Category: Vaccine Misinformation

Are Vaccines Causing Long-Term Health Problems?

Did the CDC say that it is impractical to find out of vaccines are causing an epidemic of brain injury and other long-term health problems?

I’m guessing they didn’t…

Are Vaccines Causing Long-Term Health Problems?

Why does anyone think that they did?

The latest anti-vaccine propaganda about vaccines causing long-term health problems.
The latest anti-vaccine propaganda about vaccines causing long-term health problems.

Oh, anti-vaccine folks are sharing a cherry-picked quote from the CDC to scare parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids.

Would you like to see the full quote?

“Observing vaccinated children for many years to look for long-term health conditions would not be practical, and withholding an effective vaccine from children while long-term studies are being done wouldn’t be ethical. A more practical approach is to look at health conditions themselves and at the factors that cause them. Scientists are already working to identify risk factors that can lead to conditions like cancer, stroke, heart disease, and autoimmune diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. Thousands of studies have already been done looking at hundreds of potential risk factors. If immunizations were identified as a risk factor in any of these studies, we would know about it. So far, they have not.

We learn about a vaccine’s safety during clinical trials before it is licensed, and monitor it continually as millions of doses are administered after it is licensed. We also know there is not a plausible biologic reason to believe vaccines would cause any serious long-term effects. Based on more than 50 years of experience with vaccines, we can say that the likelihood that a vaccine will cause unanticipated long-term problems is extremely low.

Parents’ Guide to Childhood Immunizations

So no, the CDC didn’t say that it was impractical to find out of vaccines are causing an epidemic of brain injury.

Instead, they said that it was just impractical to do a study in which you give a child a vaccine and watch him for 20 years to see if he develops a problem, like leukemia, diabetes, or autism, all the while not giving the vaccine to other kids until your study is over. Of course, that’s because a lot of kids would get the potentially life-threatening disease that the vaccine is protecting those kids against while you were waiting to complete those long-term studies.

That’s not to say that we aren’t concerned about these types of long-term health problems occurring after a child is vaccinated.

Plenty of long-term safety studies have been done. It’s just more practical to do the studies on the diseases you are concerned about, sometimes after noticing safety signals, and see if vaccines truly are a risk factor.

Here is one example:

“In this large, population-based, case-control study, we did not find an increased risk of type 1 diabetes associated with any of the routinely recommended childhood vaccines.”

DeStefano et al on Childhood vaccinations, vaccination timing, and risk of type 1 diabetes mellitus.

In that study, they found all of the kids with diabetes born during 1988 through 1997 in the 4 health maintenance organizations (HMOs) that participate in the Vaccine Safety Datalink project of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, compared them to matched controls, and did not find an increased risk of type 1 diabetes associated with any of the routinely recommended childhood vaccines.

There are many more…

And that’s how we know vaccines aren’t causing long-term health problems.

Well at least those of us who did our research, looked for the original quote, and saw through this anti-vaccine propaganda.

More on Vaccines and Long-Term Health Problems

St. Jude Inpatient Visiting Guidelines

How do anti-vaccine folks get away with using St. Jude inpatient visiting guidelines to convince people that shedding from vaccines is a problem?

Outdated information anti-vaccine folks push as the latest St. Jude Inpatient Visiting Guidelines.
Outdated information anti-vaccine folks push as the latest St. Jude Inpatient Visiting Guidelines.

They keep sharing guidelines that are out-of-date.

St. Jude Inpatient Visiting Guidelines

What does St. Jude tell visitors these days?

The latest Patient Visitor Guidelines from St Jude
The latest Patient Visitor Guidelines from St. Jude.

They mostly emphasize that folks should get vaccinated and protected so that they don’t get a vaccine-preventable disease, which would increase the chances that others could get sick too.

What about shedding?

It is rarely a problem.

“…the increased risk of disease in the pediatric population, in part because of increasing rates of vaccine refusal and in some circumstances more rapid loss of immunity, increases potential exposure of immunodeficient children.”

Medical Advisory Committee of the Immune Deficiency Foundation

More folks not getting vaccinated? That is a problem

More on St. Jude Inpatient Visiting Guidelines

More Misinformation on Vaccine Shedding

Do you know why folks still think that vaccine shedding is a problem?

Misinformation on vaccine shedding keeps spreading on Facebook.

Yup. Folks keep posting and sharing misinformation about vaccine shedding!

More Misinformation on Vaccine Shedding

Are these real signs that are warning people about shedding?

Maybe, but that doesn’t mean that they are accurate.

Smallpox Warning Sign
You actually aren’t supposed to swim after getting the smallpox vaccine, but just until the vaccination site has healed, in 3 to 4 weeks.
Outdated Information
Outdated Information
John's Hopkins Patient Visitor Guide
The updated patient visitor guide from John’s Hopkins.
Outdated Information
Outdated Information
The latest Patient Visitor Guidelines from St Jude
The latest Patient Visitor Guidelines from St Jude
Do Not Visit
Not visiting within 30 days of a live vaccine is not part of any guideline.
Chickenpox Vaccine Shedding Sign
Unless you have a rash, you can not give your child chickenpox after getting vaccinated.

Are some places overly cautious or just not up-to-date on the current guidelines on vaccine safety?

If you read the latest guidelines it is clear. Vaccine shedding is rarely a problem when visiting most people in the hospital.

More on Misinformation on Vaccine Shedding

Vaccine Induced Measles

Why are anti-vaccine folks still pushing the idea that vaccine induced measles is a thing?

This study is not about vaccine induced measles.
This study is not about vaccine induced measles.

In yet another example of anti-vaccine folks inappropriately using a real vaccine study, the ironically named Physicians for Informed Consent continues to push the idea that many measles cases are caused by the MMR vaccine.

Vaccine Induced Measles

They aren’t…

The study they are citing, Rapid Identification of Measles Virus Vaccine Genotype by Real-Time PCR, simply talks about how to “distinguish between measles cases and vaccine reactions.”

“During measles outbreak investigations, rapid detection of measles vaccine reactions is necessary to avoid unnecessary public health interventions.”

Rapid Identification of Measles Virus Vaccine Genotype by Real-Time PCR

While many of these people do test positive for a vaccine strain, they do not actually have measles. They typically just have a rash and/or fever, with a concern that they might have measles because they are in the middle of a measles outbreak.

But if they have a rash and fever and test positive for measles, even if it is a vaccine strain, why shouldn’t we just say that they have measles?

Because measles isn’t just about having a rash and fever. It is having a specific pattern of a high fever for 3 or 4 days, then developing a rash, and continuing to have a fever. People with measles also typically have other symptoms, including irritability, cough, coryza, and conjunctivitis.

Confirmed Case Counts in Measles Outbreaks

Still, since these measles vaccine reactions can get confused with real measles cases, do they inflate the measles case counts in our outbreaks?

Testing helps to make sure that only real cases of measles are included in outbreak case counts.
Testing helps to make sure that only real cases of measles are included in outbreak case counts.

They don’t.

While we occasionally do see a “confirmed” case later change as further testing is done, it is important to realize that most cases are thoroughly evaluated to see if they are in fact really measles.

Most case counts are made up of confirmed cases and don’t include suspected cases that might be someone who has a rash after their MMR vaccine or some other viral infection.

“Vaccine‐associated measles is a possible, but extremely rare event.”

Sood et al on Vaccine‐associated measles in an immunocompetent child

Anyway, vaccine induced or vaccine associated measles is extremely rare.

What about the fully vaccinated woman in New York who developed measles, getting four other people sick in 2011?

Didn’t she have vaccine induced measles?

Nope.

“This is the first report of measles transmission from a twice-vaccinated individual with documented secondary vaccine failure. The clinical presentation and laboratory data of the index patient were typical of measles in a naive individual. “

Rosen et al on Outbreak of Measles Among Persons With Prior Evidence of Immunity, New York City, 2011

She had the D4 strain of measles – not a vaccine strain.

Who Gets Measles?

Most people who get measles are unvaccinated, often intentionally unvaccinated.

Trying to get you to think that many people in an outbreak have a vaccine strain is just another propaganda technique to scare you away from vaccinating and protecting your kids.

Don’t fall for it!

Two doses of MMR are the best protection against measles.

Vaccines are safe, with few risks, and they are obviously necessary.

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