STUPIDITY 1, THE REST OF US 0

So apparently there is something of an outbreak of pertussis, a.k.a. Whooping Cough, in California. Not Calcutta. Not Khartoum. California. The one on the left hand side of the wealthiest nation on the planet.

Pertussis. In California. How does that happen, like, ever in the U.S. let alone in large enough clusters to attract notice? Pertussis is one of the many diseases that we consider largely eradicated in the "developed" world, i.e. the parts of the globe with reliable systems in place for water treatment and waste removal. Nobody in the U.S. should be getting whooping cough anymore than they should be getting monkeypox, filariasis, the measles, or yellow fever. And none of those diseases are to be expected in this country because reliable vaccines are available, often free of charge, everywhere in the Western world.

To put the California issue in context, this is where pertussis is most prevalent:

See that dark red one, California? That is Niger. The same Niger ranked 182nd out of 182 nations in the U.N. Human Development Index. While it has little in common with California (except for Merced…am I right people? *rimshot*) a growing number of Californians are imitating the people of Niger in one respect: they are not vaccinated against basic, easily preventable diseases long ago banished to the undeveloped parts of the globe.


Thanks a pantload, retards!

America – and the rest of the planet, for that matter – has a long tradition of backward knuckleheads who prefer hokum to science and folk remedies to actual medical care. This is what poorly educated people do. They reject things they don't understand. This is why we educate ourselves as a nation, to teach people not to reflexively trust their neanderthal instincts or revert to the intellectual equivalent of shamanism when confronted with the products of an educated society. But now such impulses have the appearance of mainstream legitimacy (Just look at all this information on the internet! Some of these people look, like, real scientific and stuff!) and rather than dropping the hammer on it with maximum force, the media and your more gullible friends and relatives nurture it along.

Why? If Jenny McCarthy started a movement claiming that Pepsi or Centrum Vitamins cause autism, you would recoil in horror from the sheer violence with which the mainstream media and society at large would beat her down. It would be like watching a small puppy flattened under a steamroller. Yet in the interest of "controversy" or ratings (the stay-at-home mom audience being a large one, and being a Mommy who Knows My Child being a more valid form of medical expertise than actually practicing medicine when it comes to the vaccine-autism question) this ridiculous "movement" is entertained up to the highest levels. All of this, of course, is endlessly fueled by the internet: transparently stupid conspiracist websites, echo chamber "communities" for the afflicted (be it with illness or imbecility), and syrupy, drooling MommyBlogs where people who know a great many things As a Parent explain why science is wrong and post hoc most definitely allows us to conclude propter hoc. Every time a Mommy explains how MMR gave little Ethan autism, God adopts and drowns a helpless kitten.

The internet is the greatest thing to happen to idiots since Walter Freeman pioneered the transorbital lobotomy, and it has done almost as much to make them even dumber. Let's really go for the gold and see if we can't work up a nice outbreak of polio, diphtheria, or tetanus right on the doorstep of some of the finest medical and scientific infrastructure on Earth. You can do it, Jenny.

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66 Responses to “STUPIDITY 1, THE REST OF US 0”

  1. eau Says:

    Oh, this is gonna be great…

  2. J. Dryden Says:

    Oh, but it gets ever so much better. Because, in addition to claiming that vaccination caused her son's autism, she's since gone on to claim that, thanks to chelation therapy (don't be ashamed–I had to look it up, too), said child has been 'cured' of autism. So not only has she diagnosed the cause of this disorder, she's also found a cure! So in addition to offering fear-based and life-threatening boogieman-ism, she's also now peddling false hope to those who face the daily challenges of autism, dooming them to soul-crushing disappointment. Playboy models…is there anything they *can't* do…?

    What's a particular bitter pill in all this mess is that the publication, The Lancet, that originally published the 'vaccination is linked to autism' study by Andrew Wakefield (a.k.a. Roy Cohn, but with less of a moral compass), had to come out later and basically say, "Look, he flat-out lied to us. *Lied.* And we bought it. And we're idiots. Lump us in with the assholes who fell for the Hitler diaries–we *suck* and we apologize, with much grovelling."

    So basically, the place where this movement all started has as much as said, "The claim of a link between vaccination and autism is a total fabrication, and we should know–we're the ones who made the goddamned claim! So please, for the love of God, vaccinate your child–proven science says it's perfectly safe, and liars say it's not. The end."

    But of course, it's not the end. And children–*children*–are going to die in the, what? Hundreds? Thousands? Miserable, pointless deaths, and of easily preventable illnesses. And parents who stupidly meant well with stare at the open grave and know that they fucking killed their children. Look for a healthy rise in adult suicides. All so people who don't give a shit about said children can feel important. Oh, to believe in a Hell that awaits such folk.

  3. ts46064 Says:

    I'll just leave this here

  4. acer Says:

    Is there some way to peg this on Oprah?

  5. ts46064 Says:

    acer, is that a joke?

  6. Radical Scientist Says:

    Well, we can blame Oprah and Larry King for repeatedly giving Jenny McCarthy a televised platform to lure people into not vaccinating their kids, and we can double-blame Oprah for giving McCarthy a blog on her website, and preemptively blame her for the rumors that's a first step toward setting her up in her own talk show, a la Dr. Phil. So, not exactly a joke.

  7. ts46064 Says:

    We can also blame Oprah for giving Dr. Oz a show. His show is full of endorsements for acupuncture and other alternative medicine bullshit.

  8. acer Says:

    Yes and no. I think Oprah basically means well. But she's a major conduit for new-age Hollywood pseudoscience and narcissism into the mainstream. The Internet is way too diffuse to be the prime suspect. I think if people start dying from this shit, the Secret lady's got blood on her hands.

  9. Jacie Says:

    See, what I love is that Jenny McCarthy injects her forehead with freaking BOTOX, a proven toxin, yet says vaccinations are bad.

    Also, all the parents out there who are complaining? Bet you they've been vaccinated. Heck, I changed schools as a child and didn't get my second MMR vaccine until it was required by law before I went to college. At some point, these kids are going to have to be vaccinated.

    What pisses me off the most is that the non vaccinated people RELY on those of us who decide to vaccinate. It's the only way the diseases can be counteracted, when the others in the collective comply. It's profoundly selfish, and you get into issues like the one in California where yes, the kids don't have Autism. However now they're almost dying of whooping cough! Way to go, dumbasses!

  10. Mrs. Chili Says:

    I have friends who disapprove of my decisions to immunize my children (and my annual flu shot). I ignore them.

  11. Landru Says:

    Thank you, Ed.

  12. marismae Says:

    Thank you, Ed! I understand the need or desire for any parent to look for answers. 'Why' is the hardest question to overcome when your child winds up diagnosed with a disability or developmental delay. It probably feels a lot easier for parents to blame something they can control (giving vaccines), rather then things they cannot (genetics). It's harder to grapple with when you feel it's your own fault. Not vaccinating your children, when it's been shown that there is no link to autism, is just criminal though. Those parents are relying on the rest of us to provide a "herd immunity" to their kids. But, as the situation in California shows… once enough people buy into the woo, it becomes dangerous for everyone.

  13. Hazy Davy Says:

    While it's easy (so easy) to make fun of Jenny and her lunacy, there's probably more to it than that:
    - When you're a new parent, medical professionals (nurses, doctors, etc.) speak with authority, and insist there is a single, right way do do certain things [use a pacifier, which one, supplement with formula, be on a schedule, etc., etc.]
    - Observant, intelligent parents eventually find that the professionals who are absolutely certain about the one, right way—those professionals do not agree. [A neonatal nurse read me the riot act for doing something another nurse had specifically asked me to do, 20 minutes prior.]

    So, fed with conflicting information, one can naturally conclude that the medical professionals' authority and certainty is much less than they would have you believe. Add in a little bit of fear that you might screw up your kid for life, and you have to take your best guess. You choose an authority you want to follow (and, by the way, I think Ms. McCarthy actually has a 'doctor' on her side).

    Then, add in the history of treatments having unadvertised risks (e.g., the mercury-based preservatives in children's immunizations was causing medical problems to a countable number of children…so they reduced it.)

    Then, add in the lack of sleep new parents get, and….

    Look, I definitely immunize my kid, according to the schedule recommended by Kaiser (which is corellated with the G's recommendations.) And I wish Ms. McCarthy would shut up about it, as she's clearly (to me) wrong.

    But I understand how she (or any such parents) get where they get. It's not just a matter of trusting hokum over science. Often, they're trusting science over science, or losing faith with the obvious falsehoods told to them by people claiming to be "scientific".

    [The bigger issue is that the fools who make some of these choices are effectively making choices for me. My asthmatic kid interacts with unimmunized kids at the park,, and they can carry all sorts of infections to him, that will nonetheless cause him pain.]

    Also, kudo's for knowing about Merced. But it's a few hundred miles from Ventura County.

  14. Megan Says:

    There have been several pertussis scares near Philadelphia in the past few years, too. Some of this, too, can be blamed on adults who don't get their vaccinations as recommended (you need a TDap every 10 years). I was surprised to learn that the polio vaccine wears off by age 18. With more crazy people shunning immunizations, perhaps we should be concerned about that horror story.

  15. HoosierPoli Says:

    Yeah, the problem is unvaccinated ADULTS. The threat to infants is that they'll contract it before they're old enough to be vaccinated, and they're definitely not getting it from other babies. Needless to say, all prospective parents need to be getting their shots too.

  16. Larry Signor Says:

    These people are idiots who will imbue their children with their own brand of idiocy. It is good that we can always depend on Darwin and Mother Nature to regulate the inclusion of idiots in aggregate human DNA.

  17. John Says:

    Another case of people believing fringe wackiness made into mainstream "common sense" by our glorious media, and paying the price for it later. Joy.

    I'm currently reading a book by Charles Pierce called 'Idiot America', that talks about precisely this phenomenon. How America has always had its share of crackpots and cranks, and how through history they've done some good by challenging the mainstream and providing new ideas that get sifted through to find the nuggets of useable, valuable bits and discard the wackiness. And how, in our modern times, that valuable function of cranks has been completely destroyed, thanks to the new media's taking those same cranks and their crackpot conspiracy theories and, instead of disecting them to work down to the few good bits, they just shove the whole thing out there to be accepted wholesale because 'common sense' is now respected more than people who actually know what they're talking about.

    It's a fascinating read, and I highly recommend it.

  18. glf Says:

    J. Dryden Says: "And parents who stupidly meant well with stare at the open grave and know that they fucking killed their children."

  19. glf Says:

    I meant to add (in my comment above):
    And then the parents will sue someone.

  20. Don Says:

    About Jacie's incidental point about anti-vaccination parents who themselves have been vaccinated: this feels to me just like anti-tax people who nevertheless enjoy roads and bridges. We're living in the slowly deteriorating remains of a society that understood, worked for, and even paid for, the "common good". Vaccinations are like taxes and sending children to real schools that teach actual facts: part of a social contract that's now optional because vast #'s of Americans of all stripes – celebrity Californians to fundamentalist home-schoolers – have no idea that collective commitment, and a widely-held recognition that individuals owe a debt their communities, is what made all these things work – things they've largely taken for granted all their lives.

  21. Seven Says:

    I'm still pissed that John Travolta got away with murdering his son. Scientology is not science.

  22. Prudence Says:

    I find it staggering that people will turn to a former Playmate for medical advice regarding their children, but ignore entirely the barrage of science that disproves this nitwit's claims. Ms McCarthy actually went on Oprah and declared (with the certainty and arrogance you usually only find with the profoundly idiotic), when challenged about the historic safety of vaccines, "Evan (her son) is my science". Yes, fuck all those "scientists" and their elitist "education", that Botox'd blonde chick who looks good naked thinks inoculations are dangerous!

    As in most action movies, the English are the bad guys here. Andrew Wakefield, the disgraced doctor who wrote the original paper, has been rightfully struck off. Unfortunately, he is now in America, peddling his woo for capital sums, alongside other snake oil salesmen, like the father & son team who prescribe industrial chelators and testosterone-curbing/chemical castration drugs for autistic kids.

    Sheer wickedness.

  23. ts46064 Says:

    "And I don

  24. ts46064 Says:

    Hmm something messed up, here's what the comment said.
    And I don’t wanna talk to a scientist Y’all motherfuckers lying, and getting me pissed.

    -Jenny McCarthy

  25. Major Kong Says:

    I used to live in Merced. That's where Castle Air Force Base was located.

  26. GinDrinker Says:

    I am totally pro vaccine/ pro science, but I remember reading a post on scienceblogs.com about how there has not been a study published that shows a correlation between areas of low vaccination and areas of high infection in California. Now it is a reasonable hypothesis Ed, but please don't go posting articles on science when there are no statistics. I am sure a sociologist like you can appreciated that. If anyone knows of a recent study on these affected areas, please post.

  27. bb in GA Says:

    First, let me politicize this somewhat – There is a certain irony in that the big enablers of what is deemed pseudo science on this subject are gigantic Libs.

    Even though y’all have busted Oprah a little bit (w/ Acer even apologizing for her good intentions,) I can only imagine the filth stream that would have emanated from hereabouts if the enabler were The Pillsbury Beck Boy. We would have munched on marinated and fried filet of Beck, fer sure, about 30 comments worth.

    Second gear,

    In an analog to the now discredited Freudian analysis, the Wakefield Blasphemy functioned as a thought provoker about vaccine safety as a general subject.

    One of my children is struggling w/ vaccination of my grandbabies relative to both the timing and the combination – NOT the basic concept of necessity for personal and herd health.

    Lets look at the “party line” on combination vaccines, for example

    From the CDC:

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Vaccines/multiplevaccines.html

    ‘Can so many vaccines, given so early in life, overwhelm a child's immune system, suppressing it so it does not function correctly?

    No evidence suggests that the recommended childhood vaccines can "overload" the immune system. In contrast, from the moment babies are born, they are exposed to numerous bacteria and viruses on a daily basis. Eating food introduces new bacteria into the body; numerous bacteria live in the mouth and nose; and an infant places his or her hands or other objects in his or her mouth hundreds of times every hour, exposing the immune system to still more antigens. An upper respiratory viral infection exposes a child to 4 to 10 antigens, and a case of "strep throat" to 25 to 50.
    Adverse Events Associated with Childhood Vaccines, a 1994 report from the Institute of Medicine, states: "In the face of these normal events, it seems unlikely that the number of separate antigens contained in childhood vaccines …would represent an appreciable added burden on the immune system that would be immunosuppressive."’

    Now, a little dueling banjos…

    From Bloomberg

    http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/healthday/640537.html

    Combo Vaccine Raises Risk of Fever-Related Seizures in Kids
    MMR, varicella vaccines given separately seem safer, though real risk still rare, study finds

    “MONDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) — Toddlers who receive the combination MMRV (measles, mumps, rubella and varicella) vaccine are at higher risk of having a febrile seizure a week to 10 days after receiving the shot than children who get the MMR and varicella (chicken pox) vaccines separately at the same visit, a new study confirms”

    Later in the article…

    ‘“What's important for parents to understand is that even though there's a doubling of the risk for the combination vaccine, the overall risk of seizure to any one child with any measles-containing vaccine is still less than one in 1,000 doses," said Dr. Nicola Klein, co-director of the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center in Oakland, Calif., and lead investigator of the study, published online June 28 and in the July print issue of Pediatrics.’

    And later…

    ‘The findings are a follow-up to preliminary findings on the twofold increased risk of febrile seizures, which Klein and her colleagues reported to the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) in February 2008. Soon afterward, the ACIP CHANGED ITS RECCOMENDATIONS (ed- caps added) from a stated preference for the MMRV vaccine to no preference for either MMRV or separate MMR and varicella vaccines.’

    There is a lot more on other conditions, but this is just one example of, perhaps, a ‘harmless’ side effect (unless it’s your kid.)

    So my family is trying to get the timing right and they are searching for ‘unbundled’ vaccines which, for some of the immunizations, are rare right now. Maybe there just might be a growing market for them.

    Real life IS sometimes more complicated than some of y’all would allow…

    //bb

  28. jeneria Says:

    I love getting my flu shot. It makes me feel invincible and I haven't had the flu in 10 years.

    Everyone bitches about how our medical industry doesn't encourage preventative medicine (which for the most part it doesn't) but then when vaccinations are encouraged, people go batshit with conspiracy theories.

    Number 2: Don't be cute. I'm referring to the flu shot
    expose. You see we're the ones loading them with
    mind-controlling additives.
    Homer: But why? [throws another saucer]
    Number 2: To drive people into a frenzy of shopping. That's
    why flu shots are given just before Christmas.
    Homer: Of course. It's so simple. [Reconsidering] Wait,
    no it's not. It's needlessly complicated.
    Number 2: Yes it is. And we can't have you out there mucking
    it up, now, can we?

  29. Jacquie Says:

    Three things to say here.

    ONE: I don't necessarily agree with the knee-jerk impulse to dismiss all non-traditional forms of care and treatment as quackery. Following that logic, the cancer patient who smokes pot to offset the side effects of chemo is "poorly educated" and "neanderthal." Maybe the medical establishment just doesn't always have our best interests at heart, ya know?

    TWO: per a county epidemiologist who's a friend of mine, we had an outbreak of pertussis about three years ago in metro Rochester, NY. I thought that we were just catching up to the Middle Ages; who knew we were the trendsetters?

    THREE: I have to heartily second John's "Idiot America" recommendation. I am lending out my paperback to practically everyone I know. Huge laughs and some very interesting perspective.

  30. chaz Says:

    Swine flu!

  31. CaptBackslap Says:

    When I was in college, before the whole autism "connection" was even going, I worked with an older woman who opposed vaccination. Her reasoning was that vaccines didn't actually work, and that the medical establishment had covered up this fact by RENAMING THE DISEASES. For example, polio was still occurring, but was now referred to as meningitis.

  32. Entomologista Says:

    I'm still laughing at "The internet is the greatest thing to happen to idiots since Walter Freeman pioneered the transorbital lobotomy" You rule.

  33. party with tina Says:

    I live in California.

    Mexico and California share a porous border. They are bringing in a few diseases like that. Generally it's best not to get vaccinated unless you have a real need for prevention. You'll learn how many vaccines you never got if you ever try traveling to Africa.

    At any rate, suddenly in California health officials are recomending a vaccination for whooping cough. Check out this non-issue.

  34. Landru Says:

    Wow. Californians go unvaccinated–in a documentable way–and it's all the fault of those diseased immigrants, or whoever tina means when she says "they." But those diseased immigrants are nothing compared to those darned Africans! And there's nothing sudden about public health officials recommending a pertussis vaccine.

    Here's a clue, tina: if you're human, then you have a real need for prevention. It's "best" not to get pertussis or measles or diptheria, the incidence of which are reduced by mass vaccination. The potential for babies to die from pertussis isn't a non-issue.

  35. party with tina Says:

    There are a lot of potential complications from vaccines, as there always will and have been. It's quite common that a lot of people will avoid vaccinations that you aren't very likely to ever need. Public health officials really only make pertussis a priority when they find a probable outbreak, and yes, old world diseases do get across the border from Mexico. It happens quite a lot actually, as one would expect. I'm not saying that as an issue for anti-immigration, or because I'm racist.

    This is a non-issue, a lot of people who had avoided pertussis are getting it now because it's now in potential out-break mode.

  36. Prudence Says:

    Ever seen an infant die from pertussis? WTH. Why anyone would let an infant suffer and/or die like that just to skip an inoculation is totally fucking beyond me.

    And tina, perhaps you'd like to PubMed link to some of those "potential complications" you're talking about, and then compare them to the actual diseases they help to prevent.

  37. Xynzee Says:

    I believe it was Murphy who's attrbuted with saying, "Just when you think you've idiot proofed something, they go and build a better idiot."

    Personally, as someone who was unable to be vaccinated against smallpox, I'm thankful for all of those who were.

    Let's see, odds of li'l Timmy getting autism from a vaccine? Odds of getting these childhood killers w/o?

    Probably the only good thing to come out of this (to me at least) is that it shows that Christians haven't cornered the market on dumbarsed, flatearth, backward thinkin'.

  38. Landru Says:

    tina: Avoiding immunizations is only common in community-sized populations, usually where some cultural, religious, political, or other anti-scientific view predominates. Like certain pockets of head-up-ass Californians (or Oregonians), for example, where Hollywood physicians and their celebrity clients, or homeopathic medicine enthusiasts, decide to ignore scientific evidence in favor of their own judgment.

    The risks of potential complications from immunizations, at both the individual and population levels, are tiny and are vastly outweighed by the public health benefits of large-scale immunization. An alternative belief is scale-equivalent to a belief in a flat Earth. Seriously.

    And U.S. public health officials don't routinely make pertussis a priority because U.S. doctors routinely immunize against it, in line with well-researched and established medical practice. It's only in communities where herd immunity isn't established–again, largely communities on the West Coast–where outbreaks occur, regardless of their point source.

    You have offered nothing to support your blithely irresponsible contention that "Generally it's best not to get vaccinated unless you have a real need for prevention." Ed got his smackdown precisely right in every particular, and you're one of its targets.

  39. Sarah Says:

    Tina, if you're talking about vaccinating for bubonic plague or smallpox, then yeah, I would say you shouldn't get vaccinated unless you anticipate specifically being exposed to those. But we're talking about whooping cough, which was killing children in large numbers in the US less than 100 years ago. There's also measles and mumps, both of which have had outbreaks show up in this country recently, usually among college students living away from home for the first time and haven't had a recent booster or who have never been vaccinated. If those diseases exist in non-human reservoirs (and I'm too lazy right now to look it up) we are always going to need to vaccinate against them. The reason we were able to eradicate smallpox was because of mass vaccination coupled with the fact that smallpox virus does not infect non-human hosts nor survive outside of a host.

    I must say, your reasoning is very circular and convoluted. If I have this right, you are saying people shouldn't get vaccinated unless they can show a real need for it, but these recent outbreaks are what show the need for it and they result from people who didn't get vaccinated because they thought they wouldn't need it. And it's the mass vaccination preventing the outbreaks coupled with psuedo-science which convince people that they don't have the need for vaccination.

  40. Tim Says:

    I don't value Jenny McCarthy's opinion at all, and I don't recommend skipping a pertussis shot specifically.

    However, I do question the overwhelmingly interventionist/drug-therapy approach… of medical science nowadays. A vaccine for chicken pox? Give me a break. I do not so much see medical researchers seriously weighing risks/benefits of vaccines as I see drug companies looking for profits in our difficult-to-certify-a-new-drug environment.

    In other words, I fall into the overly-generic them-term 'anti-vaccination people'. Not because I reject all vaccines, not because I recommend drinking green tea or taking mega-vitamins instead, but because I think medical science has a hammer and they see all problems as nails. Ditto for antibiotic prescriptions.

    In my experience–and I'm going to generalize from a specific here–doctors are too busy to actually solve problems in a scientific manner, so they revert to pushing vaccines and antibiotics, etc., that can tend to ignore the overall public good in place of getting them out of the examination room as quickly as possible.

    Although I share your disgust with anti-scientific people, I must quickly point out that I'm one of the biggest fans of the scientific method you'll ever find–that's WHY I have this attitude! I think doctors are taking the easy way out way too often–both clinically and in the laboratory.

  41. Paul W. Luscher Says:

    Hey, watch it! As a Californian from Up North, we know the Stupid, the Weird, and "the fruits, nuts, and flakes" reside Down South….y'know, down in the TMZ Zone, where Kim and Paris and Lindsay roam free….

  42. Elle Says:

    vaccine for chicken pox? Give me a break.

    The vaccine against the varicella virus isn't given in the UK. There is a fear that until you can get the whole population vaccinated, it will knock out the immunity of adults to shingles that a) having chickenpox as a child, and b) coming into contact with chicken poxed children, provides.

    Of course, this could be further Death Panel propaganda.

  43. party with tina Says:

    You guys are fucking stupid.

    The Pertussis vaccine is one that needs to be repeated in your lifetime. That's why new parents get it with along their children. Lots of people aren't up to date on it all over the country. The reason why California has outbreaks of this is because we're connected to Mexico, I'm not saying this is an immigration problem either, it could have been started by some frat boy who went down there for spring break.

    At any rate, people are getting the vaccine now, BECAUSE OF THE OUTBREAK.

  44. eau Says:

    Let me see if I can dumb this down for you guys.

    Tina is trying to explain that adults failing to keep their vaccinations up to date and thus exposing babies to this disease has nothing to do with celebrities telling said adults that vaccines are bad news. Just two mutually exclusive phenomena. Nothing to see here.

    And anyway, now that few babies have died health officials are suddenly recommending the vaccine BECAUSE OF THE OUTBREAK. So relax! It's all good!

    Oh, and California suddenly shares a porous border with Mexico. Which leads to… frat boy… Spring Break…

    Wait, Tina? Can you run that by me one more time?

  45. ts46064 Says:

    Tim…. vaccines make up such a small portion of the drug company profits.

  46. Tim Says:

    vaccines make up such a small portion of the drug company profits'

    Um, I don't want to start a nasty back-and-forth here, but saying it doesn't prove it! A simple search for 'drug company vaccine profits' turns up lots of people who disagree with the statement that drug companies provide vaccines out of the goodness of their hearts. [And, no, I'm not saying that the Internets is the repository of truth or unbiased fact! :^) ]

    Remember Novartis Tamiflu? Remember GlaxoSmithKline and profiteering accusations? You don't have to be a bit anti-science to cast a glance askew at the business practices of the drug companies. They influence doctors' methods and health care policy profoundly. And they do it to boost their profitability. Q.E.D.

  47. Dan Brisson Says:

    Hey, wait a minute Tina! I actually live in Mexico. Speaking as an expat Canadian who knows something about decent health care, I can assert with absolute confidence that Mexico's health care system including immunization, ranks waaay above the US's. What ignorant twaddle you vomit Tina.

  48. Kimberly Dunn Says:

    Thank you. I couldn't have said it better.

  49. Kimberly Dunn Says:

    That was a "thank you" for this rant pointing the stupidity of the anti-vaccine crowd.

    Every time a Mommy explains how MMR gave little Ethan autism, God adopts and drowns a helpless kitten.

  50. ts121790 Says:

    @Tim,
    I didn't say they made vaccines at a loss, just compared to everything else they make, vaccines are a relatively small portion or the profit. I don't see why some company making a profit is in of itself evil and makes vaccines overkill. Its established science that vaccine do in fact prevent harmful illnesses. Also alot of non-profit and government resources are used to both research and administer vaccines.

    Check this like out
    http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba655
    (Ignore some of their absurd attempts at saying Drug companies will self police and government is evil. There are some good facts in the article though.)

    Also there is no such thing as a simple search when the topic is vaccines, the internet is so full of shit put out by anti vaxers.
    (The internet is the greatest thing to happen to idiots since Walter Freeman pioneered the transorbital lobotomy)

    Check out Steve Novella and Harriet A. Hall.

  51. whardiek Says:

    This is all very interesting to me. Im reading the thread, and the all the replies and I wonder if there is a direct link to the religious fundamentalism sweeping through our country? It's like the religious right are trying to completely discredit the scientific community. Do the advances in science really present a threat to the pious? Yes, science is answering questions everyday that religion used to answer with god. If the pious acknowledge the scientific community, they are effectively cutting their own throats. This is why, IMHO, we see a tidal wive of religious fundamentalism. This fundamentalism manifests itself in the intelligent design movement, the denail of evolution/natural selection/Darwin, the denial of the Human Genome Research Project and a shift in the philosophy of religious dogma i.e. Dinosaurs walked the earth with man and the new earth theory. All calculated, premeditated and wicked perversions on manipulation and narsiccism.

  52. MadBassist Says:

    I don't think NOT vaccinating is smart, but I also think that a megadose of vaccines (a la MMR) may not be smart either. What is wrong with allowing people to choose single, individual vaccination to allow the body to recover and adjust to the shot? Apparently the PharmCos and BigMedicine (insurance cos) feel we can't choose because the present system makes too much money for them. Try to get an individual dose of Measles vaccine. Not here in the US.

    I have chemical sensitivity issues – certain smells (paints, gasoline, etc) can trigger migraines. I avoid them to keep from being sick. It makes sense that some children may be more sensitive to a large influx of vaccines and their bodies react in ways different than "most people". Give these kids the choice to get individual vaccines so that we are ALL protected.

  53. djw Says:

    It makes sense that some children may be more sensitive to a large influx of vaccines and their bodies react in ways different than "most people".

    And here in lies the problem. People like MadBassist can't tell the difference between "it seems vaguely plausible, in my non-expert free-association thinking about headaches and vaccines and what not, that X is true" and "there is a medical scientific reason to think X is true."

  54. News Nag Says:

    I just read Playboy for the medical advice.

  55. Substance McGravitas Says:

    Give these kids the choice

    WTF?

  56. Red Jenny Says:

    You know, there are very few things a blond with big breasts can't convince me of, but . . .

  57. Andy Says:

    A routine search on Pubmed will result in many studies that show that Autism in monozygotic twins is repeated about 80% of the time. Studies further show that in dizygotic twins, autism is repeated in only about 20% of cases. These results offer strong evidence of autism being genetic in nature rather than environmental in origin. Anti-vaccine – tards seem to have no understanding of the nature of medical research, peer-review, and interpretation of scientific data.

    As for mega-vaccination: this trend, while possibly not optimal in terms of best practices, it does speak to convenience (i.e. fewer shots overall), which is the halmark of U.S. society. By making the vaccines somewhat more convenient, parents are more likely to allow their children to be vaccinated, resulting in better herd coverage.

    As for the question for he need for a vericella vaccine: while mos peopl esuffer relatively mild and survivable symptoms from the various manifestations of varicella (chicken pox and shingles), there is significant mortality and morbidity asscoisted with this virus.

  58. hamletta Says:

    A vaccine for chicken pox? Give me a break.

    If I give you my phone number, will you call me when you get shingles, so I can point and laugh as you writhe in agony?

  59. Ruckus Says:

    If I give you my phone number, will you call me when you get shingles, so I can point and laugh as you writhe in agony?

    Can I get in on this? I'd like a chance to laugh about shingles. I've never been able to before.
    Chickenpox was a breeze compared to shingles. I was born just before the polio vaccination and saw first hand what a lot of fun people who caught it before this had. I know first hand of 4 cases. In one small town.
    No vaccinations? Idiots. There simply is no other answer. Let's review: If you don't believe in science because your sky pilot was supposed to be around before it existed, if you can't understand fairly simple statistics to see that getting vaccinated is much less risky than vaccination, you are an idiot.

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