Tag: autism studies

More Questions to Help You Become a Vaccine Skeptic

Are you skeptical about vaccinating your kids?

What is a vaccine skeptic?

That’s good!

You should be skeptical of just about everything. Many of us are.

It’s good to ask questions, do research, and doubt what people tell you…

The thing is, you can’t just be skeptical about stuff you don’t want to believe. You should be skeptical about everything. So don’t blindly buy into anti-vaccine arguments because they’re what you want to hear.

They’re likely the type of propaganda you need to be more skeptical of!

More Questions to Help You Become a Vaccine Skeptic

Wait, why would I want you to become a vaccine skeptic?

Well, if you do it right, you are going to realize that vaccines are safe, with few risks, and that they are very necessary.

Our first 8 questions hopefully got you started on seeing through anti-vaccine arguments, but here are some more you should think about:

  1. If the MMR vaccine is associated with autism, then how come the incidence of autism went up when they stopped using the MMR vaccine in Japan? Remember, Japan stopped using the combination MMR vaccine in 1993 because it had been linked to aseptic meningitis (the problem was with the mumps vaccine strain they were using, which was different than the one used in the United States, where there was no aseptic meningitis issue). And rates of autism have increased in Japan, just as they have in other countries. So much for the idea that the MMR vaccine is associated with autism, right?
  2. If vaccines don’t even work, then how come every time vaccination rates have dropped in an area, we have seen outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases?
  3. If vaccines are associated with SIDS, then why did the incidence of SIDS go down so much when we put infants to sleep on their backs, even as they were vaccinated and protected against more diseases?
  4. If vaccines don’t really work and we just change the names of the diseases, like smallpox became monkeypox, then where are all of the kids with monkeypox?!?
  5. If vaccines are associated with SIDS, then why didn’t the incidence of SIDS go down in Sweden when they stopped using the DPT vaccine between 1979 and 1996?
  6. Why didn’t the reanalysis of CDC’s MMR autism data, the whole thing behind the CDC Whistleblower and Brian Hooker’s paper (which ended up being retracted), find an association between the MMR vaccine and autism in everyone, not just the small subset of African American males?
  7. If the Brady Bunch measles episode was supposed to push the idea that measles was mild, then why did Marsha end up vaccinating her own kids?
  8. What else do you believe? Do you believe in chemtrails? Homeopathy? That you shouldn’t treat kids with cancer with chemotherapy?

Be more skeptical of the misinformation that anti-vaccine folks use to scare you away from vaccinating and protecting your kids.

More on Becoming a Vaccine Skeptic

Inappropriate Use of Vaccine Studies

Have you ever wondered how anti-vaccine do their vaccine research?

These types of binders of anti-vaccine information are typically filled with vaccine studies that folks end up misusing to scare parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids.
These types of binders of anti-vaccine information are typically filled with vaccine studies that folks end up misusing to scare parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids.

While they used to have to rely on Google University for their vaccine research, they now have folks making them ready made binders chock full of misinformation!

Misusing Vaccine Studies

As with their misuse of Google and Pubmed, a lot of the problems with these binders is that anti-vaccine folks cherry pick studies that support what they want to hear.

And in many cases, they read things into studies, thinking they support their views against vaccines, when they really don’t.

You're not gonna catch measles from someone's urine....
You’re not gonna catch measles from someone’s urine….

Is this 1995 study, Detection of Measles Virus RNA in Urine Specimens from Vaccine Recipients, a warning about shedding?

Anti-vaccine folks would sure like you to think so, but the thing is, measles is a respiratory illness.

“In this systematic review, we have determined that there have been no confirmed cases of human-to-human transmission of the measles vaccine virus.”

Greenwood et al on A systematic review of human-to-human transmission of measles vaccine virus

Detecting vaccine strain measles in urine isn’t something to be concerned about because it can’t lead to an infection.

Anyway, you’re not going to get measles from shedding after someone was vaccinated. If you do, you will be the first!

Misusing MTHFR Tests

Have you wondered why anti-vaccine are so concerned about their MTHFR test results?

“In conclusion, the invalid interpretation that the determination of the MTFHR variant is an acceptable reason for vaccine exemptions is not based on the precepts of replication and rigorous clinical testing. It is unfortunate that the loose application of our exploratory report has been misinterpreted and used to inappropriately justify exemption of children from medically indicated vaccines.”

David M Reif, Ph.D. on the Inappropriate Citation of Vaccine Article

Turns out it is because a few anti-vaccine doctors misinterpretated an old study about the smallpox vaccine.

Now that the author of that study has called them out, will they stop?

Other Vaccine Studies That Are Misused

Of course, there are more…

The article totally misinterpretated the study...
The article totally misinterpretated the study…

Remember when anti-vaccine folks thought that the polio vaccine was causing outbreaks of hand, foot and mouth disease?

“Well, that’s actually totally backwards. Our article suggests that FAILURE to get vaccinated with polio vaccine might set you up for Hand Food Mouth disease (EV71).”

It wasn’t…

And then there is the study that had anti-vaccine folks thinking that 38% of the kids in the Disneyland measles outbreak were vaccinated.

This isn't a study about vaccine-associated measles...
This isn’t a study about vaccine-associated measles…

The study was about new ways to detect measles vaccine reactions.

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

Roy et al on Rapid Identification of Measles VirusVaccine Genotype by Real-Time PCR

These are folks with a fever and a rash after their MMR vaccine.

This is not people with vaccine-associated measles.

Misusing Scientific Research

Remember when they thought that the study, Deaths Reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, United States, 1997–2013, reported that 79% of deaths in VAERS occurred on the day a child received a vaccine?

Did they read the study?
Did they read the study?

That’s not what the study said…

The study simply said that “For child death reports, 79.4% received >1 vaccine on the same day.”

It wasn’t the same day they died though.

“No concerning pattern was noted among death reports submitted to VAERS during 1997–2013.”

Moro et al on Deaths Reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System

In fact, the study “did not detect any concerning patterns that would suggest causal relationships between vaccination and deaths.”

What about when anti-vaccine folks say that only 1% of vaccine side effects are reported to VAERS? That has to be true, right?

Not exactly.

That claim is based on an old study about drug reactions and was not specific to vaccines.

“To counter the propaganda by anti-vaccine activists, the research and public health communities have to adjust their communication.”

Stephan Guttinger on The anti-vaccination debate and the microbiome

Does any of this surprise you?

Can we counter this type of anti-vaccine propaganda and keep it from scaring parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids?

Sure.

But first we all have to recognize that they are doing it!

More on Misusing Vaccine Studies

Del Bigtree’s Caught on Tape Claim

Del Bigtree responded predictably to John Rushing’s report, The Viral Threat: Measles and Misinformation.

Why doesn't Del just explain what he said in the interview?
Why doesn’t Del just explain what he said in the interview?

Del, who produced VAXXED, complains that it was a one-sided hit piece. And implies that his interview was the result of editing.

Behind the Scenes with Del Bigtree

Del was given a lot more than just a words in the final edit.

For example, when given an opportunity, Del doesn’t explain his own conflict of interests because he doesn’t seem understand them.

“I’m simply finding the information as I find it.”

Del Bigtree

And if you notice, there are no cuts in Del Bigtree’s scenes.

John Rushing: The numbers the way you’re using them though, it implicitly warns against using them that way.

Del Bigtree: Yeah. Yes.

John Rushing: You’re saying that there are 412 deaths last year.

Del Bigtree: I – no. What I’m saying is there’s 412 reported deaths. I never said there were 412 confirmed deaths reported.

John Rushing: So, so some of those causes of death on VAERS

Del Bigtree: Yeah.

John Rushing: one was a drowning.

Del Bigtree: Sure.

John Rushing: One was from co-sleeping. One was from a pre-existing heart condition. There’s no – because a death is reported in VAERS – there’s no way to show causation to the vaccine.

Del Bigtree: Okay.

John Rushing: But in watching your speech and watching your show – man, you would come away thinking 400 people died from vaccines last year.

Del Bigtree: Okay.

John Rushing: And then I can start to see

Del Bigtree: Okay.

John Rushing: where they get the number. And then I go to the source and the source says “don’t use the number that way.”

The Viral Threat: Measles and Misinformation

Del wants you to think that he had a lot more to say in those scenes, things that were edited out, but Rushing didn’t cut away.

Del knows that the deaths in VAERS aren’t confirmed vaccine deaths, even though he never says that on his show. But if he explained that, he wouldn’t be able to scare people with “vaccine deaths” anymore.

Del Bigtree’s Caught on Tape Claim

There is also no “big reveal” as the HIGHWIRE cameras kept rolling, as Del claims.

“I vaccinated mine, but I wasn’t aware of this issue. Although one of my neighbors, who is very intelligent and who I respect a lot, who did vaccinate their kids and one of them has autism. Uh, is a believer in this and she sent me, well a ton of your information before I started this story. And we don’t invalidate the way people like her feel at all.”

John Rushing

Or any “other side” of John Rushing that agreed with Del Bigtree.

What does he agree to at the end of his talk with Del?

Del is explaining how he doesn’t think that parents are making a knee-jerk reaction when they blame vaccines for their “injured children.”

“Yeah, I agree.”

John Rushing

What is he agreeing to?

Del Bigtree is once again caught using messaging that hurts autistic families.
Del Bigtree is once again caught using messaging that hurts autistic families.

Maybe he is agreeing that parents aren’t making a knee-jerk reaction, but more than anything, it sounds like he is just being polite.

He is certainly not agreeing with Del that there are no safety studies, that VAERS is a slopping system, or even that parents should blame themselves.

Not surprisingly, Del’s caught on tape claims were enough to satisfy his followers, who have already forgotten that he admitted to misleading them about VAERS reports. Hopefully, they soon realize that misinformation about vaccines is keeping them from vaccinating and protecting their kids.

More on Del Bigtree’s Caught on Tape Claim

Ask 8 Questions Before You Skip a Vaccine

As anti-vaccine folks get more attention because of the rise in outbreaks of vaccine-preventable disease, in addition to more folks getting vaccinated, we are seeing some of the leaders of the anti-vaccine movement get more vocal.

Are measles outbreaks a sign that the anti-vaccine movement is “winning?”

Meetings, dinners, rallies…

They are doing everything they can to get their misinformation and propaganda out so that you don’t vaccinate and protect your kids.

Ask 8 Questions Before You Skip a Vaccine

If you see any of these folks, ask them a few questions…

  1. If Andrew Wakefield was right, and the MMR vaccine is associated with autism, then why are you worried about thimerosal? The MMR vaccine never contained thimerosal…
  2. If Robert F. Kennedy, Jr is right, and it is all about thimerosal, then why are you worried about the MMR vaccine? The MMR vaccine never contained thimerosal…
  3. If you are worried about thimerosal and aluminum, then why are you worried about the MMR vaccine? Not only has it never contained thimerosal, as a live vaccine, but it has also never contained aluminum.
  4. If vaccines are associated with autism, then why don’t the counties with the highest immunization rates have the highest rates of autism?
  5. If better hygiene and sanitation got rid of vaccine-preventable diseases, then why didn’t it do it for all diseases at the same time? And why hasn’t it gotten rid of RSV, Ebola, Zika, HIV, Norovirus, and all of the diseases that we don’t have vaccines for?
  6. If measles is so mild, then during the measles epidemics from 1989 to 1991 in the United States, why were 11,000 people hospitalized and why did 123 people die?
  7. If you are concerned about vaccines that have a distant association with abortion, then why don’t you vaccinate your kids with all of the vaccines that don’t use WI-38 and MRC-5 cells lines?
  8. If your arguments are so solid, then why do you need to keep moving the goalposts (it’s autoimmune diseases they are worried about now, not autism) and why are they so easy to refute (vaccines aren’t associated with autoimmune diseases either)?

The answers will be predictable.

They will revolve around three basic core beliefs of the anti-vaccine movement.

  • The belief that vaccines are toxic, full of poison, and always cause damage and injuries.
  • The belief that vaccine-preventable diseases are mild and you are better off getting natural immunity.
  • The belief that vaccines don’t even work.

Is that what you believe?

Will you let those kinds of beliefs scare you away from vaccinating and protecting your kids?

Are you going to put our kids at risk because you believe those things?

Are you really making an informed choice to skip or delay a vaccine when all of the scary things that people are telling you about vaccines aren’t even true?

More on Questions to Ask Before You Skip a Vaccine