Dr. Bob and his new podcasting side kick think that the “CDC wants the FDA to approve adult doses of the flu vaccine for babies, because the normal half-doses approved for babies don’t work well enough.”
Did Dr. Bob Uncover a CDC Plot to Give Adult Flu Shots to Babies?
This is likely going to surprise Dr. Bob, but many infants already get the same dose of flu vaccine as adults.
Both FluLaval and Fluarix are given at the same 0.5ml dose, containing 15 µg of HA per vaccine virus, to infants, older children, and adults.
Fluzone, on the other hand, is still given at a 0.25ml dose, containing 7.5 µg of HA per vaccine virus, to children between the ages of 6 months to three years, and a larger 0.5ml dose to older kids and adults.
Why the differences?
“In a randomized trial comparing immunogenicity and safety of 0.5 mL FluLaval Quadrivalent with 0.25 mL Fluzone Quadrivalent, safety and reactogenicity were similar between the two vaccines.”
Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices—United States, 2018–19 Influenza Season
Because they are just as safe at the lower doses and might actually work better.
Then why did we ever use a lower dose for infants?
That recommendation was based on the older, whole-virus version of the flu shot, which did cause more side effects for infants when given at a full dose. We now use split-virus flu shots that don’t have this problem.
And now, the manufacturer of Fluzone has done a study, and not surprisingly, they have also found that “safety profile of a 0.5 ml (full-dose) is similar to 0.25 ml (half-dose) and may be more immunogenic.”
So they are submitting a BLA to the FDA for the use of the 0.5ml dose of their flu vaccine for infants.
What about the idea of an “adult dose of mercury” for infants?
Over 80% of flu vaccines were thimerosal free this year. You almost have to go out of your way to get your kids a flu vaccine with thimerosal, so no, this won’t mean an “adult dose of mercury” for your infant.
Most importantly though, if you understand how vaccines work, you know that the dose of vaccines for kids and adults is not calibrated by weight or age, so none of this really matters. The immune reaction that helps antibodies travel all through your body starts locally, near where the vaccine was given, so a 20-pound infant and a 200-pound adult can get the same dose of flu shot and both can be protected.
More on Dr. Bob’s CDC Plot to Give Adult Flu Shots to Babies
Thimerosal was taken out of most childhood vaccines in 2001, only remaining in muti-dose vials of flu vaccines, which could easily be avoided, as a good supply of thimersosal-free flu vaccine has been available for many years.
“Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative that has been used for decades in the United States in multi-dose vials (vials containing more than one dose) of medicines and vaccines. There is no evidence of harm caused by the low doses of thimerosal in vaccines, except for minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site. However, in July 1999, the Public Health Service agencies, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and vaccine manufacturers agreed that thimerosal should be reduced or eliminated in vaccines as a precautionary measure.”
CDC on Thimerosal in Vaccines
For some reason, that hasn’t kept some parents from still being concerned about mercury in vaccines.
Does Pentacel Contain Mercury?
Pentacel is vaccine that combines the diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis adsorbed, inactivated poliovirus and Haemophilus b conjugate (tetanus toxoid conjugate) vaccines (DTaP-IPV/Hib) into one shot.
It is routinely given to children as a four dose series, when they are 2, 4, 6, and 15 to 18 months old.
Like most other vaccines given to children, Pentacel is thimerosal-free.
Unlike most of the other anti-vaccine experts who are practicing way out of their field of expertise when they talk about vaccines, Ashley Everly is a toxicologist, so is actually an expert on vaccines, right?
“Most toxicologists begin by working at the bench, conducting experiments on in vitro and animal models. Over time, as they gain experience, they may move up to supervise others. While a master’s degree is sufficient for applied research positions, a Ph.D. degree with postdoctoral experience is required for the highest levels.”
Ashley Everly does not have a master’s degree and has not published any research about vaccines. Her opinions are not those of a toxicologist, but of a mother who thinks that her child was injured by vaccines.
Her Facebook copypasta post, while posted as a toxicologist, should remind you of just one very important fact. The great majority of working toxicologists do not share her opinions about vaccines.
“Vaccines are among the most efficacious and cost-effective prevention tools… Parents of children with non-medical exemptions to immunization requirements have been documented to have perceptions of lower susceptibility to and severity of vaccine preventable diseases and perceptions of lower safety and efficacy of vaccines compared to parents of vaccinated children. Moreover, compared to parents of vaccinated children, vaccine hesitant parents had less trust in the government and the health care system.”
Scientific Liaison Coalition (SLC) Epidemiology of Vaccine Refusal webinar
What is the Scientific Liaison Coalition (SLC)?
It is a group of eight toxicology organizations that “increase awareness of toxicology and related sciences on human health,” including the:
American Academy of Clinical Toxicology (AACT)
American College of Toxicology (ACT)
Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society (EMGS)
“Recent research has confirmed that the ethylmercury component found in Thimerosal is less hazardous than methylmercury. These are different compounds and should not be considered as equivalent neurotoxins. Experimental conditions can be created that result in neurological cell dysfunction. However, current literature supports the contention that childhood vaccinations do not deliver a sufficient dose to produce these neurological injuries.
American College of Medical Toxicology on the IOM Report on Thimerosal and Autism
Neither does the American College of Medical Toxicology.
“Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Chairman of Children’s Health Defense (CHD), and Rolf Hazlehurst, parent of a vaccine-injured child, petitioned the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Inspector General (OIG), and the Senate and House Judiciary Committees today to investigate actions taken by federal personnel during the “Vaccine Court” Omnibus Autism Proceedings (OAP).”
Kennedy and Hazlehurst claim to have evidence of “obstruction of justice and appallingly consequential fraud by two DOJ lawyers who represented the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in 2007.”
Kennedy and Hazlehurst claim that “that the leading HHS expert, whose written report was used to deny compensation to over 5,000 petitioners in the OAP, provided clarification to the DOJ lawyers that vaccines could, in fact, cause autism in children with underlying and otherwise benign mitochondrial disorders.”
Who is this expert?
It is Andrew Zimmerman, MD, a pediatric neurologist.
There is also a claim that Dr. Zimmerman, along with Dr. Richard Kelley, who was also an expert witness in the Vaccine Court Omnibus Autism Proceedings, served as expert witnesses in a medical malpractice case against a pediatrician who vaccinated a child, supposedly causing him to become autistic.
Yates Hazlehurst, who was the second test case in the Vaccine Court Omnibus Proceedings.
Dr. Zimmerman admits that there is no evidence that vaccines cause autism, but also believes that there are some exceptions, and that vaccines can cause regressive autism in some kids with mitochondrial disorders.
Dr. Zimmerman also clarified that it is not just immunizations, but infections, fever, and other inflammatory responses that can lead to regressive autism.
And Dr. Zimmerman would have testified to it in the Cedillo case (the first test case in the Vaccine Court Omnibus Proceedings), if he had been allowed to.
Except that upon review of the Cedillo case, Dr. Zimmerman had concluded that “there is no evidence of an association between autism and the alleged reaction to MMR and Hg, and it is more likely than not, that there is a genetic basis for autism in this child.”
Apparently, he had changed his mind later, even though he continues to say that all evidence points to the fact that vaccines don’t cause autism.
“Dr. Zimmerman subsequently submitted a second expert opinion on behalf of Hannah Poling, which in effect states that she suffers autism as a result of a vaccine injury. The same government officials, who submitted and relied upon Dr. Zimmerman’s first expert opinion as evidence in the O.A.P., secretly conceded the case of Hannah Poling and placed it under seal so that the evidence in the case could not be used in the O.A.P. or known by the public.”
Memorandum Regarding Misconduct By The United States Department Of Justice And The United States Department Of Health And Human Services During The Omnibus Autism Proceeding As To The Expert Opinions Of Dr. Andrew Zimmerman
But what about the “second expert opinion” from Dr. Zimmerman?
According to Poling’s mother, “Dr. Zimmerman was not an expert nor was he asked to be an expert on Poling’s case. The government conceded her case before ANY opinion was rendered or given.”
What about Dr. Richard Kelley?
“As noted above, an important consideration for treatment of AMD is that “normal” inflammation can impair mitochondrial function. Although most infections cannot be avoided, certain measures can limit the risk of injury during infection or other causes of inflammation… We believe it is much better to immunize with DTaP than risk infection with highly inflammatory and potentially damaging community-acquired pertussis.”
Dr. Richard Kelley on Evaluation and Treatment of Patients with Autism and Mitochondrial Disease
While he seems to believe that vaccines can trigger regressive autism in some kids with mitochondrial disease, he admits that other kinds of inflammation can do it too, including vaccine-preventable diseases.
“We believe it is much better to immunize with DTaP than risk infection with highly inflammatory and potentially damaging community-acquired pertussis.”
And again, so does Dr. Zimmerman, to the point that in many cases, he thinks that even kids with mitochondrial disorders should be vaccinated.
“…the MMR vaccine has been temporally associated, if rarely, with regressions — with regression in AMD and other mitochondrial disease when given in the second year. Doubtless some of these regressions are coincidental, since the usual age for giving the MMR falls within the typical window of vulnerability for AMD regression.”
“The undersigned has reviewed and considered the filed reports from these experts and finds that the opinions of the experts lend support to the conclusions reached in this decision. In reaching the conclusions set forth in this decision, however, the undersigned relies more heavily on the testimony and reports of the experts who were observed and heard during the hearings.”
Hazlehurst v. Secretary of HHS
So where is the fraud in the Vaccine Court Omnibus Proceedings?
Is it that the Poling case files have been kept under seal and hidden from public view?
“Finally, and perhaps for purposes of Rolf’s request that Poling’s records be released to the public, Jon and I have not allowed the release of Hxxxx’s records nor will we ever willingly allow third parties to tear apart her medical history which includes other close family members as well as things that should have never been in the record to begin with.”
While we should all care about fraud in our court system, we should all also care about folks who push misinformation about vaccines and try to scare parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids, especially when they use autistic kids to do it.
“I do think that — that there was much information — misinformation brought about by Dr. Wakefield and it’s — this has set the field back. I think that — that we — we have worked very hard to try to reassure the public and I agree with doing that because I am very supportive of vaccinations, immunizations in general.”
While Dr. Zimmerman truly believes that future research might find a way to identify a very small subset of kids with mitochondrial disorders that worsen after they get their vaccines (or infections or other types of inflammation), this doesn’t apply to the great majority of autistic kids or even the great majority of kids with regressive autism.
Even Dr. Zimmerman only seems to speak of an “uncommon relationship” that “is not evident in studies that have been done to date.”
And none of the researchers he mentions, including Richard Frye, Shannon Rose, Joe (Jill?) James, or Dmitriy Niyazov seem to have actually studied vaccines, only possible relationships between autism and mitochondrial conditions.
“The claims by RFK Jr. and Handley draw on something that was not, in fact, a fraud, that is misrepresented as having a dramatic impact on the Omnibus Autism Proceedings when it had little to no effect.”
Plus ça change – anti-vaccine activists revive the Hannah Poling case
Anti-Vaxxers Should Be Able to Answer These Questions Correctly
Since it is immoral and dangerous to push misinformation that scares parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids, it would be nice if anti-vaccine folks would answer these questions before they tried to persuade anyone to not get vaccinated:
Name 5 vaccine ingredients that you think are toxic and how exactly they can be toxic at the amounts present in vaccines.
If today’s vaccines already contain far fewer antigens than they did in the old days, what would be the extra benefit of splitting them up even further into separate shots for each vaccine-preventable disease?
The former Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Indiana (1983-2013) has been described as being “antivaccine through and through” and “organized quackery’s best friend in Congress.”
Dan Burton held over 20 Congressional hearings trying to prove that there was a link between vaccines and autism.
Hearings that gave a high profile platform to Andrew Wakefield and are best described as:
“carefully choreographed to generate as much negative feeling toward the vaccination system as possible.”
Arthur Allen on Vaccine The Controversial Story of Medicine’s Greatest Lifesaver
Who replaced Dan Burton?
It seems to be U.S. Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL), who has been described as “vying to take over the title of the most antivaccine legislator in the U.S. Congress since Dan Burton retired.”
He got a little help from Rep. Darrell Issa, who conducted a meeting of the Subcommittee of Government Operations in 2014, Examining the Federal Response to Autism Spectrum Disorders.
“Okay. Let’s stop it right there. Because every time we have ever talked about doing one of those studies, some idiot in the media says I am suggesting that children intentionally don’t get vaccinated. And I don’t know that anybody ever has ever proposed that. But there are plenty of children whose parents will not allow them to be vaccinated. There are plenty of cultures where children are not vaccinated. And there are other reasons children are not vaccinated. And there are children who take large doses of vaccination, and children whose parents decide to have them take one vaccination at a time to avoid thimerosal. And I have not been able to ascertain that there has actually been a legitimate study done that wasn’t tainted by the touch of the international colossal scumbag Poul Thorsen.”
Rep. Bill Posey questioning NIH Director Thomas R. Insel, M.D. in the Congressional hearing on Examining the Federal Response to Autism Spectrum Disorders
Who else might be joining him?
There is Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY).
Maloney also spoke at a 2012 hearing planned by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) on the federal response to rising autism rates.
“Are you looking at vaccination? Is that part of your studies? I have a question. Are you looking at vaccination? Are you having a study on vaccination and the fact that they’re cramming them down and having kids have nine at one time. Is that a cause? Do you have any studies on vaccination?”
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) in a hearing on Rising Autism Rates
Rep. Carolyn Maloney was also a co-sponsor of Rep. Bill Posey’s 2015 Vaccine Safety Study Act bill, which called for “a comprehensive study comparing total health outcomes, including risk of autism, in vaccinated populations in the United States with such outcomes in unvaccinated populations in the United States, and for other purposes,” even though many experts have long pointed out the problems with using intentionally unvaccinated folks as a comparison group.
But Rep Maloney got her start long before Bill Posey ever came to Congress…
In 2006, in response to a series of articles by Dan Olmstead, who later created the website, Age of Autism, Rep Maloney held a briefing at the National Press Club where she proposed the Comprehensive Study of Autism Epidemic Act of 2006, a bill that sounds awfully similar to Posey’s Vaccine Safety Study Act.
Rep. John Duncan (R-TN) was another co-sponsor.
But we shouldn’t forget Rep. Dave Weldon MD (R-Fl), who introduced the Mercury-Free Vaccines Act of 2004 and the Vaccine Safety and Public Confidence Assurance Act of 2007. Weldon also sent a number of letters to Julie Gerberding questioning a study about thimerosal by Thomas Verstraeten, a study that was investigated and cleared by Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee in 2005. Because he was a doctor, Rep. Burton also had Weldon do a lot of the questioning during his hearings.
And there is also Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ), who was a cosponsor when Maloney reintroduced the Vaccine Safety and Public Confidence Assurance Act in 2009.
Not surprisingly, many of these members of Congress have been getting donations from anti-vaccine organizations.
In contrast to all of the folks above, there was Rep. Henry A Waxman (D-CA), who retired after 40 years in Congress, but not before:
fighting back against Dan Burton’s misinformation in his hearings about vaccines
introducing the Vaccine Access and Supply Act of 2005
authoring the stand-alone Vaccines for Children legislation that was included in the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 that created the Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program
introducing the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986
But his work on vaccines has probably been the most low-profile thing that Waxman did, which is why he is often described as “one of the most important Congressman ever.”
You’ll never hear that said about Dan Burton, Bill Posey, Dave Weldon, or Carolyn Maloney…
Believe it or not, your kids aren’t going to be exposed to any heavy metals when they get their routine vaccines.
The closest that they might come would be getting a flu vaccine with thimerosal, as mercury is indeed a heavy metal and thimerosal breaks down to ethylmercury. But then, the great majority of flu vaccines are now thimerosal-free, so they probably won’t.
Even if they did, it is important to note that thimerosal was removed from vaccines as a precaution, not because it was toxic.
It is no secret that many vaccines contain aluminum.
“Aluminum is a heavy metal with known neurotoxic effects on human and animal nervous systems. It can be found in the following childhood vaccines – DTaP, Pediarix (DTaP-Hepatitis B-Polio combination), Pentacel (DTaP-HIB-Polio combination), Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae B (HIB), Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), and Pneumococcal vaccines.”
NVIC on Aluminum and Vaccine Ingredients: What Do We Know? What Don’t We Know?
“Metals including toxic lead contaminate virtually all aluminum adjuvants, a widely-used ingredient of human and animal vaccines, according to a recent study published in the leading journal of the vaccine industry.”
CMSRI on Lead, Iron, Chromium and Other Metals Routinely Contaminate Vaccine Adjuvants, Industry Study Reports
While that was the CMSRI takeaway from the study, Influence of elemental impurities in aluminum hydroxide adjuvant on the stability of inactivated Japanese Encephalitis vaccine, IXIARO, if you actually read it, you find that they found that “all aluminum hydroxide lots examined in this study met” safety guidelines from European agencies (Ph. Eur. 2.4.8) and the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP 231).
And many folks think that a study ‘finding’ contamination by a few Italian scientists, New Quality-Control Investigations on Vaccines: Micro- and Nanocontamination, actually found “that vaccines are incredibly pure.”