As Disneyland Measles Outbreak Rages in California, Pakistani Father Arrested After Unvaccinated Son Contracts Polio

There is very interesting news out of Pakistan today that the father of a child who has developed polio has been arrested because he refused to allow his son to be vaccinated:

After a polio case was detected here on Thur­sday, the Kohat administration arrested the father of the affected child because he had refused to get his child vaccinated against polio when vaccinators visited his home. Two health supervisors and a patwari have also been taken into custody for showing negligence in performing their duty.

Three-year-old Moham­mad is the second victim of polio in Dhodha area of Kohat district this year.

Deputy Commissioner of Kohat Riaz Khan Mehsud told Dawn on telephone that he issued orders for arrest after an inquiry revealed that the father of the affected child, Mullah Mohammad Yousuf, had not allowed vaccinators to give polio drops to his son.

But Yousuf is not the only parent who has been arrested:

He said 56 people had so far been arrested this year for refusing to get their children vaccinated against polio.

Also on Thursday, two men were arrested in Kohat for not allowing vaccinators to give polio drops to their children. They were identified as Amir Khan and Hassan Khan.

Islamic extremist groups in Pakistan agitate against polio vaccines, spreading conspiracy theories that the vaccines are Western attempts to kill or dominate Muslims. They even attack health workers and in 2014, those attacks killed more people administering vaccines than the disease itself killed.

But of course, in a civilized country like the United States, there couldn’t be misguided attempts to prevent vaccination despite the solid scientific basis of the public health benefits of vaccines, could there? Sadly, the mass delusion that has led far too many parents to leave their children unvaccinated due to unfounded fears of autism is having the very predictable result of outbreaks of viral diseases previously under control. Here’s the latest on the current outbreak of measles that epidemiologists have traced to Disneyland. Unfortunately, we are learning that because of the reckless behavior of not vaccinating children, even those who have been vaccinated are now developing the disease because of the increased exposure from the outbreak:

As the measles outbreak that started at Disneyland grew to at least 70 cases Wednesday, much of the attention has focused on how the vast majority of patients were not vaccinated for the highly contagious disease.

But some medical experts also have expressed concern about the five patients who contracted measles despite being fully vaccinated.

Their cases point to a lesser-known aspect of the measles vaccine: That even those who get the shots have a small risk of getting sick, especially older people who were immunized in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s.

In 1989, the vaccination program for measles was changed from one dose to two, and that had an effect on how frequently vaccinated patients got the disease:

There’s a 5% chance of vaccine failure in people who have had only one dose of measles vaccine, and a less than 1% chance in people with both doses, experts said.

But the expanding pool of unvaccinated people means much more exposure for those who have been vaccinated. Here are the numbers from the current outbreak:

The measles cases spread at Disneyland a week before Christmas. Experts have said the theme park was a perfect incubator because it attracts visitors from all over the world, such as places in Europe and Asia where measles is still a large problem.

Since then, the disease has continued to spread, mostly through people who were not vaccinated. Health officials have immunization records of 43 measles patients; 37 were unimmunized, one had only one shot, and five were fully immunized.

In the US, those who choose to leave their children unvaccinated are acting out of a misinformed belief that vaccines lead to autism. Sadly, science has clearly debunked that idea, so the parents making that choice are just as illogical as the ones in Pakistan giving in to Islamic extremists.

A good layperson discussion of the science of autism and vaccines can be found here. Perhaps the most authoritative study on vaccines and autism was this one by the Institute of Medicine, published in 2004, which stated clearly:

This eighth and final report of the Immunization Safety Review Committee examines the hypothesis that vaccines, specifically the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and thimerosal-containing vaccines, are causally associated with autism. The committee reviewed the extant published and unpublished epidemiological studies regarding causality and studies of potential biologic mechanisms by which these immunizations might cause autism. The committee concludes that the body of epidemiological evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism. The committee also concludes that the body of epidemiological evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism. The committee further finds that potential biological mechanisms for vaccine-induced autism that have been generated to date are theoretical only.

A strong reason that the data don’t support a causal relationship between vaccines and autism is that there is instead a strong genetic component related to developing autism:

Scientists have discovered that one of the most common genetic alterations in autism — deletion of a 27-gene cluster on chromosome 16 — causes autism-like features. By generating mouse models of autism using a technique known as chromosome engineering, researchers provide the first functional evidence that inheriting fewer copies of these genes leads to features resembling those used to diagnose children with autism.

In that study, scientists found that by reproducing the chromosomal change that is found most commonly in autism patients (autism spectrum should be considered a group of related diseases which can have differing causes) in mice, behavior very similar to autism was seen:

“Mice with the deletion acted completely different from normal mice,” explains Guy Horev, a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Mills laboratory and first author of the study. These mice had a number of behaviors characteristic of autism: hyperactivity, difficulty adapting to a new environment, sleeping deficits, and restricted, repetitive behaviors.

As if that’s not enough, consider this study from Japan, where it was found that in an area where the MMR vaccine was discontinued, autism rates did not go down:

The MMR vaccination rate in the city of Yokohama declined significantly in the birth cohorts of years 1988 through 1992, and not a single vaccination was administered in 1993 or thereafter. In contrast, cumulative incidence of ASD up to age seven increased significantly in the birth cohorts of years 1988 through 1996 and most notably rose dramatically beginning with the birth cohort of 1993.

The significance of this finding is that MMR vaccination is most unlikely to be a main cause of ASD, that it cannot explain the rise over time in the incidence of ASD, and that withdrawal of MMR in countries where it is still being used cannot be expected to lead to a reduction in the incidence of ASD.

So, as global autism (ASD = autism spectrum disease) rates were increasing in the late 1980’s through mid 1990’s, that increase was not affected in Yokohama by the termination of the measles vaccine.

Finally, a more detailed study published in August 2013 (pdf) found that there was no correlation between autism and the number of vaccines administered or the total number of antigens in vaccines that a child received.

Perhaps the Pakistani practice of arresting parents who refuse to vaccinate their children is something to be considered here in the US. The decision to leave a child unvaccinated creates an unacceptable risk for that child. And as we are seeing in the current outbreak, the growing pool of unvaccinated people means that individual cases of the disease are capable of growing into an outbreak large enough to infect even properly vaccinated patients. The LA Times article linked above notes that about one fourth of the infected California patients required hospitalization, so their disease was relatively severe. Irresponsible parents who choose not to vaccinate endanger their children and all of those with whom they interact. If reason won’t work with them, it’s time to determine what will bring them to their senses.

63 replies
  1. bloopie2 says:

    We wait until their child gets sick, then we say, “Oh, it’s a tragic accident”. Just like the parent – child gun killings. No one is “responsible”.

    There are certain medical procedures mandated for all (I think) newborns – eye drops, vitamin K, etc. Link below. Perhaps we can rejigger the measles vaccine (and others) so that they can be given to newborns, then make it state law?

    • Jim White says:

      Definitely worth considering. Also, we need strict enforcement of vaccination requirements for attendance at public schools and somehow need to extend that to private schools. Of course, the homeschoolers are a different problem entirely…

  2. rosalind says:

    California allows all parents to file PBEs (Personal Belief Exemptions) for either Public or Private Schools. I was unhappy to see the highest rate of non-vaccinated Kindergarteners was at Public Charter schools:
    “The California Department of Public Health found that across the state during the 2013-2014 school year:

    10.1% of kindergarteners in public charter schools had personal belief exemptions;
    5.6% of kindergartners at private schools had personal belief exemptions; and
    2.3% of kindergartners at public schools had personal belief exemptions.

    The data also show that the percentage of kindergartners with personal belief exemptions statewide more than doubled, from 1.4% in 2007 to 3.1% in the 2013-2014 school year.”

    • Jim White says:

      Thanks for that. Those exemptions clearly need to go away. Of course, that would trigger quite a public policy battle, and avoiding that is undoubtedly why the cowardly adminstrators/lawmakers allow such an exemption in the first place.

  3. Ambrellite says:

    These parents are simply totally ignorant of the very real mortality risk of these diseases, because they’re (fortunately) rare in the modern world. The conspiracy theories won’t go away until the danger spreads far and wide, and everyone knows someone who’s lost someone to these illnesses. It’s a situation that the government can and should easily address with fines and public service announcements.

    Maybe congress can address the matter once they’re done with climate change.

  4. P J Evans says:

    One of the things that surprises a lot of people is how many of the unvaccinated kids are from families that have higher-than-median incomes. It isn’t as much of a surprise if you know the areas: they’re the ones with the Whole Paycheck markets, the organic-everything believers, the expensive imported cars, and the libertarioid politics. (I used to commute with people like that: they’re remarkably ignorant of anything outside their bubble.)

  5. bevin says:

    The problem is that government and its cultural allies, the media, have completely discredited their credibility. A large part of the population does not believe anything that they say. And politicians really don’t care: public opinion is so easy to manipulate that it is irrelevant.
    After all the UN has been swearing blind that its “peacekeepers” were not responsible for the cholera outbreak in Haiti, for the past three years. Then there is the claim, by CIA, that it was “health workers” in Pakistan who located Osama bin Laden while pretending to be involved in a vaccination programme.
    Chickens, as Ward Churchill once remarked, have a habit of returning home to roost.

    • jasmine311 says:

      Exactly. Too bad no one is arresting the chemical companies who are poisoning our environment and our foods. So many household chemicals, especially scents to camouflage odors are untested for long-term illnesses, but are sold on a mass scale.

      I would prefer people go after them, not ordinary citizens trying to separate truth from the lies they are constantly being told by authority.

  6. Jim White says:

    And The Onion chimes in:

    As a mother, I put my parenting decisions above all else. Nobody knows my son better than me, and the choices I make about how to care for him are no one’s business but my own. So, when other people tell me how they think I should be raising my child, I simply can’t tolerate it. Regardless of what anyone else thinks, I fully stand behind my choices as a mom, including my choice not to vaccinate my son, because it is my fundamental right as a parent to decide which eradicated diseases come roaring back.
    Look, I’ve done the research on these issues, I’ve read the statistics, and I’ve carefully considered the costs and benefits, and there’s simply no question in my mind that inciting a nationwide health emergency by unleashing a disease that can kill 20 percent or more of its victims is the right one for my child.
    People need to respect that and move on.

  7. bloopie2 says:

    Firmly in favor of requiring vaccinations. After all, just look at the headline for this article: The kid was not vaccinated against measles, and as a result contracted polio. Such a terrible thing to have happen!


  8. Meryl Nass says:

    Jim, I’m sorry you have been drinking this koolaid; may I quote you:

    “If reason won’t work with them, it’s time to determine what will bring them to their senses.”

    Do you honestly want to mandate injections? Do you not understand that the PREP Act and Supreme Court Brusewitz decision mean that vaccine manufacturers have been disincentivized to research the safety of the vaccines they make? As long as they don’t know about a problem, they cannot be found liable for damages resulting from their vaccine.

    The 2009 Pandemrix vaccine caused way more problems (900 cases of severe narcolepsy) than it avoided. According to half a dozen Canadian studies, the 2008 flu vaccine was associated with a greater than two-fold chance of having a clinical case of swine flu in 2009.

    No one has died from measles in the US in the past ten years.

    At least parents can be expected to have only their kids’ interests at heart. Not so for manufacturers or government.

    • Jim White says:

      I agree that the current legal situation regarding vaccines is horrible and that pharma companies should not be allowed to duck responsibility for both safety testing and liability should they fall short. They are making these decisions based on pre-set ROI which they insist on getting for everything they undertake, and the morons in Congress are all to quick to back them up on that.
      But that in no way should free up parents to make irresponsible decisions regarding established vaccines that have been proven over and over to be safe. It is only a matter of time, perhaps in this very outbreak that is continuing to grow, before we see the return of deaths from measles in the US. This same vaccine helped to end those deaths and it is in misguided skipping of it that the deaths will return.

    • P J Evans says:

      It’s too bad that those parents you’re supporting don’t have the best interests of anyone but themselves at heart.
      If they cared about anyone else, they’d be getting those kids vaccinated on the recommended schedule.

      • fritter says:

        I’m not sure you can have it both ways. If you acknowledge that our institutions can make mistakes or sponsor some outright evils, you shouldn’t deride people for making that same assumption. I’m not anti-vax but I can understand people not trusting a for profit system where “small loses” are glossed over, much less huge ethical lapses. See Tuskegee syphilis experiment. We’d like to think those incidents are a thing of the past, but experiments, such as those on tortured detainees, continue. I recently got my MMR updated (going back to school), just to be safe. FWIW. However, If you aren’t looking at the medical industry with a lot of skepticism, you aren’t doing it right. Vaccine’s are probably as safe as anything when any trip to the Dr. has about a 50% of being misdiagnosed, but that could change tomorrow. Once you lose trust in a society it should be no surprise that some will object to what the majority take for granted. How many people believe in Angels again?

        • Rayne says:

          When it comes to childhood disease vaccinations in the U.S., we have +50 years of data to support their continued use. The “small losses” are tragedies to individual families, but there is a statistical possibility that mortalities attributed to long-used vaccines are inevitable — part of a cascade of health challenges for which a vaccine is only the last straw. Child mortality rates in this country have fallen greatly over the last 50 years (see Child Mortality in the United States, 1935-2007 [pdf], source: US Dept Health and Human Services), making it clear that failing to vaccinate is much greater risk than not.

          And while anti-vaxers rage about child mortality risks, they have completely disregarded the more likely risks to children’s lives: poverty, guns, food-borne illness (mortality from the last alone far outnumbers any number deaths attributed to vaccine complications). Anti-vax energies are disproportionate to the threat claimed.

    • bloopie2 says:

      “At least parents can be expected to have only their kids’ interests at heart. Not so for manufacturers or government.”

      Exactly so. Parents who have only their kids’ interests at heart, by definition, do not care about the health of the other people around them. But because they live in a community with other people, they have a responsibility to those other people. If they do not want to fulfill that responsibility, they should leave and go live by themselves somewhere. Some individual rights must be given up if the individual wants to live in a community. Give in a little, or get out.

      One of the underlying conceptual duties of government is to make and enforce rules that are needed to ensure the safety of the community as a whole. That can sometimes conflict with, and trump, individual rights.

      • Meryl Nass says:

        If manufacturers were incentivized to produce better vaccines, which led to persistent immunity, your child’s vaccine would protect them.

        Right now we have a bunch of relatively poor vaccines mandated, and the vast majority of Americans who get mumps, whooping cough and measles were already vaccinated against them–but their immunity dropped off! Most US cases start with someone from overseas bringing in an inapparent infection, and infecting apparently immune children.

        Vaccinating more Americans (only 1% of US children have had no vaccines) unfortunately will have little effect on the waning immunity from current vaccines. The small number of unvaccinated kids actually has very little to do with outbreaks of so-called vaccine-preventable disease in the US.

        The vaccine industry has been very effective at obscuring this simple fact.

        • bloopie2 says:

          Vaccinations do help, at least to some extent. If you and yours do not get vaccinated, then stay the hell away from me. You have no right to put me at risk.

        • Meryl Nass says:

          I have noticed before that the only time my writings generate rude language is when they threaten the vaccine industry. I suspect the commenters, who write at a level not commensurate with the intelligence and sophistication of the emptywheel blog, are employed by the vaccine industry to insert such comments.

          None of what I wrote is a lie. Unfortunately, the links did not transfer to this comment page, but they are on my blog if you want to see them:

          You do not need to lie when the facts speak for themselves.

        • P J Evans says:

          We’re not stupid. Neither are we ignorant of reality.

          Sarah Beryle Casey, aged 30 years, died at 3 o’clock this morning at the family home in Neodesha. She had been ill for three weeks due to flu and complications. Funeral services will be held at 1:30 tomorrow afternoon from the First Methodist church in Neodesha, with the pastor of the church in charge. Interment is to be made in Mount Hope cemetery.

          Rachel Joy, only child of Walter and Hattie Krone, born December 22, 1901, died Jan. 28, 1908, of diphtheria. Owing to the dread of the disease the funeral was held the same day at the Sycamore cemetery, Rev. J. H. Price of the Independence M. E. church officiating.

          Stella, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. D. H. Krone died at the family residence on Feb. 20, 1897, of typhoid fever. She was born Nov. 28th, 1886, and was the only girl in a family of five children, was loved and esteemed by all her playmates, and will be oh “so sadly missed from the family circle.”

          The body of Miss Ola C. Newmaster, whose death occurred in Kansas City, Mo., the last of the week, arrived here yesterday morning and the funeral was held from the Walters and Potts Undertaking parlors, this afternoon at 2 o’clock and interment was in Mount Hope cemetery with a short service at the grave.
          Miss Newmaster was the daughter of W. M. Newmaster, a highly esteemed farmer residing north of here, and she was 21 years of age. Miss Newmaster was taking nurse’s training at St. Mary’s hospital in Kansas City and contracted the influenza while caring for her patients.

          Death came to Mrs. Margaret Powers, wife of S. Wilbur Powers, 1019 West Locust Friday morning at the age of 29 years, 5 months and a few days. She was stricken the previous week with influenza, followed by bronchial pneumonia, and in ten days she was called home.

          Born June 5th, 1889; Died Oct. 6th 1894. His brief life of five years, four months and a day has been full of trouble. While we have to acknowledge he is better off, it is very hard to realize that he is gone. Loving in life; beautiful in death, little Caryll, eldest son of W. E. and Ella White.
          Last Saturday morning news came that Caryll was ill with diptheria and could not live but a few hours; later reports told of the sad end. His remains were embalmed and awaited the coming of “Papa” at Cincinatti. O., where the family is stopping.

          This is what you deny, every time you whine about the vaccine manufacturers and the vaccine requirements and the scheduling. This is what YOU are trying to bring back.

        • Jim White says:

          Perhaps you are referring to paid commenters spamming your blog, but in case that comment is aimed here, rest assured that only one commenter in this thread has fewer comments here than you have and that all the rest are regular, informed commenters whom I have good reason to believe are not at all affiliated with the vaccine producers, given their wide-ranging interests.

  9. Meryl Nass says:

    Below is one of my blog posts, and is an example of what happens when there is a lot of money to be made from a vaccine. Don’t get me wrong: we need very safe and effective vaccines, but we are not getting them due to the regulatory climate in Washington–Meryl Nass, MD

    Sunday, January 30, 2011
    HPV Mandates failing
    Merck developed a clever scheme for marketing HPV vaccine: it would lobby for laws that would add the vaccine to state Medicaid entitlements, require it be covered by private insurers and mandate the vaccine to attend school. I know of two different approaches at the state level.

    In 2007 in Texas, Governor Perry simply issued an executive order that all Texas schoolgirls entering sixth grade must receive the vaccine. This was the first state mandate for this vaccine. Merck had provided Perry financial support. The Texas Medical Association was against the mandate. After several months, the Texas legislature overturned Perry’s order.

    Merck provided money to the organization “Women in Government”, a national association of female state legislators. Women in Government, in conjunction with Merck, developed a massive campaign to encourage use of the vaccine and support state vaccine mandates. At first glance, it looked like a “win win” strategy for legislators: using state funds to prevent cervical cancer, in children.

    At least a dozen state legislatures considered instituting HPV mandates. But in the end, only Virginia and Washington D.C. passed HPV mandates for middle school girls.

    However, vaccinations have not been popular. “Opt out” provisions have been used by the majority of families. Only 17% of Virginia’s eligible sixth graders had begun the 3 shot series, and only 23% of eligible sixth graders in the District had done likewise, at the start of this school year.

    On January 21, the Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill to eliminate the HPV requirement. It may not pass the Senate, and may not be enacted. Still, the bill gives notice that legislators are rethinking their hubris: citizens do not want decisons about their children’s sexual health to be made by the state. Especially given the conflicts of interest.

    • P J Evans says:

      Why are you anti-vax?
      Haven’t you figured out that vaccinations are required to prevent disease?
      Do you not give a shit about the people who aren’t getting vaccinated and will be vulnerable to those diseases later, or the people who can’t be vaccinated because their immune system isn’t up to it?

  10. bmaz says:

    I have seen people charged with child abuse for less stupid and reckless things than anti-vax parents. It not only unnecessarily places their own child at risk, but recklessly, arguably criminally, should their child become infected, the public community as a whole.
    Should parents also be able to “Personal Belief Except” themselves out of using seat belts and car seats for children because of the random odd freak case where such safety devices contribute to the injury or death of a child? Society says resoundingly no. Same should go for the anti-vax idiots. If you can’t be a responsible driver, don’t drive with your kids. If you can’t be a responsible parent, make darn sure your child never interacts with normal society. And if you take an un-vaxed infected kid to Disneyland, you should be prosecuted and put in jail for reckless endangerment.

  11. seedeevee says:

    Incompetent for-profit vaccinations can kill. Or at least look like they contribute to death if done in an unsafe manner.

    A little over a year ago, my father-in-law had flu-like symptoms and went to a clinic for a check-up. They gave him a flu vaccine, since he was there, and hadn’t had one. Pretty stupid on their part.

    He died very soon after of a heart attack. I’m not a doctor, but I know you don’t give vaccines to sick people. Because it can kill them.

    I know properly done vaccination programs save millions of lives.

    But I think you gloss over the corruption, incompetence and profit making motives of this industry. Like it or not – the health care industry is full of charlatans and the public knows this. Let’s not even start with the APA and the DSM.

    You are seeing the vast swatches of America that have lost faith in leadership of all kinds.

    I appreciate Jim being all sciencey trying to explain the facts.

    But, you know, the CIA actually was running an illegal vaccination program in Pakistan. And stupid vaccine pushers helped kill my father-in-law (I think). The West does go and has done unethical experiments with vaccines over the ages and you would be stupid to think they are going to stop.

    So it comes down to “who do you trust?”

    and my kids do get all their vaccines. except for HPV.

    • P J Evans says:

      Your father-in-law probably didn’t die because of the flu vaccine, unless he had a very odd reaction to it. Heart attacks are something that happen on their own schedule, and are rarely connected to vaccines.

  12. jasmine311 says:

    The flu vaccine is only about 50% effective and yet it is being annoyingly hawked at every drugstore, doctor’s office and sometimes even chain store available. I have about as much faith in Western medicine as I do in a used car salesman.

    • bmaz says:

      Yes, because not every one of your other pet concerns is immediately solvable, we should blithely and ignorantly expose the general populous to crippling disease for your and the ant-vaxers petulance. Pardon me, I need to go puke.

      • jasmine311 says:

        Take all the time you need. First we all are mandated to buy useless health insurance from the global corporations, and now comes the suggestion that we should be mandated to buy vaccinations from entities no less suspect.

        • bmaz says:

          Really? Because decades of safe and effectively measles eradication is “suspect”? You have wandered into the wrong place with that kind of uninformed claptrap.

        • P J Evans says:

          Mandated insurance with mandated coverage, because people were paying big bucks for insurance that covered nothing, if they had enough money to get it at all.
          Have you been sleeping for the last five years? Because if you weren’t, you’re remarkably ignorant about the ACA.
          I only have insurance this year (and last) because I get subsidized coverage. I can’t afford to buy it any other way.

  13. jasmine311 says:

    This society does not have the interests of it people at heart. It has corporate interests at heart. I weigh that fundamental fact whenever I have to make decisions for myself or my children. Caveat emptor.

    For many (most) it’s more comforting to think otherwise. My children were vaccinated when they went to school because of state law, but at least they were not subjected to them when they were more vulnerable as infants.

    • bloopie2 says:

      I repeat. If you want to live in this community of people, you need to follow the rules that the community has set so as to keep its members safe. One of those rules is vaccination. Sure, corporations profit from vaccination, but so do people. Corporations profit from most things we do – and that’s why we have things to do. If they didn’t profit from making cars, you would not have a car to drive. If they didn’t profit from making computers, you would not have a computer to type on. If they didn’t profit from making houses, you would not have a house to live in; clothes to wear; food to eat; etc. You can’t “not do something” simply because a corporation profits from it. There is, repeat is, a community benefit from vaccination. I am a member of this community, so I will support vaccination.
      And I will (sign) support the Patriots, in spite of it all. By the way, has anyone said how they benefited from the deflated balls? They did better in the second half, with fully flated balls, didn’t they?

      • P J Evans says:

        I’d think that deflated balls wouldn’t throw as well, but it would depend on how much deflation. If it’s enough for people to notice, it’s probably too much.

      • jasmine311 says:

        I don’t WANT to have to drive a car. I hate paying the huge expense of buying and maintaining a vehicle but without mass transportation I have no choice. Not only is it a huge source of economic anxiety for me, it has wrecked the ozone and is a huge contributor to global warming. But you’re right–because it is profitable for corporations I must drive and pay for a car while depriving my grandchildren of a decent future.

      • wallace says:

        quote”And I will (sign) support the Patriots, in spite of it all. By the way, has anyone said how they benefited from the deflated balls? They did better in the second half, with fully flated balls, didn’t they?”unquote

        Oh…my..god. Living proof emtywheel will now ban me.

        bloopy2..what in the flying fuck does football have to do with this thread??? I’ve seen it all now.

        emptywheel..I stand convicted. Do yo thang.

        • bloopie2 says:

          Ohmigod, are you the Wallace from Wallace and Grommit? I love those shows! You are soooo cute! And I love how you love cheese! Are you a Cheesehead? They are very popular on this website. Is that why you comment here, to be with others of your own kind? Sweet!

  14. bloopie2 says:

    I do agree that ‘corporate interests’ have too much say in this country and in how it operates. And there are many things I will not do, or buy, as a result. But I have looked at the stated benefits of vaccination, and have made the decision to go ahead with it, even though some vaccine maker somewhere will profit, and even though vaccines are not perfect, and even though the whole vaccination thing could theoretically be done better. I make such choices constantly, each day. I may hate my cable provider, or my employer, or my local grocery store, but if they are the best choices overall that I have for myself and my family, I go with them. That’s life. And just as my children’s lives are precious to me, I will try to help your children also when I can, because I am (most of the time) a decent human being. Getting my children vaccinated helps not only m children, but also can help your children.

  15. Jim White says:

    Regarding the broken status of the pharma industry in general and the vaccine segment in particular, I’d be in favor of nationalizing vaccine development, testing, production and distribution. I’d also be in favor of the final phase of new drug testing being done by the national labs, with a requirement that for any new medication to get approval, it has to demonstrate a real improvement of some sort over the current standard of treatment.
    In short, I don’t want John Galt deciding which vaccines or medications are available on the market. There are just some things that government does better.

  16. chris says:

    This post suggests it’s autism vs not getting innoculated. Not so simple. There are good reasons to stay off the radar entirely – and the “health” system is very much the radar. Coin of the realm and all that.

    This is but one of the many fallouts of lack of transparency and shift from rule-of-law to rule-of-man: can’t trust the health insurance system. I’d love to see someone try to argue that’s black-and-white clear.

    Handing in my paper chit – good for a vaccination – vs handing over my state ID and numbers so I could be tracked – entirely different. Nor is that paranoid; it’s only witnessing what goes on.

  17. bloopie2 says:

    Hey, you up all night? Want some soporifics? Try these articles, from “Lifehacker” (per the “Editors’ Picks” section of Google News).
    A Better $100 Upgrade: Five Paid Programs that Improve Windows Now
    How to Talk About Race with Your Kids
    How to Negotiate Your Salary When You Don’t Have Any Work Experience
    Why Your Muscles Get Sore (and What You Can Do About It)
    The Best Windows 10 and Xbox Updates Microsoft Announced Today
    Ain’t the Internet great?
    P.S.: Microsoft Word’s “thesaurus (Shift-F7)” doesn’t recognize ‘soporific’. Hot tuna. I’ve finally found someone I’m smarter than.

  18. P J Evans says:

    CA state law requires that doctors tell parents about vaccinations, how/why before the kids can go to kindergarten, and the exemption rate in Marin county has dropped to 6.5%. (Still way too high, but it’s an improvement over the 8% they had before.)

    • bmaz says:

      I’d love to find out just who Patient Zero was at Disneyland. And if it is because of some anti-vas puke, put the person or parent in jail for reckless endangerment.

      • Jim White says:

        I don’t think they’ll be able to make a clear identification on that. The thinking seems to lean toward patient zero being an international traveler bringing the virus into the park. With the high percentage of non-vaccinated people due to the anti-vaxxer bullshit being spread, that then allowed the virus to be amplified with so many people being infected. With normal herd immunity, only infants too young to vaccinate would be at high risk of infection from patient zero at the park.

        • bmaz says:

          Oh, I know, just saying. At some point, the actions of the anti-vaxers in propagating this disease really do borderline on criminal.

  19. Rayne says:

    This *childhood disease* anti-vax nonsense pisses me off; it’s not based on data, and it certainly tinkers with public health WITHOUT ANY CONTROLS IN PLACE.

    When vaccines for most childhood diseases were first formulated and integrated into public health, they were based on a population in which the diseases were still common. That’s not the case today; the vaccines and their manufacture have changed over time for a number of reasons (including profitability for pharma which has now very little profit margin on these early childhood vaccines and little incentive to make them), and based on incidence rates in a now-largely vaccinated population.

    But now the population includes a massive number of immune compromised children and *adults* — specifically, diabetics and HIV positives — the same percentages of which did not exist when original vaccine formulations were introduced. It’s not just un-vaccinated children at risk now, it’s adults who may have been vaccinated, but are compromised by other newer health risks to the point that their vaccinations may no longer work.

    Do we have any data on the impact of measles, polio, and other childhood diseases reintroduced into an immune-compromised population 30-50 years after vaccination? Probably not outside of raw un-examined data, and the GOP is unlikely to fund a study anytime soon. But anti-vax folks blithely mumble on about their rights and fuck all y’all…

    DISTINCTLY SEPARATE: I do believe public policy behind the HPV vaccines is highly flawed as this virus is NOT a *childhood disease* readily transmissible hand-to-mouth or by inhalation in public spaces, disproportionately impacting children in infancy/pre-K/K-8 education. The current HPV vaccines only address a handful of ~40 HPV viruses, and viruses are opportunistic. Further, for the cost of the entire HPV regimen, we could be providing annual pelvic exams, pap smears, sex ed, and birth control which would do far more to prevent ALL STDs and unwanted pregnancies, while reducing rates of cervical cancer. This particular vaccine should only be optional — and definitely not mandatory public health policy for children who’ve never even had sex education. (“Here’s a three-shot regimen, little girl. Nah, I’m not allowed to tell you why you’re getting it. Maybe you’ll figure it out when you’re older.”)

    Persons having received HPV vaccine may be less likely to get regular, consistent screening, believing themselves no longer at the same risk. This could affect other disease rates like Pelvic Inflammatory Disease; PID has dropped by roughly 75% since 1980 and the inception of regular pelvic exams for sexually mature women (see chart, column at far right).

    While some data indicates a fall off in HPV infection rates among younger women having had the vaccine, the data on genital warts (also caused by HPV) does not mirror such a trend. In fact, the data on genital warts and HSV-2 (sexually transitted herpes simplex, for which there is not yet a vaccine) shows incidence rates have actually gone up. Does this suggest that 1) one of the two HPV vaccines doesn’t actually work as billed, and 2) have vaccinated persons reduced their safe sex practices out of the mistaken belief they are protected by vaccine? But again, good luck getting the GOP to fund any studies, especially since Big Pharma wouldn’t want anyone rocking the boat on one of their latest highly-profitable vaccine.

    HPV is sooo unlike childhood diseases it shouldn’t even enter into the same discussions. When the trend on HPV infections looks less like this and more like this, then we should talk about shifting public health policy.

    Ugh. Feels like time travel to the middle ages, when results like these result in avoiding the very thing that created such results, while ensuring the wrong policies are enacted for unrelated diseases. Might as well start stocking up on leeches, and braided ropes of garlic, along with sage for smudging away germs in dark rooms with the windows sealed against the night’s miasma.

    • P J Evans says:

      possibly even worse, I’ve seen pro-forced-birth people whining about abortions in the vaccination context, as if abortions were somehow either contagious or required.

  20. greengiant says:

    Personally vaccinations are a two edged knife. One of my aunts died of diphtheria.
    On the other edge vaccinations have been studied and proposed as aborting birth control methods in both animals and humans, and pro vaccers are particularly lame in their counter arguments as to whether there have been actual field trials.

    The argument that they just used pregnancy test kits to determine if the bad juju was in the tetanus vaccines makes the abortion claims invalid is in my mind not a useful argument but rather an indictment of the abortion claims validity.

    When someone ties the real life animal abortions caused by “faulty” vaccines to these reports of “experiments” done on humans it will make Le Carre’s “The Constant gardner” look like a bed time fairy tale.

    • Rayne says:

      The problem cited in the linked article should not be used to argue against childhood disease vaccinations in the U.S. First, the vaccination program described in Kenya is NOT a childhood disease vaccination if it’s administered primarily to adult women. Second, the problem is poorly outlined; there’s little hard data in the reports as to numbers, timing, locations. The vaccination batches and even the manufacturer(s) isn’t named in order to be held accountable. Only political entities and NGOs are cited. Third, the administration of the program appears to be poorly documented on the face of it, and in conditions which are dramatically different than that of U.S. childhood disease vaccination programs.

      In short, comparing the Kenyan situation to U.S. childhood disease vaccination programs is like comparing apples to oranges. Is there reason to be skeptical about the Kenyan vaccination program? Hell yeah, but the problem is uniquely Kenyan+WHO+NGO-based, and more likely to be rooted in politics alone, rather than a conflict of profits-vs-policy more likely in the U.S.

      I’m very sorry you lost an aunt to diphtheria — but I’m glad you’re here and much less likely to contract that disease today.

  21. Meryl Nass says:

    Emptywheel is known for digging as deep as it goes into its stories. That’s why I read this site.

    It is difficult to dig through the piles of poor quality literature on vaccinations, as evidenced by the Cochrane Collaboration, and be able to draw a reliable conclusion.

    After performing a thorough meta-analysis of flu vaccinations studies in children,

    the Cochrane authors said the following:

    “If immunisation in children is to be recommended as a public health policy, large-scale studies assessing important outcomes, and directly comparing vaccine types are urgently required. The degree of scrutiny needed to identify all global cases of potential harms is beyond the resources of this review. This review includes trials funded by industry. An earlier systematic review of 274 influenza vaccine studies published up to 2007 found industry-funded studies were published in more prestigious journals and cited more than other studies independently from methodological quality and size. Studies funded from public sources were significantly less likely to report conclusions favourable to the vaccines. The review showed that reliable evidence on influenza vaccines is thin but there is evidence of widespread manipulation of conclusions and spurious notoriety of the studies. The content and conclusions of this review should be interpreted in the light of this finding.”

    Now a CDC official has admitted covering up some data in 2004 that linked the MMR vaccine with autism.

    Sadly, it is currently impossible to know the true safety and efficacy of our vaccines due to quality and biases in the literature.

    • bmaz says:

      And for that reason, nutbag anti-vaxers should be allowed to recklessly endanger the public? Because more studies would be a good idea? Please.

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