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12 March 2009 @ 10:50 pm
ARGH! Vaccine rant, and I do mean rant.  
It's my own fault for watching the news on the trashy commercial TV channel.

The story began reasonably enough. It told the tragic tale of a very young baby who has just died of whooping cough up in Lismore, near the idiot hippie capital of Australia. The child was too young to be immunised, and because the level of immunisation in the area is so low, she was infected by an older child whose parents had not kept his or her shots up. Not only was that original child made very ill, just like the other 3300 Australian whooping cough cases in the first two months of this year, it has killed four-week-old Dana.

Dana's parents wanted her vaccinated, but she was too young.

Up to this point the news story was quite scientifically accurate. But after clearly outlining the facts, it went on to say 'Tell that to parents like Wayne Bennet whose son suffered an adverse reaction to the diptheria vaccine, which caused brain damage.'

To which I say ... hold on a minute, sunshine.

Now you will find lots of pages on the internet telling you that the diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, (DPT) vaccine causes brain damage, just as you will find many telling you the MMR vaccine causes autism.

Diphtheria is a highly contagious disease that kills 4-10% of people who contract it and causes severe chronic illness in many others. Tetanus and whooping cough you probably know about. In the 1970s, a UK study suggested that one in 310,000 children would have a serious reaction to the DPT vaccine, and as one of the children who would have contributed to those statistics, I have to say that it's what I consider an acceptable risk. However, subsequent studies and reinterpretation of the original data all came to the same conclusion. There was in fact NO PROVEN SERIOUS RISK. Mild rashes, nausea and the very rare cases of anaphylaxis which can occur with ANY substance and which are best off occurring in a doctor's surgery or with a trained nurse armed with adrenalin standing beside you were the only reactions shown by the data.

Wayne Bennett is a famous football coach. His son suffered seizures after his DPT vaccination. He believes that it was causal. It is possible that it was. People have all sorts of strange and unique allergic reactions. It's also possible that it was a coincidence and another factor caused the seizures at a close time to the vaccine, the boy's sister has serious genetic issues and it may just have been that his were under the radar until that day, or even that the baby had been suffering smaller seizures previously that had gone un-noticed until his system was challenged by the vaccine, which led to a larger physiological response. It is a very sad event, and the family have been great, but it is a specific and individual case.

To give this single case the same weight as the entire DPT vaccination programme, which has not only delivered no proven risk of serious reaction caused by vaccine, but also demonstrably prevented hundreds of thousands of cases of diseases that have definite death rates -- quite high ones in the case of diphtheria ... it goes beyond bad journalism to being overtly unethical.

You've almost certainly heard all about the MMR--autism link, it was massively reported when first mooted. What has been less reported is that the doctor who proposed the link has been found guilty of falsifying his data. Now to begin with, the whole thing was idiot pseudo science, since the sample size was 12. If you cherry pick your sample size of 12, you can 'prove' most things. After the publication of his 'reasearch', the vaccination rates in the UK fell dramatically, destroying herd immunity. This now means that British children who cannot be vaccinated for legitimate reasons, including HIV, childhood cancer or other illnesses, are at real risk from their peers, because their parents are idiots.

When I was a young lass in the 60s and 70s, I knew one girl who died of measles and another who was severely disabled thanks to her mother's rubella. That was in England. When I travelled with dad, I met many families in India, Kenya and Tanzania who had members who had died of measles. It is not an insignificant nor trifling disease, nor is mumps or rubella.

Thanks to the vaccine, measles death rates have plumetted. In 2000, according to the CDC, 750,000 people died of measles. In 2007, with the disease wiped out in many countries, 197,000 people died of it. However, in the UK, where the idiot falsifying doctor first published, measles infection rates climbed more than 30% in 2007, and about the same amount in 2008. I do not think there have yet been any deaths, but serious complications including mental retardation are known consequences of measles itself.

Now I do not pretend that vaccines are all sunshine and roses. They hurt, they cost, and in some people, like me, they leave you feeling nauseated or headachey for days (as do most drugs, I am a big girl's blouse, as they say).

And if you are taking the rabies vaccine, there actually IS a risk of mental retardation and other brain problems because of the vaccine's ingredients. However, you only take this if you have been bitten by a rabid animal, and since you WILL DIE of rabies, most people choose to accept the risk.

Some of you may know about Jade Goody, the formerly ridiculous now tragic UK reality TV creation who is currently dying of cervical cancer. I do not have her medical records, but am going to stride out on a limb and say that her cancer was most likely caused by HPV. This virus  is the cause of 70% of cervical cancers, and the overwhelming majority of those in the young. There is a vaccine, Gardasil, that has been around for several years. In Australia, it is given free to all young women.

There have been any number of news stories stating that schoolgirls have suffered adverse reactions to Gardisil. Tell us your stories! many say. And it is true to an extent. In the years since the vaccines began there have been over 1000 Australian girls who have suffered adverse reactions. Headaches, rashes at the injection site, dizziness, nausea ... 12 cases of anaphylaxis, which were all dealt with by trained staff administering the vaccine. (That is many times smaller than the number of cases of anaphylaxis caused by bees, peanuts and shellfish, by the way.)

There have been over 3.7 million doses of Gardasil administered here. All of these women have drastically slashed the likelihood they will end up like Jade Goody. Or the over 200 Australian women who die each year of cervical cancer.

It would be great if none of those girls ever felt sick, but the possibility of a headache and nausea -- even if it persisted for weeks as some anecdotal cases have alleged (which may or may not actually have been caused by Gardasil, I crashed with glandular fever after my rubella vaccination, this was a coincidence) -- is nothing compared to the possibility of an early painful death. 

For journalists to pretend that they are providing a 'balanced' report by slipping notes such as the Wayne Bennett comment into stories on vaccination infuriates me. But my fury is nothing.

That sort of thinking killed Dana. She was only four weeks old.

not your typical annihilatrix: KHR: Gokudera snarlfuriosity on March 12th, 2009 02:30 pm (UTC)
This is why I don't read mass media any closer than I need to get the main idea.-- 'cause this kind of thing happens all the time. It's like the ever-popular "we humans only use 30% of our brain!"; only in this case it isn't just incurably stupid, it's also dangerous. D:
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 12th, 2009 02:35 pm (UTC)
only in this case it isn't just incurably stupid, it's also dangerous

Alas, this could be the watchword for much of modern civilisation. And the rest of us are not allowed to slip contraceptives into their water, because, in all honesty, that would be pretty unethical, too.
(no subject) - uminohikari on March 12th, 2009 10:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - furiosity on March 12th, 2009 10:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
down the hills and round the bendsnorton_gale on March 12th, 2009 02:35 pm (UTC)
The anti-vaccine thing drives me crazy. There are so many people suspicious of the medical establishment for no particular reason. On a pregnancy comm I belong to there are a number of women who refuse ultrasounds and prenatal testing due to this increasing the risk of medical intervention and possibly harming the child. They say they don't care to know until delivery if there's something wrong with the baby. I don't understand their thinking.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 12th, 2009 02:39 pm (UTC)
I have a friend who insists that all scientists are in the pay of drug companies and are hiding cures for cancer. When I point out that a. most scientists are barely paid, and b. I know no scientist who would prefer money to a Nobel Prize, she assures me I am naive.

It must be said that she does not actually know any research scientists.

Yes, crazy sums up my response, too. And ranting at the ones I know in real life, because it really is only overprivileged first world wankers who will happily sacrifice their and other kids on stupid pseudoscience. Why can't they just do the happy and non-evil overprivileged wanky things like organic food and Steiner schools?
(no subject) - lilian_cho on March 12th, 2009 07:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - norton_gale on March 12th, 2009 07:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lilian_cho on March 12th, 2009 07:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - norton_gale on March 12th, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
E McGeemelusinahp on March 12th, 2009 02:37 pm (UTC)
I agree with you. Intellectually, I agree with you 100%, especially regarding how the media feeds and promotes hysteria. (And both my kids have had the MMR, if you are wondering.)

I also know that having a child with autism makes making these choices on a purely intellectual basis a true challenge. You can look at all the research and numbers, make your decisions, and still there's that fear at the back of your mind. What if? What if I did this to my child? What if a second does makes things worse?

I have my attitude towards the situation, but I find it very hard to make judgements about parents who have different attitudes. There's so much crazy information out there and so many people banging drums loudly and hysterically. And it's never easy to make decisions about your children's future health with cold calculation. When you read a news story about 'Johnny' who was speaking in sentences one day and then virtually catatonic the day after his vaccination, it becomes very hard not to factor that story into your decision making process.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 12th, 2009 02:55 pm (UTC)
Except that every single case that massive studies in the US and UK have investigated has shown that it is never the case that Johnny is fine one day and autistic the next with only the vaccine as the difference. Never.

This is why I am so suspicious of my own industry, because we are TERRIBLE at science. I am better at science than an estimated 97% of journos (certainly that figure holds on those I have worked with). And yet I am only good enough to know how very much I do not know.

What happens is that you have writers, who are very good at writing, delivering statements on science that they do not understand, and often that science is merely a hypothesis: is there a link between X and Y? the actual scientific report will ask. LINK BETWEEN X AND Y! the news story will say.

Of course, in this case, you have Andrew Wakefield lying in the original study. He overtly manipulated data from his tiny sample size and changed anything that did not fit the results he wanted. He is now in serious trouble over the original 'research'.

I have also read that he owns the patent on an alternative measles vaccine, and wished to discredit MMR.

I suspect he is actually evil, because scientific fraud is bad, but scientific fraud for profit is unconscionable.

However, it is another example of unethical journalism, since doubts were raised right at the beginning and many many researchers have said that they did not find similar links. Massive investigations were done into timing relationships between vaccination and onset of autistic symptoms, which found no correlation. They were barely reported, if at all.

Having said that, I find it hard to understand parents who take their health information from blogs, drum bangers and so on. Every western government collects and publishes data on all these issues, it is easy to find and easy to understand.

And, most importantly, it wasn't you. Now, as always, some people are just autistic, just as some are tone deaf and some are annoyingly bombastic (that one's me).
(no subject) - melusinahp on March 12th, 2009 02:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on March 12th, 2009 03:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - melusinahp on March 12th, 2009 03:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on March 12th, 2009 03:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rickey_a on March 12th, 2009 03:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - melusinahp on March 12th, 2009 05:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rickey_a on March 12th, 2009 05:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - azurelunatic on March 12th, 2009 05:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - drgaellon on March 13th, 2009 02:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
rickey_a: Ack!rickey_a on March 12th, 2009 02:44 pm (UTC)
I quite often have felt as you do in this rant today. I don't "get" people sometimes, but then again my motto is "never underestimate the stupididty of others". Obviously, being in the Autism community if you will, I encounter so many vaccine finger pointers (primarily thimersoal and MMR) and there are no conrtolled studies that show any causal or even any possible link. (of course we do need more autism reseach) It also reminds me of all the Silicone Breast Implant hoopla, yes, there was a distinct lack of data, but nothing more than scary anectdotal stories of them causing any harm. But the press glom onto it and report people's ideas as facts. It's very disconcerting. People watch the TV media (I refuse to call them reporters - they are NOT by definition journalists) anyway... people think that what they hear is true. very sad ;( So... many years later... large scale controlled studies conducted - only minor KNOWN complications (like capsual contracture or implant rupture) were found. NO shred of a link between Breast Implants and lupus, MS, chronic fatigue, etc. etc. etc. was found.
see what you started?
so yeah, I hear ya- preaching to the choir
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 12th, 2009 03:00 pm (UTC)
Hee! In fairness to TV people, even print journalists are generally bad at science. Science is hard, like economics. I have spent days of my life on the phone to scientific researchers saying 'I have no idea what that means, can you talk me through it?'

I've been lucky in that my mags have had the funds to let me do that, and that I am good at learning and, eventually, understanding. But there are very few specialist science or medical journos out there, and an awful lot of publications who want 'health' or 'breakthrough' stories.

And then, too, the original researcher in the MMR case simply lied ... Would you prefer to take the alto, mezzo or soprano line in our choir? I can adapt ...
(no subject) - rickey_a on March 12th, 2009 03:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rickey_a on March 12th, 2009 03:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on March 12th, 2009 03:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - drgaellon on March 13th, 2009 02:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rickey_a on March 13th, 2009 03:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on March 12th, 2009 03:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - drgaellon on March 13th, 2009 02:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
Bon: Dark Tower - Crimson Eyedeannawol on March 12th, 2009 02:52 pm (UTC)
I know that there is one person I work with who is convinced that his son is autistic due to MMR, but given the age that you get MMR at and the age at which Autism becomes noticeable, it's pretty much identical. There are entire TOWNS in Ireland who have boycotted the vaccine. And now there's a massive surge in the number of mumps and measles outbreaks amoung children and teenages and even twenty year olds... It's very worrying.

I got everything. MMR (incl. booster), BCG, Polio, Tetnus, Smallpox... Seriously, I know we were pincushions back then but we didn't get dehabilitating illnesses.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 12th, 2009 03:05 pm (UTC)
Yes! The timing thing for ages is what all the big studies have shown; yes that child had MMR and later was diagnosed as autistic, but the symptomatic 'connection' was variously given as one day, one week, one month, one year ... under investigation all the 'connections' fell over.

It's like my rubella vaccination. I had my usual response of nausea and headache with mild fever, then fell far sicker later that week. My mad aunt declared it was the vaccine, my sane grandmother declared it was the glandular fever sweeping through my school.

But yes, none of my vaccinated friends or relatives has ever been made debilitatingly ill by any of those diseases or vaccines, whereas I lost a friend from nursery to measles and have two infertile male friends from mumps.
(no subject) - deannawol on March 12th, 2009 03:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on March 12th, 2009 03:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - deannawol on March 12th, 2009 03:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - potteresque_ire on March 12th, 2009 03:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - deannawol on March 12th, 2009 04:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - drgaellon on March 13th, 2009 02:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
Holly: Be more awesomehollyxu on March 12th, 2009 03:09 pm (UTC)
If only we could make a giant banner that says, "Correlation does not equal causation!!" and smack people with it every once in a while. Alas.

As far as I know, all health professionals have to keep up with a battery of vaccinations, most of which have unpleasant side-effects. You'd think if some vaccinations were useless or dangerous they would lessen their own load, if nothing else.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 12th, 2009 03:19 pm (UTC)
I am ALL for smacking!

And yes, when the top doctors and scientists are vaccinating their kids, surely that should say something?
(no subject) - hollyxu on March 13th, 2009 04:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - deannawol on March 12th, 2009 03:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on March 12th, 2009 03:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - deannawol on March 12th, 2009 03:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - azurelunatic on March 12th, 2009 05:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Leela: LuciusCrucioleela_cat on March 12th, 2009 03:17 pm (UTC)
Scare tactics annoy the hell out of me. Scare tactics that frighten people into doing something that can kill a child, infuriate me. As for assholes like that doctor and his so-called MMR study, I can't even be coherent about it.

Not to mention that his original study was trumpeted in headlines every-fucking-where and his debunking barely got any press at all in comparison. Lots of people don't even know that it was all faked.

I hate vaccines because I'm needle-phobic. I've still had every vaccine that has been required. Including smallpox, twice - first because there was an outbreak in the UK when I was a kid, and the booster when we went to India.

Other than momentary panic and the usual headache and low-grade fever, I was fine every time. And that reaction is far far better than getting smallpox.

blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 12th, 2009 03:21 pm (UTC)
I was not vaccinated for smallpox, and it is the only time I remember being actually angry at my father, since we went travelling through India in the mid 70s. His brother was furious at the irresponsibility.

And as to bad journalism, I could spend the rest of my life apologising for my profession and not do enough.
(no subject) - leela_cat on March 12th, 2009 03:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on March 12th, 2009 04:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Potteresque Irepotteresque_ire on March 12th, 2009 03:42 pm (UTC)
I have an aunt who collects health advices she's got from mass email, thought it was important knowledge and sends it to us. It's horrific what's being passed around; the article would be written in a very professional tone (According to Dr. X, a (insert specialist title) at XXXXXX hospital...) and usually, includes a tiny morsel of accurate science, something proven by a child's chemistry experiment.

I can't tell her to stop sending them (as well as links that says Halloween is propagated by the Devil) as she meant well and she's my aunt, and then I have to use hours to explain to my mom why the articles' contents are very dubious

Scientific knowledge changes by the day; what is accepted on any day may be proven false later - and even people in the scientific community cannot keep up with the new developments. What they know is to read all the reports with a critical (if not skeptical) eye - knowing the setup, statistics, and conditions (hence limitations) of data collection. Mass media tends to neglect to report these factors, instead jumping to the conclusion and stating it as a universally true statement; then goes ahead and discusses it in a sensational manner that further discourages any thinking from the readers' part by appealing to their emotions (look how tragic it is for the father to lose his son! the vaccine must be ev0l!!).

I really wish news can just stick to the facts - that's what I read them for; I can think and analyze what they mean by myself :(...
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 12th, 2009 04:17 pm (UTC)
I know how you feel! I am currently working on a mass market title and I spend a lot of my time saying 'But does that really sound likely to you?'

Some Halloween costumes might be propagated by the devil, I will grant ;-)
Anonymuncule.: owl's eyetwistedm on March 12th, 2009 03:49 pm (UTC)
i know a lot of people who don't vax their kids and i do my level best to respect their opinions.

my three children have all their vaxes, though i was very cautious about some of them. the chicken pox vaccine, for example, seems a poorly thought through situation to me. (and to my family doctor.) but i couldn't find a case of the wild disease to expose my kids to, so i gave up and all three of them ended up getting that vax at about 3 or 4.

i think when a lot of smart people who care very deeply about their children are terrified of vaccines, it is a sign that we lives in times of unparalleled prosperity and safety. it gives people the luxury to be more frightened of doctors and pharmacological companies than nature. nothing used to be more frightening than the capricious hand of mother nature. now we feel we've tamed it to the point where many of us fear each other more.

i'm trying to see that as a sign of progress.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 12th, 2009 04:02 pm (UTC)
Chicken pox I can rather see. But for the others, the risks of the disease far outweigh the worries from the vaccines.

I think a lot of people who care very deeply about their children do not think things through. We do not live in a time of unparalleled safety when it comes to disease, in fact, like obesity, it seems that this generation could be worse off than the last.

Of course, this post GFC age might actually see a return to common sense all round as people stop distrusting doctors and start distrusting investment bankers and the natural order of the world is restored
(no subject) - xenelle on March 12th, 2009 04:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Bryoneybryoneybrynn on March 12th, 2009 04:20 pm (UTC)
Let me start this by saying that Ben is vaccinated. That was never really a question for me.

I will say that it's very difficult to find clear information on the topic. Unless you invest a lot of time into reading original research and have the background to understand the contradictory results, it mostly leaves you more confused than when you start. Everyone has results to back-up their position. There's all kinds of sites and articles telling you why this person is lying to you or these results aren't valid or this article only tells half the story. Honestly, I got completely fed up researching it.

I think for me part of the problem is that I don't trust the government when it comes to health concerns. When Ben was born and we discovered breast feeding wasn't going to work, we immediately went to glass bottles. It took me forever to find them, I had to import them from this place in the states. Everywhere, gov't sites were claiming plastic safety blah blah blah. The Canadian gov't had a "warning" out on certain plastics but was making no steps to remove them from the stores. And everywhere there were studies and articles showing harm/no harm. Now two years later, everyone knows about BPA and glass bottles are a dime a dozen. But the same gov'ts who are banning BPA's just two years ago were pushing them as safe.

So if you can't trust gov't health agencies, those kookie watchdog groups on the net start to seem a lot more credible. And it's hard to know when they're right and when they're wrong. Health research at uni's and gov'ts can be so tied to funding sources. It's hard to trust anything anymore.

And yes, studies up and down about the MMR and autism link not being true BUT when we had Ben assessed, the psychologist advised us to delay his 18 month shots to 2 years. She said anecdotally, she had a hard time believing there was no link. Which doesn't mean anything scientifically, I know, but there are truths that people in the field see that people in the lab don't. And we did wait for that second round of vaccines, though Ben has them all now. *shrugs*
Randy: SCA devicedrgaellon on March 13th, 2009 03:23 am (UTC)
Look, any medical research is about statistics. It's about risks for large groups of people. Studies have shown, over and over and over, for decades (if not centuries, since Jenner developed the cowpox vaccine to prevent smallpox in humans) that vaccinating large populations prevents lots and lots of deaths from the disease... in exchange for a much smaller number of illnesses caused by the vaccines themselves. It's a "needs of the many" argument, but when you (or your kid) are the "one" who's hurt, it's virtually impossible to believe in the benefit to society as a whole.
(no subject) - bryoneybrynn on March 13th, 2009 12:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - melusinahp on March 16th, 2009 03:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bryoneybrynn on March 18th, 2009 12:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
shadowclubshadowclub on March 12th, 2009 04:52 pm (UTC)
As someone who studies science and wants to go into medical research, stories like that destroy me. I agree, there are some risks and chances are if both parents are allergic to a drug their kid will be allergic to that too. That being said, most of these vaccines are safe for the majority of people. It would be terribly tragic to think that you caused your kid to become autistic or something, but isn't it genetic? I didn't think you "catch" autism. I could be wrong here though, that is something I definitely haven't studied in depth at all.

But at the same time you take a risk every time you put your kid in a car seat to drive somewhere. It's just hard to read stories like this and KNOW that there is a way this could have been prevented:(
Anonymuncule.: owl's eyetwistedm on March 12th, 2009 05:04 pm (UTC)
it absolutely must be said that we do not know what causes autism. there are credible theories that point to what is called a "genetic predisposition." that isn't the same thing as it "being genetic" like blue eyes or curly hair. and it isn't proof, either.

as for the vaxes, i'm with bryoneybrynn. the parents who don't vax, in my experience, have given the issue an enormous amount of thought. far more than most of the parents i know that do vax. in the end, it comes down to who do you trust. and indeed, if you don't feel you can trust your own government, why would you feel that the national association of doctors was any more trustworthy? in the end, i did my own research and vaccinated my children. not everyone who does their own research makes that choice.
(no subject) - drgaellon on March 13th, 2009 03:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
Asta: com sarcasmastarael02 on March 12th, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC)
I agree with you completely.
Parents who don't want their children to be vaccinated are idiots. I think vaccinations are one of the most useful things humans have come up with (there are loads more on the list though, obviously) and I don't see how people can put so much trust in what the media tell them, and not have a little injection that can stop you dying when you don't have to, for chrissakes! Some of the crap the media tells us, you'd think people would know not to believe everything they read. >:(
"Would you like to be vaccinated against cholera, polio, TB, and a number of other very nasty, and usually fatal diseases?"
"Oh no, certainly not! You can be allergic to vaccines. I read it in the Daily Mail. What if my face swells up?? Plus, needles hurt, and the injection will make me feel sick. Nonono, I'm much better off without those sorts of things. They don't seem healthy at all."
I say again-idiots.

I like the point about the best place to have an allergic reaction being the doctor's surgery, as well. And an injection against a kind of cervical cancer?! Do you know if this is available in the UK?? If it is, I wonder if it's one of those things the NHS won't pay for...or maybe you can only have it if someone in your immediate family got cervical cancer? Hmm.

Anyway, I enjoyed reading your thoughts :)
Astaastarael02 on March 12th, 2009 05:07 pm (UTC)
And it just occurred to me that I shouldn't be so harsh, how are they meant to know sometimes? And now I feel bad :(
(no subject) - mabonwitch on March 12th, 2009 07:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - astarael02 on March 13th, 2009 02:27 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - drgaellon on March 13th, 2009 03:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
girl; obsessed: **other - b&w legs**complications_g on March 12th, 2009 05:30 pm (UTC)
Ugh, ILU. ♥

The world is so messed, but I'm glad it has you.

Jessikastjessikast on March 12th, 2009 05:45 pm (UTC)
The sense - you speak it!

I had rubella as a toddler and mumps a few years later, so when I got the MMR injection when I was 11, it was only really to cover me for measles, but given how horrid I remember the mumps being, I'm all for people getting vaccinated for it.

The HPV vaccine - I would LOVE to be six years younger so I could get it free. Right now, I believe I would have to pay $165 for each injection (there's three) plus other medical costs. Which I really can't afford, so that sucks. (Which reminds me, I'm probably due for another pap. Gah.) I dearly hope the government starts funding the vaccine for people up to, say 25...and before I get over the age limit there too!
lilian_cho: Edmund armor *looks down*lilian_cho on March 12th, 2009 07:34 pm (UTC)
I wish everyone's rant is just like yours <3
My MIL sometimes blames vaccination for her son's autism. More often, she blames her MIL for supposedly evilly not letting her use the car to buy medicine for her feverish son. Yet other times she blames her son's classmates (also special needs) for teaching him bad habits.

At one point she claims SUVs save more gas than hybrid cars in the long run. I don't even know.

She got her news from right-wing TV, mass e-mails, and her oh-so-smart American friends, so.

/end being bitter

In other news, I'm just here to pretty up your post with Skandar Keynes =D
Randy: Caspian Peterdrgaellon on March 13th, 2009 03:34 am (UTC)
Re: I wish everyone's rant is just like yours <3
And very pretty he is, too.

Why do I feel so much pervier having a thing for Skandar than I ever did for DanRad?
Re: I wish everyone's rant is just like yours <3 - lilian_cho on March 13th, 2009 04:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
glass_violet on March 12th, 2009 08:17 pm (UTC)
i did pause for thought about vaccinating, due to my organic hippie steiner education tendancies, but the risk of disease (both to my daughter, and to the other children whose health she might endanger) outweighs the benefits by such a margin that it has disappeared over the horizon. people will always need to find a reason for tragedy; this need to blame is what gave us god.
jamie2109: general - coffeejamie2109 on March 12th, 2009 09:30 pm (UTC)
Good rant. I am one of the lucky ones whose mother insisted that we all be vaccinated (I was a child of the 60's). She even insisted I attend school on vaccination day using crutches when I had a twisted ankle and should have been home. (They spent all their money paying for a private school education and had none left over to pay for me to go to a doctor and have it at a later stage.) So, for me it was never a question about whether or not I had my kids vaccinated. Which worked out really well as an adult friend contracted mumps and was contagious around my kids at one point before diagnosis.

There is a lot of research around, but often in the rush to be 'published' researchers forget to ask if they should be. I've had some experience deciphering research reports (and writing them) and you can pretty much find whatever you want to. I've learned to be sceptical in every claim until I can read the whole report myself and make my own judgements on their processes.

It makes me really angry every time the mass media report 'significant correlations' because you can significantly correlate anything by asking biased questions. I'm like you in that I constantly ask 'is that likely?'

So, for me, endangering the lives of my child and other people's children without good, reliably scientific evidence is irresponsible. I do understand the debate if the child has other health issues, so I am not blanketing my opinion over everyone, but for generally healthy children there should be no question.
Welcome to Ant Country: House brainant_queen on March 12th, 2009 09:59 pm (UTC)
I am eternally grateful that my mother persisted with dragging my kicking and screaming arse to the doctors for vaccinations as a kid (seriously, I hated needles, I was the kid that needed to be physically extracted by several people as I clung to every door frame and fixed object within reach.)

Mum even tried her best to give me chicken pox young, but despite having several play dates with poxy kids, I didn't get it. Ended up getting it ages 19 and it was not fun (though not life threatened either to be fair).

I hate how people expect every medical treatment to be side effect free. The common reactions to vaccines are the same as you're likely to get for a courses of antibiotics. Hell, I've been on immunotherapy for 5 years now and get my shots every month. I usually get some minor swelling and itching each time. The reason I do it is so I don't explode from doing things like breathing air that has mould spores in it.

Actually, that reminds me, I think I'm due a tetanus booster.
&helena;uminohikari on March 12th, 2009 10:42 pm (UTC)
There is a reason my school and most of the schools in my area require lots of vaccines :| :| :|
Camdenabusing_sarcasm on March 12th, 2009 11:12 pm (UTC)
I ranted about this HERE.

I think the note about Wayne Bennett is a good addition to the story. Without that tidbit, there might be ignorant people who think that the only reason parents would choose not to vaccinate their child is negligence. There are MANY good reasons to skip certain vaccines, and it should be up to each and every parent to make that decision for their own child.
acromantularacromantular on March 13th, 2009 01:16 am (UTC)
Wow, I'm continually impressed by the failure to understand how science works. There's a nice saying that applies to this case:

"The plural of anecdote is NOT data."
down the hills and round the bendsnorton_gale on March 16th, 2009 02:34 pm (UTC)
My husband is always all over me for using anecdotal evidence of this and that friend. ;)
nwfairy: What me? VMnwfairy on March 13th, 2009 01:31 am (UTC)
Okay I might have the unpopular opinion around here, but I might as well bring it up.

I personally do not believe in vaccines. There is a reason that diseases exist. They exist to weed out the weak, young and old, and improve the genetic quality of a species. Normally this would also be the position of the hunter, but considering humans are the top of the food chain, disease is the only thing that does that job well. Some vaccines (ie polio) I can understand taking though, I'm not that cold.

My belief is that its healthier to catch the disease and have your immune system fight it off then have a vaccine, such as in the case of chicken pox. Case in point I was vaccinated for it when I was little and not to long ago I had to get the booster shot. But if I just had gotten the disease when I was little and had dealt with it I wouldn't need a booster shot because my body could handle itself. Now if my bolstered vaccine doesn't work and I get the shingles as an adult it'll be ten times worse.

I don't believe that vaccines cause autism. I have a friend with Aspgers that I've talked it over with, and she'd said basically the age of diagnosed autism and vaccines happen to occur at the same time, not one because of the other.
(Anonymous) on March 15th, 2009 03:37 pm (UTC)

it depends on what traits the disease is selecting for. if you could show me a disease that killed stupid people, i might be tempted. if you had one that only kind, compassionate people who could carry a tune, could survive, i'd be very, very tempted. some days when i take my kids to music lessons, i might settle for just the last trait. but disease, that weeds out the old and the sick, in the natural environment? that's not a breeding system i want to live with. measles, rubella, whooping cough is random death to the best and the brightest, or the congenitally clueless. it takes out beethoven and the tone deaf, too.

a vaccine isn't replacing your immune system. it isn't antibiotics that kill the germs for you. it stimulates your immune system to work, so that it is prepared to kill the invader if it ever encounters it.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on March 15th, 2009 04:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on March 15th, 2009 04:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on March 15th, 2009 09:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Randy: happycatdrgaellon on March 13th, 2009 01:44 am (UTC)

At last, a reasoned and reasonable rejection of the antivaccine idiocy, from a non-healthcare-professional!!! (Not that I expected any less from my very intelligent friend, you know.)

I am so TIRED of the morons promulgating this antivaccine screed. The same kind of bad thinking takes useful drugs like Vioxx off the market, because in hundreds of millions of doses, relieving the pain and suffering of millions of patients, fewer than 100 died of heart attack. It's just NOT RATIONAL.
shu_shu_sleepsshu_shu_sleeps on March 13th, 2009 06:07 am (UTC)
Its horrific to think about the damage 'news-tainment' can do to our health. Did they mention that significant work has been done on the vaccines over the past ten years - making them even safer and more effective? Hmm - thought not....
I got whooping cough as an adult a few years ago because the old vaccine with which I was vaccinated ceased to be effective - I probably caught it from a child who hadn't been vaccinated - its rampant just over the border - either that or from someone at work who decided it was better to 'struggle on through' whatever plague they decided not to see a doctor about because hell you can't take time off if you're sick!
Vaccination saves lives. Poor little Dana had hers stolen.