Tag: conspiracy theories

Fake Vaccine News

Lately, after the election of Donald Trump, there has been an effort by Facebook and Google to crack down on fake news.

What is fake news?

Although some people include satirical news stories, it is mostly stories with made-up statistics or out-of-context quotes that intentionally mislead people to get clicks and pageviews.

Unfortunately, these click-bait type fake news stories aren’t just about politics.

Fake Vaccine News

Some websites cross over and deal with fake political news and fake health and vaccine news. These are typically sites that talk a lot about conspiracy theories:

  • Collective-Evolution
  • InfoWars
  • LewRockwell

Alex Jones’ InfoWars recently did a story “Shock: Scientists Work To Destroy Old Polio Vaccine After Admitting it Causes Polio.” While there is a touch of truth to that headline, the old polio vaccine is simply being destroyed because it is no longer needed – type 2 polio has been eliminated and we are moving to a safer bivalent polio vaccine.

That polio vaccine story is fairly mild by InfoWars standards though. Consider another of their “news” articles concludes that “With people globally becoming increasingly aware of the role of vaccines in the agenda to reduce world population, the cover-up of debilitating diseases, soft kill side-effects, and instant fatalities as a result of vaccinations will continue to implode, until authorities are forced by law to implement vastly more stringent screening procedures and remove the toxic additives from vaccines that are causing these deaths and diseases.”

Other InfoWars headlines include:

  • Bill Gates: Use Vaccines To Lower Population
  • Rockefeller Foundation Developed Vaccines For “Mass-Scale” Fertility Reduction
  • Are Populations Being Primed For Nano-Microchips Inside Vaccines?

Of course, Alex Jones isn’t the only one pushing fake vaccine news.

Other fake vaccine news sties are run by people and organizations who are obviously anti-vaccine, but in addition to scaring people about supposed toxins in vaccines and anecdotal vaccine injury stories, they publish obvious fake news.

We saw some good examples of this when Prince died. TruthKings, which also has stories about politics and weather wars, was quick to say that “Vaccine Injury Suspected In Prince’s Death.”

Suspected by whom? The only evidence was that “he was battling a flu.” While we now know that he died of an overdose, it is beyond silly to go from “battling a flu” to dying of a vaccine injury.

Another example?

Multi-dose vials of flu vaccine still contain the preservative thimerosal.
It is no secret that multi-dose vials of flu vaccine still contain the preservative thimerosal.

In an “exclusive” report, NaturalNews found “a shockingly high level of toxic mercury in an influenza vaccine.”

The only problem? They tested a multidose vial of the flu vaccine that still contains mercury, and they found exactly as much mercury as it was supposed to have. While that would have been news if they had tested one of the many flu vaccines that are thimerosal free, the article doesn’t mention that at all. It instead goes on and on about how everyone else is in on some elaborate lie or conspiracy tricking people into thinking that mercury has been removed from vaccines.

Ironically, NaturalNews thinks this is a reason that they shouldn’t be labeled as being fake news.

Natural News is the only website to have tested flu shots for mercury composition using ICP-MS instrumentation and published the mercury numbers in the interests of public health and safety.

Mike Adams, the “Health Ranger”

Many other sites that often push fake vaccine news including:

  • TruthWiki.org
  • TheLibertyBeacon.com
  • ActivistPost.com
  • TheDailySheeple.com

Where have you read fake vaccine news?

For More Information on Fake Vaccine News

Pediatricians as Vaccine Pushers

We often here that pediatricians are vaccine pushers, at least from anti-vaccine folks…

If that is the case though, how come pediatricians don’t routinely push any of the following vaccines on kids:

  1. Adenovirus vaccine – only given to enlisted soldiers during basic training
  2. Anthrax vaccine – high risk people only
  3. BCG vaccine vaccine – high risk people only
  4. Cholera vaccine – recently approved in the United States as a travel vaccine
  5. Hepatitis E – not available in the United States
  6. Japanese encephalitis vaccine – a travel vaccine
  7. Meningococcal C vaccine (MenC) – not available in the United States
  8. Meningococcal B vaccine (MenB) –  has a “permissive” recommendation in that parents are told they can get it if they want their kids to avoid MenB infections, but it is not required yet.
  9. MenHibrix – a combination between Hib and Meningococcal Groups C and Y, but it is only given to high risk kids
  10. Plague vaccine – discontinued
  11. Rabies vaccine – high risk people only
  12. Shingles vaccine – seniors only
  13. Smallpox vaccine – high risk people only
  14. Tick-borne encephalitis – not available in the United States
  15. Typhoid fever vaccine – a travel vaccine
  16. Typhus vaccine – discontinued
  17. Yellow fever vaccine – a travel vaccine
The oral adenovirus vaccine is approved to prevent adenovirus infections in military populations.
The oral adenovirus vaccine is approved to prevent adenovirus infections in military populations.

Sure, it would be hard to push a vaccine that has been discontinued or not even available in the United States, but if your goal was to aggressively push vaccines, how hard would it be to get Big Pharma to start making them available?

That would more than double the number of vaccines that kids would have to get.

Those Times “Vaccine Pushers” Said No To Vaccines

And how come some of the biggest vaccine advocates have been against plans for mass immunizations if they are vaccine pushers?

In addition to Dr. Albert Sabin advising against President Gerald Ford’s plans for universal vaccination against swine flu in 1976, Dr. Paul Offit missed the chance to push the small pox vaccine on us in 2002. He instead advised for a different plan:

Here’s another way to do it. We can make the vaccine. Make sure we understand who’s going to get it, who’s going to be giving it. Then wait, wait for there to be one case of documented smallpox somewhere on the face of this earth and then we can move into vaccinating people, large numbers of people.

Dr. Paul Offit

Dr. Offit, who is routinely called a shameless vaccine pusher by anti-vaccine websites, was the sole member of a CDC vaccine advisory committee to vote against President George Bush’s 2002 plan to vaccinate about 500,000 health care workers against smallpox. He feared that the risks might outweigh the benefits.

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Chiropractors on Vaccines

greg-werner-vaccines-facts
Most chiropractors list the same 9 to 11 anti-vaccine myths on their websites.

Are chiropractors anti-vaccine?

Although there is overwhelming evidence to show that vaccination is a highly effective method of controlling infectious diseases, a vocal element of the chiropractic profession maintains a strongly antivaccination bias.

Chiropractors and Vaccination: A Historical Perspective

It would be hard to find someone who says that they aren’t. Even their own professional association policy statements don’t endorse people getting vaccinated.

Since the scientific community acknowledges that the use of vaccines is not without risk, the American Chiropractic Association supports each individual’s right to freedom of choice in his/her own health care based on an informed awareness of the benefits and possible adverse effects of vaccination. The ACA is supportive of a conscience clause or waiver in compulsory vaccination laws thereby maintaining an individual’s right to freedom of choice in health care matters and providing an alternative elective course of action regarding vaccination.

That’s the public policy of the American Chiropractic Association that was revised and ratified in 1998. The problem though, is that even with all of their talk of vaccine choice, most chiropractors don’t seem to give their clients must choice, only talking about negative aspects of vaccines and the risks.

For example, many chiropractors:

  • don’t believe in the germ theory of infectious disease – they don’t think that viruses or bacteria actually cause people to get sick
  • think that vaccines are harmful and too risky
  • don’t believe that vaccines work or are necessary
  • think they can stimulate the immune system via chiropractic spinal manipulation, as an alternative to immunization

Of course, many of these are standard myths that other anti-vaccine groups use.

Surprised? You probably shouldn’t be, as many anti-vaccine ‘experts’ give talks at chiropractic conferences, from Sherri Tenpenny to Andrew Wakefield.

And with more chiropractors trying to do “pediatrics,” even seeing newborn babies to do craniosacral therapy, their anti-vaccine message could reach more parents.

We saw that as chiropractors tried to influence the passage of SB277 in California in 2016. Chiropractors overwhelmingly lobbied against the vaccine law.

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Contaminated Vaccines

comvax
Hib and Comvax vaccines were recalled in 2007 over concerns about bacterial contamination.

Tragically, vaccines can sometimes become contaminated with substances that can get kids sick.

In addition to the Cutter Incident, in which live polio virus contaminated the inactivated polio vaccines, problems with contaminated vaccines include:

  • two children in Chiapas, Mexico who died after getting vaccines that were contaminated with bacteria
  • hepatitis-contaminated yellow fever vaccines during WWII
  • tetanus contaminated smallpox vaccine in the 1890s and early 20th century

Other findings of contamination have not led to any problems, such as:

Still, that has not stopped some from scaring many people about the idea of contaminated vaccines – from misinformation about glyphospate in vaccines to conspiracy theories of a polio vaccine cancer cover up and hidden ingredients that contaminate vaccines.

Worries about contamination should certainly not keep you from vaccinating your kids though.

The most recent episode, in Chiapas,  was because of local conditions in a remote village in Mexico. It had nothing to do with how the vaccine was produced.

In 2007, it is reported that “routine testing identified B. cereus in the vaccine manufacturing process equipment, but not in individual vaccine lots.” Although the vaccines were quickly recalled, no one got sick.

Other cases, like when tetanus or hepatitis contaminated some vaccines, while tragic, was long before the latest safeguard from the FDA were put in place.

Vaccines are very safe from contamination.

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Doctors Facing Disciplinary Actions Over Vaccines

mendelsohn
Dr. Mendelsohn was the Dr. Bob of his day.

There are many doctors and other health professionals who do and recommend things that are far out of the mainstream. They may tell their patients to skip or delay vaccines, that vaccine-preventable diseases aren’t that bad, or even that vaccines don’t work, etc.

And yet, many are surprised when some of them face disciplinary actions from their state’s medical boards, such as:

Dr. Ming Te Lin, the board certified pediatrician in Illinois who:

  • was preparing alternative vaccinations for children for more than a decade
  • gave patients modified vaccinations containing cat saliva and vodka
  • was signing state forms certifying he had given pediatric patients their conventional shots
  • used a WaveFront 2000 device to detoxify vaccines of mercury

Dr. Lin’s medical license has been suspended and he  was supposed to have “a hearing before the Medical Disciplinary Board is set for Oct. 11 in Chicago.” That hearing didn’t happen though and he is now supposed to have a new hearing on November 21.

Dr. Bob Sears is also facing disciplinary action from his state’s medical board.

With a long history of recommending his own alternative immunization schedule to parents, Sears is accused of gross negligence for the way that he granted a medical exemption for vaccines to a child.

An anti-vaccine doctor in Arizona, Dr. Jack Wolfson, a holistic cardiologist, was also investigated by his state’s medical board following several complaints that were made during a recent measles outbreak.

Joseph Mercola, D.O. is another anti-vaccine doctor who has faced trouble in the past. A frequent guest on the Dr. Oz show, he has gotten several warnings from the FDA for marketing a thermal camera as a cancer screening device and making false and misleading claims about natural supplemental products he markets.

Even Dr. Oz has gotten into some trouble in recent years, testifying before Congress about weight loss scams.

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Those Times Other Countries Impulsively Banned Vaccines

Many people know that other countries have different immunization requirements and recommendations than the United States.

In fact, it is even a popular anti-vaccine myth that we give many more vaccines than most other countries. There actually isn’t all that many differences.

What is very different is how quickly most other countries are to pull vaccines at the first sign of an issue, even when it is isn’t likely to be caused by the vaccine and when the consequences are that people are going to be put at risk of life-threatening vaccine preventable diseases.

We saw this when:

  • France suspended the routine vaccination of teens against hepatitis B because of the possible association of the vaccine with multiple sclerosis in 1998 amid “pressure from anti-vaccine groups and reports in the French media have raised concerns about a link between HBV immunisation and new cases or relapses of MS and other demyelinating diseases,” even though “scientific data available do not support a causal association between HBV immunisation and central nervous system diseases, including MS.”
  • DTP vaccination was interrupted in Sweden, Japan, UK, The Russian Federation, Ireland, Italy, the former West Germany, and Australia leading to a pertussis incidence that “was 10 to 100 times lower in countries where high vaccine coverage was maintained than in countries where immunisation programs were compromised by anti-vaccine movements.” The United States was one of the countries that did not stop using DTP at the time, at least not until we had the newer, DTaP vaccine. In Japan, where they switched from DTP to DT in 1974 and raised the ages that children be vaccinated, only 10% had been been vaccinated against pertussis by 1976. In 1979, there was a large pertussis outbreak with 41 deaths.
  • Japan switched from the combination MMR to single vaccines in 1993 because their MMR vaccine had been linked to aseptic meningitis.
  • Some reports say that Sweden and Finland suspended the use of the Pandemrix swine flu vaccine because of its association with narcolepsy, but since the vaccine was for the 2009-10 swine flu pandemic, that seems academic.
  • Japan suspended both Hib and Prevnar for a month in 2011 “because of seven deaths of children that were ultimately found to be unrelated to the vaccines.”
  • Japan also quickly began investigating the HPV vaccines shortly after they became available in Japan “because of fears of complex regional pain syndrome.”
  • Italy temporarily suspended the Fluad flu vaccine after 19 deaths in 2014, but quickly reinstated it after the vaccine was found to be safe.
  • Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, and Australia temporarily suspended the Agrippal and Fluad flu vaccines in 2012 because “white particles were seen in syringes carrying the vaccines,” even though they were said to be a normal part of the manufacturing process.

What are the consequences of frequently suspending and banning vaccines? It certainly doesn’t improve people’s confidence in vaccines or help keep immunization rates up. And we know what it does to disease rates.

Of course, that is not to say that the United States will never stop or suspend the use of a vaccine. The RotaShield rotavirus vaccine is a good example. It was taken off the market just nine months after being approved because it was associated with intussusception.

And we aren’t using FluMist this flu season.

But in most other situations, vaccines were investigated and found to be safe, all without having to be suspended, leaving kids unprotected and at risk of getting a vaccine-preventable disease.

Other countries have sometimes found issues with their vaccines too. Western Australia temporarily suspended FluVax flu shots for children under age 5 years because of an increased rate of fever and febrile seizures in 2010.

Mexico suspended vaccinations after at least two kids died and 29 got sick in Chiapas in 2015 (bacterial contamination of vaccine vials). But it wasn’t all vaccines in the whole country as many reported. It was only a few lots in that part of the country, and vaccines were quickly restarted once they were found to be safe.

It should also be noted that many of these vaccines were never used in the United States, including the brand of MMR that was used in Japan and the Pandemrix swine flu vaccine.

Even FluVax was not used in the United States for young children. In 2010, Afluria, which is essentially the same vaccine, was only recommended for children who were at least 9-years-old.

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References:
Akehurst C. France suspends hepatitis B immunisation for adolescents in schools. Euro Surveill. 1998;2(41):pii=1143
Gangarosa EJ. Impact of anti-vaccine movements on pertussis control: the untold story. Lancet. 1998 Jan 31;351(9099):356-61.

Bill Maher on Vaccines

Bill Maher is well known for his anti-vaccine views.

On his own show, Real Time with Bill Maher, and when appearing on other shows, he has said that:

  • A flu shot is the worst thing you can do. (Larry King Live)
  • I don’t believe in vaccination either.
  • Measles is not really that deadly a disease.
  • I don’t understand why this is controversial? Why we have this emotional debate about something that—there is science there. It astounds me that liberals, who are always suspicious of corporations… and defending minorities, somehow when it comes to this minority that’s hurt, it’s like, ‘You know what? Shut the fuck up and let me take every vaccine that Merck wants to shove down my throat.’
  • I’ve never argued that vaccines don’t work. I just don’t think you need them… (Playboy interview)

Although he often says that he is not anti-vaccine, it is easy to see that Maher is hitting many classic anti-vaccine talking points, including that vaccine-preventable diseases aren’t that bad (they can be,  in fact, deadly), that vaccines injuries aren’t rare, and that vaccines aren’t necessary.

Maher also rejects the germ theory of disease that was first proposed by Louis Pasteur.

And in responding to critics of his views on vaccines, Bill Maher had this to say:

Now, sometimes its OK to fuck with nature — I believe “intelligent design” is often anything but intelligent; that “God’s perfect universe” is actually full of fuck ups and design flaws, like cleft lips and Down Syndrome — so correcting nature is sometimes the right thing to do. And then, sometimes its not. For me, the flu shot is in the “not” category.

As much as I dislike the high profile platform that he has to push his anti-vaccine views, the way he characterizes Down syndrome actually bothers me much more.

And that wasn’t even the only time he got into trouble talking about children with Down syndrome. In 2013, the National Down Syndrome Society and many others expressed their “deep disappointment and concern with your ongoing attacks on people who have Down syndrome.”

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