Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Safe Vaccine Movement

Someone brilliant decided that by labeling parents who assert that vaccines damaged their children “Anti-Vaccine” he could divert the argument away from the issue of vaccine safety to the question of whether vaccines are beneficial. He did this because that’s an easier argument to win. The US government, pharmaceutical companies and doctors concede that all drugs, including vaccines, have side effects and that there is a threshold of damage beyond which a drug cannot be approved for use. But often side effects are not identified in small trial studies and within a short time frame.

Part of the debate over vaccine safety involves public relations and we have allowed ourselves to be labeled “anti-vaccine” rather than defining what we are actually advocating for. It’s inaccurate and polarizing to accept the label of “Anti-Vaccine.”

Is it anti-vaccine to call for safer vaccines?

Is it anti-vaccine to say that your child has been injured by one?

Is it anti-vaccine to ask the government to further test products, they mandate children receive, if questions about safety are raised?

Is it anti-vaccine to analyze the risks verses the benefits when deciding to vaccinate?

Is it anti-vaccine to point out America is a first-world country and thus risk factors are different here than they are in third-world countries?

If a vaccine causes severe life-long damage in a previously healthy, normal child, is it anti-vaccine to be angry and consider the “cure” more damaging than the disease you tried to prevent?

Is it anti-vaccine to point out that no one has studied the safety of giving multiple vaccines (polio, DTaP, Hep B, MMR) at the same time?

Is it anti-vaccine to notice that medical professionals rarely link adverse events to vaccines even if they occur within minutes or hours of the shot?

Is it anti-vaccine to notice that vaccines sometimes cause side effects? Or, is it just anti-vaccine to talk about them?

Inherent in the argument it is “anti-vaccine” to mention vaccines have side effects, or that some diseases are more dangerous than others or that risk factors differ between people is the premise that people are too stupid, ill-informed or irrational to make their own decisions and need to be told what to do. I disagree. I think people are smart enough to see value in vaccines. We deserve to be told the truth, especially the risks because ultimately, we as parents bear the responsibility of taking care of the child damaged by a vaccine.

I’ve noticed that parents who demand access to VAERS data, who question accepted “knowledge”, and parents or doctors who mention dangerous additives or bring up common reactions, become the enemy. The medical professions’ reaction is to metaphorically circle the wagons. They mention that the numbers of pharmaceutical companies are dwindling, implying that the shrinkage is due to the lack of profit in the manufacture of vaccines rather than to buyouts and mergers. They assert that making vaccines are unprofitable; well, yes, if one considers a product that is used only a few times in a lifetime to be less profitable than a drug that is used daily. The reality is vaccines are profitable for both pharmaceutical companies and doctors. The proponents of vaccinating at any cost combine first world disease statistics with third world statistics even though the risk factors are dramatically different. In the US, if a child contracted a disease such as measles their risk of serious injury or death is much less than a child who contracts measles in Sub-Saharan Africa. Thus the cost-benefit analysis is different. That’s reality. It’s intellectually dishonest, irrational, or ill-informed to imply differently!

The CDC seems to fear that a change in the vaccination schedule, a recall of a vaccine or an admission that further studies are warranted will lead to wide spread rejection of vaccinations. I don’t believe it will. Quite frankly, most people do not pay a lot of attention to vaccines. Many parents trust their child’s pediatrician. And people understand that drugs have side-effects.

The Safe Vaccine Movement believes that it is reasonable to consider risk factors when vaccinating and that size-one-fits-all strategies can be dangerous to individuals. When the medical profession chooses the “herd” over an individual child, parents have an obligation to their child to put their child’s individual needs first. We believe that when questions of additional risks or potential problems are raised the government and medical profession have an obligation to objectively study the safety of the products they recommend and require to be used.

Vaccines are not such a weak product that a problem with a few or the potential to trigger autism in a susceptible population will lead to the abandonment of vaccines as preventative medicine. Parents want to protect their children. We’d rather they receive a vaccine and have immunity from a disease then have them suffer from the disease, but not at any cost.

Penicillin has saved many lives since it was discovered but some people are allergic to it. It is still widely used despite its adverse effects on some people. Vaccines, like the antibiotic penicillin, would continue to be used even if the government and pharmaceutical companies concede that vaccines can trigger autism in a susceptible group.

The common reactions of denying there is a problem, covering up potential problems with faulty data and refusing to fund studies into environmental triggers have only led to acrimony and distrust. We have become increasingly effective at convincing our friends and family that vaccines are one of the environmental triggers for autism and, sadly, more families join our ranks daily. We raise our voices in alarm because the number of children developing autism has risen dramatically. We feel an obligation to warn others and protect children. And that is why you can’t shut us up.

And you can’t label us any longer either; well, at least not “anti-vaccine.” The time is past for us to choose our own label. A label that is coherent with what we are advocating for – and make no mistake, we are advocating for safer vaccines!

14 comments:

KWombles said...

http://vaers.hhs.gov/index There you go, access to the VAERS data.

People are not labeled anti-vaccine for calling for vaccines to be as safe as possible, or for pointing out there are those who have adverse reactions, or all the pro-vaccine people would be labeled such.

People are called anti-vaccine for being anti-vaccine. And the majority of the people at AoA are absolutely that and admit to being so. Might I recommend this blogpost, http://evendumbasseshavefeelings.blogspot.com/2009/11/no-rest-for-dumbasses-shewey-a-bucket-o.html? Thelma found one of the sources for some of the more zanier arguments from the anti-vaxxers. Go to the site http://www.alternative-doctor.com/vaccination/index.htm, take a look around and tell me the woo isn't deep there. If you've spent anytime engaged in the dialogue, say like at Huffington Post, this is the stuff the anti-vaxxers are putting out there.

Your biggest stumbling block here is that you're taking your talking points from an organization (or organizations) that continually gets the facts wrong. It weakens your argument, not to mention your credibility, when you use their talking points.

If you want the medical and scientific community to take you seriously, then you have to walk away from those who are selling and promoting the woo. There is no other way.

Slightly off the track, but responding to your comment that you made the connection between vaccines and autism a year after the fact, let me recommend Malcolm Gladwell's Blink as an easy read to undertanding how and why we make all sorts of attributions and connections that are inaccurate.It happens to all of us. The trick is to realize when we've made an attribution error and be willing to let go of the certainty.

I hope you and yours had a lovely Thanksgiving.

Life as the mother of 4 said...

Actually we are called anti-vaccine for pointing out vaccines have side effects and demanding that they be made safer. Pro-vaccine proponents then usually add that I want children to die. I understand what you are saying but if you insist on adding extremists from the safe-vaccine side then shouldn’t you add the extremists from the pro-vaccine side?

I was called anti-vaccine because I publicly said that it is disingenuous to be angry at the safe vaccine side for calling the “pro-vaxxers” names when they call the safe vaccine proponents names all the time.

I know that you recommended your friends’ website before. But I can’t bring myself to visit because of the name.

Yeah, some of the arguments from my side are wacky but I’ve read a lot of vaccinate against the chicken pox or die arguments from the pro-vaccine side and I just want to pat their hand and say, “dearie, do you know what the chicken pox is? Surely, you meant to name a disease that’s more dangerous than that. Didn’t you?” I read some of the blogs that were linked to the “I speak of dreams” post that included me and I wasn’t impressed with the vitriol and self satisfied arrogance. If you want me to own all the stuff on my side you have to own all the stuff on yours. I doubt either of us is interested in that.

Thanks for the link to VSERS data but what I want is for independent researchers to have access to the data.

Regarding the necessity “to walk away from those who are selling and promoting the woo.” Classic example: Paul Offit, how did he become an expert on autism, maybe by writing a book?

I read Blink a couple of years ago. I liked the Tipping Point better. I’m looking forward to starting Born to Run this week. I didn’t know Jake had regressed into autism because my reference to autism was “Rain Man.” I really didn’t know what it was. But I know exactly when the regression happened. Not knowing Jake was on the spectrum did not mean he didn’t have ASD. It doesn’t change the date he regressed and that doesn’t change the fact he received vaccinations two weeks before his regression.

I did have a great Thanksgiving. We had eight people over and played games including my current favorite Agricola. http://www.zmangames.com/boardgames/agricola.htm I hope you had a great one too.

KWombles said...

Independent researchers do have access to the VAERS data; everyone does. :-)

Ah, I wouldn't make you own some of these folks over at AoA; that'd be downright tacky of me.

And I'm sorry if you've been accused of being anti-vaccine, but I did point out that when you provide information that is scientifically inaccurate and from the fringe elements, it's easy to get branded with the title. Still wouldn't put you in the same camp as the folks using this stuff, though: http://www.alternative-doctor.com/vaccination/index.htm. And some of the folks at AoA are. Even worse, they use whale.to.

No, I wouldn't want to be placed in the same camp with the extremists on the vaccines-are-awesome-because-they-save-lives-and-prevent-lifelong-disabilities. But, I don't use their talking points and don't (that I am aware of) frequent their sites.

And I would agree that the chicken pox, which does kill about 100 people in the US a year, is not the best example to use. However, if it prevents 100 deaths, if it prevents permanent disabilities and the risk of shingles occuring at a later date, and the rate of adverse reactions is far less than the rate of complications and deaths, then why exactly would you be against it?

After all, your argument that we're a first rate country and vaccines aren't as necessary because we can provide better care after the disease process is started, well, that is a little anti-vaccine sounding, isn't it? And those 100 chicken pox deaths are here, where that awesome first rate medical care is.

If you won't look at Thelma and Louise, then read http://lilwalnutbrain.blogspot.com/. Her son is day 36 after serious, life-threatening complications from H1N1.

And read the IOM's Vaccines and Autism. Spread your reading out and contrast your vaccine-linked sites with sites like science-based medicine. And reread Gladwell.

You know, for four years I would have sworn all three of my autistic children and I were gluten and casein intolerant. All because my son began to read within six months of going on the diet. Forget about the eight years of prior hard work on my part and his. It had to be the diet. After all, the reading happened after the diet started. And my issues were better. Huh. Turns out none of us were gluten or casein intolerant. Not celiac. Nope. I had, however, recently had my gall bladder out, and the reduction in fat (when you take away the gluten and casein, you take away a lot of fat, too) led to improvement in my issues.

Long story short (I know you're thinking, not really), boy, did I have egg on my face this past March when we all went off the diet and were just fine. Just fine. And, actually, all the kids social skills saw significant improvement and the girlies did better academically. Must be the milk and wheat!

:-)

Wishing you and yours a good week. Drop by Countering anytime. No one will call you names. :-)

Life as the mother of 4 said...

If the government finally opened up access to VAERS I’m thrilled. I hope a mechanism is in place to search it faster than one reaction at a time.

I don’t mind being accused of being anti-vaccine. I don’t think it’s accurate, but it doesn’t hurt my feelings. And I like Age of Autism.

I looked into the chickenpox vaccine in 2001 when I considered it for my daughter. The CDC’s website stated then that about 100 people died from infections resulting from the shot. If about 100 people die from the chickenpox and about 100 people die from the shot; that gives you a one-to-one kill ratio. And worse, most people who die from the chicken pox are older. Children receive the shot, so are you transferring deaths from adults to children? That was also the time that information about the how long immunity from the shot lasted started coming out. For instance, there was an article in the Boston Globe about a chicken pox outbreak in New Hampshire. The local health department investigated and found that the shot protected over 90% the first year then the next year immunity declined into somewhere in the 30s. The CDC’s numbers were higher.

My issue with the chickenpox vaccine is the question of how long immunity lasts. If it gives lifelong immunity at the same cost of life it’s a toss up; even though, a one-to-one kill ratio begs the question of why it’s beneficial. If, however, the immunity wanes after the first year or so and requires boosters are we transferring the risks out into an older population? Chicken pox is generally more dangerous when adults get it than children. So, I’m worried that if it requires booster shots throughout someone’s life to keep up immunity that the risk of dying from chickenpox will increase. Some of the people that die from chickenpox have SCID and, unfortunately, would die from either the disease or vaccine. I looked for death statistics from vaccines on the CDC’s website recently and couldn’t find them. They made them much more difficult to find now. I wouldn’t mind a current link if you have one.

It is very sad that “Big Kid” is still in the hospital hopefully he gets better soon. I am relieved that H1N1 has been mild. Not, of course, in symptoms or for people who have it, but in terms of numbers. I read The Great Influenza: The story of the deadliest pandemic in history a couple of years ago. And I plan to pull my kids out of school and keep them home for a couple of months if we have a pandemic like that again. I respect pandemic risks.

I’m waiting for a vaccinated v. unvaccinated study.

That’s too bad you were on the diet for so long when it didn’t help. Will was on the diet for two months without any change. I wouldn’t have stuck with it if we hadn’t done allergy testing first.

Thanks for the invitation to countering. I’m not worried about someone calling me a name.

KWombles said...

"Have serious reactions ever occurred from the chickenpox vaccine?
As with any vaccine, there is a very small chance that serious problems could occur after getting chickenpox vaccine. However, after distribution of the first 48 million doses of the vaccine, reports of serious adverse events after vaccination (e.g., seizures, brain infection [encephalitis], pneumonia, loss of balance (ataxia), and severe allergic reactions [anaphylaxis]) have been very rare, occurring in approximately 2.2 for every 100,000 doses given. Adverse events that are reported following vaccination may not always be caused by the vaccine. Some may be caused by natural chickenpox virus which is still present in most communities, and some may be caused by other viruses that happened to be circulating in the community at the time of vaccination. It is important to note that the risks from the vaccine remain much lower than the risks from the disease."
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/varicella/vac-faqs-gen.htm

When searching the VAERS data for all years covered, there are 16 reported deaths for all ages, across all possible time limits for the varicella vaccine. Of course, it must be remembered that causality is not determined.

You are perhaps misremembering the 100 deaths per year from varicella vaccine as I can find no reference to it on reputable sites (I did not go to the non-scientific ones, though).

In addition, as to the VAERS data, it is downloadable so that researchers have access to raw data. It is also, obviously, based on my ability to pull information in less than two minutes, a searchable system.

As to lifelong immunity through one vaccine, no, it is true that we often need boosters as we age. I recently had to redo my MMR. It's still safer than the diseases.

To back up some to your first response where you write on Offit. Offit does not claim to be an autism expert. He is, however, a bonafide infectious disease expert and eminently qualified to deal with the vaccine controversy.

And if Gladwell, a reporter, can cover psychological concepts in a way that is interesting (while frustrating to an expert in the field at his need to dumb down the psychological terms at times) and accessible to the public and not be considered to be out of his league, than an infectious disease expert is more than qualified to address the vaccine controversy surrounding autism.

As to AoA, how much did you like this: http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/11/pass-the-maalox-an-aoa-thanksgiving-nightmare.html#comments? I mean, if you won't look at Thelma and Louise because of the word dumba**, then surely you were as offended with Kim Stagliano suggesting Nancy Snyderman was under the table engaged in oral fellatio on Dr Offit as I was? Not to mention the suggestion, with the photo, that they were dining on babies. Surely you didn't like that?

You strike me as a decent person doing the best she can for her family, and I do find reading your blog interesting, even where I do not agree with you. :-)

Life as the mother of 4 said...

The page you posted the link to is pretty much what I can find also on the CDC's website. It's interesting because about 4 years ago or so the other information either disappeared or was put someplace that I haven't found on the website. If you didn't know it was there before, you wouldn't miss it now. But I liked it because it was very clear. It stated numbers of hospitalization due to infections resulting from the vaccine and deaths. It wasn't obvious then -- you had to search for it but it wasn't hidden either. Once I was done researching the chicken pox vaccine I didn't check back for a couple of years and then I couldn't find the link anymore. I wasn't sure how much research you had done on vaccines and when you started. That's why I asked the question. I thought that you might have looked into years ago and been aware of the changes.

I don't misremember the numbers because they surprised me and actually were the reason my daughter didn't get the chicken pox vaccine then. I didn't expect to see it. I don't know why the CDC stopped making that information available.

And really, Offit wrote a book titled Autism's False Prophets and you disagree that he's setting himself up as an expert on who is a false or true prophet(to use his terminology) on the causes of autism? He's an infectious disease expert not an expert on autism and "dangerous and fatal therapies" used to treat it.

http://www.amazon.com/Autisms-False-Prophets-Science-Medicine/dp/0231146361

I think you and I might be really good examples of the divisiveness of this issue. I overlook some of the vitrol from my side and you overlook some from your side. And I'm not upset that you called me a decent person but why wouldn't I be?

KWombles said...

Firstly, I'm enjoying the dialogue, so I hope you are as well. I really do.

Secondly, sides? Really, we're on different sides? Dang it, I thought we weren't gonna label each other into eithor/or categories! :-)

You wanted civil discourse between those who think autism is caused by vaccines and those who don't, so we're a pilot study into whether it's possible, don't you think?

Let's say you're accurate in your remembering that the vaccine deaths were equal to the disease deaths and that this was on the CDC website 4 years ago. Then the wayback machine ought to have it captured. Someone willing to dig into it to look for corroboration of those numbers should be able to find it.

However, if the CDC data reflected that vaccine deaths were equivalent to disease deaths, the vaccine would not have been approved by the FDA. After all, if they removed the first rotavirus vaccine from the market for 15 deaths, why would they keep the varicella vaccine on the market?


And your argument on Offit was that he was setting himself up as an autism expert. I counterargued that he was not, but was eminently qualified as an infectious disease expert to discuss vaccines causing autism. And again, I'll remind you of my example of Gladwell, who isn't a psychologist, yet has written three books dealing with psychological topics. If I, as a psychology instructor, can find Gladwell's works interesting and of value despite his lack of official expertise in the subject matter he is writing about, you shouldn't have a problem about Offit, as a medical doctor evaluating alternative therapies and the lack of scientific evidence for their efficacy. He is qualifed to read and interpret medical research. You don't deride Gladwell's lack of expertise or qualities, but you have a bee in your bonnet over Offit. Hmmm. Could it be possible that AoA's continual and demonstrated factually incorrect articles regarding Offit have perhaps tainted your perception of him?

I do not overlook vitriol on "my side." And do you really want to overlook the comments being made over there? Your side: you're siding with AoA, whose commenters and whose editors and contributors have made their truly anti-vaccine status clear? I thought you weren't anti-vaccine?



I'm not certain why you'd think we are a good example of the divisiveness of the issue, unless you mean good examples of how it is possible to have civil discourse while disagreeing? Unless you inferred a lack of civility on my part? Or perhaps your whole last paragraph is tongue-in-cheek (my three children and husband are not the only ones who have a tendency to be hyperliteral--mine at least tends to be restricted to textual literalness, perhaps further proof of the genetics of autism, hmmm?)?

:-) Let me know when I get on your nerves. Hey, comments, though, right? Feedback, intellectual discourse, that's the hope when we put our message out there into the internetz?

KWombles said...

Wise RP, Salive ME, Braun MM, et al. (2000). "Postlicensure safety surveillance for varicella vaccine". JAMA 284 (10): 1271–9. doi:10.1001/jama.284.10.1271. PMID 10979114.

According to this article, as of 2006, no reported varicella vaccine deaths.

Did you realize varicella causes 10,000 hospitalizations a year, with 100-150 dying? That's pretty crappy odds if you're hospitalized with the disease.

Life as the mother of 4 said...

I don't know anything about Gladwell and I've never read anything by him. That's why I didn't write anything about him.

Vaccines haven't been proven not to have a link to autism.

I'm not sure what in Offit's background qualifies him to offer an opinion on alternative therapies. Example, my childrens' old pediatrician knew nothing about autism even though he was board certified. His years of study didn't mean he could answer even the simplest question. My kids' current developmental pediatrician who spent 10 years diagnosing autism on the other hand can answer questions. Years ago I mentioned to her that Will started lining up objects (which I felt was an improvement for Will even though for most autistic children it's not). She agreed. Because she knew about autism she could answer my question.

What is there is Offit's background that qualifies him to offer conclusions on causes of autism or to evaluate treatments beyond a desire to do so?

That's one of my problems with him. Another -- in the wired article, he implied that crazed parents of autistic children were dangerous. His wife brought up abortion doctors being murdered as if one of us, probably dragging our autistic child behind us as babysitting can often be a problem, was going to murder him. Charming picture.

I based my assumption that you overlooked vitrol on Isis the Scientist's visit and comment on your blog. Perhaps I assumed falsely that you visited her blog as well. Now granted, I only read one post but if you read it I don't need to beat a dead horse about her content.

I'm still trying to figure you out. I didn't understand why you wrote that I was a decent person. It confused me. I thought perhaps initially you didn't think I was a decent person based on my belief that vaccines trigger autism.

Life as the mother of 4 said...

And I forgot to mention my personal reason for being wary of Paul Offit. My niece received, his now recalled Rotavirus vaccine, she had a seizure. Her pediatrician assured her parents that a seizure was nothing to worry about and she received her second dose. This time she had another seizure and stopped breathing. They were able to get her breathing again so she didn't die but no, I don't have warm and fuzzy feelings about him or his vaccine.

KWombles said...

You write: "I read Blink a couple of years ago. I liked the Tipping Point better." That's by Malcolm Gladwell.

To my knowledge, Isis the Scientist has never commented (nor read, that I am aware of) on my site. I have read her a handful of times; other than her post dealing with Handley's post on Amy Wallace, I am not aware of Isis having any connection to autism-related content.

As to your arguments regarding Offit:

1. It is not his rotavirus vaccine that was pulled from the market. His replaced the previous rotavirus vaccine which was pulled from market. AoA likes to forget that. AoA also likes to lie about how much he made, too.

2. I believe I've provided ample reasons as to why Offit was qualified to write a book regarding untested, untried treatments for autism, and certainly on the evidence for their being no connection between vaccines and autism. I used Malcolm Gladwell, whom you have said you enjoyed reading, as an example as to why your argument that Offit wasn't qualified was lacking.

Okay, as to the decent person comment. It was a sincere compliment, so I'm sorry you didn't take it as such. No, I don't believe that if you believe vaccines cause autism you can't be a decent person (and if you'd read my blog, you'd know that). I meant exactly what I said: you strike me as a decent and well-meaning parent doing the best she can. Period. I'm not the kind of person to beat around the bush or to say something I don't mean. If I say it, I mean it, and I almost always say it bluntly. Hopefully, I do it with tact and considering how it will make another feel. Consequently, I forget that people don't do that and look for hidden meanings. So, now you'll know, at least, that you can take me at face value.

Unfortunately, there are way too many folks over AoA and elsewhere who are not decent people. Who are not well-meaning. I have spent, perhaps not as much time in the trenches dealing with their nastiness and vitriol as others have, but enough time to know that, at least in the virtual world, that nastiness predominates.

Have you asked yourself why no readers from AoA followed your post at AoA over to your blog? I followed. I was interested in a civil dialogue, an exchange of ideas. None of the AoA folks followed.

KWombles said...

Addendums:
Did some googling on Isis and me to see if I could figure out what you were referring to and found three links, one of which referred to one of the others: two comments I made on her blog.

I followed Orac to Isis's site when she wrote on Handley and the intellectual raping of Amy Wallace.

I have placed two comments (period) on her site:

Isis, I think you don't cheapen your message one iota. Logic and Handley haven't been found in the same room together, so using logic, reason, compassion, etc. would only convince Handley that you too were a kool-aid drinker, and weak, to boot.
Posted by: kwombles | November 4, 2009 6:48 AM
http://scienceblogs.com/isisthescientist/2009/11/the_boys_call_out_misogyny_amo.php

Well, you gotta laugh at that. You're just too smat to do anything else. What part about goddess do they not understand? G-O-D-D-E-S-S. Worship. What about that scenario sounded like them worshipping you? Seriously, was the writer not smat enough? :-)
Posted by: KWombles | November 4, 2009 6:29 AM

http://scienceblogs.com/isisthescientist/2009/11/update_1_on_jb_handley_probabl.php

If that's what you mean by overlooking vitriol, (a) I don't think she's being vitriolic, although I would not have gone as far as she did; (b) what part of the misogyny did you miss in Handley, or for that matter, Stagliano's comments/posts. Women, jut because they disagree with AoA's perspective are being subjected to language and invective that reduces them to sexual objects to be abused. It doesn't take on their arugments; it doesn't address them substantively. It renders them objects, thereby dehumanizing them. Isis did back to Handley what he has dished out for years. Huge difference. I don't expect people to stand up to things they aren't even aware of, but if they're going to assert their affinity with a particular group, well, then they shouldn't be surprised if it is believed they hold the opinions of the group (not all the commenters, but the group leaders).

To respond to another point:

You write:"Vaccines haven't been proven not to have a link to autism."


What? If all reputable studies show no link between autism and vaccines, then with a reasonable degree of certainty, scientists can conclude that there is no evidence of a link. We write twin hypotheses statements. The null hypothesis: There is no link. Alternate hypothesis: There is a link. We try to reject the null hypothesis.

So far, all evidence rejects the alternate hypothesis (Wakefield and the Geiers are discredited. Blaxill's study is also discredited) and affirms the null.

IOM: Imunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autism, 2004


The abstract sums it up:

"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.

The committee does not recommend a policy review of the current schedule and recommendations for the administration of either the MMR vaccine or thimerosal-containing vaccines. The committee recommends a public health
response that fully supports an array of vaccine safety activities. In addition,
the committee recommends that available funding for autism research be channeled
to the most promising areas. The committee makes additional recommendations
regarding surveillance and epidemiological research, clinical studies, and communication related to these vaccine safety concerns." (IOM, 1)

:-)

Life as the mother of 4 said...

Egg on my face. I don't pay enough attention to authors, or band names for that matter. And I shouldn't have made an assumption about you reading Isis. The comment about Offit being connected to RotaShield is my mistake and obviously I'll no longer hold that against him.

What led to my posting a comment on the Parikh article was the assertion that the safe vaccine side is nasty et al. and the implication that the pro vaccine side is goodness and light. I never pretended that safe vaccine people didn't call the other side names. I object to the pretense on the other side.

I still think decent is an odd choice of words but I appreciate the thought. I think you're delightful (I like that word better). It's impressive how prolific you are on the computer, with having several blogs, commenting, working and kids. I usually miss posting a few days a week.

KWombles said...

:-)I write like I talk, copiously and without stop (and blogging is my version of solitaire-- it can be fit in around the other things). It's my release valve, too. Overall, my three are doing well and are situated in school or in a day center for disabled adults; last year was the first time in nearly 2 decades that I had pockets of my day with no children at home. After spending hours and hours of working with them year after year, it felt empty and teaching part time doesn't keep me busy enough. :-)

I like delightful, too. Thank you. So you know, though, decent is high praise to me: does the right thing, treats people well, respects others, good at heart. It encompasses a list of character traits that I strive for. I hope that helps explain?

I'm going to follow your blog, okay? And add you to my blogroll. One of the things we're trying to do at the very quiet Raising Autism (we all ended up facebook friending and discussing there) is to reach across the vaccine divide and communicate as parents first, to make a true community of parents and autistic individuals, to understand all sides, to help our children better, to help society adapt and adjust, to support.

:-) I hope you have a good evening.

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