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Fake Quotes About Vaccines

In addition to cherry picking and misusing studies, another technique that some folks use to scare parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids is to simply make up fake quotes about vaccines.

Don’t believe me?

Fake Quotes About Vaccines

Let’s look at a quote from the ironically name Vaccine Peer Review.

“No batch of vaccine can be proved safe before it is given to children.”

Surgeon General of the United States, Leonard Scheele, addressing an AMA convention in 1955

Did the Surgeon General of the United States really say that?

This was after the Cutter Incident...

No, he didn’t.

For some reason, they left out the “to be 100 per cent” part of his original quote…

But we know that.

Vaccines are safe, but they do have some risks.

Where was the peer review before posting that quote?

What about this next quote in the Vaccine Peer Review?

“The only safe vaccine is a vaccine that is never used”

Dr. James A. Shannon, National Institutes of Health

Not surprisingly, Dr. Shannon didn’t say that either.

What did he say?

The Congressional Polio Vaccine Hearings of 1955

Like Dr. Sheele, he was simply saying that like most other things, vaccines aren’t 100% safe.

Again though, the benefits far outweigh the risks, even if vaccines aren’t 100% safe.

So far, I’m guessing the Vaccine Peer Review didn’t have any peer review before it was published put online.

Are there other examples of folks using fake vaccine quotes to mislead people?

Have you read any vaccine quotes from Alexander Langmuir, Chief Epidemiologist at CDC for 21 years and founded the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS)?

Don't believe any propaganda or quotes without sources attributed to Alexander Langmuir.
Don’t believe any propaganda or quotes without sources attributed to Dr. Alexander Langmuir.

While Alexander Langmuir didn’t think that flu vaccines worked well enough at the time, he didn’t think that they were unsafe.

And unlike most real quotes, you will never find the original source and will only see it posted by folks who push misinformation and propaganda against vaccines.

When you can find the original quote, as in the other examples above, you will discover that they either changed the quote or are simply using it out of context.

Consider this other quote by Alexander Langmuir which folks use to try and make a case against vaccinating and protecting kids against measles:

While that is a real quote, folks should understand that Alexander Langmuir was very concerned about measles.

“This self-limiting infection of short duration, moderate severity, and low fatality has maintained a remarkably stable biological balance over the centuries. Those epidemiologists, and there are many, who tend to revere the biological balance have long argued that the ecological equilibrium of measles is solidly based, that it can not readily be disrupted and that therefore we must learn to live with this parasite rather than hope to eradicate it. This speaker, not so long ago, was counted among this group and waxed eloquent on this subject in print.

Happily, this era is ending. New and potent tools that promise effective control of measles are at hand. If properly developed and wisely used, it should be possible to disrupt the biological balance of measles. Its eradication from large continental landmasses such as North America and many other parts of the world can be anticipated soon.”

Alexander Langmuir et al on The Importance of Measles as a Health Problem

Alexander Langmuir certainly didn’t think that measles was a benign disease.

“…any parent who has seen his small child suffer even for a few days with persistent fever of 105, with hacking cough and delirium wants to see this prevented…”

Alexander Langmuir

And he thought that we should work to eradicate it.

“The availability of potent and effective measles vaccines, which have been tested extensively of the past 4 years, provides the basis for the eradication of measles in any community that will raise its immune thresholds to readily attainable levels.”

Alexander Langmuir et al on Epidemiologic Basis For Eradication Of Measles In 1967

Unfortunately, it is easy for people to misuse quotes to suit their purposes.

Are there more?

“Then there’s Paul Offit, perhaps the most widely-quoted defender of vaccine safety. He’s gone so far as to say babies can tolerate ‘10,000 vaccines at once.’”

Sharyl Attkisson

What did Paul Offit actually say?

“A more practical way to determine the diversity of the immune response would be to estimate the number of vaccines to which a child could respond at one time. If we assume that 1) approximately 10 ng/mL of antibody is likely to be an effective concentration of antibody per epitope (an immunologically distinct region of a protein or polysaccharide), 2) generation of 10 ng/mL requires approximately 103 B-cells per mL, 3) a single B-cell clone takes about 1 week to reach the 103 progeny B-cells required to secrete 10 ng/mL of antibody (therefore, vaccine-epitope-specific immune responses found about 1 week after immunization can be generated initially from a single B-cell clone per mL), 4) each vaccine contains approximately 100 antigens and 10 epitopes per antigen (ie, 103 epitopes), and 5) approximately 107 B cells are present per mL of circulating blood, then each infant would have the theoretical capacity to respond to about 10,000 vaccines at any one time (obtained by dividing 107 B cells per mL by 103 epitopes per vaccine).”

Paul Offit et al on Addressing Parents’ Concerns: Do Multiple Vaccines Overwhelm or Weaken the Infant’s Immune System?

In context, it’s not really the same is it?

He is clearly not saying that any infant should be given 10,000 individual shots or injections!

And if you think that the idea of “10,000 vaccines,” in the context of antigens or epitopes sounds far fetched, consider that in the 1960s, infants routinely got over 3,000 antigens each and every time they received their smallpox, polio, diphtheria, tetanus and whole cell pertussis vaccines!

So all Dr. Offit did is put to rest the too-many-too-soon arguments against vaccinating and protecting kids, pushing back against the myth that infants have immature immune systems and can’t handle being vaccinated.

What to Know About Fake Vaccine Quotes

The bottom line is that you should learn to be more skeptical when you see folks pushing misinformation about vaccines and they are using quotes from real vaccine experts. Find the original source of the quote. Either you won’t be able to or you will find that they are misusing the quote or using it out of context.

More on Fake Vaccine Quotes

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