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Jan 17 2013

Well, now you know what to blame

Michael Savage, the rabid far-right talk radio loon, has gone on a tear against vaccination. He’s ranting about how those damned Democratic politicians aren’t getting any flu shots (really? I kind of doubt that).

But then he also goes on to make claims of dire outcomes.

But when you’re older, he argued, “and you get ALS or Alzheimer’s disease or MS, or you watch your kid develop seizures, or your kid becomes autistic, God forbid, what are you going to say?”

You know, I’m getting older, and I’ve been getting my flu shot every year for years…but I just realized that’s not going to convince any of those kooks, is it?

41 comments

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  1. 1
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    And then we get old and we die. I bet it’s the vaccines’ fault.

  2. 2
    jnorris

    or your kid becomes autistic

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but can a child become autistic? Does it happen at puberty?

    I too have been getting flu shots annually along with all the other vaccines I’ve needed. Is that’s what’s making my hair get grayer? Will I become autistic? Do I have to go through puberty again? (please say no to that one)

  3. 3
    jnorris

    Beatrice, has to be true. Can’t you just feel it happening?

  4. 4
    Randomfactor

    OMG! Vaccinations cause ATHEISM! It all becomes clear…and then you go atheist.

  5. 5
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    Eesh. Yeah, this is just what a year with a terrible flu season needs: more absurd arguments to avoid the shot.

    For those who, like me, were raised by anti-vaxxers and wants to get caught up on immunizations, if you’re in the US you can use the CDC’s adult immunization scheduler to help figure out what you need and what timeline you need them on.

    It’s actually very easy to get all caught up and then stay that way.

  6. 6
    Glen Davidson

    But when you’re older, he argued, “and you get ALS or Alzheimer’s disease or MS, or you watch your kid develop seizures, or your kid becomes autistic, God forbid, what are you going to say?”

    Probably that flu shots helped to ensure that we’d live long enough to develop those problems.

    What else?

    Glen Davidson

  7. 7
    eric

    or your kid becomes autistic, God forbid, what are you going to say?”

    I’m going to say: as much as I want to know what causes autism, the anti-vax movement is still wrong and dangerous.

  8. 8
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but can a child become autistic? Does it happen at puberty?

    No.

    The first signs are normally observed curiously, when tests become able to distinguish between a neurotypical and an autistic child.

    Some genetic diseases (metabolic diseases, some forms of degenerative epilepsy) can cause cognitive development to slow down or regress around puberty in a previously neurotypical child, and some of those people can be described as autistic, but being autistic is the very least of their problems, considering that these diseases also tend to severely shorten their lives and impair their quality of life in a host of other drastic ways.

    But people hate to think of genetic causes for diseases, because there’s no one they can blame, and therefore nobody they can sue.

  9. 9
    Lou Doench

    Got my flu shot today and I’m probably due for my pertussis booster this summer (according to my doc they package the tetanus and pertussis shots together, my tetanus shot is due for a refill soon)
    I will admit to being a bit uncomfortable and feeling knocked around, but that will go away.

    Micheal Savage said something stupid and dangerous? That’s dog bites man news PZ.

  10. 10
    wilsim

    “But when you’re older,” he argued, “and you get ALS or Alzheimer’s disease or MS”… pretty sure my generation and younger ones will not have to worry overmuch about these diseases. Because of science – something Savage knows nothing about.

  11. 11
    anuran

    Consider Mikey Wiener’s early publications


    Books as Michael Weiner

    Earth Medicine—Earth Foods: Plant Remedies, Drugs, and Natural Foods of the North American Indians, New York: Macmillan Publishers USA, 1972, ISBN 0-02-625610-X
    Plant a Tree: A Working Guide to Regreening America, New York: Collier Books, 1975, ISBN 0-471-57104-0
    Bugs in the Peanut Butter: Dangers in Everyday Food, Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1976, ISBN 0-316-92860-7
    Man’s Useful Plants, New York: Macmillan Publishers USA, 1976, ISBN 0-02-792600-1
    The Taster’s Guide to Beer: Brews and Breweries of the World, New York: Macmillan Publishers USA, 1977, ISBN 0-02-625600-2
    The Way of the Skeptical Nutritionist: A Strategy for Designing Your Own Nutritional Profile, New York: Macmillan Publishers USA, 1981, ISBN 0-02-625620-7
    The Art of Feeding Children Well with Kathleen Goss, Warner Books, 1982, ISBN 0-446-97890-6
    Nutrition Against Aging, New York: Bantam Books, 1983, ISBN 0-553-23642-3
    Secrets of Fijian Medicine, San Rafael, Calif.: Quantum Books, 1983, ISBN 0-912845-02-3
    Vital Signs, San Diego: Avant Books, 1983, ISBN 0-932238-20-3
    Dr. Weiner’s High Fiber Counter, New York: Pinnacle Books, 1984, ISBN 0-523-42211-3
    Getting Off Cocaine, New York: Avon Publications, 1984, ISBN 0-380-67900-0
    The People’s Herbal: A Family Guide to Herbal Home Remedies, Los Angeles: Putnam Publishing Group,1984, ISBN 0-399-50756-6
    Maximum Immunity: How to Fortify Your Natural Defenses Against Cancer, AIDS, Arthritis, Allergies—Even the Common Cold—And Free Yourself from Unnecessary Worry for Life, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1986, ISBN 0-395-37910-5
    Reducing the Risk of Alzheimer’s, New York: Stein and Day Publishers, 1987, republished under the name Michael Savage, Ph.D., 2007, ISBN 0-946551-53-7
    The Complete Book of Homeopathy: The Holistic & Natural Way to Good Health, Garden City Park, N.Y.: Avery, 1989, ISBN 0-89529-412-5
    Weiner’s Herbal: The Guide to Herb Medicine with Janet A. Weiner, San Rafael, Calif.: Quantum Books, 1990, ISBN 0-912845-03-1
    The Herbal Bible: A Family Guide to Herbal Home Remedies, San Rafael, Calif.: Quantum Books, 1992, ISBN 0-912845-06-6
    Healing Children Naturally, San Rafael, Calif.: Quantum Books, 1993, republished under the name Michael Savage, Ph.D., 2007, ISBN 0-912845-10-4
    Herbs That Heal: Prescription for Herbal Healing, Mill Valley, Calif.: Quantum Books, 1994, ISBN 0-912845-11-2
    The Antioxidant Cookbook: A Nutritionist’s Secret Strategy for Delicious and Healthy Eating, Mill Valley, Calif.: Quantum Books, 1995, ISBN 0-912845-13-9

    Is it any wonder he’s as much of a medical kook as he is a political one?

  12. 12
    jacksmith

    Flu shots are useless. They may not cause disease later on, but they’re useless in the present. Total bullshit, profit scheme. Show me REAL stats that prove people who get flu shots get the flu less than those that don’t. You can’t, because it’s not the case. Whatever benefits there are, are negligible.

    Cue up the lies. Cue up the ivory tower lecture. Cue up the padded stats. Cue up the bullshit.

    Never had a flu shot, never will. Oh — and I haven’t had the flu since I was a kid. So, eat it.

  13. 13
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    jacksmith,

    I hope you realize that not being vaccinated doesn’t mean you will get the flu. So that little anecdote of yours proves nothing.

  14. 14
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    jacksmith:

    Never had a flu shot, never will. Oh — and I haven’t had the flu since I was a kid. So, eat it.

    And I knew a woman who had an active, heterosexual sex life for years without ever using birth control who never became pregnant.

    I guess condoms are a scam too, huh?

    Anecdotes don’t disprove science.

  15. 15
    Gnumann+,with no bloody irony at all (just an anti-essentialist feminist with a shotgun)

    Never had a flu shot, never will. Oh — and I haven’t had the flu since I was a kid. So, eat it.

    The average flu epidemic is about 10%.

    And some unlucky persons manage to get the flu more often than others.

    Now; given these facts, how impressive is your anecdote?

  16. 16
    Becca Stareyes

    I’m going to say ‘Well, I am on the autistic spectrum, my brother is on the autistic spectrum, most likely previous generations of my family are/were on the spectrum, considering my cousins tell me how much my Uncle Andy I act… on the off chance I have offspring that are genetically related to me, it’s very possible they will be on the autistic spectrum, regardless of what I do as a parent’.

    Also, the last time I had the flu were the two years I TA’d. A handful of years for one person isn’t much of a sample, but given the correlation between ‘I get the flu’ and ‘I have to interact with many college undergrads, many of whom live in close quarters and share bathrooms with many people’, the next time I have to teach, I’m getting the jab.

  17. 17
    amdiffer

    Michael Savage has said a lot of things about autism, all of them ignorant, many of them mean spirited. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/radio-host-michael-savage-incites-protests-autism-comments-article-1.350990
    As a mother whose son has autism and a frequent volunteer with others with this condition, I say he needs to shut the heck up about it. He’s hurting our community. And this anti-vaxer stuff hurts everyone.

  18. 18
  19. 19
  20. 20
    erikthebassist

    and another jacksmith:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673605179847

    You asked for 1, I gave you three, now will you shut the fuck up?

  21. 21
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Jacksmith, what the CDC has to say on flu vaccine effectiveness:

    Preliminary data for the 2010-2011 influenza season indicate that influenza vaccine effectiveness was about 60% for all age groups combined, and that almost all influenza viruses isolated from study participants were well-matched to the vaccine strains (Unpublished CDC data). A randomized study (by Monto et al Adobe PDF file [137 KB, 8 pages]) looking at the 2007-2008 influenza season found trivalent inactivated vaccine (flu shot) protected 7 out of 10 people from influenza illness. Studies show that LAIV works about as well as the flu shot. The main study that led to the licensure of LAIV was one conducted in children that showed that LAIV protected up to 9 out of 10 children vaccinated against the flu. A recent meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials of LAIV in children found that 2 doses of LAIV in vaccine-naïve children prevented infection with 77% of antigenically similar viruses and 72% of all viruses regardless of antigenic similarity.

  22. 22
    erikthebassist

    Cue up the lies. Cue up the ivory tower lecture. Cue up the padded stats. Cue up the bullshit.

    Oh I see, I should have realized before I bothered that you’ve already made up your mind and any evidence presented will be lies damned lies and statistics to you.

    Influenza vaccines save lives, especially among the elderly, so how about you present some evidence to contrary or go away?

    Asshat.

  23. 23
    DLC

    You know, I am often amazed at the volume of people who will come out to defend the completely neuron-apoptosingly stupid notions. Really. Magic God-thing creation in 6 days, magic homeopathic water cures, vaccines don’t work (or are bad for you) and on and on. I often wonder if there isn’t some kind of club room somewhere where they coordinate their actions in the defense of stupid.

  24. 24
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    I have high cholesterol, but I’ve never had a heart attack. Must be a scam by Big Fruit.

  25. 25
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    It’s true! Everywhere I go, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists are trying to jab me with the flu vaccine. But I resist! I tell them to take their low cost, highly effective preventive measure and shove it where the sun don’t shine! They won’t get me with their deactivated viruses, no sir!

    … ‘Cos I got my flu shot back in October.

  26. 26
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    He’s 100% wrong. Flu vaccination is associated with less risk of Alzheimer’s and a longer life.

    Myth 6: Flu shots increase risk of Alzheimer’s disease
    Reality: A theory linking flu shots to a greatly increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease has been proposed by a U.S. doctor whose license was suspended by the South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners. Several mainstream studies link flu shots and other vaccinations to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease and overall better health.

    * A Nov. 27, 2001, Canadian Medical Journal report suggests older adults who were vaccinated against diphtheria or tetanus, polio, and influenza seemed to have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than those not receiving these vaccinations. The full text of this report is posted on the journal’s Web site: Exposure to vaccines and risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

    * A report in the Nov. 3, 2004, JAMA found that annual flu shots for older adults were associated with a reduced risk of death from all causes. The abstract of that report is posted on PubMed: Annual revaccination against influenza and mortality risk in community-dwelling elderly persons.

    Jackass, there are your studies four and five.

  27. 27
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I have high cholesterol, but I’ve never had a heart attack. Must be a scam by Big Fruit.

    I thought it was Big Oats….

  28. 28
    Rich Woods

    @DLC #23:

    I often wonder if there isn’t some kind of club room somewhere where they coordinate their actions in the defense of stupid.

    There is a room, yes, but none of them have yet figured out how to turn the door handle.

  29. 29
    vaiyt

    Total bullshit, profit scheme.

    vaxines r sooo profitable trufax

  30. 30
    Jafafa Hots

    I wonder what Michael Savage & Son’s crappy Rockstar Energy Drink does to brains?

  31. 31
    illyriamxo

    Funny how the anti-vaxxers never seem to take into account the low levels of ALS, Altzheimer’s, MS, seizures, and autism in the many other species apart than humans that receive vaccines…

  32. 32
    weatherwax

    I’ve long thought that Michael Savage doesn’t belive anything he says. He’s still an ultra-liberal who’se playing some kind of prank on conservatives, spouting the most rediculous garbage he can think of to see if they’ll buy it, and laughing at the people who hang on his every word.

  33. 33
    pascale68

    #17 Amdiffer – I remember him saying that. (That autism wasn’t real and was due to parents not disciplining their kids.) And now he is saying vaccines cause autism, which he said doesn’t exist. huh?

  34. 34
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I’ve long thought that Michael Savage doesn’t belive anything he says. He’s still an ultra-liberal who’se playing some kind of prank on conservatives, spouting the most rediculous garbage he can think of to see if they’ll buy it, and laughing at the people who hang on his every word.

    In the very unlikely event that’s true, he’s doing actual harm via those hung from his words, so he’s still a complete shit.

  35. 35
    Jafafa Hots

    Clearly, Pascall68, there’s a massive problem of parents not stopping their kids from going out and getting street vaccinations. All the kids do that these days to be cool.

    There’s a TDAP pusher who hangs out on the street corner near here. I have to admit, it’s tempting.

  36. 36
    weatherwax


    I’ve long thought that Michael Savage doesn’t belive anything he says. He’s still an ultra-liberal who’se playing some kind of prank on conservatives, spouting the most rediculous garbage he can think of to see if they’ll buy it, and laughing at the people who hang on his every word.”

    “In the very unlikely event that’s true, he’s doing actual harm via those hung from his words, so he’s still a complete shit.”

    Oh I completely agree. In the unlikely event it’s true, it would in no way justify his behavior.

  37. 37
    katenrala

    @ 2 jnorris

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but can a child become autistic? Does it happen at puberty?

    I don’t remember where I read the paper, it’s been a few years, but it said that autism has a genetic basis. A certain sequence of genes are supposed to be flipped during very early development, but instead those genes are mirrored. Allistic NTs posses the typical flip. Or maybe it’s the other way, but anyway people who are autistic are born that way.

    I personally like being autistic, and so do many others who are able to communicate because they or another found a method of communication which works for them.

    Unfortunately there’s been the whole cure vs anti-cure schism in the autism community created mainly by parents of autistic children such as Autism Speaks.

  38. 38
    frog

    I wish antivaxers would get a case of the flu such as I had in my mid-thirties. Relatively healthy adult, not a high-risk group.

    Three days on the toilet with a bowl in my lap, because my body was expelling everything possible from both ends. Ran 104 fever that whole time (I really should have gone to the hospital; I was stupid). When I wasn’t puking and expelling liquid from my ass, I was in bed under a zillion blankets, shivering so hard I thought I would break into pieces.

    I honestly thought I might die. At one point I wanted to die, if that meant this would just be OVER.

    I have never failed to get a flu shot since then. I never want to go through that again.

  39. 39
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    frog, sadly, getting seriously ill doesn’t get through to them. My sister is an antivaxxer and gets the flu every. single. flu. season. It often progresses into pneumonia, because of the damage to her lungs. You would think that someone now getting an annual case of pneumonia would take a closer look at their health and practices, but, unfortunately, you’d be wrong. It’s gone from stupidly getting sick when it could have been avoided to a chronic and serious problem that may very well cause her premature death.

    When they refuse to admit that vaccinations are good, they refuse to see the connection between illness and the lack of vaccination.

  40. 40
    eddarrell

    For the sake of Mary, Joseph, the prophets, Muhammed (PBUH) and God, not to mention the kids and old folks, the hox anti-vaxxer claim was the the measles jab leads to autism! Can’t these wankers even keep their hoaxes straight any more?

    I understand masturbation by the parents causes autism. That and infidelity. Oh, and parental listening to Michael Savage.

    At least the research comes as close to backing any of those claims as to the claim any vaccination causes autism.

  41. 41
    eddarrell

    There was rude little film out of Australia last year, from a guy named miles. I found it at New Anthropocene, and posted it along with the CDC information; just remember, all the soldiers with autism wear white, whether they got it from measles vaccines or not:
    http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/v-for-vaccine-a-slightly-rude-film-with-a-powerful-point/

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