Anti-vax! What the hell?

Last week, in conversation with a colleague, I found their young son was home with chicken pox.  I remember having it myself, though I didn’t think it was all that itchy.  I don’t remember significant discomfort.  I was glad that my boys don’t even have that concern, they’ve been immunized against it.

I am re-posting this article by Elyse Anders from on the subject (with permission).  It’s very well written and I agree with all of it.

“An Open Letter to Frightened Parents

May 23rd, 2009 by Elyse

No GravatarDear Parents, 

If you have not made the decision to vaccinate your child, I urge you to make that decision now. Immunity from painful, disfiguring, and sometimes even deadly diseases is not a gift you should withhold from your child. Your child is, undoubtedly, the greatest love of your life… a love so great that it was unfathomable until you experienced it. And I know that you want to and need to do everything in your power to protect him or her. Which is precisely why you’re hesitant to vaccinate.

I understand. As parents, we all understand. Vaccines have received almost nothing but bad press over the last few years. Even the good press seems to come with all kinds of asterisks and disclaimers. But let me remind you of something: the press is not concerned with accuracy, they are concerned with readership. Sensationalistic and scary stories grab readers’ attention. It’s why your evening news begins with murders, shots fired, child abductions and fatal car accidents. That’s not to say scary always means untrue, but it should be treated with a healthy dose of skepticism… in fact, even the non-scary stuff needs to have an eyebrow raised to it.

I know you don’t think you can trust “Big Pharma”. I’m not going to pretend that medicine has never failed us as or that mistakes have never been made or even that risks are never taken in the interest of profit. Your lack of trust isn’t unjustified. But try to understand that Big Pharma is not a machine of evil men, single men, who were all bred from test tubes and never experienced love or family. “Big Pharma” is an industry, fueled by people who need medicine. And it’s run by people who need medicine. People with families – children, parents, husbands and wives. The investors and shareholders are parents, just like you and me. These are not people segregated from human interaction. They are not out to get you. They are not out to hurt you. It’s not a perfect system. It’s flawed in many ways, but it’s the system we have. And it does more good than harm every day.

When you hear people like Jenny McCarthy saying things like, “If you think about it, it’s all about greed”, ask yourself who she’s talking about. Thousands of people are involved in the approval and distribution of each and every drug. Every one of them stands to be hurt personally and professionally by the failures of those drugs. Yes, profits will be made, but unless/until we are willing to sacrifice the freedoms afforded to us by capitalism, businesses cannot run without profit… for better or worse.

It’s scary to trust a seemingly faceless billion-dollar industry with the health and well-being of your child. You’ve met children with autism. You’ve met their parents. Yet you’ve never met a single person who develops, researches or approves drugs.

It’s easy to sympathize with the anti-vaccine movement when you see these children and you don’t want to make the same mistakes that their parents made. You never want your child to experience that hell. You want your child to smile and say “Mama” and “Daddy”.

The thing is, as convincing as these parents are, and as sincere as they are, their blame is misplaced. It’s hard to look at a friend or relative -  someone you care about deeply, hurting and struggling and knowing how their child was injured – and tell them that perhaps they are making unfounded accusations, that maybe their pain is causing them to place blame where there might not be any. Perhaps they want answers so badly that they’re willing to accept the answers that are given, instead of being able to accept that there may not be any answers at all right now.

It’s all understandable. Having an answer, having a culprit, having someone to direct your rage at, someone to blame, someone to rally against, to point your finger at and say, “How dare you hurt my child!” It feels more right than sitting back, and having to wrap your mind around the fact that this might just be the way your child is. Accepting that there is no answer feels like accepting defeat. There is a hopelessness and helplessness about it. No doubt.

But the fact is that, as much as we all want a better more ethical health care industry for our families, they may not be to blame on this one. And it’s not that researchers haven’t tried to nail the pharmaceutical industry on the vaccine issue. Indeed, they have tried. But when they investigate the claims of the dangers of vaccines, the results are clear: vaccines do not cause autism and getting vaccinated is far safer than not.

I’m sure there’s nothing I can say to defend “Big Pharma” and the government that will convince you to change your mind. But let me make one personal plea to you.

You may think that your decision not to vaccinate is a personal one. That it’s not my business. That it’s between you and your family members because you are the ones affected by the decision and no one else is.

But that’s not the case.

I’ve heard parents argue that the risk of polio is only 1 in 1500, while autism risk is 1 in 150. That’s a scary statistic. But understand that the only reason the risk of polio is so low is because of vaccines. Each time a person with a healthy immune system chooses not to get vaccinated, it chips away at that number. Each unvaccinated person puts more people at risk.

When you make the decision not to vaccinate, or even just to hold off for a while, you’re not just making that decision for your children and your family. You are making that decision for all of us. Your child’s vaccines don’t just protect them from disease, they protect everyone around them by preventing the spread of disease.

By not vaccinating, you affect everyone you come into contact with. You affect the pregnant woman in line behind you at the grocery store. You affect your elderly relatives. You affect people with HIV and AIDS. You affect people with cancer. You affect newborn babies. You affect the people who cannot receive vaccines. You affect the children whose parents have chosen not to vaccinate them. You affect yourself. You affect your neighbors. You affect every single person you meet every time you meet them and all the people they meet after you. That’s not an exaggeration.

While something like measles may seem like nothing more than an unpleasant childhood illness to your otherwise healthy child, it can be a death sentence for a child with a compromised immune system. What may cost your child a few days off from school, could cost a little girl with leukemia her life. Maybe you don’t know anyone with leukemia, but once that disease is out there, spreading, there’s nothing you personally can do to stop it.

But you can stop it now. You can do your part to make sure these diseases don’t spread. All you have to do is vaccinate. It saves lives.

And you don’t know what fate holds for your children. One day, one of your own children could be one of those with a compromised immune system. If that were to happen, your child’s life could be at the mercy of herd immunity, a protection that is vanishing with this current vaccination hysteria.

I know you want to do the best thing for your child. As a parent, I understand your fear.

When it came time for my son to get his 18 month shots, I suddenly found myself doubting. I am 100% pro vaccination, but I wondered what would happen if I were wrong. And that question kept me up, sickened at the thought that I might hurt my son. But I would not let myself be overcome by fear. The rational part of me packed him up, put him in the car, and drove him to that appointment to get him his MMR. And I don’t regret that decision. And today, three and a half months later, he is still smiling, hugging me and calling me Mama. But even if he weren’t, I would be glad I vaccinated him.

If the statistic that 1 in 150 children scares you, and you still believe that vaccines can be linked to autism, please think of it this way – even if 1 in every 150 children who gets vaccinated becomes autistic, that risk is only 0.667%. That means that 99.333% of the time, autism does not happen. Research has repeatedly debunked the link between vaccines and autism, but even if that research is wrong, the risk is two thirds of a percent.

That’s a risk worth taking.

Please, call your pediatrician or family doctor today and get your child an appointment to be immunized. The world is counting on you.


Elyse Anders”

I just don’t have the writing skill to put things that eloquently.  I can imagine one of my worst nightmares would be to bury one of my sons for something I could have prevented.  It’ll be a cold day in the hell I don’t believe in before that happens.


#1 Colonel Molerat on 06.15.09 at 09:53

The weird thing for me, is that this even needs to be said…
However eloquent, however well-phrased and persuasive, all I can think when reading a defense of vaccines is “Yes, so what? Why do I need to be told?”
That certain people DO need to be told is both frustrating and baffling.
Good letter though, and thanks for the repost! (I missed it on Skepchick)

#2 Paul on 06.16.09 at 12:20

Afternoon. I read the above letter, and thought it necessary to include some more information on this subject.

[links to anti-vax clearing houses deleted by The Skepdick]


#3 The_Skepdick on 06.16.09 at 21:23


You are sadly mistaken if you think I am going to give your anti-vax clearing house any free rides.

If you wish to comment on what is posted here, that will be fine. I’m happy to let you speak so all may know you are mad.

You’re lucky your comment lived in edited form.

#4 The_Skepdick on 06.20.09 at 21:31

That’s what I thought…chickenshit.

#5 George on 01.18.11 at 19:53

Really even if your child would have died you would have been happy with your decision to vaccinate? Tell that to a parent whose child did die or have adverse life changing side effects.

“if 1 in every 150 children who gets vaccinated becomes autistic, that risk is only 0.667%. That means that 99.333% of the time, autism does not happen.”

Read below here are some more statistics; your chances are much better not getting the vaccination:

In the real world, in the unlikely event that a child does get measles, the chances that the disease will prove fatal are extremely low. The worst outbreak in the last 15 years was in 1990, when there were 27,786 cases
and 89 deaths. That’s a 0.32 percent chance of dying on top of a 0.0115 Percent chance of coming down with the disease in the first place,compared to a child’s 0.2 percent chance of coming down with autism bythe age of 5.

Because the number of measles cases was 12 times greater than normal in 1990 and the fatalities occurred in people of all ages, a child under 5 is approximately 800 times more likely to develop autism than die of measles in an average year.

#6 George on 01.18.11 at 19:57

Simple fact of the matter is it is about greed and controlling people…let’s take the “swine flu” scare….here in the US they were recommending it and injecting people full of the crap even after it had peaked and the vaccination was useless…the govt. even said so but since they made millions of doses they had to do something with them..inject the sheep….

It is all about profit to suggest otherwise is nonsense…time and again we have found “Big pharma” finds in their studies links to deaths or other complications that don’t seem to make the final report to the FDA then the drug is only recalled after multiple deaths and complaints…they also fight very hard to keep genarics off the market so they can gouge people who are now dependant (addicted) to their drugs!

#7 The Skepdick on 01.18.11 at 21:31

Sure, George. “Big pharma”, whatever the blue fuck that is, and the gub’mint are out to get you.

As for your statistics, come back here with your sources, or I will delete them.

People who willingly turn their children into vectors to spread disease really chap my ass. Not only are they unfit parents, but a danger to society as well. I’ve heard this shit before, as we all have. “I’ll keep my kids home if they present symptoms.” Except that for most diseases, they are communicable well before symptoms are present. If it were otherwise, it would be a simple matter to avoid them, wouldn’t it?

#8 George on 01.19.11 at 16:15

Here are the stats:

You will need to click on the “full text” and downlaod the PDF and then do your own math to verify my percentages…nice threatening to remove my statistics…hilarious…

You want to know what “chaps my ass” is people like you suggesting i am stupid or a bad parent or indangering everyone else…I have made an educated decision to not vaccinate my child based on hours of research on both sides and have determined that vaccinating causes more harm than good…

I never have or will never tell anyone how to raise their kids or what type of healthcare is best for them…the point is or trusted doctors just push vaccinations and don’t give parents all of the information and possible side effects…and the sheep parents just vaccinate and have no clue what poisions they are injecting into a new life and brain that hasn’t even had the chance to develop….please tell me how the ingredients in vaccinations are not poisionous when no educated person would ever inject themselves with any single vaccination ingredient.

Also you never answer the question are the 34,000+ people inured or killed from vaccination each year (probably higher most not reported) simply expendable for the greater good?

They are called “childhood” diseases for a reason…you get them and build your immune system up to fight off future infections as an adult…under your argument just like “big pharma” our bodies are lacking mercury, chicken embryo, formaldehyde, etc. so we must be injected with it to stay healthy….hey if that is what you believe more power to you, you can have my dose too!

#9 The Skepdick on 01.23.11 at 11:25

Hey George, we should be clear about something. I’m not suggesting anything. I’m outright telling you it’s bad parenting to put the lives of your children and others at risk based on bad information and poor risk analysis.

What are these poisonous ingredients in vaccines that you fear so much? What quantities are they found in these vaccines? Let’s guess. Thimerosol?

What’s your source for that 34,000 injured/killed bullshit? What are the true proportions? How many people, exactly, were outright killed by vaccinations? You’ve disingenuously countered your opponents’ using the mortality rates of childhood diseases with a figure that also includes injuries that you fail to enumerate or describe. Further, you fail to normalize this figure against the entire population of children immunized, so your use of it is dimensionless and therefore useless.

After reviewing Elyse’s letter, I have to amend my comments about it. I don’t agree with all of it. I would indeed not probably immunize my children from the typical childhood diseases if the risk of autism from vaccination was anywhere near 1 in 150. The risk of a similar disability from mumps is significantly lower than 1 in 150, for example.

But, the fact is, there is absolutely no connection between immunizations and autism. None. The guy that started that whole meme, Wakefield, was shown to be completely full of shit, fudging the results of his “study” all the while trying to get the MMR vaccine approved that he had financial interest in.

#10 George on 01.24.11 at 17:56

Again more degrading of parents from your side…what is my source for 34k killed/injured:

The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is a national vaccine safety surveillance program co-sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). VAERS is a post-marketing safety surveillance program, collecting information about adverse events (possible side effects) that occur after the administration of vaccines licensed for use in the United States.

You can download all of the reported cases in an Excel Spreadsheet and read through them all like I did…the bad parent I am actually researching and verifying information not just believing some so called “expert” on either side.

So where are your statistics about the disabilities from mumbs being lower than 1 in 150??

It’s funny how you manipulate statistics; so when a vaccine is introduced and the # of cases of said disease goes down proves the vaccination worked…however when the stats show as we have increased the vaccination schedule Autism cases have sky rocketed but there is no connection…really?

I am not just referring to the MMR like you are suggesting or Andrew Wakefield’s study I never have…can you show me the study that has been done on not just the MMR but all of the 26 immunizations that the US govenrment recomends be given to children before they turn 2?

You are right one single vaccination like MMR may not pose a threat to most healthy children and the toxin levels deamed “safe” but what about multiple vaccinations at one time or period of time…vaccinations when approved by the FDA are approved safe based on that one vaccination not the full cocktail that is actually given….

Again you show me a study that can prove vaccinations don not play any part in Autism…Science isn’t always the answer sometimes you have to step back and use some common sense…

If you did a study and looked at kids who have not been vaccinated at all and those that have recieved all recommended vaccinations you would see that the un-vaccintated children 9 times out of 10 are much smarter healthier and more active…I have no “scientific” or “peer reviewed” study i know by watching my daughter and other kids who are fully vaccinated…that is all the science I need!

#11 George on 01.24.11 at 17:59

Oh and this is hilarious…how many parent do you actually think read the warning/precations/side effects of vaccinations? Probably none…here it is right from MERK…not much to read please inject me!

Due caution should be employed in administration of M-M-R II to persons with a history of cerebral
injury, individual or family histories of convulsions, or any other condition in which stress due to fever
should be avoided. The physician should be alert to the temperature elevation which may occur following
vaccination (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).
Hypersensitivity to Eggs
Live measles vaccine and live mumps vaccine are produced in chick embryo cell culture. Persons with
a history of anaphylactic, anaphylactoid, or other immediate reactions (e.g., hives, swelling of the mouth
and throat, difficulty breathing, hypotension, or shock) subsequent to egg ingestion may be at an
enhanced risk of immediate-type hypersensitivity reactions after receiving vaccines containing traces of
chick embryo antigen. The potential risk to benefit ratio should be carefully evaluated before considering
vaccination in such cases. Such individuals may be vaccinated with extreme caution, having adequate
treatment on hand should a reaction occur (see PRECAUTIONS).45
However, the AAP has stated, “Most children with a history of anaphylactic reactions to eggs have no
untoward reactions to measles or MMR vaccine. Persons are not at increased risk if they have egg
allergies that are not anaphylactic, and they should be vaccinated in the usual manner. In addition, skin
testing of egg-allergic children with vaccine has not been predictive of which children will have an
immediate hypersensitivity reaction…Persons with allergies to chickens or chicken feathers are not at
increased risk of reaction to the vaccine.”44
Hypersensitivity to Neomycin
The AAP states, “Persons who have experienced anaphylactic reactions to topically or systemically
administered neomycin should not receive measles vaccine. Most often, however, neomycin allergy
manifests as a contact dermatitis, which is a delayed-type (cell-mediated) immune response rather than
anaphylaxis. In such persons, an adverse reaction to neomycin in the vaccine would be an erythematous,
M-M-R® II (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Virus Vaccine Live) 9912202
pruritic nodule or papule, 48 to 96 hours after vaccination. A history of contact dermatitis to neomycin is
not a contraindication to receiving measles vaccine.”44
Individuals with current thrombocytopenia may develop more severe thrombocytopenia following
vaccination. In addition, individuals who experienced thrombocytopenia with the first dose of M-M-R II (or
its component vaccines) may develop thrombocytopenia with repeat doses. Serologic status may be
evaluated to determine whether or not additional doses of vaccine are needed. The potential risk to
benefit ratio should be carefully evaluated before considering vaccination in such cases (see ADVERSE
Adequate treatment provisions including epinephrine injection (1:1000), should be available for
immediate use should an anaphylactic or anaphylactoid reaction occur.
Special care should be taken to ensure that the injection does not enter a blood vessel.
Children and young adults who are known to be infected with human immunodeficiency viruses and
are not immunosuppressed may be vaccinated. However, vaccinees who are infected with HIV should be
monitored closely for vaccine-preventable diseases because immunization may be less effective than for
uninfected persons (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).42,43
Vaccination should be deferred for 3 months or longer following blood or plasma transfusions, or
administration of immune globulin (human).44
Excretion of small amounts of the live attenuated rubella virus from the nose or throat has occurred in
the majority of susceptible individuals 7 to 28 days after vaccination. There is no confirmed evidence to
indicate that such virus is transmitted to susceptible persons who are in contact with the vaccinated
individuals. Consequently, transmission through close personal contact, while accepted as a theoretical
possibility, is not regarded as a significant risk.33 However, transmission of the rubella vaccine virus to
infants via breast milk has been documented (see Nursing Mothers).
There are no reports of transmission of live attenuated measles or mumps viruses from vaccinees to
susceptible contacts.
It has been reported that live attenuated measles, mumps and rubella virus vaccines given individually
may result in a temporary depression of tuberculin skin sensitivity. Therefore, if a tuberculin test is to be
done, it should be administered either before or simultaneously with M-M-R II.
Children under treatment for tuberculosis have not experienced exacerbation of the disease when
immunized with live measles virus vaccine;46 no studies have been reported to date of the effect of
measles virus vaccines on untreated tuberculous children. However, individuals with active untreated
tuberculosis should not be vaccinated.
As for any vaccine, vaccination with M-M-R II may not result in protection in 100% of vaccinees.
The health-care provider should determine the current health status and previous vaccination history
of the vaccinee.
The health-care provider should question the patient, parent, or guardian about reactions to a previous
dose of M-M-R II or other measles-, mumps-, or rubella-containing vaccines.
Information for Patients
The health-care provider should provide the vaccine information required to be given with each
vaccination to the patient, parent, or guardian.
The health-care provider should inform the patient, parent, or guardian of the benefits and risks
associated with vaccination. For risks associated with vaccination see WARNINGS, PRECAUTIONS, and
Patients, parents, or guardians should be instructed to report any serious adverse reactions to their
health-care provider who in turn should report such events to the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services through the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), 1-800-822-7967.47
Pregnancy should be avoided for 3 months following vaccination, and patients should be informed of
the reasons for this precaution (see INDICATIONS AND USAGE, Non-Pregnant Adolescent and Adult
M-M-R® II (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Virus Vaccine Live) 9912202
Laboratory Tests
See INDICATIONS AND USAGE, Non-Pregnant Adolescent and Adult Females, for Rubella
Susceptibility Testing, and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY.
Drug Interactions
Immunosuppressive Therapy
The immune status of patients about to undergo immunosuppressive therapy should be evaluated so
that the physician can consider whether vaccination prior to the initiation of treatment is indicated (see
The ACIP has stated that “patients with leukemia in remission who have not received chemotherapy
for at least 3 months may receive live virus vaccines. Short-term (<2 weeks), low- to moderate-dose
systemic corticosteroid therapy, topical steroid therapy (e.g. nasal, skin), long-term alternate-day
treatment with low to moderate doses of short-acting systemic steroid, and intra-articular, bursal, or
tendon injection of corticosteroids are not immunosuppressive in their usual doses and do not
contraindicate the administration of [measles, mumps, or rubella vaccine]."33,34,37
Immune Globulin
Administration of immune globulins concurrently with M-M-R II may interfere with the expected
immune response.33,34,44
See also PRECAUTIONS, General.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
M-M-R II has not been evaluated for carcinogenic or mutagenic potential, or potential to impair fertility.
Pregnancy Category C
Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with M-M-R II. It is also not known whether
M-M-R II can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction
capacity. Therefore, the vaccine should not be administered to pregnant females; furthermore, pregnancy
should be avoided for 3 months following vaccination (see INDICATIONS AND USAGE, Non-Pregnant
Adolescent and Adult Females and CONTRAINDICATIONS).
In counseling women who are inadvertently vaccinated when pregnant or who become pregnant
within 3 months of vaccination, the physician should be aware of the following: (1) In a 10-year survey
involving over 700 pregnant women who received rubella vaccine within 3 months before or after
conception (of whom 189 received the Wistar RA 27/3 strain), none of the newborns had abnormalities
compatible with congenital rubella syndrome;48 (2) Mumps infection during the first trimester of pregnancy
may increase the rate of spontaneous abortion. Although mumps vaccine virus has been shown to infect
the placenta and fetus, there is no evidence that it causes congenital malformations in humans;37 and
(3) Reports have indicated that contracting wild-type measles during pregnancy enhances fetal risk.
Increased rates of spontaneous abortion, stillbirth, congenital defects and prematurity have been
observed subsequent to infection with wild-type measles during pregnancy.57,58 There are no adequate
studies of the attenuated (vaccine) strain of measles virus in pregnancy. However, it would be prudent to
assume that the vaccine strain of virus is also capable of inducing adverse fetal effects.
Nursing Mothers
It is not known whether measles or mumps vaccine virus is secreted in human milk. Recent studies
have shown that lactating postpartum women immunized with live attenuated rubella vaccine may secrete
the virus in breast milk and transmit it to breast-fed infants.49 In the infants with serological evidence of
rubella infection, none exhibited severe disease; however, one exhibited mild clinical illness typical of
acquired rubella.50,51 Caution should be exercised when M-M-R II is administered to a nursing woman.
Pediatric Use
Safety and effectiveness of measles vaccine in infants below the age of 6 months have not been
established (see also CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY). Safety and effectiveness of mumps and rubella
vaccine in infants less than 12 months of age have not been established.
Geriatric Use
Clinical studies of M-M-R II did not include sufficient numbers of seronegative subjects aged 65 and
over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical
experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger subjects.
M-M-R® II (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Virus Vaccine Live) 9912202
The following adverse reactions are listed in decreasing order of severity, without regard to causality,
within each body system category and have been reported during clinical trials, with use of the marketed
vaccine, or with use of monovalent or bivalent vaccine containing measles, mumps, or rubella:
Body as a Whole
Panniculitis; atypical measles; fever; syncope; headache; dizziness; malaise; irritability.
Cardiovascular System
Digestive System
Pancreatitis; diarrhea; vomiting; parotitis; nausea.
Endocrine System
Diabetes mellitus.
Hemic and Lymphatic System
Thrombocytopenia (see WARNINGS, Thrombocytopenia); purpura; regional lymphadenopathy;
Immune System
Anaphylaxis and anaphylactoid reactions have been reported as well as related phenomena such as
angioneurotic edema (including peripheral or facial edema) and bronchial spasm in individuals with or
without an allergic history.
Musculoskeletal System
Arthritis; arthralgia; myalgia.
Arthralgia and/or arthritis (usually transient and rarely chronic), and polyneuritis are features of
infection with wild-type rubella and vary in frequency and severity with age and sex, being greatest in
adult females and least in prepubertal children. This type of involvement as well as myalgia and
paresthesia, have also been reported following administration of MERUVAX II.
Chronic arthritis has been associated with wild-type rubella infection and has been related to
persistent virus and/or viral antigen isolated from body tissues. Only rarely have vaccine recipients
developed chronic joint symptoms.
Following vaccination in children, reactions in joints are uncommon and generally of brief duration. In
women, incidence rates for arthritis and arthralgia are generally higher than those seen in children
(children: 0-3%; women: 12-26%),17,52,53 and the reactions tend to be more marked and of longer
duration. Symptoms may persist for a matter of months or on rare occasions for years. In adolescent
girls, the reactions appear to be intermediate in incidence between those seen in children and in adult
women. Even in women older than 35 years, these reactions are generally well tolerated and rarely
interfere with normal activities.
Nervous System
Encephalitis; encephalopathy; measles inclusion body encephalitis (MIBE) (see
CONTRAINDICATIONS); subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE); Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS);
febrile convulsions; afebrile convulsions or seizures; ataxia; polyneuritis; polyneuropathy; ocular palsies;
Experience from more than 80 million doses of all live measles vaccines given in the U.S. through
1975 indicates that significant central nervous system reactions such as encephalitis and
encephalopathy, occurring within 30 days after vaccination, have been temporally associated with
measles vaccine very rarely.54 In no case has it been shown that reactions were actually caused by
vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has pointed out that "a certain number of cases
of encephalitis may be expected to occur in a large childhood population in a defined period of time even
when no vaccines are administered". However, the data suggest the possibility that some of these cases
may have been caused by measles vaccines. The risk of such serious neurological disorders following
live measles virus vaccine administration remains far less than that for encephalitis and encephalopathy
with wild-type measles (one per two thousand reported cases).
Post-marketing surveillance of the more than 200 million doses of M-M-R and M-M-R II that have
been distributed worldwide over 25 years (1971 to 1996) indicates that serious adverse events such as
encephalitis and encephalopathy continue to be rarely reported.17
M-M-R® II (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Virus Vaccine Live) 9912202
There have been reports of subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) in children who did not have
a history of infection with wild-type measles but did receive measles vaccine. Some of these cases may
have resulted from unrecognized measles in the first year of life or possibly from the measles vaccination.
Based on estimated nationwide measles vaccine distribution, the association of SSPE cases to measles
vaccination is about one case per million vaccine doses distributed. This is far less than the association
with infection with wild-type measles, 6-22 cases of SSPE per million cases of measles. The results of a
retrospective case-controlled study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
suggest that the overall effect of measles vaccine has been to protect against SSPE by preventing
measles with its inherent higher risk of SSPE.55
Cases of aseptic meningitis have been reported to VAERS following measles, mumps, and rubella
vaccination. Although a causal relationship between the Urabe strain of mumps vaccine and aseptic
meningitis has been shown, there is no evidence to link Jeryl Lynn™ mumps vaccine to aseptic
Respiratory System
Pneumonia; pneumonitis (see CONTRAINDICATIONS); sore throat; cough; rhinitis.
Stevens-Johnson syndrome; erythema multiforme; urticaria; rash; measles-like rash; pruritis.
Local reactions including burning/stinging at injection site; wheal and flare; redness (erythema);
swelling; induration; tenderness; vesiculation at injection site.
Special Senses — Ear
Nerve deafness; otitis media.
Special Senses — Eye
Retinitis; optic neuritis; papillitis; retrobulbar neuritis; conjunctivitis.
Urogenital System
Epididymitis; orchitis.
Death from various, and in some cases unknown, causes has been reported rarely following
vaccination with measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines; however, a causal relationship has not been
established in healthy individuals (see CONTRAINDICATIONS). No deaths or permanent sequelae were
reported in a published post-marketing surveillance study in Finland involving 1.5 million children and
adults who were vaccinated with M-M-R II during 1982 to 1993.56
Under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, health-care providers and manufacturers
are required to record and report certain suspected adverse events occurring within specific time periods
after vaccination. However, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has established
a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) which will accept all reports of suspected events.47
A VAERS report form as well as information regarding reporting requirements can be obtained by calling
VAERS 1-800-822-7967.

#12 George on 01.24.11 at 18:00

And I am the bad parent for reading all of this stuff…

#13 The Skepdick on 01.24.11 at 23:33

First, George, I should point out that apes read, too. They just don’t understand what they’re reading.

VAERS’ own website reports that of that 30K reports annually, 13% of those are serious. That tames your big scary figure of “injuries and deaths” due to vaccines down to 4500 annually, and I didn’t bother to filter that result further.

Ten million vaccine doses are administered to infants alone annually in the US. The VAERS reports include ALL people vaccinated. Ignoring that little tidbit, the rate of serious injury or death following vaccination works out to 0.045 percent.

Another little fallacy you like to use is the ergo hoc propter hoc fallacy. The VAERS site specifically points out that because an event is reported after a vaccination, that is not an indication that event was caused by a vaccination.

Risk analysis. You’re doing it wrong.

What the fuck, George? Fucking polio, smallpox, and diptheria don’t even fucking exist in north America now. As recently as the first half of the twentieth century, in north America, those three diseases alone killed or paralyzed tens of thousands of us. Every fucking year.

Yeah. Common sense my ass. There is nothing to thank for that except science.

#14 George on 01.25.11 at 15:01

What the Fuck Skepdouche…if you look at when vaccinations werer introduced you would clearly see that all of these diseases had already peaked and were on the way down…so to say it is “science” and Big Pharma alone would be terribly misleading…and again polio, smallpox aren’t the chicken pox, measels or the flu…do you really think children need 30+ vaccinations before they are even 2 years old??? Their brains don’t even have time to develop and they are injected with all sorts of good things….

You seem to be a person who is brainwashed by “science” and believe everything these so called “Experts” tell you…can you please show me the study that proves giving children 30+ vaccinations before the age or 2 will have no adverse side effects? Or that multiple vaccinations given at one time does not cause Autism or ADHD etc. No you can’t because “Big Pharma” already knows the results…

#15 George on 01.25.11 at 15:08

So where are your statistics about the disabilities from mumps being lower than 1 in 150??

#16 George on 01.25.11 at 15:20

According to the British Association for the Advancement of Science, childhood diseases decreased 90% between 1850 and 1940, paralleling improved sanitation and hygienic practices, well before mandatory vaccination programs. Infectious disease deaths in the U.S. and England declined steadily by an average of about 80% during this century (measles mortality declined over 97%) prior to vaccinations.[25]

In Great Britain, the polio epidemics peaked in 1950, and had declined 82% by the time the vaccine was introduced there in 1956. Thus, at best, vaccinations can be credited with only a small percentage of the overall decline in disease related deaths this century. Yet even this small portion is questionable, as the rate of decline remained virtually the same after vaccines were introduced.

It is thus impossible to say whether or not vaccinations contributed to the continuing decline in disease death rates, or if the same forces which brought about the initial declines–improved sanitation, hygiene, improvements in diet, natural disease cycles–were simply unaffected by the vaccination programs. Underscoring this conclusion was a recent World Health Organization report which found that the disease and mortality rates in third world countries have no direct correlation with immunization procedures or medical treatment, but are closely related to the standard of hygiene and diet. [27] Credit given to vaccinations for our current disease incidence has simply been grossly exaggerated, if not outright misplaced.

Vaccine advocates point to incidence statistics rather than mortality as proof of vaccine effectiveness. However, statisticians tell us that mortality statistics can be a better measure of incidence than the incidence figures themselves, for the simple reason that the quality of reporting and record-keeping is much higher on fatalities.[28]

For instance, a recent survey in New York City revealed that only 3.2% of pediatricians were actually reporting measles cases to the health department. In 1974, the CDC determined that there were 36 cases of measles in Georgia, while the Georgia State Surveillance System reported 660 cases.[29]

In 1982, Maryland state health officials blamed a pertussis epidemic on a television program, “D.P.T.–Vaccine Roulette,” which warned of the dangers of DPT; however, when former top virologist for the U.S. Division of Biological Standards, Dr. J. Anthony Morris, analyzed the 41 cases, only 5 were confirmed, and all had been vaccinated. [30] Such instances as these demonstrate the fallacy of incidence figures, yet vaccine advocates tend to rely on them indiscriminately.

(19a) Clinical Immunology and Immunopathology, May 1996; 79(2): 163-170.

(20) Trevor Gunn, Mass Immunization, A Point in Question, p 15 (E.D. Hume, Pasteur Exposed-The False Foundations of Modern Medicine, Bookreal, Australia, 1989.)

(21) Physician William Howard Hay’s address of June 25, 1937; printed in the Congressional Record.

(22) Outbreak of paralytic poliomyelitis in Oman; evidence for widespread transmission among fully vaccinated children Lancet vol 338: Sept 21, 1991; 715-720.

(23) Neil Miller, Vaccines: Are They Safe and Effective? p 33.

(24) Chicago Dept. of Health.

(25) See Note 23 pp 18-40.

(26) See Note 23 pp 45,46 [NVIC News, April 92, p12].

(27) S. Curtis, A Handbook of Homeopathic Alternatives to Immunization.

(28) Darrell Huff, How to Lie With Statistics, p 84.

(29) quoted from the internet, credited to Keith Block, M.D., a family physician from Evanston, Illinois, who has spent years collecting data in the medical literature on immunizations.

(30) See Note 20, p 15.

(31) See Note 20 p 21.

(32) See Note 20, p 21 (British Medical Council Publication 272, May 1950)

(33) See Note 20, p 21; also Note 23 p 47 (Buttram, MD, Hoffman, Mothering Magazine, Winter 1985 p 30; Kalokerinos and Dettman, MDs, “The Dangers of Immunization,” Biological Research Inst. [Australia], 1979, p 49).

(34) Archie Kalolerinos, MD, Every Second Child, Keats Publishing, Inc. 1981

(35) Reported by KM Severyn,R.Ph,Ph.D. in the Dayton Daily News, June 3, 1995.

(36) Vaccine Information and Awareness, “Measles and Antibody Titre Levels,” from Vaccine Weekly, January 1996.

(37) NVIC Press Release, “Consumer Group Warns use of New Chicken Pox Vaccine in all Healthy Children May Cause More Serious Disease”.

(38) See note 35 (quoted from The Lancet)

(39) Hearings before the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, House of Representatives, 87th Congress, Second Session on H.R. 10541, May 1962, p.94.

(40) Ullman, Discovering Homeopathy, p 42 (Thomas L. Bradford, Logic Figures, p68, 113-146; Coulter, Divided Legacy, Vol 3, p268).

(41) See Note 27.

(42) See Note 27.

(43) Golden, Isaac, Vaccination? A Review of Risks and Alternatives.

#17 The Skepdick on 01.25.11 at 19:20

Let’s make this easy, George. I don’t mind the good spirited banter, it’s quite interesting, at least entertaining. There is no hope of teaching you, I’m certain. The only reason I enjoin such conversations is for the benefit of the third party.

But, I don’t tolerate ad hominem attacks. I don’t make them here, and I sure as fuck don’t need to put up with such behavior from guest commenters.

You do amuse, though, particularly with your acceptance of science and immunology erasing diseases like polio or smallpox. You know, the really scary stuff. This is what we call cherry picking.

However, amusing or no, all you’re doing here is filling my blog with cut/paste rubbish and demonstrating an inability to draw the correct conclusions from the facts.

You’re through here. Thanks for playing.

Oh, in case you’re interested, you can see the complication rate of mumps infections here. Encephalitis in 2 cases per 100,000. Of those, 2% are fatal. Deafness in 1 of 20,000 cases. There has been 1 death per year in the US from mumps during the last 19 years of the twentieth century. Those are the facts. Not that I think that will matter, though.

Bye, George.

#18 Gabe K on 01.27.11 at 15:25

Are you able to provide him a study that proves giving children 30+ vaccinations before the age of 2 is safe…and then you kick him off your blog…it looks like George provided you with statistics and sources that you asked but you just don’t like them…funny stuff…

I just stumbled across an article that says the BMJ should re-tract their statement about Dr. Wakefield because of some new evidence…did you hear about this Skepdick?

Would be interesting to get your thoughts?

Thanks – Gabe

#19 The Skepdick on 01.27.11 at 22:49

Gabe, I have no interest in digging stupid shit up for George. He’s demonstrated an ability to draw incorrect conclusions from facts, what would the point be? Is there a snowball’s chance in all of hell he’s ever going to change his mind? Nevertheless, considering the ten million children starting the vaccination schedule each and every year, judging from the reports VAERS is compiling, along with the total fucking absence of what were once common killer childhood diseases, if George doesn’t get the safety and effectiveness of that schedule, nothing I do or say is about to change it.

My favorite from George? This one:

“Credit given to vaccinations for our current disease incidence has simply been grossly exaggerated, if not outright misplaced” Attributed to S. Curtis in the book, A Handbook of Homeopathic Alternatives to Immunization. Well, why didn’t you say? Homeopathy! What other quackery is in that cut/paste monstrosity above? What, no chiropractors chiming in with their subluxations?

I don’t fail to notice how this article you say you stumbled across is totally without a citation. My thoughts? None, until I evaluate this article.

#20 Gabe on 01.31.11 at 18:20


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