred or a thousand times fewere viral or bacterial particles than their parents did (and a million times fewer than someone naturally infected). Antigens are constantly entering the body and being neutralized, I hardly think the tiny, tiny amount found in even the entire vaccine schedule are so overwhelming as to challenge the body as much as a single day spent eating dirt in a public park.

      In addition, you have no way of knowing whether or not vaccine studies and research that you accept as “peer-reviwed science”are legitimate and valid. Drug companies commit scientific fraud as a regular way of doing business; manipulating studies to get positive results is one of their most frequent offenses, and it often takes years before they’re caught:

      A risk that is definitely present, but is somewhat offset by the massive, federally-funded studies on tens of thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands, of children in countries throughout the world (Italy, Denmark, the US spring to mind) that examine population-level figures to look for differences in outcomes with and without vaccination. The big study done in Italy, for instance, found that vaccines were slightly protective against autism (anyone have the link?).

      And, gee… wasn’t the mercury taken out of flu vaccines years ago? Apparently not:

      But…you’re citing Natural News. Natural News isn’t news, it’s ideology again. Mike Adams is a vitamin shill and moron – citing him is basically saying “I’m too stupid to realize how stupid Mike Adams is”.

      Also, regarding this story. Part of the reason the pool of vaccine manufacturers is so shallow is that knee-jerk idiots and fear-mongering pseudocelebrities like Jenny McCarthy have made it prohibitively expensive to enter the market. There are few incentives to bring new competition into the marketplace, since any company that does so must have an enormous amount of capital set aside to deal with the frivolous lawsuits they will inevitably have to endure. So, want to know why the mumps vaccine isn’t very good? It’s because idiots like you, stan, raise barriers to entry and drive down innovation, allowing private companies to gleefully maintain a monopoly. Far from hurting Big Pharma with your spurious demands and rage – you’re helping them.

      As far as they are concerned, your activities on the internet are more profitable than buying their stocks or bonds. Good job, you’re contributing to Merck’s ability to produce an inferior product for more money! Ken Frazier says “Thanks!”

      1. Andrey Pavlov says:

        I mean, it’s a little deceptive – in fact it’s essentially an obvious lie – to try to portray yourself as a neutral observer.

        Why is it that I can find (actually already know) about data on all these topics? Because I have too much time on my hands these days (and perhaps it came up over at NeuroLogica or something). That said, there was a study called:

        An Avowal of Prior Scepticism Enhances the Credibility of an Account of a Paranormal Event

        Anyways, the title speaks for itself.

        Orac wrote about it but the Daily Show on the topic was hilarious. Samanthee Bee said (I paraphrase), “And what does ‘consensus’ mean besides ‘overwhelming majority agrees with’” and in response to Susan (ick) Pope saying “who says vaccines are safe and effective” she said, “Well, uh, like, 99.9% of scientists… maybe 99.99%… like, around the world”

        Worth watching. I would have laughed harder if it weren’t so sad. The conclusion is brilliant as well (oh and Paul Offit was in the segment as well).

      2. Greg says:

        Part of the reason the pool of vaccine manufacturers is so shallow is that knee-jerk idiots and fear-mongering pseudocelebrities like Jenny McCarthy have made it prohibitively expensive to enter the market.

        I think you have to go a lot farther back – to the mid-80′s when vaccine manufacturers were getting hit with lawsuits over vaccine-damaged children. The US gov’t had to step in and give guarantees to the manufacturers otherwise no one would be manufacturing them. As it was, I believe, there was a critical shortage for a time. All of which lead VICP and VAERS.

        1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          Ya, I simplified, but idiots like McCarthy is perpetuating the need and publicizing it even more.

          1. Greg says:

            McCarthy and her ilk remind me of the adage that opinions are like assholes – everyone has one and most of them stink!

      3. stanmrak says:

        … and you think that government-sponsored studies are any more reliable than private-sector studies?

        1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          Um…yes, yes I do. Do you have evidence to the contrary? Certainly government-funded studies are still motivated mainly by the incentives of individual researches (significant results, tenure, further grant funds) but there isn’t the direct financial incentive you see with Pfizer and GSK.

          Also, you’ve said we can’t trust Big Pharma’s studies (which is to a certain extent true – independent confirmation is a must). Now you’re saying we can’t trust government studies. What can we trust then? You’ve neatly excluded nearly every single source of information that might ever challenge your beliefs – once again demonstrating that you don’t care about science unless it confirms what you already believe. We have further confirmation of this in your willingness to cite Natural News. Why is Natural News such a reliable source of information? Particularly when it is stuffed, just stuffed, to the gills, the rafters and the eyeballs, with advertising for products, links to these products and the NN store in every article, and obviously, obviously profits from increased fear regarding mercury toxicity from vaccines?

          What, Mike Adams is somehow miraculously the only person who has no conflict of interest or systematic incentives to increase traffic and fear to sell more products?

          Or is it that he’s already made so much money selling his useless supplements and potions that he simply doesn’t need it anymore?

          Hypocrite.

    5. David Gorski says:

      And, gee… wasn’t the mercury taken out of flu vaccines years ago?

      Citing Mike Adams for anything other than running Internet and marketing scams (at which he excels) is a fool’s errand:

      http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2014/06/03/adams-turns-his-mad-science-skillz-to-analyzing-a-flu-vaccine/

      http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2014/05/19/mike-adams-engages-in-legal-thuggery-against-critic/

      http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2014/05/14/americas-quack-dr-mehmet-oz/ (This one is about when Dr. Oz had Adams on his show a couple of weeks ago.)

    6. Adam says:

      I don’t have a stake in whether the moon landing was staged.

    7. Sulivanthepoop says:

      So, you aren’t antivaxx but you thought you would post even piece of psuedoscience nonsense associated with the antivaxx movement. Hmm … that seems unlikely.

    8. lilady says:

      “And, gee… wasn’t the mercury taken out of flu vaccines years ago? Apparently not:”

      And, gee Stan….if you could manage to tear yourself away from crank anti-vaccine websites to visit a reliable website for the availability of single dose seasonal influenza vaccines without Thimerosal you’d find this:

      http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/vaxsupply.htm

  4. Sawyer says:

    Suggested title for someone to steal – “The case against ‘Innocu-late-tions’ “

  5. Classen is an outlier. Also, if you are going to include COI, why not: SOURCE Classen Immunotherapies, Inc.

    The study is a review, mostly of his own research.

    I chose one reference at random that looked like it actually was a study of vaccines and risk of a specific disease, in this case, asthma. The conclusion:

    “There is no association between diphtheria, tetanus and whole cell pertussis vaccine, oral polio vaccine or measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and the risk of asthma. The weak associations for Hib and hepatitis B vaccines seem to be at least partially accounted for by health care utilization or information bias.”

    What about the journal? It is an open access journal (we now know what that means) with an apparent impact factor of 0.00 (http://www.researchgate.net/journal/1747-0862_Journal_of_molecular_and_genetic_medicine_an_international_journal_of_biomedical_research) Not sure if this is reliable, but that’s what I found.

    So – we have a lone researcher on the fringe publishing a review of his own research in an obscure open-access journal.

    Further – his entire premise is flawed. While the number of vaccines has increased, the number of antigens in the vaccine schedule has significantly decreased as the vaccines are more targeted.

    “Overall numbers of antigens have fallen from about 3,041 in 1980 to approximately 153 today. “

    1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      And let’s not forget the fact that Classen is mostly interested in drumming up business for his own competing vaccine.

      Sounds like Dr. Classen would be an interesting case study or blog fodder, a good focus for someone’s insolent attention. Nudge nudge!

    2. Chris says:

      Classen is also a patent troll: Diabetes, Vaccines, and the Patent Troll.

      1. MTDoc says:

        One judge in three appears capable of critical thinking. Perhaps I am being overly pessimistic, but I wonder if there is any hope for western civilization. Perhaps we should all just smoke pot and go down with the ship happy. Thanks for the link, but it did not do much for my mood or my BP.

  6. Harriet Hall says:

    If Dr. Jay Gordon does not comment here, I hope someone will contact him and find out how he reacts to this evidence. I predict that he will not change his recommendation to delay vaccines and that he will find a way to rationalize the new evidence away.

  7. fxh says:

    Vaccinate – before its too late.

  8. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

    What this means is that, in the first year of life, there was no difference in seizure risk between children who received the full vaccine schedule on time, and those who had delayed or reduced vaccines. In this age group, alternate vaccine schedules had no benefit on the risk of seizures.

    In the second year of life, however, those who delayed the MMR vaccine to 12-15 months had almost triple the seizure risk, while those delaying to after 16 months had a 6 times greater risk. This increased risk was even higher for the MMRV vaccine.

    This data strongly suggests that getting vaccines on time protects children from seizures far more than the vaccines themselves increase risk. So again, the benefit to risk ratio is very high.

    My word, it’s almost as if the large panel of experts assembled for this specific purpose, specialists in pediatric immunology, epidemiology, vaccination and diseases, actually knew what they were doing!

  9. Greg says:

    Can someone explain the rationale behind vaccinating infants for Hep B at birth? I don’t understand why you would vaccinate against it unless the mother is a known carrier or in an at-risk group.

    1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      I had looked up the reference before but won’t bother now. Hep B is a save vaccine, and a large portion (30% I think?) of those who acquire hep B have no risk factors and it’s a complete mystery where they acquired it. If they just vaccinated those infants with mothers who were carriers, a lot of people, 30 years down the road, would need new livers from a completely preventable disease.

      They do it at birth because it’s the most convenient time and place to do it, to protect those who acquire it from whatever the unknown source is.

    2. Andrey Pavlov says:

      Greg:

      This sums it up nicely but the short version is that there are millions of people with chronic HepB and 30-40% of them got it from childbirth. Basically, it is insurance against undiagnosed mothers. It is also bloodborne and extremely contagious. Meaning that young infants, toddlers, and so on can get it from their peers through cuts and scrapes. Immunizing at birth obviates this risk.

      The CDC also has an information page

    3. Sean Duggan says:

      Protection against potential infections for the rest of their life and decreased incidence of liver cancer.

    4. Sulivanthepoop says:

      HepB is a virus of the liver. Most adults clear liver infections easily. Children under 5 have a hard time clearing liver infections. Uncleared liver infections can lead to liver cancer and liver failure. Most people with chronic liver infections were infected before the age of 5. When the HepB vaccine first came out countries started giving it between 3 & 41/2 years old. It did little to change the incidence of HepB infections in children, 10% of which were in children with no known risk factor, so they started giving it earlier and earlier. It did not start to make a difference until it was given at 2 months or before with birth giving the greatest reduction.

      1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

        Neat! Thanks for the details!

  10. rork says:

    I hereby criticize the paper for not giving the actual risks in table 2 or text, instead only computing the relative risks (and usually Novella would too), but they do give enough data so that it’s easily computed. I’m slightly concerned that they didn’t show the absolute risks cause the differences aren’t as impressive looking then. The reason is that the risk of seizure when not in the vaccine risk window is higher for the younger groups (34% for MMR cohort, 41% for MMRV). As I suspected might be true, which is why I checked. So I get risk ratio of in window for late vs. early of 1.75 (rather than ratio of IRRs of 2.36) for MMR, 1.41 rather than 1.98 for MMRV. I’m not saying IRR is inappropriate, but it seems to have dangers – it’s possible to make-up scenarios where IRR is bigger for late than early, yet the absolute risk of seizure in window is smaller for the late group (in which case late gets you less seizures that might be vaccine caused) – Hi Ho. The paper also failed to test the risks for differences I think, which is also worthy of criticism – oh, it’s in Pediatrics (just kidding, mostly).

    One problem with my MMR numbers: I actually can’t reproduce that 6.53 number from their raw data for “late” MMR, so maybe there’s a typo in the raw data in table 2 – I get 6.23 (=(14/116)/(16/826) no rocket science used there I believe, but maybe there’s a hidden trick). I do get back their results for MMRV. Their confidence interval is symmetric about 6.53 (on log-scale), so I’m figuring they didn’t screw up the calculation, though it’s not impossible.

    1. rork says:

      In discussion “in the second year of life, delay of the
      first MMR vaccine until 16 months of age or older resulted in an IRR for seizures in the 7 to 10 days after vaccination that was 3 times greater than if administration of MMR vaccine occurred on time”.
      Even using their numbers that’d be 6.53/2.65=2.46 which they now call 3. (That’s where I got 2.36 above.) Maybe it’s the by application of “When in your favor, round N digits to N-1 digits, and only then to N-2 digits.” I ‘ll have to check methods ;)
      At least the sentence was written fairly, as opposed to later where they just called ratios of IRRs “increased risk”, as in “A twofold increased risk of febrile seizures in the 7 to 10 days after MMRV..”. That masks how tricky that ratio of IRRs is. I’m not happy.

      Maybe it’s the by application of “When in your favor, round N digits to N-1 digits, and only then to N-2 digits.”

      1. JD says:

        I was a little confused at first also, then I realized they used conditional Poisson regression. This would account for the fact that the observations are dependent, or correlated, within a case. This would cause the IRRs to differ somewhat from those obtained using the raw data in table two.

        1. rork says:

          Thanks JD. On first reading I thought just the tests (confidence intervals actually) were conditional Poissons.
          My comments on the possible dangers of ratios of IRRs still stand.

          1. JD says:

            Agreed. The language is a little rough, especially for the “ratio of ratios.” I would have taken the easy way out and gone with “the incidence rate ratio for children receiving delayed MMR was more than twice that of those vaccinated on schedule.” To me, this conveys a dramatic difference just as well.

            It would be an underpowered test, but a better way to compare the difference in ratios would have been to look at the interaction between exposure and delay. If this was statistically significant, it would provide solid evidence that the relationship was indeed different across the delay and on-time groups. Based on the fact that both IRRs are in the same direction, that is probably not likely though, and it is understandable why one would go with a qualitative comparison (albeit a potentially deceptive one).

  11. lagaya1 says:

    I’ve heard them use the “don’t wait, vaccinate” rhyme. It’s a pretty good one.

  12. CL5543 says:

    It seems to me that the vaccination of billions of the worlds children over the years is a gigantic scientific experiment. It also seems to me that it would be worthwhile to determine if there are any long-term, lifetime consequences of this experiment on its subjects. For example, do people who get vaccinated (compared with those who don’t) have higher or lower lifetime incidences of cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, asthma, or any other diseases.

    After a bit of research, I am surprised to find that this issue does not appear to have ever been studied in any serious and comprehensive way by anybody. The one paper I did find that attempted an answer for an unusual group of adults who received multiple vaccines as adults (Vaccine 23, 525), did not cite any references to any other long-term or lifetime studies. Here’s a copy of that paper:

    http://www.vaccines.mil/documents/library/Longtermhealtheffects.pdf

    One result of this study is that people who received multiple vaccines as adults characterized themselves as slightly less healthy than those who didn’t. I’d think such a finding would prompt others to look a little deeper into the situation, but I haven’t found any other papers on the topic.

    I am aware of the highly unscientific rationale for why a random controlled trial might not have been done (researchers are so sure that vaccines are so beneficial that it would be unethical to do the experiment), but there are other kinds of studies that could be done. And it would be a very easy experiment to do using mice.

    Perhaps I’m just not very good at searching the literature and so I would be grateful if anyone can post any references to any papers on the long-term effects of vaccines in either people or animals.

    Thanks.

    1. Chris Hickie says:

      1. People live a lot longer in countries with established vaccination programs than they did before implementation of those vaccine programs.
      2. You have to (in the US) find the pretty old (as in near-retirement) age pediatricians to hear about all the deaths they say from pertussis, hib, measles, etc, that almost no pediatricians have seen today.

    2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      It seems to me that the vaccination of billions of the worlds children over the years is a gigantic scientific experiment

      Well, so is eating, the internet, paving roads and wearing socks.

      It also seems to me that it would be worthwhile to determine if there are any long-term, lifetime consequences of this experiment on its subjects. For example, do people who get vaccinated (compared with those who don’t) have higher or lower lifetime incidences of cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, asthma, or any other diseases.

      There are a couple problems with this:
      1) Time scale – you’re talking about so many years between vaccination and these outcomes, even diabetes and asthma, that there are literally millions of potential confounds. In the past generation, computers, cell phones, the internet, the mainstreaming of fusion cuisine and increased obesity alone virtually preclude efforts to draw a meaningful conclusion.
      2) What are the alternatives to vaccination? While the fastest killer (asthma) might take years to develop, a vaccine-preventable disease can kill you in a day or so.
      3) The antigens involved. When you get vaccinated, at it’s peak you got 15,000 antigens (individual particles of virus or bacteria that result in an immune response). Now it’s less than 500 (for all vaccines, I believe). If you actually got measles, or pertussis, or HiB, you’re talking millions to billions of antigens. Vaccines actually present a much, much smaller immune challenge than actual infection – so if the vaccine caused such long-term complications, it would be much, much worse with the actual disease. The other ingredients are either naturally present in the body already, or in the environment, and are all well-understood in toxicological terms.
      4) Confounds again – the people who don’t vaccinate are an inherently different group from those who do. In poor countries, they’re generally the poor, who are exposed to massively different challenges than the wealthy. In wealthy countries, they tend to be well-off middle-class educated families who are again different from the average person who vaccinates. You would need to do a randomized, controlled, longituindal trial.
      5) Life expectancy. Since the advent of vaccination, lives are so much longer and healthier, there is pretty good historical proof that vaccination is far, far greater a boon than any hypothetical weakness. Basically, even if vaccines caused cancer, diabetes and the like – children still live long enough to develop them rather than choking to death on their own mucous before their fifth birthday.

      After a bit of research, I am surprised to find that this issue does not appear to have ever been studied in any serious and comprehensive way by anybody. The one paper I did find that attempted an answer for an unusual group of adults who received multiple vaccines as adults (Vaccine 23, 525), did not cite any references to any other long-term or lifetime studies. Here’s a copy of that paper:

      You’re also talking about a very specific population, at a very specific time – former workers for a US military medical research facility. Why were they “heavily vaccinated”? What work did they do there? Were they systematically exposed to diseases as well as vaccine? The only symptom which showed an average difference (and a minor difference at that) was fatigue, self-reported, with no dose-response effect. You’ve also got to wonder what might be different about the “heavily vaccinated” group. In addition, look at the list of diseases they got vaccinated for – these are really, really rare diseases for the most part; we do know that vaccines do vary in how they impact people, with some being worse or harder than others – so even if this found an effect (i.e. if that “minor difference in fatigue” were a real effect), it could have no relation to vaccination for the ubiquitous diseases vaccinated against in children.

      And if you look at the actual results, the tables on pages 530 and 531 – that’s scatter. The groups are pretty close, there’s no real trends, and they compare ultimately around what, 60 variables? Did they control for multiple comparisons? With this many variables, having one, subjective fatigue, being statistically (but not clinincally?) significant, isn’t surprising.

      And it would be a very easy experiment to do using mice.

      People aren’t mice. And the mice that are used in experimental trials are heavily inbred, making them even worse for such comparisons. Thalidomide is perfectly safe in rodents, but creates flipper babies in humans.

      But my overall question is – why worry about vaccines? If you catch the disease naturally, you get exposed to several million times more antigens than the vaccine. Why would a small dose of crippled antigens cause cancer when a millions times the dose of real antigen does not? The overall dose of vaccine as a whole is also tiny, and is mostly water. What’s not water is produced by the body (formaldehyde) or found in the environment (you eat a lot of aluminum).

      There is, however, one interesting line of thought – that autoimmunity, allergies and asthma may be increasing because of our much cleaner environment. In this case, vaccines do not cause autoimmunity directly, but their effects do. By driving serious, deadly, common diseases to near-extinction, we’re ultimately exposed to fewer immune challenges, which results in an immune system gone awry. It’s a popular area of research, but if true the conclusion is not to cease vaccinating, it is to expose people to harmless antigens. One day you may even get lab-mixed cocktails of selectively bred viruses and bacteira that allow the immune system to “practice” without killing anyone. Actually, a really neat possibility would be resurrecting historical strains of diseases, ones that never went through the cycles of lethality that our contemporary pathogens have, and using them as weaker infectious agents.

      Science!

      1. brewandferment says:

        Why were they heavily immunized? Well, if mine and my fellow recruits were any example, it seems that everyone got a full battery of every shot then available. My snarky opinion is that
        –recruits are assumed to be liars and/or too incompetent to produce their own actual shot records, or else for some reason they falsified them for the purposes of spreading disease that would incapacitate the military
        –it was just easier and cheaper to load up the vaccine guns and line up recruits and fire at will and with total precision of 100% of recruits
        –newly minted medics (aka hospital corpsmen in Navyspeak) needed practice in loading said guns and operating them so recruits were ready and available practice test dummies
        –said medics needed practice at being sadists who would send malingerers back to work unless they were actually at death’s door

        And then there was the anthrax vaccine–I got 4 of the 6 until 2 pregnancies interfered with the schedule and then my impending retirement made it moot to get the rest.

        That’s my cynical why (the actual vaccination practice has probably changed since the early 80s though) but the impact also has so many confounders (like, the percentage of smokers and the prevalence of second hand smoke for those who didn’t smoke; shift work and other sleep disturbances like watch rotations; stress of deployment; diet esp. while deployed, and so on) that it’s also hard to suss out any vaccine impacts if any.

        1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          I had the same thought but upon review these were mostly not actual military personnel, they were people employed by the military, but not enlisted. I’m thinking they were non-military lab staff or something similar, possibly even just the janitors and cafeteria staff who were “voluntold” for informal studies, in the heady days where research ethics consisted of a dartboard and a wet finger to test the prevailing wind.

    3. Windriven says:

      “it would be worthwhile to determine if there are any long-term, lifetime consequences of this experiment on its subjects. ”

      There are consequences. How many people do you know who died of smallpox or, for that matter, influenza? How many people do you know under the age of 60 who suffer the ravages of polio?

      The point is, you have to live long enough to get some proposed subsequent condition to even ask the question. And absent some smoking gun, winnowing any signal from the noise of normal aging would be a monumental task.

      So what would lead you to believe that immunity garnered from a deactivated agent would be more likely to cause some late onset disease than immunity garnered by the lucky few who survive the infection? How do we begin searching for the smoking gun, presuming that one might exist?

  13. stanmrak says:

    I guess no one wants to dispute the rampant fraud in scientific research. How can you believe any published study in the light of it? I’m not against science, contrary to what some might think. But one has no way of knowing if it’s been manipulated just by reading the report.

    1. Andrey Pavlov says:

      It is discussed. Rather extensively, actually

      What you want to do is conveniently yell fraud when it shows you are wrong. That is entirely different to discussing fraud in scientific research.

    2. Lawrence says:

      When decades of research all shows the same thing, it is extremely hard to believe your cries of “fraud” especially in light of the same results coming from government regulatory agencies (across the globe), independent research & educational institutions (across the globe), and study after study, after study….seriously dude, get a grip.

      1. Andrey Pavlov says:

        When decades of research all shows the same thing, it is extremely hard to believe your cries of “fraud” especially in light of the same results coming from government regulatory agencies (across the globe), independent research & educational institutions (across the globe), and study after study, after study….seriously dude, get a grip.

        SHHHHH!!!! Lawrence!

        You are totally going to screw up my kickbacks I get from Big Vax for shilling vaccines!

    3. Sawyer says:

      “I’m not against science, contrary to what some might think. But one has no way of knowing if it’s been manipulated just by reading the report.”

      Yes you are stan. You are absolutely, positively against every incarnation of science that has ever existed. You have had literally hundreds of opportunities to prove that the people you criticize are frauds, or demonstrate that you have relevant expertise on a topic, or to suggest some sort of alternative model of how to organize, fund, and publish research. You’ve never followed through on any of this. Ever.

      Your attitude towards fraud in science reminds me of an old interview on the Colbert Report. Stephen Colbert is interviewing someone that is deathly afraid that the Large Hadron Collider is going to destroy earth. He mentions that physicists acknowledge there is a “chance” that this could happen, and then decides that chance means 50% odds. He doesn’t seem to understand that getting probabilities wrong by orders of magnitude is kind of a big deal.

      Fifty percent of the research covered on this site is not fraudulent. Five percent is not fraudulent. Maybe 0.5%, and that’s assuming the authors here don’t employ any sort of filters on what research they reference. Yet Stan shows up over half the time claiming the research in question is bogus. Why do you think this is an honest way to communicate with people? Two orders of magnitude is unacceptable. This is the definition of being anti-science, whether you believe so or not.

      1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

        Two orders of magnitude is unacceptable. This is the definition of being anti-science, whether you believe so or not.

        It’s not a matter of belief, it’s stan carefully marketing himself, carefully giving the impression and pretense of reasonability, carefully projecting a deceptive image of being gravely concerned with science.

        All a lie of course, an effort to appear reasonable and science-based in order to hawk more garbage.

    4. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      I’m not against science, contrary to what some might think.

      Why do you only cite it when it supports you? Why do you only cherry-pick studies that confirm what you already believe (and what you sell)? Why do you ignore contradictory studies and meta-analyses? Why do you ignore the scientific consensus that vaccines don’t cause autism, and the levels and types of mercury formerly found in vaccines were harmless?

      Why is science only distorted and manipulated when it suits you, but trustworthy when it supports you?

      If this is how you think science is done, you’re doing it wrong. You don’t get to cite science only when it’s convenient, that’s known as “lying”.

    5. Chris says:

      “I guess no one wants to dispute the rampant fraud in scientific research”

      Here is a website that discusses that:
      http://retractionwatch.com/

      You can also find some articles here. Try using the search box with words like “Wakefield” and “Geier.”

    6. Sulivanthepoop says:

      There is fraud in scientific research, I.E. Andrew Wakefield, because scientists are human but the good thing about science is it doesn’t take long for those frauds to be exposed because findings are always begging to be verified. So, there is nothing to really worry about.

  14. Frederick says:

    Great at article of course, after listening to the last 5 SGU podcast in the last 24 hres, i was afraid of a Novella overload lol. ( I admit that it was my first time listening to those, never had time before) kidding. By the way they are excellent, full of knowledge and so entertaining.

    It is a breath of fresh air to have stan back as our main troll, after that Hank. He is funny to read, with his statements that contradicts each others. ” We can’t trust any science, but here sciences that prove my point.” etc Lol. It is sad to have a person that’s totally unable to do critical thinking as much as that. But at least he is not insulting. He reminds me of my ex co-worker whose sells colloidal silver, and believe in ALL conspiracy. Bigg pharma to chemtrails. He use the same kind of arguments as Stan.

    But somehow stan is useful, making everyone work together to build good arguments. So that way, when laymans ( who are science nerds and beginner skeptics) like me hear someone use the h same rhetoric as him, we know what to answer.

    1. Travis says:

      Maybe that’s Stan’s goal after all. He’s just playing Devil’s Advocate or something.
      heh

  15. J Kincaid says:

    Hilarious video about antivax movement. http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/g1lev1/an-outbreak-of-liberal-idiocy. Sorry I’m not sure how to link the video into the message.

  16. Chris Hickie says:

    Jay Gordon has retreated to the telegraphic world of Twitter, sparing him the need to debate facts. I’d like to say I miss him, but I don’t.

  17. rork says:

    I’m concerned our bias is showing.
    If the data contained hints that the results were in the opposite direction, but not significant (not even tested actually), I think we’d be lots more critical. We might even try to dismiss it.

    1. Andrey Pavlov says:

      I’m concerned our bias is showing.
      If the data contained hints that the results were in the opposite direction, but not significant (not even tested actually), I think we’d be lots more critical. We might even try to dismiss it.

      I’ve been thinking about this for the last hour. You are absolutely correct to point out the possibility. And at least I thank you for getting into the nitty gritty of the actual math.

      However, I would counter by saying (to borrow from the inimitable Dr. Crislip) yes, yes we do have a bias. A bias for reality. And when a study confirms or is in concordance with a large mountain of very robust data it is not unreasonable to take less time delving into the nitty gritty of it. Particularly when, no matter whether it was perfectly accurate, a little less profound (as you are indicating), or wrong but neutral it still supports the rest of the data and the message being delivered.

      If the results were the other way, sure we would look for reasons to dismiss it. Not because we are unfairly biased but because it is contra to the evidence we have (in other words we are fairly biased). If we failed to dismiss it through rigorous and intellectually honest analysis then that would give us pause in concordance with the weight of the evidence. It may be a reason to pursue the question further.

      But considering it is simply in concordance with everything else we know and the results not matter what they are (except strongly in the opposite direction) would change nothing about what we think of vaccines or how we administer them, it does not seem unreasonable to be less rigorously deep on it.

      In this week’s SGU Dr. Novella went through copious effort to correct himself in a claim that “organic” food is not actually 3-fold more expensive but 2-2.5-fold more expensive. The rest of the crew rightly chuckled at the essentially wasted effort. It is a useful academic exercise and we should always be ready to admit when someone shows us that organic food is really 2-fold and not 3-fold more expensive. But I fail to see it as an indictment of unfair bias that a study like this is not given detailed scrutiny. We all have other things we need to do and it seems a little silly for everyone (especially the likes of Dr. Novella who runs an actual clinical practice along with a million other things) to devote the kind of attention to something like this that you have.

      Which is why I thank you for doing it. And if you had shown it to be complete bollocks I have no doubt that Dr. Novella would have admitted his error and dropped this as an example bolstering the case for vaccines and the current vaccine schedule (and rather easily at that, considering the case really doesn’t need this study anyways).

      1. Frederick says:

        I agree with you, I also do have a Bias, a bias for rigourous and well done critical thinking, Dr. Novella, Dr. Gorski, Dr. Hall and other writer here, are really good example.

        I add the same thought about is correction about organic food, it was really useful for him to correct that because 2.5-3, it is not a big gap in the error, But still, He did it, and that’s is really admirable, to go in such a length to get it straight. the only vegetable/fruit I buy Organic on regular basis are bananas, and at my groceries store they are at maximum 30% more expensive than regular.
        Each summer we receive basket or local organic vegetable, and it is less expensive than buying them from the market, and not really more expensive than regular vegetable, because we get them directly from the producers. Personally I do it more for the local thing, and freshness. Their strawberries are so awesome.

      2. rork says:

        I was referring particularly to the IRR for seizure after vax going down as kid gets older, where I didn’t have much of a prior myself, and don’t know much about mountains of data. To repeat, but written more clearly: in this study that hypothesis was not merely not significant, the authors did not even attempt to test it. Some stretching of truth happened too perhaps. Had this been a result in favor of an anti-vax view, I and several others would have heaped ridicule on it.

        Not to dismiss your remarks, which I have much appreciated.

        I now go on with great trepidation from paper criticism to criticism of Novella’s writing, least I declare myself a footlicker for not speaking up. “This data strongly suggests that getting vaccines on time protects children from seizures far more than the vaccines themselves increase risk.” I was expecting it to have tried to say “on time is better than later” (not better than none), which was my take of the main point, from a hurried read of the paper, but my hero seems to be trying to say something else, or more. (What it is trying to say is hard to parse. Getting the infections may cause enough seizures to make up for those caused by vax itself for example, but no mention in the paper of that though.)
        The first thing an anti-vax person (or any person) might instead note is that MMR and MMRV increased IRR for seizures (in all age groups), so that maybe getting no vax at all is best w.r.t. seizure (I know that question can’t be well answered with this data – there is no non-vax arm.) Also, “Still it provides strong evidence for an overall protective effect from vaccines” where I think protection from seizure is being referred to. Let’s get it straight, the paper shows that ” In the second year of life, receipt of MMR and MMRV vaccines was associated with an increased risk of seizure”, get it? Maybe my hero was in a bit of a rush is one thought.
        PS: Is the small risk of seizure worth it? Yup. I haven’t gone to the other place.

        1. Andrey Pavlov says:

          “This data strongly suggests that getting vaccines on time protects children from seizures far more than the vaccines themselves increase risk.” I was expecting it to have tried to say “on time is better than later” (not better than none), which was my take of the main point, from a hurried read of the paper, but my hero seems to be trying to say something else, or more. (What it is trying to say is hard to parse. Getting the infections may cause enough seizures to make up for those caused by vax itself for example, but no mention in the paper of that though.)

          Very fair and reasonable points. Thank you Rork.

        2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          One comment – we don’t get vaccines to prevent seizures, we get them to prevent infection. If getting the vaccines on schedule prevents seizures in any way (i.e. prevents the infection that causes seizures, prevents seizures directly presumably through some sort of homeopathic mechanism given the low doses of antigens and ingredients beyond water, or prevents an increased risk of seizure due to later vaccination), this is an irrelevant, possibly notable, fringe benefit at best. Seizures, as far as I am aware, are frightening in children but not a risk of harm in and of themselves (please correct me if I’m wrong). It’s not like people are lining up to get their kids vaccinated because of concerns over seizures. So no matter how this plays out, increasing, decreasing, or modulating in complicated ways, the incidence of seizure – it really doesn’t matter in terms of why we vaccinate.

          Of course, a factual error should be corrected, intellectual honesty and pedantic* correctness is a virtue in and of itself.

          *As a pedant, I am not using this term pejoratively. Rork, through this pedantic review you have made the world a more factually accurate place and I applaud you for it, as well as for your willingness to correct Dr. Novella on this point. And Dr. Novella for correcting it. Pedantic accuracy is important, for if people discover minor errors, they will wonder if major ones lurk in the wings.

  18. Rork – I reread the article and I think you are correct. I will make the appropriate changes to the original text. Thanks.

  19. Chris Hickie says:

    Looks like (un) naturalnews.com took this study and warped it as only they can do: http://www.naturalnews.com/045507_vaccines_seizure_risk_adverse_effects.html#

  20. DrDon says:

    Yes, I have read this study about the seizures. However, if you look at the study itself, it uses all vaccinated kids including the controls. That is not a valid study. To truly make it valid, you need a control of non vaccinated kids. This rules out whether the vaccines themselves cause the seizures or not. The way the study is written is making an incorrect assumption without addressing whether the actual vaccine can cause a seizure or not. Sorry, your post isn’t supporting valid science. Find me a study in which they use unvaccinated kids and vaccinated kids, then we will take a look at the science. As it stands, that study isn’t good science. Not to mention, look who funded the study. You can make a study say whatever you want if needs be. This is exactly what the study shows.

    1. Chris says:

      “However, if you look at the study itself, it uses all vaccinated kids including the controls.”

      Where do you propose to find those kids?

      “Find me a study in which they use unvaccinated kids and vaccinated kids, then we will take a look at the science. ”

      Those do exist from before the 1970s. The studies were conducted in places like Africa and in institutions where disabled children were warehoused. Then came along the Belmont Report. Why do you think that report stopped those kinds of studies?

    2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      Even assuming you have a point, and are dealing honestly rather than being an antivaccination loon for whom no study will ever be adequate, you’re still not seeing the big picture – possible seizures versus death by preventable disease (oh, and seizure, because some of these diseases cause seizures).

      This study is perfectly valid to check “alternative vaccine schedule versus CDC-recommended vaccine schedule”. This is good science, it’s not “bad science” merely because you have an unswerving dislike of vaccinations.

      1. Chris says:

        I suspect that “DrDon” is actually a naturopath. And as we all know the initials “ND” stand for “Not a Doctor.”

    3. JD says:

      However, if you look at the study itself, it uses all vaccinated kids including the controls. That is not a valid study. To truly make it valid, you need a control of non vaccinated kids

      I think you may have misunderstood the study design. This is really more of a case-crossover type study (SCCS to be specific), where the cases are serving as their own controls. Given that the primary exposure of interest was on-time versus delayed vaccination, this is an appropriate design. The lack of a non-vaccinated control group is not an issue here, as a better counterfactual population was obtained through careful design. Think about it, if you compared to the non-vaccinated group (this would completely change the study question btw), you would need to be extremely careful about controlling for confounding factors. With the case-crossover design, this is not an issue, as these factors would be constant.

  21. Frank J Toomes says:

    Pure BS….Pharma shill…
    Common tactic to quote studies paid to give the answer you want..then call it science.
    People are waking up to these tactics…
    Articles like this will prevent me from taking anything else here seriously.

    .”This is good science, it’s not “bad science” merely because you have an unswerving dislike of vaccinations.”

    How callous and cold to all those mothers suffering the effects of this bs.

    1. Windriven says:

      I for one have considerable sympathy for children who are autistic, who have cerebral palsy, who have leukemia and scoliosis and cystic fibrosis. For their parents as well. Does it help any of them to pour resources into empty holes? Doesn’t it make more sense to work on prevention and cures?

      The questions about linkage between vaccination and various childhood conditions have been studied, not ignored. The science is settled. Vaccines don’t cause autism. Spending money on that doesn’t help autistic children or their parents.

      Telling parents not to vaccinate their children won’t stop autism either, it will only expose those children – and their peers – to other diseases.

      No one wants children or parents to suffer. But it takes more than good intentions to solve medical mysteries and to develop useful measures for prevention and treatment.

    2. Chris says:

      “Common tactic to quote studies paid to give the answer you want..then call it science.”

      Please read this list of studies, then tell us who paid for each one and explain which “Big Pharma” company had a hand in them:
      Vaccine Safety: Examine the Evidence

      “How callous and cold to all those mothers suffering the effects of this bs.”

      As a parent whose child had seizures from a now vaccine preventable disease that required hospital care, I question this comment. My kid is disabled, plus he has spent much too much time being hospitalized.

      This is why you need to now tell us which vaccines cause more harm than the diseases. Provide PubMed indexed studies by qualified reputable researchers to support your answer.

      Plus you need to provide economic data that the cost of the vaccine schedule is greater than treating each and every disease in the absence of prevention. You basically have to prove that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is false. Or at least the following economic paper:
      Economic Evaluation of the Routine Childhood Immunization Program in the United States, 2009

      Come on, explain to me very clearly why it is better to let kids suffer from these diseases.

    3. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      Oh look, Frank Toomes is an alternative medicine practitioner. Imagine that.

      Pure BS….Pharma shill…

      Just to start of the discussion – if your first claim is that you can dismiss evidence on the basis of funding COI, you’re basically advertising the fact that you care more about maintaining what you already believe than you do about the actual methodology. Further, if you look on page 1499 you can see the funding disclosures – only two of the authors, neither the primary nor the final, held any funding from Big Pharma. The study itself was paid for by the CDC. The biggest non-public inputs were from health insurance companies, who don’t manufacture vaccines (but do pay for them).

      Common tactic to quote studies paid to give the answer you want..then call it science.

      Even more common practice – to claim studies you disagree with are polluted by money and should be ignored. Oddly, people who do this tend to ignore the conflicts of interest found in studies they believe in, such as the Geiers charging for lupron treatments and Gary Null shilling vitamin supplements. But whatever. Also, you’ve given no indication that Dr. Novella, the author of this blog post, is in a financial COI position; he’s a staff member (a neurologist) of a hospital and thus has no incentive I can see to promote vaccination beyond the fact that it is an effetive preventive health intervention.

      People are waking up to these tactics…
      Articles like this will prevent me from taking anything else here seriously.

      What would it take for you take SBM seriously? How about a positive review of Ben Goldacre’s Bad Pharma? A supporting article on GSK’s $3B fine? Another post critical of GSK’s practice of bribing doctors?
      Or maybe support for nurse practitioners? Any of these make you like SBM more?

      How callous and cold to all those mothers suffering the effects of this bs.

      So…you think that these mothers should be lied to and the public health should be endangered so that we don’t hurt their feelings? What about protecting the feelings of parents whose kids slowly strangle to death because of pertussis like Dana McCaffery? And consider the fact that mothers feeling completely unnecessary guilt over vaccinating their child and erroneously believing this caused their autism have actually killed their child as a result.

      But no – you’re right. We should deny the evidence that vaccines are safe and autism is a biological entity to protect feelings. Who cares if it’s true, who cares if kids die, who cares if women go sterile, who cares if children are born deaf and disabled as a result. It’s totally worth it, because at least a couple people who believe something that is false won’t get their feelings hurt.

      1. Windriven says:

        Very nice work, William. If I’d realized he was what he is I would have happily irritated Peter Moran.

  22. Pat says:

    Let us look at just one vaccination, the Hep B which is administered to a newly born infant and then followed up in the first year of life. Hep B is only acquired in an infant if the mother is Hep B positive, so why not test the mother and forego the shot? Hep B is “caught” by indiscriminate sex and sharing of needles. How many children, in their first year of life, will be active in these areas? Why the need for the introduction of this vaccine? Has anyone taken notice that the vaccine schedule has climbed from 10 vaccines in 1983 to 29 for children 0-6 years?

    1. Harriet Hall says:

      The reason we give hep B vaccine to all infants at birth in the US is explained here: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/why-universal-hepatitis-b-vaccination-isnt-quite-universal/

    2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      A significant portion of Hep B infections can’t be sourced to mother, drugs or sex; we simply don’t know where it comes from. Also, by vaccinating in child birth, we can protect IV drug users and people who have unprotected sex from liver failure due to Hep B. Why is this a bad thing, particularly given how low the risks are?

      Also, there are 29 vaccines now (more like 29 total doses to cover 15 diseases) because we can vaccinate against more diseases. Like Hib, which used to kill a couple hundred kids every year in the US and now kills none.

      Sounds like you simply don’t understand how vaccines work and why they are selected. You should read more.

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