We often hear the argument that anyone who supports the ideas that vaccines work and that they are safe and necessary must be a shill for Big Pharma. And that pediatricians, even though they are among the lowest paid doctors, are making tons of money from vaccines and even getting bonuses to get kids vaccinated.
appearing as “experts” in court, as they push the idea that everything is a vaccine injury
Those who are health care providers can also establish integrative or holistic medical practices that don’t accept insurance and only see patients that can pay cash. In addition to selling supplements, these providers offer unproven and disproven alternative therapies, like homeopathy, integrative testing, IV therapy, and cranio-sacral therapy.
But only if you have plenty of cash handy.
Kelly Brogan, MD, for example, who believes in a paleo approach to vaccines and thinks we should co-exist with viruses and bacteria, charges up to $4,497 for your first appointment! But if that’s too much for you, for only $997, you can start living a “happy, healthier life” with her 44 day online program.
“We coexist with bacteria and viruses to a level of enmeshment that makes the perception of ‘vaccine-preventable infections’ a laughable notion.”
Kelly Brogan, MD on Where do Vaccines Fit into a Paleo Lifestyle?
Oliver argued that Sears likes to have it both ways, seeming to support science-based medicine while once in a while saying things like “vaccines don’t cause autism except when they do.”
The line inspired Oliver to fire back with this: “Don’t worry, opportunist quacks writing books that fan the flames of people’s unfounded fears don’t cause a legitimate public health hazard, except when they do.”
John Oliver takes a shot at the anti-vaccine movement and the ‘opportunistic quacks’ behind it
Tragically, the pseudo-scientific arguments on many anti-vaccine websites can sometimes be persuasive, especially if you don’t understand that they are mostly the same old arguments that the anti-vaccine movement has been using for over 200 years to scare parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids.
Sites that are considered anti-vaccine by most people and that push propaganda and myths include:
Age of Autism
Child Health Safety (The facts about vaccine safety your government wont give you)
And the survey, “Vaccination and Health Outcomes: A Survey of 6- to 12-year-old Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Children based on Mothers’ Reports,” was originally retracted by Frontiers in Public Health before finding a home at another journal under a different name. That journal quickly retracted it too, but they then published the “fatally flawed” paper for some reason.
What to Know About Retracted Anti-Vaccine Studies
Many of the heroes of the anti-vaccine movement have published fatally-flawed studies that have been later retracted.
Dr. Yehuda Shoenfeld is an immunologist who heads the Zabludowicz Center for Autoimmune Diseases, which was created by Poju Zabludowicz. He is also on the scientific advisory board for the Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute.
Shoenfeld’s Autoimmune Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants is not the first time that adjuvants have been blamed for causing diseases in people.
As far back as 1964, Kan Miyoshi had written about “human adjuvant disease” following augmentation with silicone breast implants. Silicone gel-filled breast implants were eventually removed from the market, following case reports describing an association and years of lawsuits against manufacturers, but more studies were done that found that “there was no evidence that silicone breast implants caused systemic health effects such as cancer or autoimmune disease.”
So gel-filled breast implants came back, but unfortunately, the idea of “human adjuvant disease” never really went away.
Dr. Yehuda Shoenfeld and Vaccines
Dr. Shoenfeld is the latest to blame adjuvants for causing disease.
“At present, there is no evidence to suggest that ASIA syndrome is a viable explanation for unusual autoimmune diseases.”
David Hawkes on Revisiting adverse reactions to vaccines: A critical appraisal of Autoimmune Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants (ASIA)
It has helped him to become very well known among the modern anti-vaccine movement, a hero to some, who use his new vaccine-associated autoimmune diseases as a reason to scare parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids.
That’s despite the fact that ASIA has been rejected by the NVICP as a basis for vaccine injury and is dismissed by most medical experts.
Dr. Yehuda Shoenfeld Studies
Among the studies published by Dr. Yehuda Shoenfeld include:
Human papilloma virus and lupus: the virus, the vaccine and the disease.
Journal of Autoimmunity. Seasonality and autoimmune diseases: The contribution of the four seasons to the mosaic of autoimmunity.
Current Opinions in Rheumatology. Autoimmune/Inflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants and Thyroid Autoimmunity.
Lupus.Autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (Shoenfeld’s syndrome) – An update.
Immunologic Research. Phospholipid supplementation can attenuate vaccine-induced depressive-like behavior in mice.
Behavioral abnormalities in female mice following administration of aluminum adjuvants and the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil.
Immunologic Research. Pancreatitis after human papillomavirus vaccination: a matter of molecular mimicry.
Israel Medical Association Journal. Autoimmune/Inflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants and Sjögren’s Syndrome.
Immunologic Research. Adjuvants and lymphoma risk as part of the ASIA spectrum.
Journal of Autoimmunity. Immunization with hepatitis B vaccine accelerates SLE-like disease in a murine model.
Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia With Chronic Fatigue After HPV Vaccination as Part of the “Autoimmune/Auto-inflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants”: Case Report and Literature Review.
Immunity, autoimmunity and inflammatory bowel disease.
Lupus. When APS (Hughes syndrome) met the autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA).
Brief report: immune factors in autism: a critical review.
So, among the things that Shoenfeld seems to link to vaccine adjuvants include the development of primary ovarian insufficiency, depression, autism, pancreatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjögren syndrome, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, subacute thyroiditis, antiphospholipid syndrome, transverse myelitis, lymphoma, POTS, and antiphospholipid antibody syndrome.
How does he do it? Mostly through experiments on mice and small case reports.
Also it seems, sometimes by a little misdirection.
“A cohort study was performed to assess the risk of new onset autoimmune disease in young women exposed to human papillomavirus-16/18 AS04-adjuvanted vaccine in the United Kingdom (55). The study reported an incidence rate ratio (95% CI) of 3.75 (1.25–11.31) for autoimmune thyroiditis among females.”
Yehuda Shoenfeld on Autoimmune/Inflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants and Thyroid Autoimmunity
Shoenfeld’s article on “Autoimmune/Inflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants and Thyroid Autoimmunity,” actually cites a study which concluded that “There was no evidence of an increased risk of AD in women aged 9 to 25 years after AS04-HPV-16/18 vaccination.”
Dr. Yehuda Shoenfeld Controversies
Among the biggest problems with the work of Dr. Shoenfeld are claims that:
he receives funding for his research from the Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute, who’s founder once said that “Vaccines are a holocaust of poison on our children’s brains and immune systems.” Even his book, Vaccines and Autoimmunity, was funded by the CMSRI. His conferences are also sponsored by the CMSRI, including the International Congress on Autoimmunity and the International Symposium on Vaccines.
he seems to get many of his studies published in what experts describe as predatory open access journals
he seems to get many of his studies published in journals on which he sits on the journal’s editorial board, a potential conflict of interest, including Autoimmunity Reviews (founder and editor), the Journal of Autoimmunity (co-editor), and the Israel Medical Association Journal (founder and editor), Immunologic Research (topic editor for Immunoregulation and Autoimmunity), Lupus (Editorial Board). It is usually considered a better practice to get an outside editor in these situations, instead of editing your own articles.
at least one of the journals he edits, Autoimmunity Reviews, is said to be very sympathetic to anti-vaccine studies
he serves as an expert witness in vaccine injury lawsuits, another potential conflict of interest
none of his ASIA studies are in more high impact journals, such as The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, or Annual Review of Immunology, etc.
many of his collaborators are also funded by CMSRI
The biggest issue is that adjuvants in vaccines are being made to be seen as a problem by anti-vaccine folks, even as Shoenfeld claims that “vaccines are beneficial for the vast majority of subjects including those who suffer from autoimmune-rheumatic diseases,” and even he finds problems in only “a small minority of individuals.”
“It reminds us that due to the ubiquitous nature of the innate and adaptive response, that there are a large number of diseases that have either an inflammatory and/or specific autoimmune response, we have to keep an open eye because everything is potentially autoimmune until proven otherwise.”
Yehuda Shoenfeld on Everything is Autoimmune Until Proven Otherwise
It was another Shoenfeld study that suggested that the HPV vaccine could cause primary ovarian insufficiency. Shoenfeld’s “link” between the HPV vaccine and primary ovarian insufficiency was based on a review of only three case studies, for which he was the expert witness in lawsuits for two of the cases!
Most importantly, many studies have failed to confirm Shoenfeld’s link between the HPV vaccine and primary ovarian insufficiency and much of his other work:
HPV vaccination and risk of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis: A nationwide register-based study from Norway – no increased risk
Vaccinations in early life are not associated with development of islet autoimmunity in type 1 diabetes high-risk children: Results from prospective cohort data
Autoimmune, neurological, and venous thromboembolic adverse events after immunisation of adolescent girls with quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine in Denmark and Sweden: cohort study – This large cohort study found no evidence supporting associations between exposure to qHPV vaccine and autoimmune, neurological, and venous thromboembolic adverse events.
Like his idea of novel vaccine-associated autoimmune disease (ASIA), which he still pushes, it was proven otherwise.
Dr. Shoenfeld Is on the Wrong Side of the Vaccine Debate
Dr. Shoenfeld’s characterization of the vaccine debate will likely surprise many of his followers.
“On the one hand, we find anti-vaccination movements, which divulge and disseminate misleading information, myths, prejudices, and even frauds, with the main aim of denying that vaccination practices represent a major public health measure, being effective in controlling infectious diseases and safeguarding the wellbeing of entire communities.”
Shoenfeld et al. on Debate on vaccines and autoimmunity: Do not attack the author, yet discuss it methodologically
His characterization that most vaccine safety research is potentially biased because it is “mainly financed and sponsored by pharmaceutical industries” is also surprising, or maybe just ironic, considering of where he gets his funding.
“Instead of focusing on methodological issues and content, the ‘‘prevailing wisdom” has put to rest any view that would contradict the sacred ‘‘doctrine” of vaccinology.”
Shoenfeld et al. on Debate on vaccines and autoimmunity: Do not attack the author, yet discuss it methodologically
His conclusions of why his studies are criticized are also very wrong.
“…we feel that the continued presentation of a theory without evidence in both medico-legal and scientific forums is detrimental to the exploration of further understanding of the causational factors of a patient’s condition.”
D. Hawkes et al. on Response to: HPV vaccine and autoimmunity
It is the “actual science” of his studies that is “being methodologically assessed and critiqued.” And it has been found to be lacking.
What To Know About Dr. Yehuda Shoenfeld
With funding from the CMSRI and the Zabludowicz Center for Autoimmune Diseases, Dr. Yehuda Shoenfeld has folks falsely believing that adjuvants in vaccines are causing autoimmune diseases – his Autoimmune Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants (ASIA).
Nazis and Nazi symbolism have been in the news a lot lately.
Surprisingly, it isn’t all coming from rallies at Confederate statues.
Some of it is coming from the modern anti-vaccine movement.
Vaccines and the Holocaust
Most people understand what the Holocaust was.
Or do they…
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum defines the Holocaust as “the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.”
As often as folks in the modern anti-vaccine movement use the word Holocaust, it makes you wonder sometimes if they really understand what it means.
Among the most recent (2015) to demonstrate “the violent rhetoric of the anti-vaccine movement” has been Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., when he said that:
“They get the shot. That night they have a fever of 103. They go to sleep, and three months later their brain is gone. This is a holocaust, what this is doing to our country.”
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr
Kennedy certainly isn’t the only or even the first to describe a vaccine holocaust though.
That wasn’t even his first time…
As the keynote speaker at the 2013 Autism One conference, Kennedy reportedly compared Dr. Paul Offit to a Nazi war criminal and said that “To my mind this is like the Nazi death camps.” He was reportedly referring to kids who he and others thought developed autism after being vaccinated.
Actually, after calling Dr. Offit a liar, he talked about how his father would talk to him about Vietnam:
“He used to talk about Vietnam and about how we were dropping napalm on villages and he said, ‘what’s the difference between us and the Nazis. What is the difference between us and the Nazis…’
And these people, these people should be in prison…
I would do a lot to see Paul Offit and all of these “good people” behind bars.
…Is it hyperbole that I think these people should be thrown in jail?
They should be thrown in jail and the key should be thrown away.”
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr
And yes, in the Q&A, when asked “why hasn’t the CDC acknowledged autism as an epidemic,” even though he said in his speech that they had admitted that it was, he replied that he couldn’t get into someone else’s head to tell why they were doing something.
Kennedy also went on and on about science and research that supports a link between vaccines and autism and continues with the idea that kids get just as much thimerosal as ever because of the thimerosal in flu vaccines, leaving out the fact that thimerosal flu vaccines are a thing…
But before Kennedy, in 2010, Claire Dwoskin of the NVIC, CMSRI, and the Dwoskin Family Foundation wrote that:
“At least his daughter is alive, smiling, educated and enjoying life. That cannot be said for the hundreds of thousands of vaccine injured children in the US. What his daughter went through is NOTHING compared to what the families of autistic children go through every day of their lives. No disease can match this record of human devastation. Vaccines are a holocaust of poison on our children’s brains and immune systems. Shame on you all.”
Dwoskin and Kennedy haven’t continued to say vaccines are a holocaust, at least not in public.
The one person that most commonly uses holocaust imagery when talking about vaccines, and who will likely never stop, is the Health Ranger – Mike Adams.
Adams has used the “vaccine holocaust” term for years and has now created a dedicated website exposing his ideas of a conspiracy of a “media cover-up of vaccine violence against children.”
Adams has also called for making a “Nuremberg List” of all of the people working in Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Biotech, with individuals from “mass media, politics, government regulation bodies, finance, and from wherever appropriate,” including their names and “their observed crimes against humanity.”
Surprisingly, using the term even draws some disagreement among folks who think that vaccines do cause autism and that we are in an ‘age’ of an autism epidemic.
“I haven’t read it yet, but it looks very much like the view shared by most of our readers and myself – corruption at the CDC and big pharma leading to a vaccine-induced catastrophe – a holocaust…”
Dan Olmsted on The Autistic Holocaust – The Reason Our Children Keep Getting Sick
In discussing the book, The Autistic Holocaust – The Reason Our Children Keep Getting Sick, Dan Olmsted found that one participant had “a strong view that the choice of the word “Holocaust” is not appropriate and does not serve the interests of our children.”
Another thought that “Holocaust is a word with too powerful associations to be of much use describing anything other than the crimes of the Nazis.”
And still, the site he founded continues to publish articles like:
A Dozen Things We Can Do RIGHT NOW to Help Stop the Vaccine Holocaust
Rabbi Handler on Vaccines, Politics and the Autism Holocaust
Yes, they interviewed an anti-vaccine Rabbi who is upset with the CDC and NYC health department over their warnings about metzitzah b’peh (oral suction) during traditional bris milah (circumcision). The concern is that oral suctioning can spread herpes (cold sores) to the newborn baby, which can be fatal. And it still does…
“Webster’s dictionary defines a holocaust as follows: “great or total destruction of life, especially by fire.”
Yes, there is a vaccine-triggered holocaust of autism and autoimmune diseases, like asthma, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, and various forms of ADHD and brain damage.
As one of the last living survivors of Hitler’s Nazi Holocaust, I am outraged that the Anti-Defamation League and other politically-Liberal Jewish organizations have claimed exclusive ownership of this very powerful English word and blocked its use by Autism activists.”
Rabbi William Handler
Rabbi Handler has been called out for other controversial opinions too, including that he supported a Rabbi who molested his own daughter and that he is against child protective services investigating and the state prosecuting those who physically abuse or sexually abuse children in the Orthodox Jewish community, instead advocating that a rabbinical counsel should do it instead.
Dr. Bob has even gotten in on the Holocaust imagery to scare parents about California’s vaccine laws:
“…So I tell them they don’t have to whisper. They can say it loud and clear, with confidence. Ya, I guess you don’t want to advertise it around the neighborhood – that will come soon enough. Scarlet “V” anyone? No, not scarlet. Let’s make it yellow. And not a V – a star would be better. That way everyone can know at first glance who is safe to be around and who is not. That way, if your old doctor and his children are walking down the street, they can easily identify your kids and quickly cross to the other side before they get too close.
Ask your Assemblyperson which color and shape they think would be most appropriate.
Disclaimer: This post is not intended as a reference to a holocaust. Rather, it’s intended to raise the issue of prejudice and discrimination. Others have likenend vaccine injury to a holocaust. Instead, we are talking about families who choose to not vaccinate. No holocaust here.”
Dr. Bob Sears on The Vaccine Whisperers
And unbelievably, there are others.
Also in California, Wakefield‘s anti-vaccine movie Vaxxed was introduced at a screening in Roseville by a speaker who said that:
“It is WE who are going to have to work non-stop to put an end to this ever-increasing medical tyranny, this abominable Vaccine Holocaust, this present evil…
For those who think “holocaust” is too strong a word, I assure you it is not.
“Holocaust” is defined as “destruction or slaughter on a mass scale”, and that is indeed what vaccinations are doing to those who receive them, which can often be observed in the short term, always in the long term, and for generations to come as you will learn as you study these issues more.”
And if it isn’t the Holocaust, many anti-vaccine folks still find ways to invoke Godwin’s Law – “as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler rapidly increases.”
There is even a band about refusing vaccines with a song called Vaccine Gestapo.
Stephanie Seneff is the MIT doctor who claims that autism will “afflict 50% of American children by 2025.”
That’s right. In just eight more years, she claims, half of the kids in the United States will be autistic.
Is this about vaccines?
“Is there a toxic substance that is currently in our environment on the rise in step with increasing rates of Autism that could explain this?… The answer is yes, I’m quite sure that I’m right, and the answer is glyphosate.”
Stephanie Seneff, Ph.D.
Dr. Stephanie Seneff, with a Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, believes that exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is causing kids to become autistic.
How does she know?
Seneff has graphs that show a “Near exact match of tons of glyphosate applied to corn/soy versus number of children with autism as served under IDEA.”
Her critics, of which there are many, are quick to point that these types of correlations do not mean much without other evidence to help prove causation. They have graphs too, including one that correlates organic food sales with rates of autism.
She also published a widely discredited study claiming that glyphosate can be found in breastmilk.
“You wake up someday with something like Crohn’s disease, or Alzheimer’s, or Parkinson’s disease, or rheumatoid arthritis. All these things you don’t want that you’re going to get if you keep on chronically exposing yourself to glyphosate.”
Seneff also claims that glyphosate exposure causes arthritis, concussions, Celiac disease, food allergies, Parkinsons, and Alzheimers.
“I believe that glyphosate may be a contributor to all the – this epidemic that we have in school shootings and the thing that just happened in Boston (the Boston Bombing).”
Jeffrey Smith interview with Stephanie Seneff
Yes. Dr. Stephanie Seneff, the Senior Research Scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, thinks that school shootings and terrorism attacks are caused by the herbicide Roundup.
“First of all, I want to remind you that I am not an M.D. My doctorate from MIT is in electrical engineering. However, my PhD thesis concerned an auditory model for human speech processing, and thus required extensive reading on neural mechanisms in the brain. My Bachelor’s degree from MIT is in biology, with a minor in food and nutrition.”
Stephanie Seneff on Is ADHD Caused by Insufficient Dietary Fat?
Dr. Stephanie Seneff has also put her degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science to work in coming up with theories that ADHD is caused by eating too many low fat foods, that autism is caused by a cholesterol/vitamin D deficiency syndrome because mothers eat too many low fat foods and use too much sunscreen (read her 2008 essay Sunscreen and Low-fat Diet: A Recipe for Disaster), sulfur deficiency causes obesity, and that a low fat diet and statin drugs (for high cholesterol) can cause Alzheimer’s.
Why have you never heard about sulfur deficiency before?
Because it doesn’t happen.
“In living organisms, sulfur is found mainly in organic molecules. Humans obtain it by absorbing the sulfur-containing amino acids methionine, cysteine, and cystine. Thus it is automatically obtained by consuming adequate amounts of protein foods (meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, cheese, nuts, and legumes) and requires no separate consideration. ”
Mother cows also don’t load “up the milk she feeds to her newborn calf with fats and vitamin D” as she claims. Well maybe fats, but like breast milk, cow milk is low in vitamin D. That’s why cow milk is fortified with vitamin D and another reason why drinking raw milk isn’t a good idea.
It should also be obvious that it isn’t a good idea to listen to anything that Stephanie Seneff has to say.
What To Know About Stephanie Seneff
Stephanie Seneff is a computer scientist from MIT who thinks that exposure to glyphosphate is causing everything from autism and Alzheimer’s to peanut allergies and Celiac disease. Interestingly, she had another theory that all of these things were caused by low fat diets and vitamin D deficiency before she got obsessed with glyphosate.
It provides grants to folks who will do research on “vaccine induced brain and immune dysfunction” and on what they believe are other “gaps in our knowledge about vaccines and vaccine safety”, including:
While they claim that they are not an anti-vaccine organization, it should be noted that Claire Dwoskin once said that “Vaccines are a holocaust of poison on our children’s brains and immune systems.”
And while most folks talk about the many benefits of vaccines, in fact calling vaccines one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th Century, Claire Dwoskin thinks that CMSRI funded research proves the “costs for harm caused” by vaccines and that her organization needs to raise “public awareness about the true cost of vaccines” to change “attitudes about vaccine safety.”
CMSRI Funded Scientists
The Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute funds the work of many scientists whose work is used by the anti-vaccine movement to help push misinformation about vaccines:
Dr. Christopher Shaw – a neuroscientist in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of British Columbia, his focus is on the ALS-parkinsonism dementia complex and also on the role of aluminum as a neurotoxin
Dr. Lucija Tomljenovic – a post doctoral research fellow that works in Dr. Shaw’s lab in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of British Columbia
Dr. Anthony Mawson – an epidemiologist, he is a visiting professor at the Jackson State University School of Public Health and has “special interests in the evolutionary-adaptive origins of health disparities, the perinatal origins of chronic diseases, and the role of psychosocial factors in health and disease”
Dr. Martha Herbert – a pediatric neurologist, she was once an assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital (maybe she still is, but she isn’t listed on their websites and no good response from either institution about her status), and has written a book about biomedical treatments for autism
Dr. Stephanie Seneff – a Senior Research Scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, she does research to try and show that glyphosate (Roundup) causes modern day diseases, such as Alzheimers and autism
Have these scientists changed any attitudes about vaccine safety? Certainly not among those who have really done their research about vaccines, but their studies do seem to throw fuel on whatever fire there is in the anti-vaccine movement.
It should be clear why few people take the work of these scientists seriously.
“At present, there is no evidence to suggest that ASIA syndrome is a viable explanation for unusual autoimmune diseases.”
David Hawkes Revisiting adverse reactions to vaccines
And they provided the funding for the Greater Good movie, which has been described as “Pure, unadulterated anti-vaccine propaganda masquerading as a “balanced” documentary”.
What to Know About the Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute
The Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute, through the Dwoskin Family Foundation, funds the work of many scientists that are said to be anti-vaccine, which can then used by the anti-vaccine movement to scare parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids.
More About the Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute