Tag: exemptions

Misinformation About Measles Outbreaks in Texas

Like everywhere else, measles has been on the rise in Texas. And like everywhere else, we have also seen a rise in misinformation about measles and measles outbreaks in Texas.

Why do these folks push misinformation about measles?
Why do these folks push misinformation about measles? #JustAsking

Only three were unvaccinated? Is that true?

Misinformation About Measles Outbreaks in Texas

Actually, when you look at the official statistics, you find that there were only three cases that were known to be fully vaccinated!

Only three of the cases were known to be fully vaccinated and protected against measles!
Only three of the cases were known to be fully vaccinated!

While it is true that only three were known to be fully unvaccinated, there are another five people with unknown status who might also be fully unvaccinated.

And then there are those who are partially vaccinated, with just one dose of MMR. As most folks know, two doses of MMR provide the best protection against measles. Six more of the cases are known to have had just one dose of MMR and another four had an unknown number of doses, so could have been partially vaccinated.

And again, there are the five with unknown status. While it is possible that they were fully vaccinated, or had one dose, it is also very likely that they were unvaccinated.

What can we say for sure?

The claim that “Only THREE out of the twenty-one cases were unvaccinated individuals” in the Texas measles outbreaks isn’t true.

You could just as easily say that “Only THREE out of the twenty-one cases were known to be fully vaccinated individuals.” And at least that statement would be truthful, as it includes the caveat that you are only talking about those with known immunization status…

Were any of the cases in children attending school with an exemption?

At least nine of the cases were in children, but there haven’t been any media reports of outbreaks or exposures in schools, so I am guessing not.

That’s lucky!

Some schools in Texas have very high rates of vaccine exemptions and a case of measles could lead to a big outbreak.

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Do Unvaccinated Kids Spread More Disease?

Is this really a question?

Unvaccinated kids do spread more disease than those who are vaccinated and protected.

The assertion, by Rita Palma, that the unvaccinated don’t spread disease any more than the vaccinated is simply absurd.

Do Unvaccinated Kids Spread More Disease?

Before we get to the studies, let’s just think about this for a second.

If you are vaccinated and aren’t getting sick, then how would you spread disease?

And if vaccinated folks spread so much disease, then how do we control and eliminate diseases when vaccination rates are high?

So yes, the consensus thinking would be, of course the unvaccinated spread disease more than the vaccinated!

And not surprisingly, the science confirms that idea:

It is clearly the unvaccinated who are at greater risk to get vaccine-preventable diseases.

And it is clearly the unvaccinated who start and keep most outbreaks going.

And when they spread disease, it is often to those who are most at risk, including those who are too young to be vaccinated or fully vaccinated, and those with true medical exemptions, including cancer and immune system problems.

What else is clear?

Misinformation about vaccines is what likely scares parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids. Don’t listen to these folks anymore.

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

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More Anti-Vaccine Protest Signs

Anti-vaccine folks think that they have come up with a winning tactic, especially as they get kicked off of more and more social media platforms.

They are taking it to the street, literally, to protest their kids needing vaccines to protect them from life-threatening vaccine-preventable diseases and attend school.

More Anti-Vaccine Protest Signs

Fortunately, like their signs, this is a very black and white issue.

Just like other anti-vaccine signs we have seen, these signs are made up of classic anti-vaccine talking points and misinformation that we have refuted a thousand times.

First things first though.

Why are these protestors dressed up like they are about to head to a 50’s sock hop?

That’s easy.

They still think kids only got 3 to 5 shots in the 1950s and 1960s.

5 in 1962? Have you looked at an immunization schedule from the 1960s?

Although kids did get many more vaccine doses than they imagine back then, most of these folks likely long for days when kids still got measles, pneumococcal meningitis, epiglottitis, mumps, and all of the other now vaccine-preventable diseases.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that these other signs are just as easy to explain and debunk…

  • 4 Billion Paid by Us Government for Vaccine Injuries and Deaths – yes, $4,060,857,713.42 has been paid by the Vaccine Court for 6,355 compensated claims for vaccine injuries since 1989, during which time billions of doses of vaccines have been given
  • Vaccine Ingredients Animal Blood Pig Gelatin Monkey and Dog Kidney Rabbit Brain Insect Cells Human DNA + More – scary stuff until you learn what’s really in our vaccines
  • Keep the Road to Informed Consent and Medical Freedom Open – these signs are a perversion of the idea of informed consent, as they not only misinformed people about vaccines, but they also leave out all of the risks of not getting vaccinated and protected
  • Understand the Risks Allergies Seizures Brain Damage Paralysis Autoimmunity ‘Classic’ Vaccine Reactions – folks should understand both the real risks of vaccines and the risks of delaying or skipping vaccines and getting a vaccine preventable disease, which can be life-threatening
  • The Same Industry That Has Half The Nation Addicted To Opioids Wants To Mandate Vaccines – it shouldn’t be surprising that many of these signs simply reflect ideas about Big Pharma conspiracy theories
  • The CDC Vaccine Schedule Is Turbo Charged. Do Your Research.turbocharged to protect us from 16 vaccine preventable diseases that used to kill our kids?
  • Pharma Profits Should Not Outweigh Individual Rights – more Big Pharma
  • No Shots No School Not True. Get an Exemption. – yes, all states allow medical exemptions for vaccines and some allow non-medical exemptions, but that leaves your kids unvaccinated and unprotected
  • Vaccine Makes Are Exempt From Liability – this is not true
  • Vaccine Science Is Not Settled. It’s Corrupt. – more Big Pharma
  • Parents in the Driver’s Seat on Vaccines. Not the Government. – since there are no forced vaccinations, parents always make the ultimate choice on whether or not to vaccinate their kids
  • Sounding the Alarm on Vaccine Science. Science is Never Settled. – sure, let’s replace vaccines science with anti-vaccine pseudoscience
  • Vaccines Can Cause Injury and Death – although possible, it is extremely rare for vaccines to cause serious, life-threatening injuries
  • Get Charged Up About Protecting Medical Freedom. Forced Vaccines Are Not American. – since vaccine mandates don’t actually force anyone to get vaccinated, this sign doesn’t really make sense
  • Ready… Set… Know… Vaccines Are Not Placebo Safety Tested. – except for all of those times when they are, including saline placebos
  • Vaccines Reactions Are Not Rare. They are Rarely Reported. – while mild vaccine reactions may not be rare and may be under-reported, serious vaccine reactions are very rare.
  • Put the Brakes on Vaccine Mandates. – if these folks weren’t out scaring parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids, we wouldn’t need new vaccine laws and mandates!
  • Aluminum. Good for Cars. Not for Vaccines.aluminum salts in vaccines work as an adjuvant so that we can use fewer antigens and still get a good immune response.

If you see any of these signs, now you will know what they really mean.

Put the brakes on misinformation about vaccines.

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

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Do Anti-Vaccine Pediatricians Lose Millions Not Vaccinating Kids?

Paul Thomas is upset…

He thinks that Willamette Week, an alternative weekly newspaper in Portland, is trying to discredit him.

How are they using their platform “to try to discredit an ethical top Pediatrician in the community?”

An “ethical top pediatrician” who made up his own immunization schedule???

Paul Thomas was barred from the Vaccines for Children Program.
Paul Thomas was barred from the Vaccines for Children Program.

Willamette Week published a story about how Paul Thomas was kicked out of the Vaccines for Children Program.

“VFC (Vaccines for Children) does not provide any funding (no real dollars) just free vaccines for the underprivileged. What I lost was the ability to provide this free federal program to my patients who qualify for this program. This is simply a major inconvenience to those affected. Financially it is neutral to me.

My clinic had actually stocked the vaccines Rachel mentions – we just didn’t comply in a timely manner, so you got this part right “I didn’t jump through their hoops fast enough.”

Paul Thomas

To make a long story short, he got kicked out of the Vaccines for Children Program because he didn’t follow the rules of the program.

What about the idea that he “just didn’t comply in a timely manner?”

This all started over two and a half years ago???

Although Paul Thomas says in his post that his “clinic had actually stocked the vaccines Rachel mentions,” the order kicking him out of the VFC program says otherwise.

“Dr. Thomas submitted a Declaration signed under penalty of perjury stating his office does not keep stock of HPV vaccines and instead sends patients to pharmacies.”

Default Order Terminating Integrative Pediatrics from VFC

He also did not have any rotavirus vaccine in his office.

Not exercising medical judgement in accordance with accepted medical practice? Where is the Oregon Medical Board???

To get to the point of being terminated and which Paul Thomas characterizes as “I didn’t jump through their hoops fast enough,” actually involved:

  • ignoring an offer for a probationary agreement (August 2018)
  • asking for a contested case hearing (October 2018) which was scheduled for July 12, 2019
  • withdrawing his request for a contested case hearing on July 10, 2019

I’m surprised they gave him that much time!

Did he lose Medicaid funding?

I’m not sure he even takes Medicaid, but he did lose the ability to give his patients vaccines that he didn’t have to pay for.

“One huge misconception, and I see the comments on this, is that pediatricians don’t make money on vaccines or that they are not financially incentivized to vaccinate. There are profits from vaccine mark-ups and huge profits from vaccine administration fees. The average admin fee is about $35 per vaccine. For the 715 patients born into my practice who have refused to give any vaccines (each child would have had 28 vaccines by age 2 and over 60 vaccines in their childhood) amounting to income of $700,000 for the 2 years and $1.5 million over their childhood. Those are real dollars lost for Integrative Pediatrics. The money lost when considering that we serve over 15,000 patients, with most being selective about how they vaccinate would have driven most practices out of business.

There are also built in incentives in many contracts with health plans. Vaccines are a quality measure (if your practice does not reach a bench mark in numbers vaccinated) you loose a % on all services provided to patients under that insurance contract.

Is it any wonder most of my peers discharge patients from their practices who won’t follow the CDC schedule? Often these patients are told to call Dr. Thomas (Integrative Pediatrics).

Let us be clear. It is not a good business decision to allow families not to vaccinate or to permit selective vaccination.”

Paul Thomas

Let us be clear. He certainly doesn’t understand vaccine administration fees…

Some things he gets wrong?

  • pediatricians might charge $35 as an admin fee, but they are lucky if insurance companies pay them 1/3 or 1/2 that or even less. Your average vaccine administration fee is only going to be $35 if you don’t take insurance and can set your own fees!
  • you get a lower vaccine administration fee for the second vaccine component given (you use a different CPT code – 90461) vs the first (90460), and it pays less, so doctors make less when they give multiple vaccines at the same visit. Is that why many vaccine friendly doctors recommend giving one vaccine at a time?

And he misses the whole point behind vaccine administration fees.

It costs pediatricians money to order, stock, monitor, and give vaccines!

“This study shows that the variable costs of vaccine administration exceeded reimbursement from some insurers and healthplans.”

Glazner et al on Cost of Vaccine Administration Among Pediatric Practices

Do they make any money?

Hopefully they do, as health care is a business in the United States, but they certainly aren’t making millions in net profit as Paul Thomas suggests. And if they aren’t very careful, after considering all of the factors that go into giving a vaccine, it is very easy to lose money.

How Do Anti-Vaccine Pediatricians Make Money?

Which brings us back to the business decision of being a pediatrician who scares parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids.

Is there any money in that?

Paul Thomas doesn't mention that he gets a big cut of the sales for a "free" summit that costs $197 as he promotes his anti-vaccine lecture.
Paul Thomas doesn’t mention that he gets a big cut of the sales for a “free” summit that costs $197 as he promotes his anti-vaccine lecture.

Books, seminars, supplements, essential oils – there are lots of things to sell parents who don’t vaccinate their kids.

Compared to these pediatricians in California, Paul Thomas is a bargain at just $295/year.

Don’t forget the annual membership fees that many of these pediatricians charge for the privilege of skipping or delaying vaccines and at extra risk to get a vaccine-preventable disease.

And the vaccine exemptions that some of them sell…

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