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188 thoughts on “Some Flu Vaccine Updates

  1. weing – I find the hygiene theory fascinating. I use it to comfort myself every time I take the kids to Chuckie Cheese.

  2. Th1Th2 says:

    Chris,

    “Further proof this person has never been around young children. Do you actually think toddlers don’t run and fall? Do you think that on their first birthday they get up and start walking perfectly? That no child has every tripped on toy?”

    That’s why responsible parents should always be at their sides to assist them in walking without getting their knees scraped, to clear out obstructions that might cause tripping, etc. Now, if you think that abrasions, lacerations etc are like everyday scenario that kids MUST endure, then obviously something is wrong with your parenting skills.

    “And really, what kind of child never plays in dirt, or at a minimum a sand box? Have you ever heard of these?”

    I have a better option that is not as ‘dirty’ and messy as the choices above especially when it’s raining like indoor plays. Did I make the wrong choice?

    The toy looks OK though when you take it to the landfill and have the child play with it, would you do it?

  3. Th1Th2 says:

    Chris,

    And on the next day you went back to look for more gums on the sidewalk. Did you find some more and gave it to your child?

  4. Harriet Hall says:

    Th1Th2 says “They don’t use their knees to walk, do they?”

    No, duh! But they crawl before they walk, and they fall down a lot when they are learning to walk.

    And parents can’t offer perfect vigilance. Anyone who has had a toddler can testify that no matter how careful they are, the kid will eventually evade their attention long enough to try to eat a bug or a dead leaf. All it takes is a blink of the eye: toddlers move fast and have no judgment.

    Playing indoors? Are you sure no one has ever walked into your house with feet or shoes that had been previously contaminated with tetanus spores by walking on dirt? Do you sterilize your floors daily?

    Contact with other children? Do you really think you can determine whether another child might be in the preclinical stages of an infection or might be an asymptomatic carrier?

    The goal of keeping a child away from any source of infection is not only impossible, but may be counterproductive. Not being exposed to any antigens would actually impair their immune competence.

    Th1Th2 could only convince us if it could show evidence that children who have not been vaccinated are healthier, or that children can be reliably protected from vaccine-preventable diseases without vaccination. Th1Th2 is long on crackpot opinions and short on evidence.

  5. Th1Th2 says:

    Chris,

    “You have been told over and over again that the immune response to a vaccine is not a full infection.”

    Full? You mean asymptomatic infection does not exist?

  6. Deetee says:

    TH1 Troll: “The Hib does NOT produce any toxins whatsoever.”

    Funny that. I thought HiB was a gram negative rod.

    You know, just like the ones packed full of lipopolysaccharide endotoxin.

    Sigh… We’ll just have to rewrite all those hundreds of reference microbiology books, and sue all those researchers for their tens of thousands of fraudulent papers on the topic.

    I guess every microbiologist who ever trained will just have to bow down in awe at TH1 Troll’s superior microbial knowledge, and admit they have been wrong all these years.

    But there is good news- we can relax, and stop vaccinating against HiB. Without any toxins, its a totally harmless little beast. I guess all the kids who supposedly died from it in the past were actually killed by the hospital food, or the doctor’s stethoscopes or something.

  7. Th1Th2 says:

    Harriet Hall,

    “No, duh! But they crawl before they walk, and they fall down a lot when they are learning to walk.”

    But it’s your choice though where you want them to crawl and fall into, if you happen to think in advance. Carpet, dirt, sidewalk, or burning coal, WWYD?

    “And parents can’t offer perfect vigilance. Anyone who has had a toddler can testify that no matter how careful they are, the kid will eventually evade their attention long enough to try to eat a bug or a dead leaf. All it takes is a blink of the eye: toddlers move fast and have no judgment. ”

    So let us all blame the child.

    “Are you sure no one has ever walked into your house with feet or shoes that had been previously contaminated with tetanus spores by walking on dirt? Do you sterilize your floors daily?”

    I don’t have any autoclave machine in my house nor I inspect shoes for C. tetani. But hey, I do have a simple vacuum cleaner to clean up obvious dirt. Do you think I made the logical choice?

    “Do you really think you can determine whether another child might be in the preclinical stages of an infection or might be an asymptomatic carrier? ”

    Signs and symptoms, however non-specific will definitely help.

    “The goal of keeping a child away from any source of infection is not only impossible, but may be counterproductive. Not being exposed to any antigens would actually impair their immune competence.”

    You statements are misleading and false. The goal of disease prevention starts with infection control. Antigenic stimulation is ubiquitous but it does not mean pathogen exposure is acceptable and an expected event that a child MUST have.

    “Th1Th2 could only convince us if it could show evidence that children who have not been vaccinated are healthier, or that children can be reliably protected from vaccine-preventable diseases without vaccination.”

    I have neither seen nor worked in a hospital that caters only for the unvaccinated.

  8. Th1Th2 says:

    Deetee,

    I know that but I was referring to exotoxins in connection with previous discussion.

  9. Th1Th2 says:

    Deetee,

    “But there is good news- we can relax, and stop vaccinating against HiB. Without any toxins, its a totally harmless little beast. I guess all the kids who supposedly died from it in the past were actually killed by the hospital food, or the doctor’s stethoscopes or something.”

    They mostly died from medical treatment of course. Even now, a quarter of a million people will die every year from iatrogenesis amidst technological advancement..ahem… Don’t blame the food, it’s a physiologic need.

  10. Chris says:

    I love how the thing that has never been around children is now giving out parenting advice! It has turned into a parody of inanity!

    Especially with this gem:

    Contact with other children? For as long as they are not sick and contagious.

    Only in its little fairy tale land can it magically know when another child is contagious. What a laugh riot of stupidity.

    Oh, and further proof it has never been around children… especially the asymptomatic child who kept re-infecting his siblings with strep throat.

    I don’t think banning the silly twit is what is needed. Making sure it never breeds is better.

  11. HarrietHall “Th1Th2 could only convince us,etc”

    Actually, I’m completely convinced by TH1TH2′s argument.

    To keep my child from being exposed to dangerous illness…

    I should vigilantly monitor them, assuring at all times that they not skin their knee or puncture their skin, walk on dirt or unclean sidewalks, flooring etc* When possible keeping them inside is preferred. I should keep the home free of contagious pathogens, avoid bringing them in from outside the home and avoid allowing my spouse to enter the home when he had been exposed to coworkers who are sick or contagious or have asymptomatic disease. My child should not play with children who are experiencing symptomatic contagious disease or asymptomatic contagious disease.

    Or I can…

    Get my child vaccinated.

    I’m thinking long and hard about th1th2′s concerns with asymptomatic infection. But I have to admit, I don’t mind the sound of asymptomatic.

    As to the rest of the conversation, there are a lot of big words that I’ve never heard and don’t have the time to look up. But since no one I know has ever died from or been seriously ill with something I’ve never heard of, I’m not going to worry about it too much.

    Although I have to admit, that iatrogenesis sounds pretty nasty. I hope I never catch that.

  12. Harriet Hall says:

    Th1Th2,
    Your arguments just get progressively more ridiculous. I didn’t let my children crawl on dirt or burning coal. I managed to catch the dead leaf in my child’s hand and remove it en route to the child’s mouth; I didn’t blame the child for doing what children naturally do. I used a vacuum cleaner. I didn’t expose my child to other children who had any signs or symptoms of infections. I did everything possible to prevent their exposure to pathogens. I also did what responsible parents do who understand the principles of immunology: I had them vaccinated with every available vaccine.

    If you’re going to continue to comment here, please show us your evidence that children who have not been vaccinated are healthier, or that children can be reliably protected from vaccine-preventable diseases without vaccination. If the best you can come up with is the cop-out that you haven’t seen a hospital that caters to the unvaccinated, that indicates that you don’t have a scrap of evidence to support your ridiculous assertions. We have a mountain of evidence to show that vaccination reduces the rate of vaccine-preventable diseases and has even eradicated one (smallpox) from the face of the earth. Despite all your verbiage, you have given us NOTHING to contradict those facts.

  13. Th1Th2 says:

    Chris,

    “Only in its little fairy tale land can it magically know when another child is contagious. What a laugh riot of stupidity.”

    Wow, that’s quite understandable for someone who’s not familiar with clinical assessment and actual P.E.

    “Oh, and further proof it has never been around children… especially the asymptomatic child who kept re-infecting his siblings with strep throat.”

    I’ll blame the parent for not knowing what to do with regards to infection control.

  14. Th1Th2 says:

    micheleinmichigan,

    “Or I can…

    Get my child vaccinated.”

    Funny. By doing this, you’ve just inoculated your child with pathogen-associated crap. You want them to be protected but in reality, you just took a shortcut to infection.

  15. Chris says:

    The Troll:

    I’ll blame the parent for not knowing what to do with regards to infection control.

    Do you even know what “asymptomatic” means? Do you even know how to control the secretions of a six year old child? Oh, wait. It has been established that you have never even been around a child, so your “parenting advice” is all the more amusing. Especially when you don’t understand why your comments are so foolish.

    Dr. Hall:

    I managed to catch the dead leaf in my child’s hand and remove it en route to the child’s mouth; I didn’t blame the child for doing what children naturally do.

    On the value of teaching a child with a severe communication disorder sign language:

    When my younger was eight months old and my older son was exactly two years and four days older I had them in the newly remodeled basement. It was a combination playroom and adult hobby center (computer and sewing, with laundry thrown in on the side). It was carpeted, with a door separating it from the laundry room (and another door went to a bathroom if you are really that anal).

    As I was trying to figure out possibly the first version of Quicken, my oldest came to me and signed “baby spider.” So I went to the baby and swept his mouth with my finger and out came a very alive crawling beetle.

    My older son had no spoken words (seizure disorder at birth… which he grew out of, only to get another seizure from a now vaccine preventable disease), his speech/language therapy at the local children’s hospital gave him a seventy word sign language vocabulary. While that list of words did not include “bug” or “insect”, the more visual sign of “spider” got the message across.

  16. Th1Th2 says:

    Harriet Hall,

    “I also did what responsible parents do who understand the principles of immunology: I had them vaccinated with every available vaccine. ”

    You should have protected them from any pathogen-associated elements but you know you did not.

    “We have a mountain of evidence to show that vaccination reduces the rate of vaccine-preventable diseases and has even eradicated one (smallpox) from the face of the earth. ”

    If there’s anything that is being reduced are the symptoms of infection vaccines are causing. You can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig.

  17. Harriet Hall says:

    “If there’s anything that is being reduced are the symptoms of infection vaccines are causing.”

    What does this even mean?
    And incidentally, what do you think happened to smallpox?

  18. Chris says:

    Dr. Hall, may I mention something that a very wise step-mother told me?

    Stupid is what stupid does

    Um, yeah… what we are dealing with is a dyed in the wool “germ denier.” This is a person who has read some words and thinks they know something. What?… we will never know. That is because it not something that exists on this planet.

    Th1Th2 is the classic closed mind. It has educated itself through Google U. with some basics, but it fails in the details (thanks DeeTee!).

    We have even learned that it has never dealt with very young children. For some reason it thinks that A toddler would readily know which is the safe path. Yeah, right!? Obviously it has never had to pull a child out of traffic, or see a barker rescue that same toddler from a tiny Ferris wheel!

    Th1Th2 has never dealt with real children. It has read some references, but does not understand them. Right now it is only an amusement of how stupid some people can be.

  19. Harriet Hall says:

    I know it is foolish to feed a troll, but I would really like to hear how Th1Th2 explains the demise of smallpox.

  20. Deetee says:

    It must be a bot. A human Th troll would never have survived the ravages of childhood.

  21. “Funny. By doing this, you’ve just inoculated your child with pathogen-associated crap. You want them to be protected but in reality, you just took a shortcut to infection.”

    Yes, you said that before. You also noted that it was an infection with no or fewer symptoms. From your smallpox reference, it appears it is also an infection that is not contagious or is contagious with no symptoms. So I am philosophically infected with smallpox, but in the pragmatic sense, I have only a tiny scar and never had a life threatening form of the illness.

    Makes sense to me.

  22. Dr Benway says:

    You should have protected them from any pathogen-associated elements but you know you did not.

    LOLWUT?

    Do you think Nature can be divided into “pathogen” and “not a pathogen”?

    Th1Th2, the whole mystical alt med thing has been around since the dawn of human history. Yet I don’t see tribes of humans looking really hot into their 50s and living active lives into their 100s.

    Have you considered that the alties might be wrong?

  23. Dr Benway says:

    Just curious,

    Does WordPress allow site admins the option of associating certain fonts colors (e.g., pink) or styles (e.g., Comic Sans MS) with particular commenters?

  24. Dawn says:

    I’ve been highly amused by Thing1Thing2.

    Sterile babies? What planet does he/she live on? Certainly not earth.

    As a midwife, I’ve never seen a sterile birth. I’ve seen plenty of vaginal births and c-sections, neither of which are sterile. And the babies certainly aren’t sterile after birth.

    Now, the amniotic fluid before the sac breaks is sterile (amniotic fluid, baby urine, all sorts of lanugo and stuff) but can still cause BIG problems if there is meconium in it. After the sac ruptures, no way is the fluid OR the baby sterile. All that nice fluid just whistles “come and get it, boys” to all the bacteria that live in mom’s vagina. And whether mom is habituated to that bacteria or not, baby has to get his/her immune system revved up fast just to survive childbirth without a life-threatening infection from “inocuous” bacteria. (Not counting the babies that die/become very ill from bacteria that mom may not know she has because SHE is asymptomatic but can be lethal to a baby – like beta strep)

    And really, breastfeeding? Sterile? What did she do, boil her boobs? (Owww…the mental picture just made me cringe). And no, washing with antibacterial soap does not kill all the germs, and your nipples shouldn’t be washed with soap when nursing anyway (too drying).

    And tell me where my kids got thrush from. I had a vaginal birth (never have had a yeast infection), breastfed solely (they never had a bottle till getting ready to put them in daycare) but they both developed thrush in their first 6 weeks of life. And no, they had had no vaccines since they were born just before Hep B was a recommended vaccine for newborns unless mom was positive.

    And I REALLY loved her “babies should never get hurt” mentality. Obviously, I was a highly negligent mom who let her kids run barefoot in summer, eat sand (I didn’t feed it to them but boy, my youngest loved to eat it…), eat ants, clover, and other things, get cuts, bruises and lacerations while playing outside. Strange; both kids are healthy happy adults now, fully vaccinated. And both of them plan on caring for any children they may have in the same way. Our kids didn’t grow up in a sterile bubble world, nor will their children.

  25. “And tell me where my kids got thrush from. I had a vaginal birth (never have had a yeast infection), breastfed solely (they never had a bottle till getting ready to put them in daycare) but they both developed thrush in their first 6 weeks of life.”

    This is a nitpick, but I thought that thrush was merely the overpopulation of yeast that normally inhabits moist areas. So everyone has it, but sometimes it goes crazy, due to competitive bacteria depopulation, or some such.

    Also since we are sharing real parent stories. My daughter was one of those put everything into her mouth toddler/preschoolers. Sometimes we have a population burst of ladybugs in the house (they hatch when the sun shines on the windows). When I wasn’t looking she would secretly scoop up a fallen ladybug carcass and pop it in her mouth. Apparently ladybugs taste awful! The look on her face… But still, a month or months later with another ladybug hatching, the same thing would happen.

    Also the time that the pet turtle disappears and was latter discovered, gentling cradled in my (then) toddler sister’s mouth is a beloved family story. Both sister and turtle survived.

    But joking aside, clearly the amount of restriction and supervision of children that is assumed by TH1TH2′s method would greatly hamper a child’s typical motor, sensory, and social interaction with the world that developmental experts suggest is so important, particularly in the first three years of life.

  26. Sid Offit says:

    @nybgrus
    I pulled up the newest data, wrote up an analysis…Never managed to get a response from Sid about it. Anything you want to say about it here bucko?

    ——————–
    I found your “analysis” rather comical and felt it’s inherent illogic was more discrediting than could any comments I could generate.

  27. Sid Offit says:

    could

  28. Th1Th2 says:

    Harriet Hall,

    “I know it is foolish to feed a troll, but I would really like to hear how Th1Th2 explains the demise of smallpox.”

    Surveillance and containment. We could have also eradicated varicella if only people breaks the chain of infection, that is, by stopping this nonsense inoculation and pox parties.

  29. Th1Th2 says:

    Chris,

    “Do you even know what “asymptomatic” means? Do you even know how to control the secretions of a six year old child?”

    Be specific. What kind of secretions are you talking about? A normal physiologic process is a sign of a functioning living creature, not a symptom.

  30. Harriet Hall says:

    Th1Th2,

    Surveillance and containment? Please explain. The stop-smallpox campaign did not rely on identifying cases and isolating them from all contact with other people. You say we could have eradicated varicella by stopping inoculation and avoiding deliberate exposure, yet huge numbers of people were inoculated with smallpox vaccine. According to you, inoculation constitutes deliberate exposure and causes an infection. So why didn’t smallpox continue to thrive? Something doesn’t add up.

  31. Th1Th2 says:

    micheleinmichigan,

    “Yes, you said that before. You also noted that it was an infection with no or fewer symptoms. From your smallpox reference, it appears it is also an infection that is not contagious or is contagious with no symptoms. So I am philosophically infected with smallpox, but in the pragmatic sense, I have only a tiny scar and never had a life threatening form of the illness.”

    You were infected with vaccinia virus, not smallpox, but hey it’s “‘lesser of the two evils”. You had the chance to remain uninfected until you asked for it.

  32. Chris says:

    We could have also eradicated varicella if only people breaks the chain of infection, that is, by stopping this nonsense inoculation and pox parties.

    Curious, how can you stop people being infected from varicella when it is infectious at least two days before the poxes appear?

    Do you propose that everyone get tested for possible infection every day?

  33. lizditz says:

    Over here, you’ve had Th1Th2 & Sid Offit.

    At Shannon Rosa’s article

    http://shotofprevention.com/2010/10/04/why-my-child-with-autism-is-fully-vaccinated/

    at Shot of Prevention,

    anti-vaccination perseveration has been provided by

    John Fryer Chemist, Beth B, AWEtismMom, Rita O RN, Sara, Kelly, Joe (the fellow says his son had a vaccine reaction “a knot forms the size of a mans fist so hot it could burn you to touch it.”), Pam, Virginia Young, Janine Marsha McClelland, and Toby Dawson

    The prize winners for most words without actual intellectual content are Joe (who I believe is also Joe Harris) and Marsha McClelland.

    But Th1Th2′s total and complete lack of information on normal child development wins a prize, too. I don’t know what to call it.

  34. Th1Th2 says:

    Chris,

    “Curious, how can you stop people being infected from varicella when it is infectious at least two days before the poxes appear?”

    Well, did it say varicella is only contagious until the rash appears?

    Does the varicella vaccine come with label? I find it amusing though how could people have possibly ignore the MOST important ingredient in the vaccine (VZV).

    “Do you propose that everyone get tested for possible infection every day?”

    No but I hope everyone should be responsible enough at least for themselves but if they can’t do that, then stop infecting others.

  35. “You were infected with vaccinia virus, not smallpox, but hey it’s “‘lesser of the two evils”. You had the chance to remain uninfected until you asked for it.”

    Nope, I was vaccinated as a child. Weren’t you?

    Also, my 7 year old was vaccinated for smallpox (before 12 months of age, pre-adoption). I wonder how many folks have immunity today.

  36. Th1Th2 says:

    Harriet Hall,

    Was there an epidemic of smallpox as a result of surveillance-containment campaign alone?

  37. Th1Th2 says:

    micheleinmichigan,

    “Nope, I was vaccinated as a child. Weren’t you?”

    Well, can I be vaccinated without even mentioning any pathogen let lone partaking it?

    But to answer your question, no I never was inoculated with vaccinia virus.

  38. Calli Arcale says:

    micheleinmichigan:

    When I wasn’t looking she would secretly scoop up a fallen ladybug carcass and pop it in her mouth. Apparently ladybugs taste awful!

    The annual ladybug/boxelder bug invasion is underway, as the critters seek a nice toasty spot to hibernate. One interesting thing about ladybugs and boxelder bugs is that they have a very similar defense mechanism — they are capable of emitting a noxious chemical. It stinks and tastes terrible — and is not all that easy to wash off. Soap will do the job, but you have to really scrub. I learned that the hard way after a particularly clumsy attempt to capture some by hand so I could release them outside.

    I know exactly what your daughter tasted. EWWWW!!!!!!!

  39. Th1Th2 says:

    Harriet Hall,

    “You say we could have eradicated varicella by stopping inoculation and avoiding deliberate exposure, yet huge numbers of people were inoculated with smallpox vaccine. According to you, inoculation constitutes deliberate exposure and causes an infection. So why didn’t smallpox continue to thrive? Something doesn’t add up.”

    People were being inoculated with a vaccine that does not cause smallpox but rather vaccinia, hence, the vaccine was halted to not create new epidemic. Imagine if Jenner had to use antigen-specific variola virus vaccine, it would be on the current immunization schedule.

    Smallpox epidemic is a result of improper and faulty infection control. And deaths are almost always iatrogenic concomitant with poor health among patients.

  40. Harriet Hall says:

    Th1Th2 asks, “Was there an epidemic of smallpox as a result of surveillance-containment campaign alone?”

    Your question doesn’t even make sense. The campaign was not a surveillance-containment campaign. It was a campaign to immunize people to prevent spread of the disease. The control efforts did not cause an epidemic of smallpox; they prevented it. No disease has ever been eradicated by surveillance-containment measures alone. Smallpox was eradicated by a vaccination campaign. Even if you tried to identify and quarantine every patient with smallpox, you could not identify those in the pre-clinical stages: they would be able to transmit the disease to the unvaccinated but not to the vaccinated. It was only when enough people were vaccinated that the disease was no longer able to spread.

  41. Harriet Hall says:

    Th1Th2 says “the vaccine was halted to not create new epidemic”

    No, the vaccine was discontinued after smallpox had been eradicated because there was no longer any need for any vaccine. The smallpox vaccine never caused a cowpox epidemic. And even if the vaccine had been based on antigen-specific variola virus, it would no longer be on the current immunization schedule because there is no longer any smallpox.

    It is simply not true that smallpox deaths were iatrogenic. Plenty of healthy people died, both before and after the development of vaccines.

  42. weing says:

    “Smallpox epidemic is a result of improper and faulty infection control. And deaths are almost always iatrogenic concomitant with poor health among patients.”

    Just keep on believing it. I have never heard anything so stupid in a long time.

  43. Th1Th2 says:

    Harriet Hall,

    “The control efforts did not cause an epidemic of smallpox; they prevented it. ”

    People from the Philippines had experienced their worst smallpox epidemic and mortality during systematic smallpox vaccination.

    “Smallpox was eradicated by a vaccination campaign.”

    Since the year they integrated surveillance-containment into the vaccination campaign, it only took them about 9 years to eradicate smallpox. And how long have they been vaccinating people since Jenner discovered the vaccine? For without the surveillance-containment, the vaccine could still be well alive today.

    “Even if you tried to identify and quarantine every patient with smallpox, you could not identify those in the pre-clinical stages: they would be able to transmit the disease to the unvaccinated but not to the vaccinated.”

    It is obvious smallpox had thrived despite years of vaccination sans effective infection control. Not to mention chances of misdiagnosis and improper treatment.

  44. Maz says:

    I have a friend whom I am quite fond of. He’s a smart guy, but a bit of a misanthrope. One thing he does to entertain himself is go onto message boards and then bait passionate people into dealing with absurd arguments that he thinks are funny to make.

    Th1Th2 is just having a good time with us skeptics. Let’s face it, a lot of us can be Serious (with a capital S) when it comes to SBM and pseudoscience and cranks. People who are extra Serious are the most fun to mess with.

    Seeing the exasperation pour out of your fingertips as you bang madly on your keyboard, pounding out paragraph after paragraph of passionate arguments and facts, only to be stymied by his/her half-comprehensible jumble of words gives Th1Th2 a good chuckle.

    Normally, I’d say that Th1Th2′s mission is harmless, but I think what this message board does is a valuable public service. People who are actually conflicted about the evidence for a treatment come here to get a straight answer. An absurd, incomprehensible, comment full of baseless fear mongering may turn people off to this blog’s advice, which I think is unacceptable.

    The only two options are to ignore people that we’ve identified as trolls or to ban them. Despite the high caliber of most commenters here, I don’t think we’ll be able to effectively ignore Th1Th2 — so I vote for a ban.

  45. Th1Th2 says:

    Harriet Hall,

    “It was only when enough people were vaccinated that the disease was no longer able to spread.”

    Do I hear herd immunity? More than 80% of the population were vaccinated. Come on give me a ballpark figure?

  46. Th1Th2 says:

    Harriet Hall,

    “No, the vaccine was discontinued after smallpox had been eradicated because there was no longer any need for any vaccine. The smallpox vaccine never caused a cowpox epidemic. And even if the vaccine had been based on antigen-specific variola virus, it would no longer be on the current immunization schedule because there is no longer any smallpox.”

    How could there be not a new epidemic, when people were being inoculated with a different stuff, vaccinia instead of variola. This is so far the worst vaccine in history but I am glad they stopped it.

  47. Josie says:

    “How could there be not a new epidemic, when people were being inoculated with a different stuff, vaccinia instead of variola. ”

    Yes, the millions of deaths every year caused by cowpox infection….who could ever forget what never happened.

    And being innoculated ‘with a different stuff’ as you put it –you don’t understand cross-reactivity? You don’t understand that Vaccinia vaccines are really pretty darned good at generating immunity to multiple pox viri? And why would we develop a Variola vaccine when we already had a Vaccinia vaccine that granted protection? Variola is a bit more problematic to deal with in the lab. Basic cost/benefit analysis.

    Oh and yeah, I have ‘faith’ that the teeny lil pucker on my arm from the Vaccinia vaccine will protect me, if not from your misinformation, from any exposure to cow pox I might encounter at work. And no that is not even close to an ad hominem attack :)

  48. Harriet Hall says:

    Th1Th2 says “People from the Philippines had experienced their worst smallpox epidemic and mortality during systematic smallpox vaccination.” There is no reason to think that the smallpox vaccination was responsible for the epidemic. The epidemic occurred in spite of the vaccine, not because of it.

    Surveillance/containment is important, but by itself that strategy has never succeeded in abolishing an infectious disease. It was surveillance/containment/vaccination that succeeded.

    How could there not be a new epidemic? Because the smallpox vaccine was not capable of causing an epidemic.

    Smallpox eradication was one of the greatest achievements of modern scientific medicine, yet you call the smallpox vaccine “the worst vaccine in history.” No, it is arguably the best vaccine in history because of what it was able to achieve despite its imperfections.

  49. Maz says:

    The Troll — don’t feed him

  50. This is a nitpick, but for layfolks like me the smallpox vaccination program was discontinued because of the eradication of smallpox but also because it was higher risk than the average vaccine. This, changed the risk/benefit from when smallpox was prevalent. Does that make it the worst vaccine in history? Doubtful.

    A while back I heard an interview with Dr. D.A. Henderson (previous WHO director, global eradication of smallpox campaign) on Science Friday, NPR. He talks about the considerations and maneuvering around the idea of re-vaccinating for smallpox in 2003, when there was the weaponized smallpox scare. The science folks may have already heard all this, but as a layperson, I found it very interesting.

    It’s really quite scary considering that it appears that White House staff were pushing for vaccination against the advice of the medical experts they consulted. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120613268

  51. Calli Arcale – yes, my husband say a ladybug flew into his mouth ounce and it was awful. (For those of you considering ladybug stew.)

  52. #
    # Th1Th2
    “Well, can I be vaccinated without even mentioning any pathogen let lone partaking it?”

    I don’t understand this sentence.

    “But to answer your question, no I never was inoculated with vaccinia virus.”

    Ah, so I’m guessing you’re of that younger generation that didn’t have to take the risk of either vaccination or getting the actual disease. Kids these days.

  53. Maz – but we’ve learned so much! And we’ve yet to discuss proper child shrink wrapping techniques.

    I’d suggest a layer of bubble wrap followed by that self-adhesive plastic. I’m still trying to figure out the diaper situation.

  54. Dawn says:

    @micheleinmichigan, Maz and Calli: It’s a good thing that Th1Th2 is here to teach us all we didn’t know about raising children. Aren’t you sad that you didn’t know all this when the kids were little? /snark

    As I pointed out before, Th1Th2 – if you would read “Inside the Epidemics” you would learn that smallpox was eradicated world-wide by: (almost mandatory) vaccination, isolation and quarantine. None of those things worked alone, but all together means the last case of WILD smallpox was 30 years ago. So, since the chance of catching smallpox (OR cowpox) was basically eradicated, the risk of the vaccine was greater than the chance of catching the disease. Thus, the vaccine was removed from the vaccination schedule. Now, if we could do the same with measles, mumps, chickenpox and rubella, we could discontinue THOSE vaccines too. However, too many ignorant people refuse vaccines.

    By the way, Th1Th2: would you PLEASE review what asysmptomatic means? Your response to Chris “Be specific. What kind of secretions are you talking about? A normal physiologic process is a sign of a functioning living creature, not a symptom.” is ignorant. How do you tell if something is a “normal physiologic process” as opposed to an asymptomatic sign of infection? Do you have some super power? Please enlighten those of us who are not as super.

  55. Th1Th2 says:

    Josie,

    “Yes, the millions of deaths every year caused by cowpox infection….who could ever forget what never happened”

    No, not death. Cowpox is rarely a fatal disease. However, millions of people, those who got the vaccine, contracted vaccinia as evidenced by the remnant scar.

    “And being innoculated ‘with a different stuff’ as you put it –you don’t understand cross-reactivity?”

    Duh. Ancient Chinese had used antigen-specific variola virus (variolation using dried smallpox scabs applied intranasally) centuries before Jenner’s experiment. Of course, if he’s going to perform this ancient method, he will be accused of bioterrorism (oh I forgot they are oblivious about the term during that time). So he continued with his dumb experiment by cross-infecting a different microorganism to produce blisters similar to that of a smallpox but to a lesser and mild form. If variolation had resulted in imminent transmission of tetanus and syphilis, vaccination, on the other hand, had caused further transmission of staph and group A β-hemolytic strep infections. Not to mention other sequelae from repeated exposure to superinfection.

    Now that’s how cross-reactivity really works. One classical example are the nosocomial infections.

    “Variola is a bit more problematic to deal with in the lab. ”

    Only a heartless fool would attempt to conceal the virus, modify it by any means, have the people take it and to tell them that they don’t have it. A pig with a lipstick is still a pig.

    “Oh and yeah, I have ‘faith’ that the teeny lil pucker on my arm from the Vaccinia vaccine will protect me, if not from your misinformation, from any exposure to cow pox I might encounter at work”

    You shouldn’t be concerned at all because you had it already. You failed to protect yourself from vaccinia that’s why you have the scar. And that scar is a clear testament. You’ve got punked.

  56. Th1Th2 says:

    Dawn,

    “Now, if we could do the same with measles, mumps, chickenpox and rubella, we could discontinue THOSE vaccines too. However, too many ignorant people refuse vaccines.”

    Nobody wants to become a dumping site of hideous pathogenic microorganisms. Name a vaccine that is NOT associated with pathogens. Until then, children should be kept away from infectious sources like vaccines and from sick/contagious individuals. The goal is to prevent them from getting infected thereby breaking the chain of disease transmission.

    What vaccines do, by their inherent nature, is resurrecting diseases by promoting infections yet people take it because dumb doctors disguised them as ‘immune boosters’ just to pull a fast one.

  57. Harriet Hall says:

    Th1Th2,

    Keeping children away from all infectious sources is simply not possible. Infected but asymptomatic children can fly to the US from other countries in hours and can expose our children before they show any signs or symptoms of the disease. The value of immunization has been demonstrated repeatedly in various countries around the world. When immunization rates drop, the incidence of disease rises, then immunization rates rise and the incidence of disease drops again. How can you dismiss that evidence?

  58. Th1Th2 says:

    Dawn,

    “How do you tell if something is a “normal physiologic process” as opposed to an asymptomatic sign of infection? Do you have some super power? Please enlighten those of us who are not as super.”

    It’s easy. When a person is known to have received a live vaccine and did not manifest any symptoms, then that is asymptomatic infection. Or when a person is known to have been exposed to a highly communicable disease, however, did not exhibit any related symptoms, is considered an asymptomatic infection unless proven otherwise. But when these two individuals start to cough or sneeze for whatever reason is a normal physiologic reflex. And parents, as I expect them to be, should be teaching their young ones to cover their mouth and nose at all times when someone coughs or sneezes regardless of the source or just grab the child and stay away.

  59. “And parents, as I expect them to be, should be teaching their young ones to cover their mouth and nose at all times when someone coughs or sneezes regardless of the source or just grab the child and stay away.”

    I have to tell you this, my kids only “elbows up” about 1/4 of the times they cough, in spite of my frequent reminders. Beyond that, I won’t be parenting to fit your contagion suppression model. If that bother’s you, I suggest a bio-hazard suit or some such.

    Do you realize how Howard Hughes you are sounding?

  60. Also, I have no problems with “infections” that don’t hurt me or others. I have no problems with pigs lipsticked or au naturel.

  61. Th1Th2 says:

    Maz,

    “Despite the high caliber of most commenters here, I don’t think we’ll be able to effectively ignore Th1Th2 — so I vote for a ban.”

    Well, that’s a nice way of saying you don’t have any intelligent things to say, so you are soliciting an emotional appeal to ban me. Too many ‘high caliber’ personas always spoil the broth and that’s what I see everyday in the hospital.

  62. Josie says:

    Th1Th2

    “Only a heartless fool would attempt to conceal the virus, modify it by any means, have the people take it and to tell them that they don’t have it. A pig with a lipstick is still a pig.”

    How does Variola being problematic to deal with in a lab have anything to do with concealing a virus?? Problematic in the lab refers to Variola requiring BSL 3/4 facilities vs a much easier BSL 2 setup. So why go to the extra effort of dealing with a more difficult substance when the easier substance will do the job?

    You should probably have given your comments on cross-reactivity a lil proof read. They make no sense –bioterrorism? No, even if Jenner was still alive he would not be considered a bioterrorist. It is pointless to speculate on what he could have accomplished with modern tool and perspective.

    What is useful, is that even today we are making progress on even more efficient vaccines not only for smallpox (yes, with Vaccinia derived peptides) but with many other pathogens as well.

    And no, I have never had small pox or cow pox. I had the vaccination so that I would run less of a risk for developing the disease should I suffer an exposure.

    Now that this discussion is pretty played out I have more important things to attend to –I have a World of Warcraft patch to enjoy after my day of work here at the Evil Heartless Scientist’s Coven of Declining Health and Public Infections.

  63. Th1Th2 says:

    Harriet Hall,

    “When immunization rates drop, the incidence of disease rises, then immunization rates rise and the incidence of disease drops again. How can you dismiss that evidence?”

    It’s the symptomatology of the disease that’s being manipulated. If the majority of the population are being inoculated, then that majority group will definitely have asymptomatic infections or suclinical form of the disease. But do they count them as such? No, they don’t. They are excluded. If there are symptoms, they treat them as being side-effects, adverse reactions or even complications of the vaccine. So that makes the minority (unvaccinated) who had been infected naturally (intentional or not) to become the center of controversy as evidenced by the medical authority always exaggerating their numbers to the media.

  64. Harriet Hall says:

    Th1Th2,

    Balderdash! We have explained the facts to you over and over and you refuse to accept them. You live in a world of your own.

  65. “The only two options are to ignore people that we’ve identified as trolls or to ban them. Despite the high caliber of most commenters here, I don’t think we’ll be able to effectively ignore Th1Th2 — so I vote for a ban.”

    Maz – Perhaps you already know this, but SBM very rarely bans commentors. I think I’ve seen one ban in the last year and that was of a person who had already been banned, snuck back in and was insultingly, uninformatively provocative on all topics.

    I genuinely believe in respecting the majority of people’s decision making skills when they are presented with accurate information. They will find that in this thread. TH1TH2 argument may be one they hear from friends somewhere else online. Here there is the opportunity for them to see the opposing information and thought process.

    Of course, there are people who will only focus on the scare mongering. That is the reality of life and here at least the real information is available if they are willing to read it.

    Just IMO. Oh and I think I’ve seen your friend in all sorts of place on line. Tell him to screw off, from me. :) Boy, is it a weird world we live in.

    If nothing else, the fear mongering makes for a good exposure therapy script if you have a contagion form of OCD. :)

  66. EHSCDHP? oy, government and their acronyms. Who can remember them?

  67. Maz says:

    Th1Th2,

    After a long bout of arguing with creationists online, I realized that I needed some ground rules in order to maintain my health and sanity in the face of ignorance.

    Rule #1:
    Always be willing to change your mind if provided appropriate evidence.

    Rule #2:
    Never try and convince someone of something if they have obviously disregarded rule #1.

    Your steadfast refusal to directly confront evidence with evidence, your habit of talking directly past whoever your arguing with and the totally absurd claims/recommendations that you make on the regular have convinced me that you do not follow Rule #1.

    Whether you are actually just a fanatic who thinks it’s impossible that you’re wrong, a misanthropic troll who thinks this whole thing is hilarious or some other sort of character is irrelevant. The bottom line is that you actively detract from the quality of the discussion on this blog and, if it were up to me, you’d no longer be able to post here.

    So, in conclusion, I have lots of intelligent things to say — just not to you.

  68. Th1Th2 says:

    Maz,

    “Rule #1:
    Always be willing to change your mind if provided appropriate evidence”

    Whoever you are, you are funny. What is your evidence to prove that the pig with a lipstick is NOT a pig? Like I said, give one example of a vaccine that is not pathogen-associated? Until then, your rule number 2 does not apply.

  69. Th1Th2 says:

    micheleinmichigan,

    “If that bother’s you, I suggest a bio-hazard suit or some such.”

    Or simply reject ALL vaccines since they are truly biological hazards.

    “Examples of biohazards include microbes, anthrax, vaccines, and cell cultures.” http://www.ilpi.com/msds/faq/partb.html

    Oh BTW, a vero cell culture smallpox vaccine is on its way to humans.

  70. Dawn says:

    @Th1Th2: Why on earth shouldn’t a vaccine be based on a pathogen? The idea is to teach your immune system to recognize the pathogen by showing it a version (acellular, killed, exposure under the amount known to lead to disease) so it recognizes it quickly and prevents illness if you are exposed to the full-blown disease.

    If I want my children to recognize my parents, who live thousands of miles away, I show them pictures of my parents. I don’t show them pictures of flowers. Then, when my parents arrive, the children recognize them. Or, on the other hand, if there are people I want my children to avoid, I would show them pictures of the “bad people” so they can recognize them and prevent bad results.

    Now, I’ll leave you to your hearts and flowers world, where no one is ill when you and your children are around, you never encounter asymptomatic people, rooms/buildings/the air is sterilized before you go anywhere. I’ll stay here in the real world, eat healthy food, exercise, enjoy the outdoors and get my immunizations.

  71. “Oh BTW, a vero cell culture smallpox vaccine is on its way to humans.”

    You realize that a smallpox vaccines developed now would be for use as defense in the event of biological weapons attack. Right?

    So I’m not sure what you meant by “on it’s way to humans”

    except to sound scaaaaary. (you have to use the Count Scary.)

  72. Maz says:

    Th1Th2,

    “What is your evidence to prove that the pig with a lipstick is NOT a pig?”

    I’m not entirely sure what you’re on about. I would argue that a pig with lipstick IS a pig. I’d be willing to change my mind if you were to provide evidence that the application of lipstick somehow changed the nature of the animal, such that it could no longer be a pig.

    I haven’t really read any of your comments since somewhere around comment 20 or 30, but I would never argue that a vaccine has no connection to pathogens. As Dawn says, it has to be from a pathogen in order to work.

    Anyhow, you’re obviously happy in your Tower Of Self Aggrandizing so until you are ready to reflect on your ignorance for a second, I’ll be signing off.

    Sorry, game over. You lose.

  73. Th1Th2 says:

    Dawn,

    “Or, on the other hand, if there are people I want my children to avoid, I would show them pictures of the “bad people” so they can recognize them and prevent bad results.”

    That’s the reason you should leave teaching to teachers. Kids are taught to avoid “bad people” and to stay away because these people cause harm. Doctors and parents are the real life persecutors. They cannot just teach without them having to sacrifice the children to have a taste of the “bad people”. If doctors and parents teach their kids on how to recognize criminals like rapists, they teach them by intentionally subjecting their naive children into a minor sexual assault, less dangerous than rape. So vaccines are actual “hands-on” experience, not just recognition, for children because having had experience a minor sexual harassment, dealing with rape will be a lot easier for them to handle in the event it happens.

    Oh please leave the storytelling behind and let’s deal with the reality.

  74. Maz says:

    Th1Th2,

    I think I realized what you were trying to do with the pig and lipstick thing.

    If a disease is a pig, you propose that a vaccine is simply a pig in lipstick.

    I would counter that a vaccine is more like a pork chop.

    Check and mate, good sir.

  75. Th1Th2 says:

    Maz,

    Duh. Regardless of what you serve the customer, whether it’s from the finest cuts of fresh meats or the dreadful double-dead meat http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-dead_meat, is still the same thing, you’re still serving P-I-G, PIG!

    Just so you know what PIGS look like. http://img.wonkette.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/pig-flu.jpg

    You really sound you need serious help, join this group.
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Yeah-can-I-have-a-cheeseburger-with-no-cheese-and-a-diet-water-Thanks/116829981663131

    “Scientific thinkers”? Next please.

  76. Deetee says:

    I think a vaccine is more like some pork scratchings, personally.
    Here’s an example of Th troll:
    http://www.interestment.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/pork-scratchings-380×284.jpg

    Or maybe a vaccine is more like pig manure. Th troll would know about that too.
    http://www.h2ogeo.upc.es/proyectos/nitrat/Purines.JPG

  77. Maz says:

    Th1Th2,

    Misrepresenting your opponents point is a surefire sign that you’re desperate.

    You claim that, if a disease were a pig a vaccine would be a pig with lipstick.

    I corrected your improper analogy. If a disease is a pig, a vaccine is a pork chop.

    While a pork chop COMES from a pig, a point on which we have no disagreement, it is not (in itself) a pig. A pig, you see, is an animal that generally engages in pig-like behaviors. Pork is the edible (read: useful) part of said animal.

    A pathogenic virus/bacteria is an entity that can cause disease and infection in humans. A vaccine is made of a small recognizable (read: useful) component of said entity.

    Of course, you already know exactly what I am saying because you intentionally misrepresented it. In the off chance that your mistake was the result of profound ignorance, however, I figured it was safe to talk to you like a child (since, either way, you’re acting like one).

    Toodles!

  78. Th1Th2 says:

    Maz,

    “A pig, you see, is an animal that generally engages in pig-like behaviors.”

    That’s a shocker. And a human is an animal that generally engages in human-like behaviors. I get it.

    Do humans have ‘pork chops’ too?

  79. Chris says:

    Well, humans eat pork chops, which is one way for pork DNA to get into humans. Another way is to eat bacon.

    Bacon… Yum!

  80. “Do humans have ‘pork chops’ too?”

    Yes, Charles Mingus shows his chops in Goodbye Pork Pie Hat.

  81. Th1Th2 says:

    Chris,

    “Well, humans eat pork chops, which is one way for pork DNA to get into humans. Another way is to eat bacon.
    Bacon… Yum!”

    Is that the reason why Americans are morbidly fat? They also eat tons of chicken meat a year but I have not seen one who has grown a feather yet. They are just getting fatter as the time goes by.

  82. Chris says:

    Not much on staying on topic are you, Thing1Thing2? You wandered off, and I mocked you.

    And it went completely over your pointy little head.

    Face it, you have buried yourself so deep that you are not being taken seriously, and are being openly mocked. Deal with it.

  83. Th1Th2 says:

    Chris,

    Come on. The last time you attempted to pin me is with the varicella question IIRC. I thought my response has stumped and humiliated you that you won’t reply anymore except by goofing around with silly analogies.

  84. Chris says:

    Huh? Who cares? This thread has shown that you have never been around children, have fantasy notions about keeping away from pathogens, know nothing about vaccines and are in a word: a joke.

  85. Tanja says:

    Although I’m a bit late, I still want to comment the situation in Finland (greetings from Finland and thanks for this great site!).

    There was indeed a quite remarkable increase in the amount of narcolepsy cases; normally there are something like 2-7 cases a year in children and now it’s been over 20, if the numbers in media are correct (and they might not be!) – I couln’t find any figures in official web pages. So it seems that something is going on. The reason for this is still open. The connection to Pandemrix is only time-related so far, and the investigations regarding the possible connection are still on-going, I think that is the reason why the results haven’t been seen in media (there aren’t any yet). Well, I can guess that if no connection is found, there will be no big banner headlines in media anyway (but if a connection would be found, the media-circus would never end). The results from Sweden were only preliminary, I understood that it included only part of Sweden (maybe Stockholm surroundings), so they are continuing to look this a little deeper also.
    What is wery strange, IMO, is that there has been increase in case numbers only in Finland and Sweden (we had even more cases than the Swedes), and possibly some in France (I read some news that said there was some cases in there, but it didn’t say if they were “extra”, above the baseline). Pandemrix has been used widely in Europe, and the amount of children who got it is quite large – so against that it seems highly unlikely that it would be the cause (unless the tissue types in Finland and Sweden are playing a role – but we are not even relatives althought we are neighbours). But what could cause this increase in these two countries only, that’s quite peculiar I would say.

    The media went totally crazy about this, it was quite depressing to follow it. It seems that correctness and validity of the stories play no role, anything is claimed, if it just sells.

    Sorry about the possible misspellings – I’m too lazy to check it…

  86. Maz says:

    Tanja,

    That’s pretty intriguing, I’ll have to follow the story.

    Sorry that your post got buried under this silly flame war.

  87. Enkidu says:

    “Not counting the babies that die/become very ill from bacteria that mom may not know she has because SHE is asymptomatic but can be lethal to a baby – like beta strep”

    I lost my first baby at 18 weeks gestation and my second child was born 13 weeks premature because of beta strep. Stupid bacteria keeps invading my womb, I have no idea why. I was on self-imposed pelvic rest for my second pregnancy and it didn’t help. So, yeah, people who think we can magically avoid all possible pathogens are insane.

  88. Ufo says:

    Steve Novella wrote:

    “The appearance of narcolepsy in about a dozen children and adults was thought to perhaps be associated with the Pandemrix flu vaccine, and Finland promptly suspended use of this brand of flu vaccine. The possible association was widely reported – but the follow up investigation was not.”

    I too want to comment that although the Finnish media did an awful job regarding the Pandemrix and narcolepsy cases, the study is still on-going, in fact, it’s still pretty much in its early stages here in Finland.

    Few links in Finnish, a Google translator might help:

    http://www.thl.fi/fi_FI/web/fi/rokotteet/narkolepsia_ja_sikainfluenssarokote

    http://www.thl.fi/fi_FI/web/fi/sikainfluenssa/usein_kysyttya/narkolepsia_ja_sikainfluenssarokote

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