Choice Implies Equal Value

This one’s from Barbara Loe Fisher at USA Today. 

Rather puzzling that the USA Today is giving a platform to a dangerous viewpoint. 

The public conversation about vaccine safety and choice began after Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, shielding drug companies from product liability and doctors from vaccine-injury lawsuits. Under that law, $3 billion has been paid to the vaccine injured while liability-free drug companies enjoy profits from a multibillion dollar market.

Actually it doesn’t. The notion is that Vaccine Court as it is called is a body that would allow families injured by vaccines to get compensation in a more productive environment.

Funny thing is? Had these people taken their issues to a real court, they would have lost. 

Big. Instead the vaccine courts pay out with greater regularity than a standard court would. And part of that was liability. If doctors were being sued for vaccine related injuries then a major health scheme would have floundered. Smallpox, Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella… the diseases protected against by vaccination would still be rife. This allowed vaccination schemes to take place and anyone injured to get money.

The problem is people like Barbara don’t like the court because quite honestly, the big money claim of Autism being caused by vaccines is simply not true.

U.S. health officials now recommend 69 doses of 16 vaccines for every child. States mandate up to 15 of them — twice as many as 30 years ago.

Because 30 years ago we didn’t have many vaccines. And this is a common trope here.

See? There aren’t 69 vaccines on ANY vaccine list. Not one! Not even 69 doses! No. What Barbara counts are both vaccines, boosters and single dose multiple vaccines are torn up into their component parts. This is just spin. 

Don’t believe me? Check it out

Even if you did what she does? It’s 40 or so “doses” not 69. 

With 95% of U.S. kindergarteners fully vaccinated and one child in six learning disabledone in 10 asthmatic and one in 50 living with autism, educated parents and health care professionals are asking legitimate questions about why so many highly vaccinated children are so sick. They’re examining vaccine science shortfalls and wondering why Americans are coerced and punished for declining to use every government-recommended vaccine while citizens in Canada, Japan and the European Union are free to make choices.

The thing is these parents aren’t educated. 

For those who are new here? One of the resources that I contributed to parents who want to know more about vaccines is the “Idiot’s Guide to Immunity“. This is education. What the anti-vax do is imply that hanging around listening to Mike Adams is an equal source of knowledge as Guyton’s Physiology. And the usage of the term “Healthcare Professionals” is a sly euphemism to sneak the quacks who support anti-vax viewpoints in. Mainly Homeopaths, Naturopaths, Chiropractors and other quacks. It gives credence to the viewpoint if read by someone new to the issue.

Here is the thing? Learning disabilities are mostly benign. They are things you can work around. Many autistic kids live normal lives. And asthma is a product of air pollution. 

And here is the most important points. These expert parents and so called “Healthcare Professionals” are awfully silent when you asking them pressing questions on the basic normal function of the human body. What we see is a distinct, clear and undeniable lack of understanding about immunology that is at the very core of the anti-vaccine stance.

And again the notion of coercion and force is important to this in order to portray Modern Medicine as forcing kids to get vaccines for a nefarious purpose. Why? If vaccines were great, kids would want them on purpose.

In other news? If Baths were so great, dogs would all want them!

And if Homework was so amazing? All Kids would do them! 

And if Broccoli was so good for you? Kids would eat them rather than McDonalds Happy Meals.

Vaccines carry two risks: a risk of harm and a risk of failure to prevent disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention admit that U.S. pertussis outbreaks are not due to a failure to vaccinate but failure of the vaccine to confer long-lasting immunity.

Which means that the schedule should include booster doses for adults. However the CHILDREN affected by the disease are often unvaccinated.

Seatbelts, Motorcycle Helmets and Bullet Proof armour do not work 100% of the time. In fact? They don’t even work 90% of the time. But they do save lives. Vaccines are the same. They don’t work 100% of the time but they work enough so that diseases don’t transfer. 

And the risk of harm with vaccines is relatively low. The majority of side effects are pain (due to needle), inflammation, fever and swelling. The most serious of side effects usually is down to allergies. 

The Institute of Medicine acknowledges major gaps in scientific knowledge about how and why vaccines cause injury and death and who will be more susceptible to suffering harm. Vaccine risks are not shared equally by all because “no exceptions” vaccine mandates discriminate against and penalize those vulnerable to vaccine complications.

The major gaps in scientific understanding of vaccines and immunology are nowhere near the gaps in the understanding of the average anti-vaccine lobbyist. Bear in mind we have a proof of vaccine effectiveness. We have tonnes of proof. 

We know anti-bodies work. The home pregnancy test, blood cross matching and the old Immuno-globulin shots work on this principle. So anything that generates them naturally should also work. We know it works because we have rabies vaccines and effectively eliminated the disease among pets and human fatalities in the developed world are a tiny tiny number. In contrast? Places with no access to the vaccine among pets and humans show high fatality rates. 

We also eliminated smallpox and polio is nearly eliminated thanks to vaccines. Vaccines work astonishingly well.

What Fischer is proposing is 

“What if vaccines do not function in this proven way”. Her entire argument is a thought experiment rather than a scientific one. In this particular case, she is trying to imply that different people’s immune systems do not work the same way. Which is daft. All our immune systems function by the recognition of antigens to generate antibodies.

We do have people who cannot generate antibodies and who lack specific immune systems. HIV/AIDS patients and Leukemia sufferers. In both cases? They fall dreadfully sick due to the inability to fight off disease. Must they be penalised because ignorant parents and the quacks who have a vested interest in pushing their particular form of quackery think their children’s immune systems function in entirely different ways but fail to provide any logic or research as to why or how they do function?

Public health officials and pediatricians are not infallible. What is considered scientific “truth” today may not be true tomorrow. When doctors cannot predict who will be harmed by a vaccine and cannot guarantee that those who have been vaccinated won’t get infected or transmit infection, the ethical principle of informed consent becomes a civil, human and parental right that must be safeguarded in U.S. law.

So you are banking that the medical advancement that made Smallpox extinct is somehow going to be wrong? That a proven, tried and tested system of disease prevention is somehow going to be wrong? 

The fact of the matter is that the anti-vax do not understand what the scientific method is nor how research and statistics work.

Doctors cannot predict who will be harmed by ANY medical procedure. Does that mean we stop doing all medicine? Of course the homeopaths can predict who will not be harmed, water is not harmful if drunk in those quantities. This is like saying that until we are 100% sure who will die in a car accident, we cannot permit driving. It sounds stupid but it really is that daft.

The ethical issue is that the anti-vax portray vaccine side effects as common. That rare side effects are portrayed as the norm. 

Let’s take Guillain Barre Syndrome. GBS is a complication of the flu vaccine. It causes temporary paralysis that regresses after a few weeks. Scary right? 

1 in 1,000,000 flu shots has this. By contrast? 1 in 1000 cases of flu have it. You are a thousand times less likely to get it if vaccinated, but the anti-vax lobby portrays it as a common side effect of the flu vaccine that could happen to you. You are more likely to die in a car accident this year than you are from getting GBS from a flu shot. You are a thousand times more likely to get GBS from a regular bout of the flu too. But what the anti-vax suggest is that until we know which person is going to be that unlucky 1 in 1,000,000. We must risk the 1 in 1000.

Non-medical vaccine exemptions immunize individuals and the community against unsafe, ineffective vaccines and tyranny.

I am hereby stating that my piece on immunity is a creative commons article. Take it with you as a cheat sheet and ask these quacks the simple question. How does the human immune system work. I guarantee you? They will downplay the most powerful part of the immune system.

Non-Medical vaccine exemptions will allow diseases back. Vaccine Preventable Diseases are on the rise due to people like Barbara Fisher and the anti-vax lobby loathe to take responsibility for their actions. 

Vaccines are arguably more safe than some forms of quackery. The Chirpractors routinely harm people who sometimes even require surgical intervention to repair spinal damage. Homeopaths sell water and do harm through suggesting regular medicine be dropped. They don’t consider that as harm though. Personally? Apart from all that, they harm your wallet. You would be better off treating yourself to a massage or a glass of water without attributing magic properties to them.

They are the most cost effective way of controlling the spread of many diseases. For the price and overall effectiveness there are no other options at preventing spread bar strict aseptic protocols and that would be ridiculous.

And where would we be without indicating a medical tyranny? The poor anti-vaccine lobbyist being held to account is apparently tyranny. Pointing out flaws in arguments is tyranny. Protecting children is tyranny. 

Barbara must appeal to you, not through knowledge or science but through the emotive struggle of fighting against non-existent tyranny.


  1. says

    41 “doses”, 44 once they get the HPV vaccine. German schedule.
    One thing I never understood was parents “spacing” the vaccines and insisting on single vaccines instead of the combination shots (sensible medical reasons excempted, of course).
    Because that’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    Yes, injections hurt. No, they don’t hurt as much as falling down the stairs, but still. And I fully understand that you don’t want your baby or child to hurt, and what’s more. they’re being hurt by somebody they trust to protect them and help them. That’s hard to understand for a child.*
    Yes, they get crancy after the vaccination. Many kids have a bad day or two after the second shot.
    By drawing them out, you actively increase the suffering. Of course every new vaccination will be dreaded by everybody involved. And there are so many to come. No wonder the kids end up not being fully vaccinated.

    Your post is really hard to read. Light grey on an off-white background…

    *One of my worst parenting moments was when I needed to restrain my daughter because she needed IV fluids after a bad case of belly bug. She was crying and actively begging me to stop it, to let her go, to stop those people from hurting her.

  2. smrnda says

    Is there any truth that vaccines are less mandatory in any of those named countries?

    Additionally, the increase in diagnosis of kids with learning disabilities could just be that they used to just call those kids ‘stupid’ and give them all failing marks; now we understand learning disabilities better and can offer better support.

  3. says

    The reason why asthma is so common nowadays could have something to do with the invention of Salbutamol (Ventolin / Salamol) about 50 years ago. The first people to survive severe asthma attacks thanks to Salbutamol are now grandparents.

    As someone who literally would be dead without that drug, I say Humans 1, Natural Selection 0.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>