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Ringing in 2012 with…antivaccine propaganda?

Here we go again.

In fact, I think I’m starting to see a pattern here among antivaccine organizations. You might remember that in November 2010, the antivaccine group SafeMinds bought ad space in AMC Theaters over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, one of the heaviest moviegoing time periods of the year. This use of pre-movie time to promote antivaccine propaganda resulted in a campaign by skeptics to try to persuade AMC to see the error of its ways, a campaign that was successful.

Then, a few months later, the the grande dame of the antivaccine movement, arguably the woman who started the most recent incarnation of that hoary old anti-science movement back in the 1980s, Barbara Loe Fisher, decided to start advertising the antivaccine message she promotes through her group, the Orwellian-named National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) using the JumboTron in Times Square. Unfortunately, despite protests from the American Academy of Pediatrics, promoters of science-based medicine, and skeptics, the ads apparently aired for the full buy.

Then, a few months later (just last month, in fact), somehow the NVIC managed to dupe Delta Airlines, through its video provider In-Flight Media into airing a more subtle “public service announcement” whose antivaccine message was cleverly muted so that it wasn’t so obvious, except to those of us who knew the NVIC (and, of course, the buzzwords used by the antivaccine movement) that its message was antivaccine. Of course, it also didn’t help that the PSA urged viewers to go to the NVIC website, which, as I’ve described many times before, is a font of misinformation, pseudoscience, and antivaccine propaganda. (Just type “NVIC” into this blog’s search box to see.) At least Fisher’s response of crying “repression” in response to the AAP’s complaint to Delta Air Lines was good for a chuckle or two. Unfortunately, the NVIC advertorials aired through the entire buy. Meanwhile, this fall a major dump of antivaccine propaganda was circulating around the country in various film festivals in the form of an antivaccine propaganda movie called The Greater Good, whose manipulativeness and misinformation would make a North Korean propagandists planning state media coverage of Kim Jong-il‘s funeral blush.

Now, it would appear, the NVIC wants to close out 2011 and ring in 2012 with a new round of antivaccine propaganda, this time revisiting Times Square at the heart of the New Years Eve celebration, an effort it’s trumpeting through a press release entitled National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) Educates One Million Plus in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. Here, Barbara, I’ll fix that for you. It should read “National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) Mis-Educates One Million Plus in Times Square on New Year’s Eve.”

There, that’s better.

Interestingly, the ad is not airing on the JumboTron (perhaps CBS turned the NVIC down). This time, it’s airing on the TSQdigital display right by the TKTS Broadway Ticket Booth. But what, exactly, is the NVIC airing? Well, here’s the description from the press release:

The non-profit National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) is sponsoring a vaccine education message during the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square on the 5,000 square-foot TSQ Digital screen at 47th St. and 7th Avenue in New York City. The 15-second ad, which encourages informed decision-making, has been shown on the megatron twice an hour for 21 hours a day since Dec. 16, 2011.

“Everyone has the right to know about the benefits and risks of products and choose the kind of preventive health care they want for themselves and their children.”

“In 2012, NVIC will mark our 30th year of public education and consumer empowerment,” said NVIC co-founder and president Barbara Loe Fisher. “With so many health care options available today, becoming an educated health care consumer is essential and our pro-informed consent message will be seen by millions on New Year’s Eve.”

The full-color LED screen on which NVIC’s ad is appearing is located near the Times Square Information Center in the heart of the Broadway district and is one of the largest digital display screens in the Times Square area. An estimated one million people pack the Times Square area during New Year’s Eve and the celebration is viewed on television by billions of people around the world.

NVIC co-sponsored a similar vaccine education message with Mercola.com last spring on another display in Times Square. During November, NVIC sponsored a flu prevention video on Delta Air Line’s in-flight programming that encouraged consumers to become informed about how to stay well during the flu season and all year-around.

“Knowledge is the key to informed consumer decision-making,” said Fisher. “Everyone has the right to know about the benefits and risks of products and choose the kind of preventive health care they want for themselves and their children.”

As I said, NVIC has the Orwellian language down pat. It wraps up its antivaccine message in a cloak of “informed consent” and “educating the consumer,” and who could argue with that? Of course, it all comes down to what specifically is meant by “informed consent” and “educating the consumer.” As I described in detail, when an antivaccine propagandist like Barbara Loe Fisher refers to “informed consent,” what she is really referring to is “misinformed consent,” in which consumers are subjected to misinformation about vaccines that vastly overestimates the risks and vastly downplays the benefits or try to cast the benefits in a manner that makes them seem inconsequential, sometimes in hilariously off base ways. Often, antivaccine activists use even more hilariously bad science to bolster their misinformed arguments. Or the bad science would be hilarious if the consequences of its use weren’t so potentially deadly.

Anyway, let’s look at the video:

It would appear that the NVIC has–shall we say?–simplified its message for Times Square. Basically, the video consists of a picture of a mother holding a baby with the NVIC logo and website URL in the lower left hand corner. It then flashes the words “Vaccines: Know the risks” followed by “Vaccination: Your Health. Your Family. Your Choice,” the latter superimposed over a graphic of the Statue of Liberty.

Subtle, isn’t it?

Those not familiar with the NVIC would ask: What on earth is wrong with this message? Don’t you want parents to know the risks of vaccination? Don’t you think that personal freedom is important? Let’s go back to the concept of misinformed consent. If you know, as I do, that the NVIC website is a massive source of pseudoscience, fear mongering, and misinformation about vaccines (again, type “NVIC” or “Barbara Loe Fisher” into the search box of this blog for examples), then this video starts to look a lot less benign. The reason, of course, is that it’s not the purpose of the NVIC to provide parents with an evidence- and science-based assessment of vaccine risks and benefits. The purpose of the NVIC is to scare parents into not vaccinating.

Barbara Loe Fisher will strenuously deny that she is antivaccine and claim that she is pro-vaccine safety. That is how antivaccine activists hide their intent, possibly even from themselves, as both Steve Novella and I have pointed out. There might, in fact, have been a time when this might arguably have been true. Unfortunately, Fisher long ago passed from being a vaccine safety activist into the realm of antivaccine zealotry, as her website demonstrates so strongly. I think it would be really interesting one day to ask Fisher a simple question: “If you’re not ‘antivaccine,’ then please tell us which vaccines you consider safe and effective. Which vaccines should be on the pediatric vaccine schedule?” I’ve yet to find a statement by Fisher in the last decade supporting the use of any vaccine. Of course, Fisher, being the seasoned antivaccine propagandist that she’s become over the last 30 years, probably has a pat answer to that question that hides her antivaccine agenda, at least to the unknowing. It’s still a good question to ask any antivaccine activist very insistently.

The answer to this question often reveals much. In fact, if you want to see an example of this very technique in action, check out the comments after this post on the anti vaccine propaganda blog Age of Autism in which a commenter asks Jake Crosby which vaccine(s) he finds acceptable. John Stone predictably responds with some blather about “parental choice” (completely—and obviously—dodging the question) and Jake responds thusly:

No, I don’t “care to explain.” I don’t have to explain anything. The people who are anti-vaccine are the people who say they are anti-vaccine – not the people who say vaccines cause autism – although I am sure the latter understandably includes some of the former.

Barbara Loe Fisher is, of course, less clumsy at dancing around difficult questions. No doubt Jake will get better at dissembling with time. He is, after all, quite young. In any case, the purpose of this Times Square ad is clearly to get people to go to the NVIC website and drink deeply of the antivaccine misinformation therein, and it’s apparently been airing for nearly two weeks. It will also be airing on New Years Eve, and Jenny McCarthy will be promoting it on Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve. At least, she plans to try.

Take a look at the the Facebook page of Age of Autism (screenshot sent to me by a reader, click to enlarge):

Yes, that’s Jenny McCarthy right there on Facebook promising to try to mention the NVIC ad on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. So much for my wondering if she had faded away from direct involvement with the antivaccine group Generation Rescue. Of course, the yearly New Year’s Eve special on ABC is intended to be entertainment and nothing more. If Jenny actually does mention the NVIC ad on air, it would be quite jarring and out of sync with the rest of the show, which generally eschews causes, politics, or any sort of controversy whatsoever. My guess is that the producers would probably not approve.

Maybe they should get a copy of that screenshot, along with an explanation as to why the NVIC’s message is harmful. ABC’s contact page is here.

In addition, as usual, Elyse Anders has other suggestions as well. First, there’s a Change.org petition. And then there are these suggestions:

Tweet @DisneyChannelPR using #ABCsSickNYE. You can copy/paste one of these or write your own:

I resolve to end deadly anti-vaccine propaganda. @DisneyChannelPR Pull NVIC’s anti-vax Times Square ad http://wp.me/pbblq-6RR #ABCsSickNYE

Whooping cough is on the rise thanks to things like NVIC advertising on @DisneyChannelPR screens in NYC. #ABCsSickNYE http://bit.ly/rXLHOd

Don’t forget to tell them what you’ll be doing instead of tuning into ABC for Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve featuring the NVIC ad in the background. (And starring Jenny McCarthy… for real.)

Sounds like a plan to me. No doubt the NVIC will view any campaign to prevent the distribution of its propaganda on ABC as “suppressing” its free speech, but in reality it’s just an opposing viewpoint trying to inform a major network that promoting antivaccine views is not a good thing.

Who knows if it will work, but we’ll never know if we don’t try.

Posted in: Science and the Media, Vaccines

Leave a Comment (231) ↓

231 thoughts on “Ringing in 2012 with…antivaccine propaganda?

  1. pmoran says:

    I would right now have someone getting out a press release containing a very simple tabulation of the risks vs the benefits of presently advised vaccines in a “well, here you are –this is what you asked for!” vein. Make it clear that this is a response to recent advertising that creates unnecessary fear of vaccines.

    It might prove sufficiently newsworthy for a reasonable airing.

  2. TobySaunders says:

    I want more science though. I’ve heard from Robert Melamede, biology professor at University of Colorado, that some vaccines (for flu? something like that…not for Polio) promote an inflammatory response, and that swelling of the brain in early development can influence autism. This does not strike me as anti-science or anything like what the North Korean Ministry of Information would promote, so maybe Gorski would like to do more of a hand-on science piece about inflammation of the brain. I’m stuck on the fence because the only thing I’ve heard are accusation of anti-science & false propaganda & ‘would make North Korea jealous’ from one side, and from the other side I’ve heard a believable, single point about brain-swelling related to minor vaccines… I love science, I love biology, I love ethics, so… a piece about the specifics of the alleged/not-alleged autism-vaccine link would be great.

  3. Todd W. says:

    @pmoran

    Good idea! CDC has a lot of great flyers and brochures that anyone heading to NYC for New Year’s could hand out: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/flyers-brochures.htm

  4. David Gorski says:

    Toby,

    Just click on the word “vaccines” in the upper right hand corner. Alternatively, type “autism” or “autism vaccine” into the search box of this blog. We have written many, many times before about the nonexistent link between vaccines and autism. Seriously, this is a topic we’ve covered ad nauseam on this blog because antivaccine activists keep promoting misinformation about it.

    In addition, we have these summaries. True, we need to update them, but they get the general point across:

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/reference/?cat=3
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/reference/?p=1

    The information is there if you want to take the time to look at it.

  5. JonAK says:

    As I commented in a posting on the JREF website where an article about the NVIC’s Times Square display appeared, I was disturbed when I went to the NVIC website and found that it proudly cited as a “partner” the United Way [of the National Capital Area], thereby giving the NVIC what I believe to be an undeserved veneer of legitimacy.

    I’m a scientist but not a medical professional. Have those with more appropriate credentials contacted the United Way to discuss the wisdom of this affiliation? With the NVIC regularly attacking established and respected medical organizaqtions, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, I would hope that the United Way would reconsider its “partnership”.

    I also noted that for the YouTube posting of the Times Square video, the NVIC has chosen to disable comments. While I am not surprised, I view this as both cowardly and a tacit admission that its claims about vaccination cannot stand up to criticism.

  6. sarah007 says:

    Hi, the problem with either position is the ping pong of evidence touting, it’s difficult to know what to believe really. I notice in England that a top consultant Dr Ian Stephenson at Leicester NHS Trust has just been found guilty of research fraud with regard to swine flu. I mean we all know that it was over hyped but this guy was fiddling the stats to up the anti, This was reported in the BMJ:

    “A researcher on flu vaccines who forged colleagues’ signatures, asked a nurse to sign a false declaration, and recruited himself into a study under a disguised name has been suspended from practice for four months for research fraud.

    Iain Stephenson, honorary consultant physician at the University Hospital of Leicester NHS Trust and a clinical senior lecturer at Leicester University, was the principal investigator in one study, an open label study, and a co-investigator in a second, known as the “prime boost study.” BMJ

    Dr Stephenson’s actions, which also included destroying an original log sheet and replacing it with new sheets, were dishonest on a number of occasions and amounted to research fraud, a General Medical Council fitness to practise panel held.”

    Also all the anti viral Tamiflu data requested for audit by top peer reviewed medical journals last year was reported as “lost!” by Roche so no audit at all was able to be done on whether it was effective. Considering Poland announced that it did not believe that there was a pandemic and effectively spent nothing on vaccines or anti virals and in the final real audit nothing happened that was any different to any normal winter on flu, or there was no real evidence to proove the rest of the world was correct, one wonders how anyone can believe any of the pro stance at all.

    If the position is made with regard to ‘evidence’ and what we find is that the evidence is corrupt there is no position, being anti or pro is nothing more than a distraction.

    1. Harriet Hall says:

      @sarah007,

      Yes, it is difficult for a non-expert to make sense of conflicting data and there are instances of research fraud. That doesn’t mean that all research is corrupt or that experts have no way of making correct judgments based on the best evidence. It would be wrong to dismiss science as merely a matter of opinion. It is still the most reliable way of understanding how the world works, and there is no other way of knowing that could replace it.

  7. Chris says:

    Sarah007:

    Hi, the problem with either position is the ping pong of evidence touting, it’s difficult to know what to believe really.

    No it isn’t. You are pointing to just a couple of researchers who have committed fraud, which is a form of cherry picking. Especially since a quick search on PubMed for “h1n1 vaccination” brings up almost 2000 hits from around the world. I doubt if the one study from Iain Stephenson would affect it.

    Oddly enough, I cannot find any articles about Iain Stephenson’s malfeasance except on websites that have a dubious reputation. Perhaps you can link to the actual BMJ article, oh wait, I found it.

    Well, that was a let down, and it was only one study. The article also says:

    Mr Kyle said that the panel had been told there was considerable mitigation in Dr Stephenson’s case. His actions did not affect the quality of research, and he was concealing shortcuts resulting from time pressures. Had he not forged the signitures and tried to hide the dual recruitment, he might not have been brought before the GMC at all.

    What you have to look at is the preponderance of research over the past ten years. Then you will see that vaccines are safer and more effective than the alternatives. There is no “ping pong” of evidence. Something that one realizes when you actually look for the original documents instead of relying on certain websites.

  8. sarah007 says:

    Chris

    that’s the problem. Recently with all the hoo haa in the UK about the Murdoch phone hacking it came out that his family are on the board of vaccine manufacturers and he also has fingers in medical peer review. The media are powerful and if they are making money from share interests they are not going to report anything that affects their profit. Swine flu was a great paper seller but in the end, again we all spent a lot of money on nothing and the pandemic system was brought into disrepute. It’s fine if Mr Gates wants to spend his money promoting the need for mandatory vaccination to eradicate…….. but when we find out he is a shareholder in the vaccine companies is that not a conflict of interest?

    I like science, but when it is selectively reported and the funding is not clear, the population bias renders it not the most reliable way of knowing whether one is looking at a medical scam or useful info.

    I have nothing wrong with scientists making decisions but its the avaiibility of good evidence that is the problem. The main info source for scientists is peer review.

    “Richard Smith, MD, the former editor of the BMJ (for 25 years) has been an outspoken critic focusing in particular on the role journal editors have played in the corruption of medicine. His book, The Trouble With Medical Journals, 2004, describes journal editors’ unacknowledged significant conflicts of interest.”

    The defence of Mr Stephenson can say what they like, even Sadam was nice sometimes, he was convicted by a jury of corrupting swine flu data that had a direct impact on scientific pandemic stratergy, this wasted billions of dollars world wide. Are you saying the jury was corrupted, because that is what you are implying and if so where is your evidence?

    As to your saftey of vaccines over the last 10 years, in like for like in countries ie not comparing Africa with sweden, what evidence do you have that they are more ‘effective’ and what are they more ‘effective’ of?

  9. sarah007 says:

    Hi JoNak

    Ping pong and conflict of interest is an issue on both sides of this debate, there are far more powerful conflicts on the pro vaccine sides, not to mention the money, pressure to mandate shows that the politics are way up the adgenda. We all know that the banking system and politics are in bed, we all just bailed them out and they got away with it. Why would small people waste their own money paying for huge adverts with no political support if they had no point to make?

    On the disabling of comments, this is done all the time with critics of vaccination, they only publish pro funded papers so it is difficult to understand how one can view any balance out there.

    I think it is not enough to be an established credible medical org, I mean the swine flu scam brought them all into disrepute and if the medical peer review process is shaky where is your evidence of this higher order?

  10. Scott says:

    “Far more powerful conflicts on the pro vaccine side?” Seriously? It’s the sole source of income for many/most of the major antivax players! And the primary identity of the rest!

    Compared to that, playing six-degrees-of-separation with the reality-based position is completely negligible.

  11. Chris says:

    Sarah:

    I like science, but when it is selectively reported and the funding is not clear, the population bias renders it not the most reliable way of knowing whether one is looking at a medical scam or useful info.

    Prove it by actually citing some of the literature to support your opinions.

    As to your saftey of vaccines over the last 10 years, in like for like in countries ie not comparing Africa with sweden, what evidence do you have that they are more ‘effective’ and what are they more ‘effective’ of?

    What are you talking about? What paper did I cite that compared Africa (an entire continent) with Sweden (one country in Europe)?

    As far as papers I can cite, here are some on how they have saved money by preventing hospital costs, a safety study and one something they prevent:

    Economic Evaluation of the 7-Vaccine Routine Childhood Immunization Schedule in the United States, 2001
    Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005;159:1136-1144.

    An economic analysis of the current universal 2-dose measles-mumps-rubella vaccination program in the United States.
    J Infect Dis. 2004 May 1;189 Suppl 1:S131-45.

    Impact of universal Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccination starting at 2 months of age in the United States: an economic analysis.
    Pediatrics. 2002 Oct;110(4):653-61.

    Vaccine Safety Policy Analysis in Three European Countries: The Case of Thimerosal
    Health Policy, December 2002, Vol. 62(3):291-307

    Impact of specific medical interventions on reducing the prevalence of mental retardation.
    Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006 Mar;160(3):302-9. Review.

    Now, you can now explain to me why it is more cost effective to treat measles, pertussis and Hib instead of preventing those diseases. I expect the same level of evidence, real papers indexed in PubMed.

    As far as safety goes, there are these:

    Lack of association between acellular pertussis vaccine and seizures in early childhood.
    Huang WT, Gargiullo PM, Broder KR, Weintraub ES, Iskander JK, Klein NP, Baggs JM; Vaccine Safety Datalink Team.
    Pediatrics. 2010 Aug;126(2):263-9. Epub 2010 Jul 19.

    Encephalopathy after whole-cell pertussis or measles vaccination: lack of evidence for a causal association in a retrospective case-control study.
    Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2006 Sep;25(9):768-73.

    Lack of association between childhood immunizations and encephalitis in California, 1998-2008.
    Vaccine. 2011 Nov 12. [Epub ahead of print]

    Childhood vaccinations, vaccination timing, and risk of type 1 diabetes mellitus.
    Pediatrics. 2001 Dec;108(6):E112

    On-time vaccine receipt in the first year does not adversely affect neuropsychological outcomes.
    Pediatrics. 2010 Jun;125(6):1134-41. Epub 2010 May 24.

  12. sarah007 says:

    Nice diversion, point is there are no studies that show this miracle of success for smallpox eradication had anything to do with the vaccine but plenty of well documented comment that show it is more spin than reality:

    ” During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when smallpox epidemics ran rampant, the introduction of smallpox vaccination was often followed by an increased incidence of the disease. Many vaccine critics accused the smallpox vaccine of precipitating these epidemics. A disastrous smallpox epidemic occurred in England during the period 1871-1873 at a time when the compulsory smallpox vaccination law had resulted in nearly universal coverage. A Royal Commission was appointed in 1889 to investigate the history of vaccination in the United Kingdom. Evidence mounted that smallpox epidemics increased dramatically after 1854, the year the compulsory vaccination law went into effect. In the London epidemic of 1857-1859, there were more than 14,000 deaths; in the 1863-1865 outbreak 20,000 deaths; and from 1871 to 1873 all of Europe was swept by the worst smallpox epidemic in recorded history. In England and Wales alone, 45,000 people died of smallpox at a time when, according to official estimates, 97 percent of the population had been vaccinated.”

    So it’s down to belief systems really, do you actually think that making medicine from cow pus is a credible basis for keeping people healthy or is it voodoo?

  13. sarah007 says:

    Scott, realms of fantasy on that one. Alternatives don’t even scratch the disease management budget, or affect government policy or bias the media or peer review or mandate unproven treatments for bogus illnesses.

    Ask anyone with arthritis who has just been prescribed painkillers, if they avoided the death stats of 160,000 for Vioxx did any doctor even try to look at cause? I know plenty of people who have dropped the doc and taken back their health.

    Look at the WHO Monica project on statins, found no correlation with lowering cholesterol and lowering CVA in fact they found the opposite! I have never met a doctor even understand the role of cholesterol build up.

  14. sarah007 says:

    Chris the preponderous research on vaccines does not support their saftey at all because the comparison studies between those who have and those who haven’t have not been done. All vaccine efficacy research is anecdotal, no RCT’s over time to show that people don’t get the illness. Saftey is not about whether the patient dies within a few weeks of vaccine it’s about what happens to vaccinated populations.

    Oh I am wrong about lack of double blind placebo RCT field studies, they did it on the TB vaccine for 20 years in India and it showed no evidence whatsoever of a protective effect, in fact more people given the BCG got TB.

  15. sarah007 says:

    Harriet, why did you have a flu vaccine, the 96 season study by the Cochraine collaboration showed no change in any shape of any graph of hospital admission and deaths, all the claims of halving winter deaths, care home workers vaccined etc. all shown to be false anecdote.

    DOH answer in England “well it reassures old people” Woo of the highest order paid for by the taxpayer to the tune of £15 million a year.

    Should I mention the magic mercury in it? Apparently it’s completely safe, but hang on presence of mercury over 50 parts per million is toxic waste! Magic vaccines, how do they do it?

  16. Harriet Hall says:

    @sarah007,

    “Harriet, why did you have a flu vaccine”
    Because my informed opinion, after reviewing all the evidence, was that the benefits outweighed the risks.

    You did not acknowledge the gross error of your statement about cowpox and smallpox not being genetically related. You were wrong: admit it.
    And now you have said something that further demonstrates your ignorance. Even if there was any evidence of harm from thimerosal (there isn’t), exposure to mercury can be easily avoided by not using multidose vials. The World Health Organization supports multidose vials with thimerosal because they believe it is safe and reduces costs, but single-dose vials without mercury are readily available.

    You did not answer my questions. Please do that before you regurgitate any more half-digested anti-vaccination propaganda.

  17. weing says:

    @sarah007,

    I don’t believe that you had no help in achieving such heights of ignorance. You are amazing! Endarken us some more, please!

  18. Scott says:

    @ sarah007:

    What’s really “realms of fantasy” is to pretend that Wakefield’s work (as one example only) was somehow unbiased when he was being paid by the lawyers who wanted to sue for “vaccine injury.” That’s orders of magnitude more gross a conflict of interest than anything you’ve even accused the pro-reality side of.

    “Being paid specifically to produce a particular result” vs. “phone hacking in which some people on which the boards of companies who make vaccines” – and you think the LATTER is the conflict of interest? Tell me, do you understand what a conflict of interest IS? Define it.

  19. sarah007 says:

    Harriet said:

    “Even if there was any evidence of harm from thimerosal (there isn’t), exposure to mercury can be easily avoided by not using multidose vials. The World Health Organization supports multidose vials with thimerosal because they believe it is safe and reduces costs, but single-dose vials without mercury are readily available.”

    That’s brilliant LOL, mercury is safe but you can avoid it! Why would you if it’s safe. It’s ok for third world people because it’s cheap! How much of a believer do you have to be to think like that?

  20. Scott says:

    You would avoid it even though it’s safe because certain individuals have decided to engage in foundationless fearmongering. Since not everyone is able to recognize that the antivax loons are just making stuff up and can’t actually support any of their claims, it’s easier to take out the thimerosal than fight the loons.

  21. sarah007 says:

    Scott how does anyone make money out of showing that vaccination doesn’t work? I don’t get your logic here.

  22. weing says:

    “how does anyone make money out of showing that vaccination doesn’t work?” They try to show that but they can’t. They make their money out of fools who believe them and don’t get vaccinated Then when the fools get sick, they can be treated for some new, mysterious illness. And the money rolls in.

  23. Scott says:

    By being paid to do so by lawyers who are suing for “vaccine injury.” (Wakefield) Or by selling all sorts of quack treatments for supposed “vaccine injury.” (DAN!) Or being paid to testify in baseless vaccine court proceedings. (Krigsman et al.) Et cetera.

  24. Harriet Hall says:

    @sarah007,

    “mercury is safe but you can avoid it! Why would you if it’s safe”

    I wouldn’t avoid it. I was just pointing out that there is a way to avoid it if you have irrational fears about it. And the concerns about price are relevant everywhere, not just in Third World countries.

    Now, why haven’t you acknowledged that you were wrong about cowpox and why haven’t you answered my questions? Do I need to repeat them?

  25. sarah007 says:

    So Harriet what evidence exactly did you review when deciding to have a flu vaccine?

    Harriet said about her decision to have a flu vaccine: “Because my informed opinion, after reviewing all the evidence, was that the benefits outweighed the risks.”

    Effectiveness of vaccine against pandemic influenza A/H1N1 among people with underlying chronic diseases:
    cohort study, Denmark, 2009-10

    This detailed study provides solid evidence for not vaccinating high risk patients against influenza H1N1. One thing is developing and measuring antibodies against influenza virus H1N1, and another thing is to actually obtain clinical benefit after vaccination. Hundreds of thousands were vaccinated in this Danish study, but hospital admissions due to H1N1 influenza virus did not diminish. There results come with some interesting legal consequences: no one can actually declare anymore that after vaccination the patient’s overall health is protected. NHS Trusts, together with other European Health Ministries, will find it extremely difficult to dedicate hundreds of millions of pounds in extended vaccination programs that do not reduce hospitalizations of high risk patients!

    Stavros Saripanidis, Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, British Medical Journal

    So perhaps the mythology about antibodies being an indicator of ‘protection’ is complete woo, I mean if one has a diagnosis of HIV antibodies it’s supposed to be an indicator of disease, which one is correct or are both nonsense. I mean what’s the point of adhereing to a theory that vaccines promote antibody production as a theraputic effect when it has no impact on the disease they are trying to treat!

  26. sarah007 says:

    What exactly are the irrational fears about mercury poisoning, I am bemused that you think mercury poisoning is somehow ok.

  27. sarah007 says:

    At the end of the day provaxxer or antivaxxer is an irrelvant dirversion, it’s actually about evidence of clinical effectiveness and the evidence for just isnt there for flu vaccine as the study done on swine flu vaccine shows – the recent pandemic vaccine made no difference at all to hospital admissions – it flunkled.

    Implying I am an antivaxxer therefore have no opinion is unscientific and definetly not sceptical in any sense of the word. The evidence from a top peer reviewed rag says so, so it must be true.

    I suspect if they did this for every other vaccine the same would flag up but I might be wrong, still until it’s done your piping is nothing but believer anecdote.

  28. Harriet Hall says:

    @sarah007,

    I am not going to do you the courtesy of answering any more of your questions until you do me the courtesy of answering mine. For now, I’ll just point out that mercury poisoning is not OK but that there is no evidence that that vaccines cause mercury poisoning.

  29. Chris says:

    Sarah007:

    Chris the preponderous research on vaccines does not support their saftey at all because the comparison studies between those who have and those who haven’t have not been done. All vaccine efficacy research is anecdotal, no RCT’s over time to show that people don’t get the illness.

    And your qualifications to make that statement are…?

    Since you disapprove of the several large epidemiological studies then, please ask your friends at SafeMinds, Generation Rescue, Autism Trust, etc. to pay for a study that meets your criteria. They have paid for previous studies, SafeMinds paid for the Burbacher study where they killed monkeys after giving them mercury (when they had to actually put thimerosal in the vaccines because they could not find any!), and the one where Mady Hornig had “autistic” mice (turns out the behavior was typical of stressed rodents).

    The trick is, since you deem yourself an expert in testing protocols, is to design the study to conform to the Declaration of Helsinki and the Belmont Report. Please do tell us when that is complete.

    Oh, and the bit about mercury is about a decade out of date. Unless you can name one vaccine in the pediatric schedule that is not available in a thimerosal-free version. Especially since there are at least four thimerosal-free versions of the influenza vaccine.

    Now, since I did answer you question, it is time for you answer mine: Please show us that the risk from DTaP and/or Tdap is greater than getting pertussis, diphtheria or tetanus. Be sure to provide verifiable documentation to support your answer. Do not post to various website, nor to news report. Just list the title, journal and date of the paper that shows exactly what the risks are between the vaccine and the illnesses.

  30. sarah007 says:

    That’an interesting sceptical standpoint, bit like Nelson at Trafalger when he put his telescope up to his blind eye and said “I see no ships”.

    Still love to know what secret info you used to make the decision to have a swine flu vaccine, it’s a bit selfish to nose thumb, on the other hand you may have made a good decision with very naff information and therefore need all the help you can get.

  31. sarah007 says:

    Hi Chris

    Love the “and your qualifications are:” What validated by peer review, I am quite capable of looking at the situation and making a rational decision based on what is going on. Its called thinking for yourself. The tank of experts you support sent the world to war, scared the hell out of lots of people with a flu scam, wrecked the banking system.

    Where did you learn about this centralised dictate where no one is safe without its input?

    Being here reminds me of walking into a church and shouting God is dead!

    Still defending the sinking ship Chris, keep it up.

  32. Chris says:

    So you don’t even know that PubMed is just an index?

    Still defending the sinking ship Chris, keep it up.

    So why did you wander over to this sinking ship from Htrae? Wouldn’t you be more comfortable on that cube shaped planet where everything is opposite of this planet’s reality?

  33. Scott says:

    I suspect sarah has never heard (or at least understood) the phrase “the dose makes the poison.”

  34. Harriet Hall says:

    sarah,

    We are not ignoring your “evidence.” We read the study you cited. One study about one outcome of one flu vaccine in one select group of patients weighs practically nothing in the context of all the other published evidence. Part of the conclusions of that study even contradicts your beliefs: It didn’t significantly reduce hospitalizations, but “Among chronically ill people, this vaccine offered protection against laboratory confirmed H1N1 infection.”

    We don’t give flu vaccines for the sole purpose of reducing hospitalizations in people with chronic disease. We give them to prevent suffering and in the hopes of reducing the spread of the disease.

  35. sarah007 says:

    So hope is now a medical term Harriet. How many studies do you need, this was not a small one and its recommendations have brought the use of flu vaccine into question.

    The problem with this site Harriet is that once you take either a pro or anti stance with vaccination you are forced to defend this decision rather than look at the science and sort chaff from fact.

    This is an anti science stance, I see no evidence you have read any of the papers I have drawn attention to, the main aim of all the enquiry here is to diss anyone who dares to question your chosen stance rather than look at the evidence.

    Piss poor really, no wonder no one is posting here, it’s really is like talking to dead people.

  36. sarah007 says:

    Scott did you ever hear the phrase, I may be gone sometime? I mean what kind of septic are you?
    And dear Chris, what ya shooting up on ya x box! Do you have an opinion?

  37. Harriet Hall says:

    @sarah007,

    “hope is now a medical term Harriet.”

    In a sense, yes. Every time we treat a patient, we hope our treatment will lead to improvement. Nothing is 100%, but when we base the treatment on evidence, there is a much greater chance that our hopes will be realized.

  38. Chris says:

    Sarah:

    I see no evidence you have read any of the papers I have drawn attention to,

    You have cited exactly one paper, that is not plural. It was the one titled “Effectiveness of vaccine against pandemic influenza A/H1N1 among people with underlying chronic diseases: cohort study, Denmark, 2009-10.”

    It was a limited study on a select group of patients with chronic conditions, and yet the vaccine worked for 49% of them. We told you this. If you claim to have give us papers to read, that you learn to cite them properly and perhaps figure out how to us English grammar and spelling.

    And dear Chris, what ya shooting up on ya x box! Do you have an opinion?

    What is a “ya x box”?

    Please tell us what is the risk of the DTaP vaccine versus diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis? Support your statements with the title, journal and date of the papers that show those relative risks. I asked you this earlier, but you seem to have forgotten to answer it.

  39. sarah007 says:

    Mark Crisp says after a lot of population biased waffle on the pros and cons of flu jab on this site:

    “It is true in medicine as well. My army is the vaccine and the data used to support it. You can conclude that neither the vaccine nor the data is perfect, and decide the vaccine is not useful.

    Or you can look at the preponderance of data, with all the flaws, nuance, subtleties and qualifiers, and conclude the flu vaccine is of benefit.”

    So you can believe whatever you want, in the final analysis the pros have it on an anecdote from a vaccine believer, how disappointing, how unscientific can you get. Mark’s army should be an objective view of the data not only that which supports it, how can you diss others for lack of evidence if your position is basically an anecdote? If the system actively seeks to remove and debunk anything that is critical you are left with half the data to make a decision, it amazes me that you are so surprised that so many people see you as ranting nutters!

  40. Chris says:

    Sarah, why did you not spell Dr. Crislip’s name properly? And have ignored our questions?

    Really, why should we care about your unsubstantiated opinions?

  41. lilady says:

    @ Sarah007: When you post on this blog, we expect to see some citations that are not cherry-picked. You only provided one citation, which when viewed, limited the study to vaccine recipients with prior diagnosed chronic medical conditions.

    It seems as though you want to be considered as an “expert” on vaccines and vaccine preventable diseases and have discounted Dr. Mark Crislip’s considerable experience as an Infectious Diseases Specialist. You have also argued against the opinions, backed up by multiple citations, of other posters (physicians and nurses, those who have studied and work in the fields of chemistry and biology and other sciences), by your reliance on the stuff you read on anti-vax websites and by scanning the tabloids.

    Why don’t you try to read the Vaccine Information Sheets available here: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/

    If you have any questions after reading these sheets, any of the posters here will be happy to provide additional information. And, I will be happy to refer you to additional websites, so that you might educate yourself on all the Recommended Childhood and Adult vaccines and the infectious diseases they prevent.

    BTW, you need to familiarize yourself with what constitutes “anecdotal” information (which you have presented as fact) and what constitutes professional experiences working as an infectious diseases specialist doctor.

  42. Scott says:

    I find it particularly telling that when Sarah is caught in a deliberate outright lie, she simply ignores the fact and carries on ranting.

  43. Harriet Hall says:

    @lilady,

    It’s no use presenting facts about infectious disease and vaccines and the scientific method to someone who denies the germ theory. It’s like trying to grow a crop by sprinkling seeds on a concrete surface. Sarah is not going to believe anything in the Vaccine Information Sheets. True believers and scientists don’t speak the same language; we have no common ground with sarah that would allow a meaningful discussion with her.

  44. sarah007 says:

    You are all fabulous. If Crispy boy and Harriet had any facts to present they would put them on the table. The best we get is that Harriet hopes we wil all get better with poison and Crippen tells us we can believe what we want to.

    Why is any of that better than the bible? (BTW I am not religious)

    “The 5 A DAY message – to eat at least 5 portions (400g) of a variety of fruit and vegetables each day – was developed based on a recommendation from the World Health Organization (WHO), following evidence that populations consuming at least 400g of fruit and vegetables per day can reduce the risk of deaths from chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and some cancers (World Health Organization, 1990).”

    “In Europe, the burden of disease attributable to low fruit and vegetable intake has been estimated to be between 19 and 35% for heart disease, 12 and 23% for stroke, 13 and 24% for stomach and oesophageal cancers, 8 and 16% for lung cancer, and 1 and 3% for colorectal cancer (Pomerleau et al, 2005).”

    Perhaps you can tell us why if 5 a day reduces the burden of these major killers by far more than any bloody drug why doctors only spend 6 hours learning about diet in their burdensome training.

    Imagine a vet with no idea how to feed a horse or a mechanic who doesn’t know the difference between diesel and petrol!

    How on earth do you expect any sane person to read the drivel on this site and not laugh?

    It’s priceless.

  45. Chris says:

    Why do you think insulting people, including not spelling a name correctly, is a valid form of debate?

  46. lilady says:

    @ Sarah077: I located the source of all your comments:

    http://www.whale.to/a/mcbean2.html

    It’s considered good form to “source” your references and, anyone who has pages and pages on the whale.to website is considered to be a joke.

    You do know, don’t you, that a pig farmer is the blog owner of whale.to? The pig farmer ONLY posts pseudoscience, medical conspiracies and other crank articles.

    Thanks for the laughs, Sarah.

  47. sarah007 says:

    That’s interesting Lady, this is the first time I have seen this site so nice guess but more fantasy. Which sources and references are you referring to, I am intriged to know.

    Here’s a link to your references:

    http://www.guide2wdw.com/

    Say hi to the duck for me!

  48. Chris says:

    Sarah, why do you think insults are a valid form of evidence?

  49. David Gorski says:

    By the way, Chris et al: Thanks for dealing with Sarah. I’m really busy this week, what between a writing grants, reviewing grants, and writing up a core proposal, nearly all of which is due in a couple of days. :-)

  50. sarah007 says:

    Chris pot and kettle black spring to mind. You know this pro/anti vaxx thing you are so keen on is unscientific, it forces you to focus on supporting a theory rather than being able to look at the subject critically. To disable a line of enquiry using personal opinion is quackery.

    Did you know the first people called the quacks were the orthodox doctors who used mercury salts as their no 1 remedy because it was so reactive. Like giving painkillers to people with arthritis instead of dealing with what is causing the pain, that’s real quackery and you know in some countries the taxpayer funds this kind of witchcraft.

    I haven’t met a ‘proper doctor’ yet who knows how to do anything but firefight, their level of ‘training’ in matters of health is a joke. Sure they are clever at disease management for the short term but with regard to improving quality of life, forget it.

    WHO monica project, link between cholesterol and CVA not able to disclose a direct positive association!
    That’s weasel words for it doesn’t fxing work.

    We could not disclose a direct positive association between
    cholesterol and stroke or cerebral infarction. Also, when a cut
    off point of 8.0 mmol/l was used, no association was found.

    In an overview of results of trials on the efficacy of cholesterol
    lowering, a significant reduction in fatal or non-fatal
    stroke incidence with lipid lowering regimens compared with
    placebo treatment could not be demonstrated.36 In a recent
    trial among 6595 men free from myocardial infarction at
    baseline and with increased cholesterol levels, in which cholesterol
    lowering was achieved through a newer lipid lowering
    drug (hydroxy-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase inhibitor)
    a non-significant reduction of 11% in risk of fatal and
    non-fatal stroke was observed.

    So every MD out there who is obsessing over prescribing statins needs to get up to speed, the EBM doesn’t exist for efficacy. Russia with the lowest cholesterol in Europe has the highest deaths from CVA and Switzerland with the highest cholesterol has the lowest deaths from CVA, there is even evidence that lowering cholesterol is counterproductive.

    Thoughts on that one or does it fall under the hat of antivaxxer so engagement is not required?

    Anyone who knows anything about the role of Vitamin C and CVA and cholesterol, not your ‘proper doctor’ would know why we need the cholesterol in compensation, it’s not a disease it’s a homeostatic response to deficiency.

  51. Chris says:

    Sure thing, Dr. Gorski. It looks like she has been held in some kind of stasis in the past ten years, since the “Autism: a novel form of mercury poisoning” paper was published over ten years ago. Apparently she is not aware that autism does not look like mercury poisoning, as this response in Pediatrics explains (Sarah, the blue letters are a link to another webpage).

  52. sarah007 says:

    Oooh isn’t David busy? Hey Chris if you’re no 2 I presume your last post was one of your longer sentences, you don’t want to crash Daddy’s car do you.

  53. Chris says:

    Oh, I noticed that Sarah responded as I was posting. Sarah, please answer the question I asked and do not change the subject. You will see that I posted a paper that shows the 2001 paper was flawed.

  54. sarah007 says:

    Sad part is I don’t feel dealt with at all. I thought I might get some kind of scientific exchange, I think you should change the name of the site to

    SCIENCE BURIAL MONUMENT

  55. bgoudie says:

    I think the issue is that you’d like us to exchange science for your fantasy world.

  56. sarah007 says:

    This article that attempts to disrupt the relationship between autism and mercury poisoning is nonsense. It is full of “may be” statements. Have you ever met an autistic person who can’t speak, the person who wrote this tosh obviously hasn’t. It is a stunning piece of tabloid dissing, so someone who at post mortem has elevated levels of mercury in the brain can’t be interviewed about their lifetime depression. If that’s evidence then you’re having a laff mate/

    “In relatively mild mercurism in persons without characteristic motor or sensory changes, psychiatric symptomatology may be absent, and if present is nonspecific, with findings such as depression, anxiety, and irritability.18–20 There may be impairment of recent memory. Even for individuals with known elevated postmortem levels of mercury in brain, it may be impossible to conclude whether the nonspecific psychiatric findings they demonstrated in life were the result of mercury toxicity.21″

    This is even more bonkers, so let’s assume it’s true that mercury causes autism what else could do this, an increase in industrialisation, that’s brilliant but hang on we would all be affected by that and I just don’t see loads of dribbling adults in town with ataxia.

    “If, for the sake of discussion, we assume there was a true increase in the occurrence of autism in the 1990s, is exposure to thimerosal the only or the best hypothesis to explain the increase? There have been many changes in life in industrialized countries during the last decades, including changes in many environmental exposures and aspects of medical care that could be considered for their biological plausibility as contributors to autism occurrence or severity.”

    This is fantastic, little is known about the impact of Thimerosol (ethyl mercury) so it can’t be a problem!

    “A substantial literature describes the neurotoxicity of methyl mercury but relatively little is known about the impact of ethyl mercury on the nervous system, especially with repeated low-dose exposure.”

    It must be safe we have no idea what it does, how’s that for septic science!

    I can’t be bothered to read any more, it’s total bull, if this is the case for the defence you’re sacked mate.

  57. Harriet Hall says:

    Sarah,

    “I thought I might get some kind of scientific exchange”

    You mentioned the Jefferson article (without proper citation) and I provided a link to Dr. Crislip’s explanation of that article’s flaws, with links to numerous other articles showing that flu vaccine was effective. Don’t you think that was “some kind of scientific exchange”?

    You are the one who has failed to participate in an exchange by refusing to answer our simple, direct questions even after we had answered many of yours. And you have refused to acknowledge your obvious mistakes when they were pointed out.

  58. Harriet Hall says:

    “I can’t be bothered to read any more”

    Please don’t read any more. Please go away.

  59. lilady says:

    @ Sarah 007: The Who MONICA project that you cite is ten years old…which is considered ancient in the science community.

    How about this more recent (December 2011) study published in Lancet?:

    http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2811%2961125-2/fulltext

    So you have absolutely no education in immunology, no professional licensing or experience in epidemiology or infectious diseases treatment and prevention…and you certainly are not well versed/knowledgeable about statins and their role in preventing CVAs.

    Just what are your qualifications to understand medical texts and studies? What is your educational background, what university-conferred degree were you awarded, what licensing in the health care professions do you have and what is your work experience in a health care facility?

  60. sarah007 says:

    So 10 years ago there was no link between cholesterol and CVA and now magically there is! Is that because a statin manufacturer did a ‘piece in a peer reviewed’ paper Harriet?

    Jeez you guys are like puppets waiting for the next instruction.

  61. sarah007 says:

    Lilady with regard to your ‘research’ on statins above:

    “UK Medical Research Council, British Heart Foundation, Merck & Co, Roche Vitamins.” Interesting that your latest statin research was funded by these guys, so how do you know that Roche didn’t help the research loose all the negative data like they did with swine flu and then u turm the paper 10 years before?

    One paper isnt enough according to your mates and with Roche on board this means the opposite of what it says really.

  62. Chris says:

    What do statins and cholesterol have to do with vaccines? And again, what evidence to you have that the DTaP vaccine is more dangerous than diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis?

    I should remind you that your opinion an article does not count, since you do not seem to know how to read it. I have been around many children and adults with autism, and they mostly do not have ataxia.

  63. Harriet Hall says:

    @sarah007,
    I’m disappointed. You said ““I can’t be bothered to read any more” but then you did.
    You have been useful here as an example of Dunning-Kruger, but I think it is time for you to do what you said and go elsewhere.

  64. lilady says:

    Oops, sorry I fell into Sarah’s trap. I merely meant to point out to her that her cherry-picked snippets of old studies are a calculated diversion from the subject of this article.

    Why doesn’t Sarah answer Chris’ questions about the DTaP vaccine versus the actual diseases it prevents?

    Why was there a dramatic increase in Diphtheria cases reported from the Russian Federation, during 1990-1993?

    Why are you parroting all the tropes and the “scientific analysis” of studies, that you read on notorious anti-vax web sites?

    Really Sarah, if you had any education in the sciences and were actually able to understand the studies of vaccines and epidemiology of vaccine preventable diseases, you wouldn’t have to rely on the yellow journalism that read on anti-vax websites.

    BTW, what is your educational background, what university-conferred degree were you awarded, what licensing in the health care professions do you have and what is your work experience in a health care facility?

    Still waiting for you to provide answers to Chris’ questions and to mine.

  65. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

    Sarah, what is the total dose of thiomersal received by a baby getting the recommended 2012 vaccination schedule?

    What would the equivalent dose be for 2002?

    Have the doses changed?

    Have the autism rates changed?

    Further questions – is a vitamin good for you? Is 10 micrograms of cholecalciferol good for you? Is 10 grams?

    Can you name a source of medical information you trust?

    None of these are trick questions, they’ll help myself and others at SBM understand your thinking process.

  66. Chris says:

    Sarah, why was there a call out for vaccines containing thimerosal by Sallie Bernard over ten years ago? If it was so ubiquitous, Burbacher would not have had to put it in the vaccines used in his poorly done monkey study.

    See:

    # Subject: Thimerosal DTaP Needed
    # From: Sally Bernard
    # Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2001 00:01:50 -0400
    # Yahoo! Message Number: 27456
    http://onibasu.com/archives/am/27456.html

    Hi all:

    A group of university-based researchers needs several vials of the older DTaP vaccine formulations which contained thimerosal for a legitimate research study. If anyone knows an MD who might have some of these vaccines or knows where to get them, please email me privately.

    Thank you.

    Sallie Bernard
    Executive Director
    Safe Minds

  67. sarah007 says:

    Hey Chris are they going to experiment on kids on the quiet then. let’s hope no one helps them out!

    Love the idea of a legitimate vaccine study, what a parodox that is!

  68. sarah007 says:

    So lilady is a mind reader, I mean I could say that you just believe all the crap you read in peer reviewed medical journals because that’s all you cut and paste.

    What training did you have to press crtl C? crtl P?

  69. Harriet Hall says:

    To anyone who is reading these comments: Sarah is a germ theory denialist. Every one of her arguments can be easily demolished, but it would be time-consuming and wouldn’t change her mind. If any reader thinks Sarah has a single valid point, please let us know and we will explain why she is wrong.

  70. Chris says:

    She is also illiterate, and in some kind of time warp where she thinks she is still in the 20th century.

  71. lilady says:

    Sarah I don’t have to be a “mind reader” to understand how inept and unprepared you are to understand immunology/vaccines, bacteriology, virology and the epidemiology of vaccine-preventable diseases.

    I’ve asked you several times about your educational background, your university-conferred degree, your professional licensing and your experience in the health care field….still no answers, eh?

    Here for your perusal are my credentials: BSc-Nursing, licensed registered nurse, recently retired as a public health nurse from a County department of health-Division of Communicable Disease Control and part time public health clinic nurse.

    Inquiring minds want to know what your credentials are, Sarah.

  72. weing says:

    lilady,

    I don’t think Sarah has the credentials to even pass high-school biology. If she did, it is an indictment of our educational system.

  73. Chris says:

    I also wonder about her education when she says “Hey Chris are they going to experiment on kids on the quiet then. let’s hope no one helps them out!”

    Can anyone figure out what she is trying to say? Is she referring to the plea from Sallie Bernard for vaccines with thimerosal that was dated 2001? If so, why is she responding in the future tense?

    She definitely has some reading comprehension issues.

  74. Chris says:

    Wait, as I think about it, perhaps Sarah007 is confused by numbers. Let me help her:

    This is the year 2012.

    Sallie Bernard was looking for a vaccine with thimerosal in 2001.

    Some simple arithmetic: 2012 – 2001 = 11.

    So eleven years ago one of the founders of SafeMinds was having trouble finding a vaccine with the evil thimerosal in it.

    Perhaps Sarah007 was confused by me using the term “decade.” Decade means “ten years.” The difference between now and Ms. Bernard’s search for a vaccine with thimerosal was eleven years ago. That is more than a decade ago.

    Sarah, please stop being stuck in the 20th century.

  75. lilady says:

    @ weing: She certainly doesn’t have the credentials to be posting on this blog. It seems however, that she is well-credentialed to post on the notorious anti-vax blogs, where her snide, ignorant and citation-less remarks are accepted.

    The notorious anti-vax websites “entertain” any and all theories about autism, “welcome” any and all conspiracies (no matter how far-fetched) and their heroes/heroines are de-licensed physicians, fading-fast D-List celebs and “warrior moms”.

  76. sarah007 says:

    I love this, you remove posts that you can’t handle. Are you sure you are not funded by the catholic church? Moving to the ad hom and cut and pasting what you like is exactly why the medical peer review process is in disrepute. You are all shining examples of septic scientists, more in common with the Taliban than anything I have met.

    Why do you wonder why Mercola is so much more interesting, informative and publicaly useful than you.

    Name one postive post, thread on this site that will improve your health today.

    Pro/anti who gives a shit. It’s about evidence and so far you have provided no evidence of worth that means anything to anyone but yourselves. I can’t wait for the next scamdemic cos I know you lot will be shitting it under the table waiting for the next CBS bulletin and best of all you will be lining up for the jab.

  77. David Gorski says:

    I have not removed a single post. Some of your posts might have gone to moderation, but all I do when I moderate comments is to release all the obviously non-spam comments and delete the spam comments. Given your general online behavior and your hijacking of this particular comment thread, I’m beginning to wonder if I should rethink my hands-off philosophy of comment moderation. Perhaps I will discuss this with the SBM collective hive mind.

  78. weing says:

    Hmm. Interesting. She is now degenerating into coprolalia. I don’t see any hope for her. As long as she continues to mistake her beliefs for facts, her delusions will continue.

  79. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

    Sarah, most of the posts here will improve the health of your wallet ’cause you won’t be shelling out money for worthless or unproven treatments. You are free to spend it on vegetables if you want to, they’re usually a good choice for improving health. Your primary care physician, in fact nearly any medical practitioner, should have informed you of this. Another good option is a pair of comfortable shoes to run in, since exercise is also quite healthy – as demonstrated by science.

    You haven’t answered my questions – what’s the total dose of thiomersal due to vaccination now? What is it compared to 10 years ago? How have autism rates changed? Would you consume one microgram of vitamin D? What kind? Would you consume one gram?

  80. Chris says:

    So Sarah goes ballistic when it is pointed out that SafeMinds could not find thimerosal filled vaccines over decade ago?

  81. sarah007 says:

    You need to look at the cooking of the stats with the reduction of autism in Denmark. The reporting of autism cases went up because the government realised there was a problem and asked all families who thought they had an autistic kid who had not registered to do so as part of the programme. The actual cases went down but the CDC, as usual lying barstards covered it up.

    Documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) show that CDC officials were aware of Danish data indicating a connection between removing Thimerosal (49.55% mercury) and a decline in autism rates. Despite this knowledge, these officials allowed a 2003 article to be published in Pediatrics that excluded this information, misrepresented the decline as an increase, and led to the mistaken conclusion that Thimerosal in vaccines does not cause autism.

    In Denmark, Thimerosal, a controversial mercury compound used as a preservative in certain vaccines, was removed from all Danish vaccines in 1992. The well-publicized Danish study published in Pediatrics 2003 claimed that autism rates actually increased after Thimerosal was phased out. This study subsequently became a cornerstone for the notion that mercury does not cause autism. However, one of the FOIA documents obtained from CDC clearly indicates that this study omitted large amounts of data showing autism rates actually dropping after mercury was removed from Danish vaccines.

    So all you pro vaxxin non scientists now you can see why being pro or anti promotes non science or nonsense.

  82. sarah007 says:

    David you are removing posts, I have copied all the thread posts, perhaps you would like me to put the ones up you have ‘edited’ or ‘moderated’.

  83. Chris says:

    Again, citation needed.

    Plus, how come Sallie Bernard could not get DTaP vaccines with thimerosal in 2001? In the end Burbacher had to add thimerosal to the vaccines used in his study:

    Thimerosal (Omicron Quimica S.A., Barcelona, Spain), dissolved in saline, was mixed with thimerosal-free vaccines to yield a final concentration of 4, 8, or 20 μg/mL Hg, depending on the vaccine and the age of the infant.

  84. lilady says:

    Sarah, still “ripping off” quotes from crank websites, eh?

    http://www.omsj.org/corruption/scandal-exposed-in-mercury-autism-study

    This crank website’s right wingnut blogger is Clark Baker, whose dubious “credentials”, whose ignorance of medicine and whose AIDS denialism is discussed here:

    http://aidstruth.org/features/2009/clark-baker-ex-cop-and-homophobic-right-wing-blogger

    It would be nice if the potty-mouthed credulous troll didn’t get her “ideas” from cranks and anti-vaxers…but that would require her to actually know some basic science.

  85. bgoudie says:

    I’m curious to see sarah’s “copies” of the “moderated” posts. Mind you, not as much as I’d like to see her provide any kind of actual direct citations of her claims, instead of her normal posts.

    But still I’ve never actually seen posts from an alternate universe before. Perhaps we need to call the physics boys in on this one.

  86. ausGeoff says:

    I’m a noob poster here Sarah007, but I’ve been a lurker for some time. Anyway…

    I’ve been following this particular discussion with some interest, and I’ve been impressed with your well-articulated rebuttals of the numerous hostile critiques directed at you. I’m guessing you’ve done a lot of your own research on immunology—or influenza in particular—as you’ve raised several pertinent questions in my mind.

    Personally, I have no medical training whatsoever, and rely solely on the opinions and/or directives of others (hopefully!) competent in that field. But I can say that, contrary to my own GP’s advice, I’ve always refused to have the annual winter ‘flu shots (which were introduced in Australia in the late 60s).

    More importantly, I’ve never had the ‘flu during that 40-year period. Which means that I’m yet to be entirely convinced by the overarching acceptance and/or efficacy of annual ‘flu vaccinations (which issue has generated heated debate every one of those years). Please note that I’m only commenting solely from the viewpoint of the rights of each individual as to whether they have the shots or not; I’m not referring to pandemic/epidemic prevention.

    I’m also assuming that you have professional expertise in the fields of immunology or microbiology or some similar field. Could you kindly let me know what your academic accreditations are?

    —Thanks, Geoff.

  87. Chris says:

    ausGeoff:

    I’ve been following this particular discussion with some interest, and I’ve been impressed with your well-articulated rebuttals of the numerous hostile critiques directed at you.

    You are repeating yourself, and have not answered the responses you got when you said that before.

    But I do have to ask since you seem to admire Sarah007′s form of debate: Why do you think insults are a valid form of evidence?

  88. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

    ausGeoff, I’ll repeat the questions I asked you on the other thread.

    How do you know you didn’t get the flu? Did you have a daily or weekly nasal swab to confirm infection? Or antibody titres to confirm immune response? Or some other way of confirming asymptomatic infection? Influenza can be asymptomatic. Often people think they have influenza, which is actually quite serious and unpleasant, when they have an unrelated virus with similar symptoms.

    On a related note, are you familiar with both the term and specific case of Typhoid Mary? The reason I ask is because influenza, like all public health measures, aren’t just about protecting specific people. In most cases it’s also to break lines of transmission. One of the great ironies of vaccination is that the people who need them most (like the elderly, young or immune-compromised) are generally the least likely to respond to them. I get vaccinated for influenza so I don’t give it to my grandmother when I visit in prime influenza season. And so I don’t give it to people on the bus, in the library or at work. A nice fringe benefit is I don’t need to go through the painful sensations of influenza infection but the best reason to get vaccinated is so you don’t end up giving your disease to someone else.

    If you’re genuinely interested in educating yourself about vaccination, you should try Arthur Allen’s excellent Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine’s Greatest Lifesaver. Very readable and informative. I’ve recommended John Barry’s The Great Influenza before, but you just can’t recommend that book enough.

  89. sarah007 says:

    Chris said :”Why do you think insults are a valid form of evidence?” So here is a choice selection from this thread.

    “It would be nice if the potty-mouthed credulous troll didn’t get her “ideas” f

    notorious anti-vax blogs, where her snide, ignorant and citation-less remarks are accepted.

    you’d like us to exchange science for your fantasy world.

    useful here as an example of Dunning-Kruger (Don’t even have a clue what this means)

    This last one isnt an insult technically but it does insult the itellegence so I have included it for historical evidence Thanks to lilady for her way with weasle words, a septic speciality.

    “I’ll just point out that mercury poisoning is not OK but that there is no evidence that that vaccines cause mercury poisoning.” This is true there are no long term toxicity studies on ethyl mercury so there is no evidence that it is poisonous but somehow this doesn’t seem very scientific, bit like the tobacco science lobby telling us no one has any evidence that tobacco kills people because we haven’t studied it.

    Come to think of it the resistance by the pro vaxx lobby to the kind of comparative studies that are needed seems too similar to this corporate strategy. Maybe Harriet would have been a tobacco lobbyist 20 years ago.

  90. sarah007 says:

    William Barry’s book ‘the great history rewrite of pandemic flu’ is great if you want to relax in a warm chair, safe in the believe the spin that modern medicine saved the world. If however you are interested in facts I’m afraid it just won’t do. 50 million deaths from a medical mismanagement disaster would not make a good medical story.

    Maybe we should get a group of septiks, and a group of natural hygienists in a room, you lot have the vaccine and they don’t. Then fill the room with virus aerosols and sit back and watch.

    I know this has all been done before with army volunteers but we need to revalidate that research from the UK government cold and flu unit and show once again that ‘flu virus’ does not cause flu. Like I skids on the road don’t cause car accidents but they are associated. I don’t know where Harriet has got the idea germs don’t exist for some people, of course they are there Harriet, what’s up for discussion is their role in disease causation.

  91. @WLU I have no doubts that ausGeoff has indeed had the flu. I have a “friend” who makes similar statements. She claims that neither she, nor her whole family, has ever had the cold or the flu. Why? “Because” she and her family drink one glass of buttermilk each morning. Of course, she has been devastatingly sick the last two weeks (with the flu), but she attributes her illness not to the influenza virus, but instead to being overwhelmed by life’s stresses and emotions. Like ausGeoff, she simply attributes her viral infections to other causes,being blissfully ignorant they lead a life of denial.

  92. weing says:

    I would not take seriously anything that sarah007 says. She has proven that she is making up data to support her claims. She then takes these claims as facts and wants us to believe them like she does. Therefore any claims she provides are suspect. She is obviously self-deluded, at best.

  93. bgoudie says:

    sarah007

    Again you make claims about the Cold Unit’s having shown that the influenza virus doesn’t cause the flu. But still you provide nothing to back the claim. Not one actual citation, not one link. You just keep repeating them and insisting that it is true. Did you just hear this at the bar?

    Evidence means something very specific in the actual world.

  94. lilady says:

    @ weing: I find that when a fact-less poster comes here and insults the blogger and insults other posters, all of their posts are “suspect”.

    Methinks this one annoying flame-throwing insulting poster, is quite delusional. She still does not realize that her posts are only impressive for the credulous audience found on notorious anti-vax websites.

    Wouldn’t you think that this one who “specializes” in vaccines, would have a few more facts…rather than the same old tired factoids?

  95. sarah007 says:

    This medical peer review is getting a bit boring, the last post again has disappeared into the EBM!

    I love septikalhealth telling Ausgeoff that he must have had the flu cos he hasn’t had the vaccine! By the way I have never had the flu either and no one in my family has and none of us has had the vaccine either.

    Are we noise in the data or the data itself?

  96. weing says:

    @lilady,
    True. I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, though. Just my nature. She obviously has less than a high-school knowledge of biology. That doesn’t stop her though. I see it all the time. It’s the everybody’s a doctor syndrome. One problem we all face is that even a broken watch gives the correct time twice a day.

  97. weing says:

    “I have never had the flu either and no one in my family has and none of us has had the vaccine either.
    Are we noise in the data or the data itself?” How could you find out for sure that what you claim is true? Would a detective accept your claim that you did not steal and no one in your family had stolen the the jewels on your say so?

  98. sarah007 says:

    http://boingboing.net/2010/01/29/cold-for-the-holidays.html National common cold and flu unit.

    Look at the results of research on the common cold, only 3 out of 32 ‘caught a cold’ even spending 2 hours in close confinment. That’s not even placebo William.

    So 40 years of study of the common cold and flu failed to find a cure, it’s all bull. No proof of the mythical pustulates of Koch’s then either? Whatever they identified it didn’t cause a cold so this idea that virus causes disease is a bit of a woooer, the research shows us it’s true, what’s a believer to do?

    Sorry Wong but something gets lost in translation of your posts, has the horse has the hoof nails upwards or downwards in your story?

  99. Chris says:

    Sahah007, I asked you why you thought insults were a valid form of evidence. I did not write any of the things you quoted. Though while I do agree that your ideas come from unscientific sources, I do not agree with the tone of those comments.

    Now, Sarah, you would be treated better if you used actually evidence and actually answered the questions posed towards you. Perhaps you should answer why we should care what you think if you cannot post any evidence, but just a series of opinions without any data.

    By the way, the “common cold” is caused by at least 200 different viruses. For someone who does not respect science, nor the medical field, you seem to expect too much.

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