Tag: toxins

Slogans of the Anti-Vaccine Movement

Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey went on a mission to Green Our Vaccines in 2008.
Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey went on a mission to Green Our Vaccines in 2008.

We know that there is no science to support the anti-vaccine movement.

History isn’t on their side either.

So what’s left?

How do they push misinformation and myths about vaccines to scare parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids?

Slogans of the Anti-Vaccine Movement

In addition to their celebrities and a relative handful of ‘experts,’ the modern antivaccine movement makes effective use of very catchy slogans to scare people away from getting educated about vaccines and vaccinating their kids.

If there is a RISK, there must be a CHOICE.

This is one of the more recent and also one of the more powerful slogans that we have seen. It implies that the choice over skipping or delaying vaccines is being taken away and that the only risk comes from the vaccines themselves.

But like most slogans used as propaganda tools, there is little behind it.

Parents nearly always have a choice on whether or not to vaccinate their kids, even if they live in a state without non-medical exceptions.

Vaccine mandates are laws that say you must be fully vaccinated to attend school. Instead of homeschooling their intentionally unvaccinated kids, some parents think that they must have even more choices though.

In addition to overestimating the risks from vaccines, these folks greatly underestimate the risks of getting a vaccine-preventable disease from skipping vaccines, both to their own kids and to the rest of us in the community.

They are simply increasing our risk and limiting our choices to keep our own kids safe and healthy.

You can always get Vaccinated, but you can never get Unvaccinated.

This slogan is likely a surprise to all of the folks who push (sell) regimens that claim to detox kids of their vaccines, or more specifically, all of the “toxins, poisons, and chemicals” that were supposedly in the vaccines they got.

It is also a sad reminder to all of those families who skipped or delayed a vaccine a little too long – long enough for their child to get a life-threatening vaccine-preventable disease.

This slogan really just highlights the fact that anti-vaccine do not really understand the risks of delaying or skipping vaccines. That’s despite the fact that studies have shown that following a non-standard, parent-selected, delayed protection vaccine schedule simply puts kids at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases, without any benefits of fewer side effects.

And for the record, you can get unvaccinated. It is one of the reasons that herd immunity is so important. Just ask the parents of any child who has had to have chemotherapy or a bone marrow transplant and is now immunosuppressed.

Green Our Vaccines.

Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey led the “Green Our Vaccines” rally back in 2008.

In 2008, Jenny McCarthy ran a full page ad in USA Today warning about toxins, autism, and the "whopping increase" in vaccines kids were getting.
In 2008, Jenny McCarthy ran a full page ad in USA Today warning about toxins, autism, and the “whopping increase” in vaccines kids were getting.

Although they always claimed they were not anti-vaccine, they helped pushed the idea that vaccines were full of toxins.

They aren’t.

Vaccine ingredients are safe.

Too many, Too soon.

Jenny McCarthy can likely also be credited with creating with idea that kids get too many vaccines at too early an age.

Our kids certainly do get more vaccines than they did in the 1970s and 80s, but that simply means more protection from vaccine-preventable diseases that used to be killers, like Haemophilus influenzae type b and Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Today’s vaccines have fewer antigens than ever too, even though kids get more vaccines than they used to. But certainly not more than they can easily and safely handle.

Vaccination is not Immunization.

This idea is pushed by a chiropractor, who also talks about “pure blood.”

If you believe that vaccination is not immunization, then how did vaccines help eradicate smallpox and how are they helping to eliminate and control other vaccine preventable diseases, like polio, measles, and rubella, etc.

And that’s the whole point. Many anti-vaccine folks don’t really believe that vaccines work. That helps them justify their decision to skip or delay vaccinating their kids.

Even if you thought that vaccines had too many side effects, if you also admitted that they worked to protect your kids, then your anti-vaccine views would likely produce a high level of cognitive dissonance. So instead you cling to these types of slogans. And if your kid does get a vaccine-preventable disease, you’ll still feel okay, because you will blame it on shedding from someone who just got vaccinated.

I’m not anti-vaccine, I’m pro-safe vaccine

The problem with this slogan, and in general, using it as an anti-vaccine argument, is that vaccines are safe. They are not 100% safe, but no one claims that they are.

Serious side effects from vaccines are very rare though.

People who rally against already safe vaccines, claiming that they say are full of ‘toxins’ and wanting even safer vaccines before they will vaccinate their kids, are not really pro-vaccine.

Neither are any of the folks who push these slogans, all of which are pure anti-vaccine propaganda.

What to Know About the Slogans of the Anti-Vaccine Movement

Catchy slogans are one of the ways that the anti-vaccine movement uses to push  misinformation about vaccines.

More About Slogans of the Anti-Vaccine Movement

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What is the Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute?

What do folks discuss at a CMSRI sponsored vaccine conference?
What do folks at a CMSRI sponsored vaccine conference discuss?

The Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute (CMSRI) was created by and is funded by the Dwoskin Family Foundation.

The Geiers, well known for doing studies that misuse VAERS data, are regularly funded by the CMSRI.
The Geiers, well known for doing studies that misuse VAERS data, are regularly funded by the CMSRI.

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. Yehuda Shoenfeld – an immunologist, he now heads the Zabludowicz Center for Autoimmune Diseases, and claims to have discovered a novel vaccine-associated autoimmune disease
  • 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
  • David A. Geier and Dr. Mark R. Geier – have long misused the VAERS database to try and show that thimerosal in vaccines causes autism
  • Brian Hooker – most well known for secretly taping CDC Whistleblower and his retracted papers, he also does research with the Geiers for the CMSRI

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

While some of their studies have been retracted, others have been published in what experts describe as predatory open access journals, have been published in journals on which the researchers may sit on the journal’s editorial board, a potential conflict of interest, or are simply poorly done.

You seem to hear the term “junk science” a lot when folks review their studies…

This paper on aluminum adjuvants and the HPV vaccine was withdrawn by the journal Vaccine.
This paper on aluminum adjuvants and the HPV vaccine was withdrawn by the journal Vaccine.

Most recently, the quickly retracted study on the health status of vaccinated vs unvaccinated homeschoolers, was partly funded by the CMSRI.

Many of the scientists have also been involved in lawsuits involving vaccines, sometimes testifying about the very cases that they write about in their papers!

Other CMSRI Activities

The Dwoskin Family also helps support its scientists and their work by sponsoring a number of “vaccine safety conferences,” including the:

  • 2011 Vaccine Safety Conference in Jamaica that featured Andrew Wakefield
  • 2012 2nd International Symposium on Vaccines
  • 2013 3nd International Symposium on Vaccines
  • 2016 4nd International Symposium on 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

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10 Reasons to Not Vaccinate Your Kids

The Pontifical Academy for Life reaffirmed the
The Pontifical Academy for Life reaffirmed the “lawfulness” of using vaccines to protect children and those around them.

Parents often have their reasons for why their kids aren’t vaccinated.

But whether they have a medical exemption, personal belief exemption, or a religious exemption to getting vaccines, they often have the same reasons for not believing in vaccines.

What are some of them?

They might be scared of toxins.

They might think that vaccines don’t work.

They might think that vaccines aren’t necessary anymore and that they can just hide in the herd.

They are just trying to fit in at a Waldorf school

10 Reasons to Not Vaccinate Your Kids

In addition to simply being scared about things they have heard on the Internet, some of the reasons that parents don’t vaccinate their kids include that:

  1. they are vegan – many vegans vaccinate their kids
  2. they are Catholic – most Catholics vaccinate their kids – Pope Francis even led an oral polio vaccination drive recently
  3. their child is on antibiotics – having a mild illness is not usually a good reason to skip or delay getting vaccines
  4. their child had an allergic reaction to a vaccine – a severe, anaphylactic reaction to one vaccine or vaccine ingredient wouldn’t mean that your child couldn’t or shouldn’t get all or most of the others
  5. they are Jewish – most Jews vaccinate their kids
  6. a doctor wrote them a medical exemption – there are actually very few true contraindications to getting vaccinated and a permanent exemption to all vaccines would be extremely rare, which casts doubt on the ever growing rate of medical exemptions in many areas
  7. they are Muslim – most Muslims vaccinate their kids and most Islamic countries have very good immunization rates.
  8. someone at home is immunocompromised – since we stopped giving the oral polio vaccine, shedding from vaccines is not a big concern and contacts of those who are immunocompromised are usually encouraged to get vaccinated
  9. they are Buddhist – most Buddhists vaccinate their kids – the Dalai Lama even led an oral polio vaccination drive recently and Buddhist countries have very good immunization rates.
  10. someone in their family had a vaccine reaction – a family history of a vaccine reaction is not a good reason to skip or delay getting vaccinated, as it has not been shown to increase your own child’s risk of a reaction. And yes, this has even been shown for siblings of autistic children, which makes sense, since vaccines don’t cause autism.

What about other religions?

Whether you are Hindu, non-Catholic Christians, Amish, or Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc., remember that all major religions believe in vaccines. Of course, the Amish are a little more selective of when and which vaccines they will get, but as we saw in the Ohio measles outbreak, they do get vaccinated.

On the other hand, Christian Scientists don’t vaccinate, along with some small Christian churches that believe in faith healing and avoid modern medical care.

Still, most people understand why it is important to vaccinate their kids.

What to Know About These Reasons to Not Vaccinate Your Kids

What do you think about these reasons to not vaccinate your kids? Since they aren’t really absolute reasons to not get vaccinated, are you ready to get your kids vaccinated now?

More About Reasons to Not Vaccinate Your Kids

Vaccine Hesitant Parents

Every parent who skips or delays a vaccine isn’t so anti-vaccine that they believe every anti-vaccine myth and conspiracy theory on the Internet.

Some are simply scared or worried about what they have read or by what friends or family members have told them.

One study by Gust et al. has actually identified up to five categories of parents, including:

  • immunization advocates – the biggest group, who think that vaccines are necessary, safe, and important
  • go along to get alongs – think that vaccines are necessary and safe
  • health advocates – agree that vaccines are necessary, but aren’t so sure that they are safe
  • fence-sitters – slightly agree that vaccines are necessary and safe
  • worrieds – the smallest group, who slightly disagree that vaccines are necessary and strongly disagree that they are safe

The fence-sitters and worrieds, and some of the health advocates, are typically the ones who delay or skip one or more vaccines. They may even follow their own alternative parent-selected, delayed protection immunization schedules.

They are the vaccine-hesitant parents.

But what does it mean to be vaccine hesitant? Some people think of it as a kinder and gentler term, as opposed to someone who is anti-vaccine or a vaccine refuser.

The SAGE Vaccine Hesitancy Working Group says that:

Vaccine hesitancy refers to delay in acceptance or refusal of vaccines despite availability of vaccination services. Vaccine hesitancy is complex and context specific varying across time, place and vaccines. It includes factors such as complacency, convenience and confidence.

If you are hesitant about something, you are “slow to act or speak especially because you are nervous or unsure about what to do.” In general, you need reassurance and advice to address your concerns about what ever you are nervous or hesitant about.

That’s especially true when you talk about vaccine hesitancy. When a parent is worried and wants to skip or delay the MMR vaccine because they have been told it is going to make their child autistic or have read about toxins in vaccines, those are easy concerns for their pediatrician to address and refute.

That’s why many vaccine hesitant parents eventually get their kids caught up on all of their vaccines.

When a parent doesn’t want to believe the overwhelming evidence that vaccines are safe and necessary, then you are moving beyond vaccine hesitancy to someone who is truly anti-vaccine.

That’s not the vaccine hesitant parent though.

One study, “Validity and reliability of a survey to identify vaccine-hesitant parents,” described vaccine hesitant parents as a “heterogeneous group of parents who may purposefully delay or choose select vaccines, have moderate concerns about vaccine safety, and yet still want to trust and receive immunization information from their child’s provider.”

More importantly, the study also said that of vaccine hesitant parents,  “their child’s provider remains in a position of influence, their immunization attitudes are not extreme, and they are a larger group than those who completely reject vaccines.”

That makes it important to truly make dismissing families who don’t vaccinate from pediatric practices a very last resort that is saved for the “entrenched nonvaccinators” and antivaccination activists who are never going to change their minds.

After all, you can’t talk to your pediatrician about vaccines if you are no longer going to a pediatrician who advocates that vaccines are safe and necessary.

For more information:

 

Ingested vs. Injected

Vaccines are given to people in multiple ways.

They can, depending on the vaccine, be:

  • injected into a muscle (IM)
  • injected under the skin (SQ)
  • sprayed in your nose (intranasal)
  • ingested (oral)

No vaccine is directly injected into the blood stream.

Getting the route correct, especially if a vaccine is supposed to be ingested vs injected is important if you want it to work properly.

The other time you may hear the ingested vs injected issue come up is when someone argues that vaccines are dangerous because you are injecting toxins into a child’s bloodstream.

Of course, this is a poor argument because there are no toxins in vaccines and vaccines aren’t even injected into the bloodstream.

For more information:

Moving the Goalposts on Vaccine Safety

What do goalposts have to do with vaccines?

Nothing really.

They do have a place in folks who argue that vaccines aren’t safe, don’t work, or aren’t necessary though. Moving the goalposts refers to a logical fallacy in which someone decides they want different evidence to win their argument, typically because their previous evidence has failed.

For example, after thimerosal was removed from vaccines, anti-vaccine folks began to say that it was really aluminum and formaldehyde that were the toxins in vaccines.

Just like when playing soccer though, you can’t move the goalposts once you start playing.

For more information:

Detox Vaccines

Could your child need a vaccine detox after he gets some or all of his vaccines?

What if he has autism? Should you do a detox protocol for heavy metals?

Of course not.

Since vaccines don’t contain toxins, it makes no sense to try and ‘detox’ your child.

For more information: