MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

On this blog, I have ad nauseam discussed the fact that many SCAM-practitioners are advising their patients against vaccinations, e. g.:

The reason why I mention this subject yet again is the alarming news reported in numerous places (for instance in this article) that measles outbreaks are now being reported from most parts of the world.

The number of cases in Europe is at a record high of more than 41,000, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned. Halfway through the year, 2018 is already the worst year on record for measles in Europe in a decade. So far, at least 37 patients have died of the infection in 2018.

“Following the decade’s lowest number of cases in 2016, we are seeing a dramatic increase in infections and extended outbreaks,” Dr. Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, said in a statement. “Seven countries in the region have seen over 1,000 infections in children and adults this year (France, Georgia, Greece, Italy, the Russian Federation, Serbia and Ukraine).”

In the U.S., where measles were thought to be eradicated, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 107 measles cases as of the middle of July this year. “This partial setback demonstrates that every person who is not immune remains vulnerable no matter where they live, and every country must keep pushing to increase coverage and close immunity gaps,” WHO’s Dr. Nedret Emiroglu said.  95 percent of the population must have received at least two doses of measles vaccine to achive herd immunity and prevent outbreaks. Some parts of Europe have reached that target, while others are even below 70 percent.

And why are many parts below the 95% threshold?

Ask your local SCAM-provider, I suggest.

 

90 Responses to Why do we see measles outbreaks left, right and centre? Ask your SCAM provider!

  • The Dutch government is currently investigating legal possibilities for day care centres to refuse children who are not vaccinated. The country is worried over ever-lower vaccination rates. Finally, I’d say. They are explicitly pointing to the nonsense spouted on (anti)social media.

    • But they first want to try to convince parents that vaccines are save. Alas I’m affraid this will be a hopeless job, because a lot of those parents distrust everything coming from official instances.
      And of course they are affraid of parents arguing they are discriminated or concider their privacy endangered.

      And how about the Italian minister of health, who stated deads by measles are inevitable?

    • In Mexico it is so.
      Vaccinations card is a requirement to enroll kids to day care and schools.
      And no we don’t have measles cases.

    • Vaccination rates are 91% in the Netherlands according to the RIVM. They’re trying to stay ahead of this anti-vaccine sentiment spreading like an epidemic throughout the world.

      • Indeed. And for that, the christians are, as usual, helpful as ever, opposing the proposal of making life more difficult for those who chose not to vaccinate …

  • Bots and Russian trolls influenced vaccine discussion on Twitter, research finds.
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180823171035.htm

  • From linked article:

    Italian authorities say vaccine critics have helped lower rates there from 90 percent in 2010 to 85 percent in 2015

    And in breaking news Italian upper house votes to overturn mandatory vaccinations despite surge in measles cases

    I live in Canada, and at last report (2-3 weeks ago?) we have only had 19 reported cases in 2018 but with a measles outbreak in Michigan and the outbreaks in Europe, I doubt our luck will hold.

  • It seems to me that those who cannot be effectively vaccinated for medical reasons (such as immunosuppression) should have a right to protection as a result of herd immunity, particularly as they are much more likely than an otherwise fit individual to suffer complications or to die if they do contract measles.

    Parents who are refusing to have their child vaccinated are putting other people at risk. I would certainly be in favour of reasonable legal restrictions in order to protect them. After all, we have laws to protect public health in other situations.

    For that matter, if parents are refusing vaccination for dubious ideological reasons, resulting in death and injury to others, it could be argued that there is a parallel with terrorism.

    Perhaps I am a bit biased here, as, although I had measles as a child, I now have multiple myeloma and I am unable to make any antibodies of my own. If I encounter measles again there is a high chance that it would kill me.

    • If you had measles as a child you have immunity. If you received a measles vaccine as a child then that gave you temporary immunity. You would then be susceptible to measles as an adult. That is how it works. Maybe rethink this herd stance.

      • Gary,

        That is not how it works.

        1. Different vaccines give different duration of immunity, which is why boosters are required for many of them. The measles vaccine gives lifelong immunity.

        2. For an infectious disease to cause an outbreak, each case has to infect, on average, more than one other person. This depends on how contagious the disease is, and the probability of encountering another susceptible individual. Measles is very contagious, and the herd immunity threshold to prevent an outbreak is therefore higher than with other diseases, in this case about 94%.

        3. “If you had measles as a child you have immunity.” You are giving me personal medical advice here. Are you licensed to do so?

        In any case the advice is wrong. Due to a combination of disease and treatment I am unable to make antibodies, I have an altered lymphocyte profile and I am intermittently neutropenic. This does not mean that my immune system no longer functions (indeed, I am currently dependent on immunotherapy to keep my myeloma suppressed, without which I would not be alive), but it is not safe for me to assume that I have retained immunity against diseases that I have previously had or been vaccinated against. And when I do get an infection it now makes me much more sick than it does other people, as my numerous hospital admissions over the past couple of year will attest.

  • Edzard

    “And why are many parts below the 95% threshold?”

    Where did this threshold figure come from?
    “We conclude that outbreaks of measles can occur in secondary schools, even when more than 99 percent of the students have been vaccinated and more than 95 percent are immune.”
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3821823

    May be 100% is a good figure? And then what?

    • To paraphrase a meme from the “‘Allo! ‘Allo!” comedy series: You stupid man!
      – Until approximately 1985, only one dose of the measles vaccine was given. This was only 95% effective, meaning that 1 in every 20 vaccinated people was still susceptible. A second vaccine dose, increasing protection to ~99%, was only recommended from 1985 onward.
      – One infectious person in a crowded environment (schools, cafeterias, hospitals etcetera) can easily infect several if not dozens of people, even with 100% vaccination coverage.

      This is why experts arrived at 95% coverage with two MMR doses as a minimum to maintain good herd immunity. And even then, an infectious person in a highly crowded environment may still transfer the disease to several others.
      The research from 1987 you cite is completely outdated (as are your views on disease, health and healing, for that matter).

  • The Samoa 2019 outbreak of measles is another tragic case.

    According to several newspaper articles, immunization rates of children under five years dropped to around 30% in 2018, partly because two children died after two nurses made a disastrous mistake when preparing the MMR vaccine.
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-02/samoa-nurses-sentenced-manslaughter-infant-vaccination-deaths/11378494

    Because of this low immunization rate, 63 people (as of 06.12.2019) died within the last three months, most of them children under 4 years of age.

    This tragedy, however, did not stop anti-vaxxers from campaigning against vaccination and instead promoting SCAM. Samoa’s most prominent anti-vaxxer, a self-proclaimed “traditional healer” named Edwin Tamasese, even called the vaccination campaign a “killing spree” and promoted vitamins instead. Thankfully he was arrested by Police yesterday.
    https://www.samoaobserver.ws/category/samoa/54397

    I find it very regrettable that apparently dozens of children had to die before people in Samoa were reminded how dangerous preventable viral diseases such as measles can be.
    I just wonder why this has to happen over and over again.

    • Jashak – I have just read a full page article in a UK broadsheet newspaper written by a well known anti antivax journalist. Its heading is ‘ Samoa in lockdown as measles death toll grows’

      He reiterates the Andrew Wakefield 1998 situation……going on to say he has remade ?? himself in the USA. However, this journalist makes no mention of the recent situation regarding the tragic death of two babies, and the fall out from this in Samoa.

      I have also read an erudite and informative post by someone who has just visited Samoa as she has relatives there and speaks the language and indeed knows the culture. It is illuminating : I learnt a lot about the lack of hygiene, and she made cogent points about the ‘measles ‘ outbreak coinciding with ‘forced’ immunisation and lack of ‘proper ‘ laboratory tests to establish accuracy regarding the effects of this ‘live’ vaccine in the current Samoan situation.

      It seems it’s mainstream media that fails in giving full facts, and yet the anti antivax people accuse others of fake news.

      One expects better of a broadsheet, which is a vehicle for a journalist to dredge up the same accusations without actually delivering ‘proper’ news. One can’t help thinking that headline is scaremongering to encourage take up of MMR. It will be interesting to see how it affects the future statistics for the intended take up. Transparency must be the way forward to enable informed consent. As has been said before children’s safeguarding is the medical professionals ‘ and parents ‘ priority.

      I am sure this has been asked before but I am not aware of the answer: what is the purpose behind people working hard to bring the truth to the public regarding immunisation so parents have all the facts and make an informed choice? I am sure you will shout me down , but I think the answer is safeguarding our precious children.

      It is not good enough to accuse me of being anti vaccination, because I am not. Let’s hope for more accurate reporting in the future : that would be a massive step forward.

      • @ Angela:
        First let me say that it is not my style to shout anybody down… I don´t consider this an effective communication strategy.

        Anyway, I do not understand what point you are trying to make. Could you be more precise?

        If you have doubts about the risk/benefit balance of measles (also polio, mumps, rubella and hepatitis) vaccination, have a look at the figure “Saving lives” on page S45 in this recent Nature article:
        https://www.nature.com/magazine-assets/d41586-019-03636-8/d41586-019-03636-8.pdf

      • Angela.

        You are opposed to vaccines as provided. You believe, without decent evidence, that they are unsafe. They are not.

        You, Angela, are an antivaxxer to your very core.

        The broadsheets are reporting the way they are because they are reporting the truth, not the fanciful notions of antivax cranks who are desperately distorting, lying and misrepresenting because they cannot accept the truth that sits before them, a truth which tragically demonstrates their own blinkered, dogmatic stupidity. And, Angela, neither can you. Children are dying and are doing so because of the antivax message. You and your ilk have blood on your hands and no amount of trying to make everyone look elsewhere will stop the World from seeing it.

        • Dear Lenny,
          Although I certainly understand your frustration (and admittedly enjoy reading your vivid comments on this blog), there is indication that dismissive criticism of anti-vaxxers might not be a great idea (see e.g. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03641-x).

          After some frustrating discussion (on- and offline) regarding truth, science, belief, alternative vs. evidence-based medicine, etc., I have made an effort to learn more about how people form their opinions and how scientific facts can be communicated somewhat efficiently. Although I am still at the beginning of this learning progress, I have already accepted that dismissive criticism seems to be very ineffective in changing people’s minds and often has the opposite effect, bolstering the irrational belief.

          Another thing that I had to accept is that providing facts (which is what I am used to do within the scientific community, e.g. when writing a scientific paper), unfortunately seem to be not very effective when discussing issues related to science with laypersons.
          Until quite recently, I (unknowingly) followed thinking patters of the “Deficit model of science communication” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_deficit_model#Deficit_model_of_science_communication), which is very common amongst “scientifically literate” people.
          https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0963662516629749

          Since I have learned that according to results from social sciences, this model seems to be quite wrong and that a strategy based predominantly on “providing facts” is not very effective, I have made a conscious effort to change the style of communication to (hopefully) be more convincing in discussions with irrational people.

          • Jashak

            You are absolutely right in what you say.

            Trying to use facts and logic to defeat an argument which is illogical and factually deficient is fundamentally fruitless.

            What I do find interesting is trying to understand the mindset of the True Believer. Trying to find the point at which the facts overwhelm their argument and how they wish to try to warp reality in order to make it conform to their ideology.

            The Deficit Model is, I must admit, new to me. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

          • No worries, Lenny.
            I have learned a lot since I follow this blog (from EE and also from fellow commenters), and hope that every now and then, I can contribute with some interesting info in return.

  • Lenny – you are vociferous in your comments, to be expected as the subject is vaccines.

    You can say I am anti vaccination but that isn’t the truth. You can say I have blood on my hands, and it isn’t the truth. My post was about the misleading coverage of the Samoan situation, and the press’s role in that.

    It is not helpful to throw accusations at me because you have erroneously interpreted my comment. Just to be clear I will repeat: there needs to be transparency for all concerned with the safeguarding of our precious children with regard to what they are being vaccinated with and what the possible consequences can be.

    I am not the person who is advising anyone ( I think it wise that I don’t involve myself in others’ decisions.) Because I comment on a blog leads you to …….well I am unsure, but certainly vitriol.

    However complicated the compensation program is in the USA for vaccine injury, the figures for payouts are there for all to access. However small the UK Government compensation for vaccine disability is, it does exist: do you at any point consider these may be a red flag for parents to consider all is not as safe as it should be for the recipients?

    As I said transparency for informed choice is needed to keep our children safe. It is a complex issue (if you think there are no grey areas that’s your opinion) and if you think from my commentary in this blog gives you the knowledge that I am anti vaccination, with the resultant accusations, I suggest you re read.

    • Angela

      Vaccines are not 100% safe. They never will be and that claim will never be made. But they are safer than the diseases they protect against. And they are constantly being tested and their safety is constantly being improved.

      Ask yourself why the BCG vaccination is no longer routinely administered.

      The Samoa measles crisis is being reported on correctly and truthfully.

      You believe otherwise. Without credible evidence.

      This is because you are an antivaxxer. You wear the hat. Deal with it.

      • Lenny says ‘this is because you are an anti vaxxer. You wear the hat. Deal with it’

        Oh dear I don’t want to be rude, but really? How many times can I say I am
        Not antivax? It’s a little like bullying Lenny and not a good look. Please call me out on anything I have said against vaccines; in your head I have but in print I haven’t: stating the need for full informational transparency is not the same as being anti vax.

        Is safeguarding our children a prerequisite of parenting? When I have been in conversation over the years with many parents (and it’s not me that has raised it) who say variously I don’t understand why my child has measles/mumps etc because he had the jab , I realise that they have been led to believe jabs are for life: the correct information has not been delivered. It appears they are not told it only lasts a few years. That is informational transparency and parents deserve that.

        In response to Jashak you find it interesting to try to understand the mindset of the true believer……how they wish to warp reality…..

        What is a true believer? In what? Who warps reality? If it is aimed at those who want to make informed decisions re their loved ones, it’s a pretty poor choice of words.

        Lenny continue with your diatribe, good luck. Have a good weekend; I shall enjoy mine watching an uplifting film with little people who have the quality of innocence.: Refreshing and a reminder to not get hooked into this blog with its sometimes darker shade of pale hue.

        • Oh dear I don’t want to be rude, but really? How many times can I say I am
          Not antivax?

          You make this claim, Angela

          However complicated the compensation program is in the USA for vaccine injury, the figures for payouts are there for all to access. However small the UK Government compensation for vaccine disability is, it does exist: do you at any point consider these may be a red flag for parents to consider all is not as safe as it should be for the recipients?

          But if it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it is probably a duck.

          You’re an antivaxxer, Angela. A pro-diseaser. Deal with it.

          • Lenny – you made me chuckle (and that’s quite an achievement given the serious subject) : and that’s because you reminded me of something that happened many moons ago.

            In my first job at around 20 I was working for a scientist. One day I found myself in a heated debate with my boss and was convinced I was correct (the nonsense of youth). He asked me if I was seriously having a tantrum and stamping my feet and that brought us both to helpless laughter; however he very soon recovered to say to me ‘you can stamp your feet for as long as you have the energy but it makes no difference : I am right and you are wrong ‘ of course he was absolutely right and thankfully I learnt a lesson that stood be in good stead for the years ahead. I very soon became self-aware and self development became a life long passion. I am not assumptive, judgemental or feel the need to tell anyone what they are or what their beliefs are. You think it is acceptable to tell me what I am : but in truth you have no idea.

            So when you say ‘ you are an antivaxxer, Angela . A pro-diseaser(??!) Deal with it’ it conjures up an image of feet stamping: you are absolutely right and could not be wrong.

            ‘You make this claim Angela’ :
            You then proceed to repeat my comment about compensation programs in the US and UK being a red flag for parents to
            do more research. These programs are public : I was not involved at the inception or beyond. As I said if parents safeguarding their children do thorough research to consider risk/benefit ,the compensation programs would be an alert to do,well more research.

            Are you suggesting that these parents making such an important decision, cherry pick information?

            Please don’t answer : if this is the extent of your critical thinking ok, deal with it, waddle or stamp your feet, however none leads to the conclusion I am an antivaxxer (oh except in your assumptive mind)

          • As I said if parents safeguarding their children do thorough research

            And what “research” would this be, Angela?

            Would it be “research” which shows them that vaccinating their kids is actually terribly dangerous and that they’d be much better off not getting their jabs?

            Because the evidence shows no such thing. You believe otherwise.

            This is because you are an antivaxxer. Own it. Be proud. Argue that the dead children in Samoa are victims of Big Pharma. Stand alongside your fellow believers.

            You are an antivaxxer, Angela. Sit on your high and pompous horse all you wish. Antivax you are. To your core.

  • Jashak – it is not my style to shout any one down either, but as can be seen from Lenny’s response, we don’t all have the same style.

    ‘Could you be more precise?’ I am not sure I can.: the post was about transparency and reportage.

    ‘If you have any doubts about the risk/benefit …..’ well, that’s a big question and one I can’t truthfully answer because as I said we need full informational transparency. Respectfully, leading me to a link doesn’t answer the question. There is a lot of conflicting information ; there are labels of anti vax and pro vax , different camps. Sadly, I don’t think this is helpful in creating a safe vaccination environment for our loved ones.

    • Dear Angela,
      I was aware that your post was related to a critique of the news outlets in terms of transparency.
      However, I still do not understand what it exactly is that you dislike.
      Clarifying your statements would allow me to better understand your position on vaccination/media/transparency. If I start interpreting your somewhat nebulous comments, I would be in danger of committing a straw(wo)man fallacy, which I would like to avoid.

    • Lenny – are you saying that parents should be denied research into risk:benefit of vaccinating their children.? Are you the all knowing person to tell them that there is no point because vaccines are completely safe, there has never been any compensation for injury, listen to people like you, and ignore any form of safeguarding their children?

      And you say I am the one on a high horse. Would that vaccines were completely safe for our children: how wonderful, but there are question marks and they cannot be ignored. RG’s response to Jashak shows that, and with which I concur.

      I am no all knowing poster but in my quiet moments of reflection I consider that these so called antivaxxers are nothing of the sort: they are people, including medical professionals, who are helping us understand a very complex situation.

      I stand by my stance of safeguarding our children, Lenny. If in your warped mind that makes me antivaxx, no problem : continue stamping your feet until you achieve whatever it is you need. I have no fellow believers to stand by, but I am not sure that’s the case for you.

      • Angela, you wrote:

        Lenny – are you saying that parents should be denied research into risk:benefit of vaccinating their children.?

        No, he has not said that.

        Are you the all knowing person to tell them that there is no point because vaccines are completely safe

        No, he hasn’t said that either. In fact, he has already said (in a post to which you replied): “Vaccines are not 100% safe.” It is utterly disingenuous of you to try to pretend that he has implied the opposite of what heclearly stated.

        How many times can I say I am Not antivax?

        As many as you like, but multiple repetition of an falsehood does not make it true. As long as you trot out antivax tropes, you will be identified as an antivaxxer (or, to give you lot your proper title, a pro-diseaser. In children.

        When you try to dress up your pro-diseaser stance as “safeguarding children”, that just makes your sociopathy one stage worse: it marks you as a snide anti-vaxxer. You safeguard children by vaccinating them against vaccine-preventable serious illnesses. Refusing to do that is reprehensible.

        In a previous thread, I pointed you to this: http://www.docbastard.net/2019/03/busting-vaccine-myths.html If you did bother to read it, either you didn’t understand it or you are disingenuously ignoring it. You certainly haven’t given any coherent argument, using actual evidence, against any of the points that article makes.

        Whatever you lot pretend, you do have the preventable harm to children on your hands. Shame on you.

        • Steven Tonkin. No shame here. Yes I did see Lenny’s statement re vaccines not being 100% . But the rest of his comments kind of lead me to think he advocates parents immunising without any research into risk/benefit. Sorry if I don’t get the message.

          Denigrate all you like: and there are some pretty nasty comments that add no value to the subject, but it does nothing to change my stance: safeguarding our children is priority. Your’s and Lenny’s strategy for keeping our children safe, for informational transparency for decision making by parents is different to mine. So be it.

  • Jashak – respectfully, I disagree that my comments are nebulous and there is no need to try and interpret them as I will try one last time.

    Not sure this will be enough clarification for you but one final reiteration of my stance: there needs to be informational transparency regarding vaccines so that parents can consider the Risk/benefit ratio.

    There is a reason for diminished uptake of vaccination and that is not at the door of so called anti vaxxers. Access to compensation information must affect some parents’ decision making. If I was making a decision about whether to vaccinate or not my baby/child, I would glean as much information as possible because that is a parent’s duty for safeguarding; as a UK resident observing the UK government has a compensation program would be enough to tell me to do more research – so that I can make a more informed decision re risk/benefit.

    There are question marks re the safety of vaccines : it surely makes sense to have open discussion about this rather than accusing people of being antivax.

    I am sorry if this response doesn’t satisfy you, but it is so unimportant in comparison to the safety of children. Reassurance is the answer for the decision making parents , not accusations of being anti vaccination.

    In a response to Lenny you talk about wanting to
    be more convincing in your discussions with irrational people. You say you have a science background. In the ‘science’ of psychology irrationality is a big subject. I am extremely wary of judging that a person is irrational because they present with a view I disagree with.

    • @ Angela
      If I understand correctly, then you claim that informational transparency regarding vaccines is lacking.
      Well… who do you think is responsible for this?! If you WANT to find transparent, objective and evidence-based information, then very good sources in fact DO exist.
      In Germany, this would be the STIKO of the Robert-Koch-Institute.
      https://www.rki.de/EN/Content/infections/Vaccination/Vaccination_node.html

      If you bother to follow this link, you will find all the information you could wish… transparent, detailed, nuanced and -importantly- based on reliable scientific knowledge.
      I am pretty sure that a similar institution exists in the UK as well.

      So if you want to blame anybody for clouding the transparency, then you might want to look at the anti-vaxxer scene, which spreads all kinds of misinformation.

      • Jashak

        You said:
        “So if you want to blame anybody for clouding the transparency, then you might want to look at the anti-vaxxer scene, which spreads all kinds of misinformation.”

        First of all, there really are no large anti-vax group out there. The ones there are are very small, and a good part of them are not anti-vax but safe-vax focused…. others are for choice. Any such groups are operating on very small budgets.
        So lets cut the crap with the idea that there is are large organization out there promoting a anti-vaccine movement.

        The anit-vax movement is a grass roots group of people, many of whom have no ties or connections to anybody. These are simply parents that are concerned about their children’s health. I’m not going to assume that the “anti-vax” parents care anymore about their children’s health than those parents whom choose to vaccinate. However, I will say this…. I am quite confident that “anti-vax” parents have studied the evidence much much more than the average parent that blindly accepts all the vaccines that Dr. Good recommends.

        • @ RG,
          Quote#1:“ So lets cut the crap with the idea that there is are large organization out there promoting a anti-vaccine movement.“

          Never forget: the size doesn´t matter! (sorry, had to go for this cheap one..).
          Bad jokes aside: I have not claimed that any “large organization” of anti-vaxxers exists, since I have no concrete information about it. However, even very small groups can do a lot of harm. Andrew Wakefield (n=1) comes to mind.

          Quote#2:“ I am quite confident that “anti-vax” parents have studied the evidence much much more than the average parent that blindly accepts all the vaccines that Dr. Good recommends.”

          What makes you think that parents who decide to vaccinate their child are “blindly” following their doctor’s advice? I think that you are over-simplifying a quite complex decision.
          Every parent of course wants the best for their child, but unfortunately, not all parents also act accordingly. The measles outbreak in Samoa (and in the Ukraine, etc.) could have been avoided, if the children would have been vaccinated, as recommended by e.g. the STIKO – which makes their recommendations according to the best available scientific evidence.

    • Lenny sadly you and Steve Tonkin are more concerned with being right, accusing someone of inaccuracies and fail to see the bigger picture. I don’t see that you have a strategy for safeguarding our children.

      You are maybe academics or scientists or some other professionals that give you the right (in your minds) to think you have all the answers, but something is not adding up.

      I have had many strands in a long and varied career: my time as a non scientist/academic working with those who were was a privilege. Many debates of life saving decisions I have witnessed. Civility was key, listening, critical thinking brought calm decisions. The world has come a long way since the 1960’s and reading this blog and the propensity of skeptics like you to be so black and white, and indeed rude in your quest to be arrogantly correct, fills me with fear for future generations.

      If you were discussing the important subject of whether vaccines were completely safe with people that I had worked with, you would not have got away with your strident attitude. I imagine that every aspect would have been brought to the table. ‘Why do parents question the safety? Why is there a compensation program in place? What about shedding? What about the fact that hygiene plays a part in outbreaks in third world countries.?Why has there been reduced take up? What are parents concerned about? Why can live and dead vaccines not be administered together (this I was told by someone under going treatment in hospital? )Why is It not good to vaccinate someone who is poorly? What are the ingredients of the vaccines that are causing concern,? Are these vaccines completely safe?. Safeguarding our children is priority. Why are parents unaware these childhood vaccines are not lifelong? Is there a lack of information by medical professionals? ‘And so on …… but believe me after all that discussion, I know that no one would be called anti vaccination, they have blood on their hands and they are pro disease. I do know that the calibre of those scientists would lead them to question marks re the safety of children, when all aspects have been considered.

      How sad that you call people who want informational transparency…. well I won’t repeat your uncalled for commentary.

      It is you who should be ashamed. Frankly I think this post is a waste of my time directed at people like you who are arrogant, rude and certainly show no regard for children’s safety. Unfortunately on waking this morning, I felt I needed to comment thus. Have the rest of the debate – the forum is yours – my stance remains that safeguarding children is paramount. You have said nothing that tells me ‘think wider Angela’ – I would have to return to the 1960’s to know that if I heard that it was a valid point. The world has gone a little askew….hopefully if those that do no harm prevail, it will right itself.

      • @Angela

        I have one comment and one question for you to consider.

        Comment You ask “Are these vaccines completely safe?” Can you point to any human activity that is completely safe? The number of people killed in road traffic accidents (almost 1.25 million per year or >3,200 per day according to this source) is vastly in excess of the number of deaths attributable to vaccines. So if we extrapolate your concerns about vaccine safety to vehicles, we should definitely not be driving any vehicles at all: they unequivocally kill people in great numbers, including hundred of thousands of “precious children”.

        Instead, as a society we’ve taken a risk/benefit attitude to transport and have decided the benefits outweigh the enormous risks. Why on earth you don’t think this reasoning also applies to vaccines, where the risk is infinitesimal by comparison, I can’t imagine.

        Question At what age do you consider a person cease to become a “precious child” and become a (presumably less precious) adult? I ask because, at the moment in the UK, we have people arguing that a 15-year-old is an innocent child, incapable of doing other than child-like things, while others consider people of this age should be given the right to vote like adults.

        • @Frank Odds

          Frank, let’s talk about some potential solutions, rather than just spouting off our positions.

          So the “anti-vaxers” claim the issue with vaccines is safety, so why can’t these issues be addressed so that the controversy can be eliminated and dealt with ? If the anti-disease community thinks it so important to have high vaccine rates, you would think they might be willing to address some of the primary concerns.

          Why does it have to be that the pharma industry insists on putting some of the most toxic substances known to mankind in the vaccines ? Can they not make the vaccines another way ? If the anti-disease community and anti-disease authorities want near 100% vaccination rates, remove the obstacle…. no ?
          Why can’t the Pharma industry come up with vaccines that don’t do damage ? I’m pretty sure they can … I think the answer is simple, MONEY !

          Beyond the safety issue is another important issue that concerns parents w/regard to vaccines, too many vaccines overall, and too many at one time. The USA administers more vaccines than any OCED country, in fact more than any country period. Why ? , the mortality rates are no lower than other OCED countries, in fact, much higher than countries with lower vaccine regimens. The US also is increasingly having young people, including young children with alarming rates of chronic disease…. at younger ages.
          Please don’t lecture me about correlation is not causation, ADDRESS THE ISSUE !
          Why can not the AMA agree to spread out the vaccine injections, and lower the vaccine regimen ? If they want higher vaccine rates, remove the concerns.

          These are simple issues to address, but the SBM community prefers to continue to beat the drum on vaccine compliance without the willingness to make changes. We all know the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.
          Fix the problems first, and the rest will take care of itself.

          • @RG

            “why can’t these issues be addressed so that the controversy can be eliminated and dealt with ?” They have been. Over and over. But people stick their fingers in their ears and shout “la-la-la” so they can’t hear the sense of what they’re being told.

            Why does it have to be that the pharma industry insists on putting some of the most toxic substances known to mankind in the vaccines ? Can they not make the vaccines another way ? If the anti-disease community and anti-disease authorities want near 100% vaccination rates, remove the obstacle…. no ?

            Good grief! You show so much ignorance with these few sentences: and I don’t mean that in any pejorative sense. You clearly just don’t know what you’re talking about. People involved in vaccine research have been eliminating many of the substances of concern for many years. Your comments cast pharma researchers as complicit in a vile assault on the human population when the exact opposite is the truth.

            For the umpteenth (but I’m sure not final) time on this blog: “Vaccines are not 100% safe. They never will be and that claim will never be made. But they are safer than the diseases they protect against. And they are constantly being tested and their safety is constantly being improved.” ©Lenny last Friday. Which is the short answer to your questions. Did you not see it?

            My own version appeared in my question to Angela to which you object: “Can you point to any human activity that is completely safe?“. Which is why I made the safety comparison between vaccines and the vehicles we love to drive around in so as to kill people [you should be ashamed that I feel the need to add “that’s meant to be irony” because of your persistent failure to grasp even the simplest concept]. We accept vehicles because our generally favourable view of their good points outweighs the bad stuff. Yet most people know at least one person who was killed in a car smash. Do you know anyone who was killed or permanently damaged by a vaccine, RG? The numbers are remarkably tiny.

            Here’s a list of the top five most poisonous substances known to man. There are no vaccine ingredients on the list and all five of these poisons are way more toxic than any vaccine ingredient, so your assertion that the pharma industry insists on putting some of the most toxic substances known to man in vaccines is pure fiction.

            The substances anti-vaxxers seem most object to in vaccines are listed on this web page. You can find a more soberly described list here. Please try to read the detail in the second link, RG, because like the first link says: the devil’s in the details.

            In that second link there is all the explanation of the issues a rationally thinking person should need. Your vitriol (“Why can’t the Pharma industry come up with vaccines that don’t do damage ? I’m pretty sure they can … I think the answer is simple, MONEY !”) is unfounded. Do you mean they don’t have enough money to do their research (they usually do) or that their management thinks they can’t make a profit from re-inventing existing vaccines (in which case, please explain why they do re-invent vaccines all the time). Please read my lips as an alternative to Lenny’s: there never will be 100% safe vaccines, but by comparison with other pharmaceutical products they do incredibly well, and the profound benefits to mankind have been demonstrated over and over and over again for all but the maliciously blind to see.

            “ADDRESS THE ISSUE”. I really don’t have the time or energy to write an essay on vaccines. There are so many good ones already published. My second link does address your issues comprehensively — even your point about spreading out the vaccine injections (you’re in danger here of confusing all vaccines as being essentially the same, in the way some people think all forms of chemotherapy make your hair fall out and that all forms of cancer are just one disease, as in the phrase “why is there no cure for cancer?”).

            I usually avoid responding to (feeding) people who troll this blog, and I have seldom given in to the urge to respond to your tedious and ill-informed posts. Please regard this as my last word to you on the topic of vaccines. The simplest stuff all seems to go way over your head.

        • Frank Odds you can’t imagine why the risk/benefit reasoning of driving vehicles applies would not apply to vaccines: or rather why I cannot see that :I think that’s what you inferring.

          This driving vehicles has been raised in other threads on vaccines and to me is a strange analogy. Transport has developed over the years : I agree the volume of traffic now is not a good thing. It is called progress. We have to deal with it and make decisions. Stepping outside the door can be a risk as can staying inside. As a baby my parents thought nothing about flying around the world with me alongside. I was brought up understanding the airline industry as it was my father’s expertise. There was never any indication that flying was thought dangerous: it was normal. It was a necessary vehicle for my father’s job.

          Moving on, I still make the decision to fly even though we know it is a risk. I still make the decision to drive even though I encounter irrational drivers on the roads. However, I was brought to a standstill when as a grandmother looking after grandchildren, I was faced with transporting the baby in my car for the first time. I wasn’t concerned about me, but that other drivers were not as safe. Ultimately, I had to get over it: my reasoning was : this baby needs to be somewhere, I am the only one to drive, her parents will be driving her, alongside many others until she is 17 : the risk/benefit decision was not really mine : it was my remit to do my best in the caring role. . I deduce once we make a decision to drive, fly, walk (especially over London bridges ) we are at risk. But largely people in their motivation to get on with life take risks.

          That’s a long winded try at saying I don’t agree with your analogy re vehicles and vaccines. Babies rely on their decision making parents for health safety. It is the biggest responsibility a parent has, and if they are aware that vaccines are not 100% safe, then it may (or may not be) they look to informational transparency to aid their decision. My comment that started this exchange was: a leading newspaper article made no mention of the contribution towards the Samoan outbreak by the fact that 2 nurses had administered a dangerous mix of vaccine resulting in two babies’ tragic deaths. The cogent point was as a result the authority suspended vaccination for a few months. This is not transparent reporting when there are many factors regarding the outbreak, not least the lack of hygiene in that community.,

          ‘Question : at what age do you consider a person ceases to become a precious child and become a (presumably less precious ) adult?’ Your words Frank and to me you are scraping the barrel to prove what exactly.?I didn’t think I had to elaborate – my posts are lengthy enough.

          Babies and young children are precious. As children grow they remain precious; even as sometimes difficult teenagers they are still very precious. As adults and as they become parents they are even more precious because of responsibilities. Humanity is precious. And that’s why we should live our lives seeking the truth, and hopefully preserving the open mindedness to make the correct decisions regarding ours and our children’s health.

          I have no knowledge of the conflicting ideas being discussed about 15 year olds. Sensibly, being presented with ten 15 year olds, a good psychologist will point out that each one will be at different levels of maturity ( we all know about that undeveloped part of the brain that exists to make teenagers tricky) I have observed an 8 year old presenting with the maturity of a 12 year old. All shapes, sizes, brain capacity are the rich tapestry of life. And your point is Frank?

          • @Angela

            You say you don’t agree with my analogy re vehicles and vaccines. Yet you’ve now provided three further examples (stepping outside the door, flying and walking) of risk-taking analogies that are similarly comparable to vaccination! You moved even closer to the point with your example about transporting a baby in a car. In your very own words “largely people in their motivation to get on with life take risks”. And the tiny risk of vaccine damage should be one of those “get on with it” motivations.

            You are commendably cautious in your desire to weigh up the risks of vaccination (though see this post from Julian Money-Kyrle about how few people actually have the faintest idea about the level of risk they take with particular activities).

            Because (genuine) vaccine information is so prolifically available on the web (just how much “information transparency” do you want?!) you can easily find the rates of vaccine damage and compare them with other risks you regard as acceptable for their perceived benefits (e.g. road vehicles). My point was that the risk of vaccine damage is so tiny compared with that of being killed by a motor vehicle* that vaccines should be a no-brainer. Their benefits are, or should be, beyond doubt. (I note that JM-K, writing his comment on the same day as mine, wrote “If we really made decisions based on a rational assessment of risk, then nobody would gamble, far fewer people would smoke and there would be hardly any private cars on the roads.” He too picks up on the blatant difference in people’s attitude to vaccines vs motor vehicles.)

            You repeatedly refer to the Samoan measles outbreak as an example of something or other. Like you say, that outbreak resulted from nurses doing something they should not have done and politicians reacting with their guts instead of their brains. Human error was involved, as is so often the case. There was nothing remotely wrong with the actual content of the bottles of vaccine themselves. The speed with which new cases of measles emerged may well have involved other factors, but now we’re back into the difficulty of establishing true causality, which we’ve been over on this blog time and again. Once again, Julian mentions this problem (it’s the underlying reason for the UK and US vaccine compensation schemes) in yesterday’s comment.

            If you don’t get my point about “precious” children, let me spell it out for you. You seldom seem to be able to type the words “child” or “children” without adding the adjective “precious”. It’s a device for increasing the impact of your words on the reader — a debating trick, if you like — but I became tired of reading it so I asked the obvious question about the age at which the adjective can be dropped; that’s all.

            *The annual figure of 1.25 million for deaths on the road is for deaths resulting directly from impact injuries. The number of indirect deaths from road vehicles (the result of polluting particles and toxic exhaust gases) is more difficult to estimate, but I’m sure you’re as aware as I am that a lot of very concerned people, even some politicians, are doing their best to stamp out pollution from vehicle exhausts because they suspect the injuries and deaths attributable indirectly to road vehicles is colossal.

        • Frank Odds you can’t imagine why the risk/benefit reasoning of driving vehicles would not apply to vaccines: or rather why I cannot see that :I think that’s what you inferring.

          This driving vehicles has been raised in other threads on vaccines and to me is a strange analogy. Transport has developed over the years : I agree the volume of traffic now is not a good thing. It is called progress. We have to deal with it and make decisions. Stepping outside the door can be a risk as can staying inside. As a baby my parents thought nothing about flying around the world with me alongside. I was brought up understanding the airline industry as it was my father’s expertise. There was never any indication that flying was thought dangerous: it was normal. It was a necessary vehicle for my father’s job.

          Moving on, I still make the decision to fly even though we know it is a risk. I still make the decision to drive even though I encounter irrational drivers on the roads. However, I was brought to a standstill when as a grandmother looking after grandchildren, I was faced with transporting the baby in my car for the first time. I wasn’t concerned about me, but that other drivers were not as safe. Ultimately, I had to get over it: my reasoning was : this baby needs to be somewhere, I am the only one to drive, her parents will be driving her, alongside many others until she is 17 : the risk/benefit decision was not really mine : it was my remit to do my best in the caring role. . I deduce once we make a decision to drive, fly, walk (especially over London bridges ) we are at risk. But largely people in their motivation to get on with life take risks.

          That’s a long winded try at saying I don’t agree with your analogy re vehicles and vaccines. Babies rely on their decision making parents for health safety. It is the biggest responsibility a parent has, and if they are aware that vaccines are not 100% safe, then it may (or may not be) they look to informational transparency to aid their decision. My comment that started this exchange was: a leading newspaper article made no mention of the contribution towards the Samoan outbreak by the fact that 2 nurses had administered a dangerous mix of vaccine resulting in two babies’ tragic deaths. The cogent point was as a result the authority suspended vaccination for a few months. This is not transparent reporting when there are many factors regarding the outbreak, not least the lack of hygiene in that community.,

          ‘Question : at what age do you consider a person ceases to become a precious child and become a (presumably less precious ) adult?’ Your words Frank and to me you are scraping the barrel to prove what exactly.?I didn’t think I had to elaborate – my posts are lengthy enough.

          Babies and young children are precious. As children grow they remain precious; even as sometimes difficult teenagers they are still very precious. As adults and as they become parents they are even more precious because of responsibilities. Humanity is precious. And that’s why we should live our lives seeking the truth, and hopefully preserving the open mindedness to make the correct decisions regarding ours and our children’s health.

          I have no knowledge of the conflicting ideas being discussed about 15 year olds. Sensibly, being presented with ten 15 year olds, a good psychologist will point out that each one will be at different levels of maturity ( we all know about that undeveloped part of the brain that exists to make teenagers tricky) I have observed an 8 year old presenting with the maturity of a 12 year old. All shapes, sizes, brain capacity are the rich tapestry of life. And your point is Frank?

          Apologies if this is the second time of posting: I was trying to edit post and my IPhone decided to distort the text:

          • Frank Odds – I still don’t agree with your analogy re vaccines and vehicles and risk benefit. Because I emphasised the risks we all take every day, in your weird thought process you assumed it showed you were right. It’s nonsense: as I said : babies rely on their decision making parents for health safety. The word health gives you the clue; the word decision gives you another clue.

            I don’t want to play your silly game Frank.You don’t like the adjective precious : it’s a device ……..a debating trick …. and you became tired of reading it. Is this serious commentary? Or is it something else?

            You have stumped me. However, at the risk of upsetting you further with my prose, vaccination is a serious subject: our children are precious and parents should have informational transparency before making the decisions because it impacts on health. Risks of everyday life are another matter : we make as safe decisions as we are able to
            live our lives; for example, before we have stepped outside the home and exposed ourselves to ‘vehicles’ we would teach our children to not burn themselves on an iron, a gas hob etc: this is intrinsic to safeguarding our children: we do it automatically. Vaccination is a choice : it’s not something we are going to randomly discover: it’s a medical issue, just like when a GP suggests a certain drug to an adult and sometimes the patient may say, I want to think about it: because the patient does have a choice. We are all deserving of the correct information to make the informed decision……because if we as human beings are not precious then we can be sure nothing else is…….

            Frank please have your platform, I don’t want to have exchange with your inane assumptions and comments again on this subject.: it’s too serious.

          • Hi Frank.

            “Angela” has made it clear she is totally impermeable to reason. A “broken record” chanting the same repetitive graduale about the big-pharma bogey-man, VAERS ghost stories and the omnipresent inserts believed by the anti-vax cult to reveal the evil agenda of the murderous mafia of medicine.
            When uncomfortable facts are thrown at people like this, they fret “I’m not anti-vaccine, I’m pro safe-vaccination!” while wiping the whipped cream of truth from their eyes, red from the acrid sting of cognitive dissonance.

            Speaking of inserts, I wonder if “Angela” has read the insert (material safety datasheet) for sand? The kind common in children’s sandboxes and beaches. A large part of such sand is Silica or silicon dioxide in powder form, which is rated as a class 1 carcinogenic!

            If I thought it was worth my time to try to bang her over the head with such an opus, I would put together a brief description of the Scandinavian situation re. vaccines and vaccine research in that part of the world.
            The Finns, Danes, Swedes and Norse do their own government regulated research and safety monitoring. They take no orders from big bad CDC, FDA or phamaceutical producers. Despite being extremely safety aware and reactionary towards any hint of a public health hazard, the Scandinavian population is vaccinated “to the gills”, as P.G. Wodehouse might have put it. If there is a hint of safety concern with such products, the governments of these countries tend to overreact and research it with fervour.
            Come to think of it, I recently read a Danish paper that came out last spring describing yet another analysis of the purported correlation between MMR vaccine and ASD. They looked at data for almost seven hundred thousand children! No correlation was found, yet again. The Danes must have wanted badly to check just one more time even if lorryloads of data say it is not necessary and research time and effort would be better spent on unresolved controversies.

            Our lives, Frank, are worth better sparring partners than “the ineducable Angela”.

          • @Björn
            Once again, another smug comment from you… But did you ever consider that Angela is NOT impermeable to reason? Maybe it is YOUR fault, because you simply choose the wrong arguments!
            After some sleepless nights, I had an epiphany when this idea came to my mind… which finally might resonate with her!
            🙂

            So here we go…

            @ Angela:
            Please imagine this fictitious scenario:
            Let´s say it is a sunny day, around noon, and you want to go for a walk through a nice suburb of London with your precious grandchild holding your hand.

            Now… very large public surveys of hundreds of thousands of grandparents have shown that it is NOT 100% SAFE for you and your grandchild to take this walk, even though (somewhat surprisingly) no smokers live in your suburb that could harm you with second hand smoke. However, other risk factors are out there, including environmental (wind, UV-irradiation, animals, bacteria, viruses, etc.) and “manmade” factors (traffic, criminals etc.).

            These “grandparent studies” have shown that -ALL RISK FACTORS INCLUDED- it is… let´s say… 99% safe to go.
            Now imagine that these studies have also shown that wearing an aluminium foil hat lowers the overall risk to 98% (despite the fact that the hat contains large amounts of aluminium!), because the hat protects you from the sunlight irradiation.

            In this thought experiment… would you say it is reasonable to conclude that you and your precious grandchild should wear an aluminium foil hat before you go out?

            (Disclaimer: this example may contain a trick question… all answers could be taken out of context later on)

          • @ Angela:
            I should correct a typo in my “great” example story:
            The numbers 99% and 98% should be reversed.
            But no worries, the whole post was not meant seriously anyway, of course.

      • Angela, you wrote:

        Lenny sadly you and Steve Tonkin are more concerned with being right, accusing someone of inaccuracies…

        Why is it sad that people want to be right? Or, in other words, why would anybody want to be wrong?

        We accuse you of inaccuracies quite simply because the evidence says that you are inaccurate. You have consistently failed to provide evidence for your silly claims. Provide actual evidence that demonstrates that anything Lenny, Jashak, Edzard, Frank or I have written here is incorrect and, although I cant speak for the others, I am sure any of us would reconsider our positions. But, to quote Christopher Hitchens: “What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.

        …and fail to see the bigger picture. I don’t see that you have a strategy for safeguarding our children.

        And BANG! goes another irony meter! Vaccines have saved millions of lives from being ended and from being diminished. It speaks volumes that you pro-diseasers don’t consider that saving a child’s life constitutes “safeguarding”.

        If you were discussing the important subject of whether vaccines were completely safe …

        Which bit of this are you pretending not to understand: Nobody in this thread has asserted that vaccines are completely safe. We have asserted that, for a population and for a vast majority of individuals, they are far less harmful than the diseases they prevent.

        Your persistent pretence that people have made claims that are exactly opposite to the claims they have actually made is, for me, sufficient evidence that you are not a good-faith debater and are just here to promote your sociopathic ideology.

        [snip lots of questions that have already been addressed]

        You still haven’t bothered to read and understand http://www.docbastard.net/2019/03/busting-vaccine-myths.html , have you?

        The world has gone a little askew

        There we agree. When the sort of anti-scientific drivel that the likes of you and “RG” spew infests humanity, things are indeed askew! Carl Sagan had it exactly right (for “America” substitute “the world”):

        I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time — when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness…[and]… especially a kind of celebration of ignorance

        • Björn- ‘Hi Frank.. “Angela” has made it clear….’

          Ignoring your accusations, could I respectfully point out that I don’t have quotation marks around my birth name just as you don’t around Björn. I might be called many versions of my name by those who know me but none include a “.

          Erroneous assumptions abound in this post, but adding quotation marks to my name because, I assume but don’t know, you think I have used a false name, is plain silly.

      • Angela,

        It seems to me that your position is not that you are against vaccination, but that you would need to be convinced that the risk / benefit ratio was favourable before agreeing to your child being vaccinated, which seems to be a reasonable position. However, it is essential that you base your decision on accurate information, otherwise you are doing your children a disservice, and furthermore, if you spread inaccurate information (even in good faith) you could influence somebody else’s decision. If the net result is a lower uptake of vaccines, then I can see how someone might regard your stance as antivax whatever your true intentions or beliefs.

        I am a bit worried that you seem to be taking compensation payments into account, as if that were evidence that a vaccine was dangerous. Such payments may be as a result of the Courts awarding damages, but please note that a civil Court requires a lower standard of evidence than a criminal court (“balance of probabilities” rather than “beyond reasonable doubt”) and both require a much lower standard of evidence than scientific inquiry does. “Balance of probabilities” means that the Court only has to be convinced that one side has got a better case than the other in order to make its judgement. In personal injury cases, one side is very often an institution which is either wealthy or backed by insurance, whereas the other side is somebody who has been damaged to the point of being unable to support themselves or their family, and may require a lifetime of expensive care, and an award of damages may well be the only way that these costs can be met. This alone can also influence a Court’s decision, even if strictly it shouldn’t.

        Court cases are expensive, stressful for all involved and take a long time. It can often be cheaper and easier (not to mention politically expedient) to set up an automatic compensation system. My understanding is that there is such a system in the US for compensating people who might have been damaged by vaccines without them having to show that there couldn’t have been any other cause. Since there is often no way of distinguishing a child with neurological damage resulting from vaccination from a similar child where the cause is ideopathic (a medical term meaning cause unknown), it is only right that everyone who can make a reasonable case is compensated. This does mean that there will be many more payouts than true cases of vaccine damage, but such a system is pragmatic and fair.

        The one way of assessing the true safety of a vaccine is with a proper trial. Those developing vaccines have to provide data showing that they are safe and effective before they can be licensed (though there are exceptional cases such as a recent Ebola vaccine where there have been shortcuts as Ebola is highly fatal and very contagious). Once in use, the data collection continues, and in some cases (such as with MMR and DTP where there have been media-fuelled controversies) there have been large prospective trials involving millions of subjects followed up over years. Such studies can tell us accurately whether the rate of serious adverse events differs between vaccinated and unvaccinated groups, and by how much. What they can’t do is identify which individuals were affected by the vaccine rather than some other unknown cause (e.g. if the event occurs 100 times in 10 million unvaccinated individuals and 110 times in 10 million vaccinated, then we can calculate that the risk from vaccination is roughly 1 in a million).

        One big problem with looking at the safety of vaccines is that on the whole people are not comfortable with uncertainty, and tend to regard something that isn’t 100% safe as therefore being potentially dangerous. Since nothing in life is 100% safe this is unrealistic, but nevertheless it is how people think. Furthermore, our natural instincts about probability are completely wrong – to get the right answers you need to understand the maths and do the calculations; there are no shortcuts. If we really made decisions based on a rational assessment of risk, then nobody would gamble, far fewer people would smoke and there would be hardly any private cars on the roads. But most of us aren’t rational when it comes to making decisions, and we are much more influenced by what our friends and family think than by objective data. Furthermore, we are strongly affected by how much we feel in control of a decision and its consequences. I am sure we all know people who are afraid of flying but are quite happy to drive everywhere even though they are hundreds or thousands of times more likely to be killed in a car accident than in a plane crash, because they feel in control of their car (regardless of the behaviour of other road users) whereas in a plane they have to trust the pilot.

        The public health bodies who design vaccination schedules base their recommendations on hard data, not on what their friends think, what the Courts do or what is politically convenient, and their remit is to maximise health for everybody.

        Sometimes you hear of somebody who was vaccinated and still went on to catch the disease. To use this as a reason not to be vaccinated, however, is to misunderstand how vaccines work. For a start it takes a week or two after vaccination for immunity to develop, whereas diseases like mumps or chicken pox have an incubation period of about a month. It may also take several doses to achieve full immunity. Even so, partial immunity can reduce the severity of an infection. In the case of flu, the virus readily mutates, which means that the vaccine is a best guess of what is going to be around this season, and so it can’t protect everyone. Another vaccine which is only partly effective is mumps, though again this depends on the number of doses given.

        A very important aspect of vaccination is herd immunity. If a sufficient proportion of a population is immunised then it is impossible for an infection to take hold. What this proportion is depends on how readily the infection spreads. For a highly contagious virus such as measles 95% of the population has to be vaccinated to prevent an outbreak. The uptake can never be 100% as there are people who can’t be vaccinated for medical reasons, or in whom the vaccine won’t work becuase of immunosuppression. These individuals (who are also much more likely to die if they contract the infection) are totally reliant on herd immunity for their own protection.

        The issue of herd immunity raises the question of whether it is ethical to allow an individual to refuse to be vaccinated for whatever reason. The question of personal choice is analogous to the question of whether an individual should be forced to comply with road safety legislation. Though in practice it is probably more relevant whether making vaccination compulsory results in a backlash that has the effect of reducing uptake.

        One thing that I should add about measles specifically: We all know (at least I hope we do) that measles is very unpleasant – I was taught that the key factor in making the diagnosis wasn’t the rash, the fever, the Koplik’s spots inside the mouth or the conjunctivitis, but how miserable the child is. We also know that there can be serious complications (such as pneumonia and brain damage, particularly something called subacute sclerosing panencephalitis), and that it is sometimes fatal (given the number of cases worldwide the fatalities run to hundreds of thousands per year). What is less well known is that measles seriously depresses the immune system for years after the infection. It does this through its effect on memory B-cells which normally respond rapidly to infections that have already been encountered. By destroying these cells, it makes the individual susceptible once more to other diseases they have previously had or been vaccinated against. As a result, for every death directly attributed to measles infection there are another 3 or 4 deaths from other infections in the few years afterwards.

        • Dr Julian – thank you for taking your time to post your thoughts.

          I would like to reassure you of a couple of things. I am not spreading inaccurate information: that would be an assumption on your part that because I have commented here on this blog that in real life I have some kind of influence. I don’t : in my eighth decade now there is so much to grasp and enjoy in life. Being long in the tooth brings the wisdom that whilst we have life experience, we can’t fix or influence others.

          The strange anomaly is that while I feel for those families affected
          By vaccine damage, I am surrounded by people who don’t question vaccine safety. If they don’t question, there is no conversation.

          Contrary to your assumptions, I don’t talk about vaccination : everyone has to get on and learn in their own way.

          My background is one of listening, paraphrasing to help a person help themselves towards decision making in whatever capacity they need. I am not an influencer of anything, because that would be wrong. To have an opinion about vaccines on this blog seems to bring ire: but that’s not for me to fathom, but thank you for your patient post towards someone with a different take.

          One thing though – why mention smoking, In the previous generations of prolific smoking, the dangers were not known. They are now and I for one have not observed a smoker for many years.

          • One thing though – why mention smoking, In the previous generations of prolific smoking, the dangers were not known. They are now and I for one have not observed a smoker for many years.

            The dangers of smoking have been known since Doll and Peto’s famous paper in the Christmas Day edition of the British Medical Journal in 1976. However, this initially had a lot less impact on smoking than you might think. In the EU it is now illegal to smoke inside buildings open to the public (such as bars and restaurants) and even outside them in a partly enclosed space, and this has had a lot more effect, along with smoking gradually becoming less acceptable socially.

            Even so, I can’t go out of my house in London without encountering somebody smoking in the street, and I regularly find cigarette ends thrown into my garden.

            The problem is that it takes 30 years or so for smoking to affect your health, and even then the effects are readily confused with those of aging. People tend to discount the future when weighing up decisions about the present (it is well-known that you can get somebody to agree to anything if it is far enough ahead – useful when you want to book a public speaker).

            Where is it you live, that smoking is so rare? I would contend that it is probably not representative of the world as a whole.

  • Jashak

    Jashak said:
    “What makes you think that parents who decide to vaccinate their child are “blindly” following their doctor’s advice? I think that you are over-simplifying a quite complex decision”

    I don’t “think” this Jashak, I know it.

    Through my experience with others. and conversations with others…. including both vax and anti-vax parents.
    I know because I WAS that parent…. many years ago. I know because I know many a young parent (including my own step children follow Dr. Good’s orders blindly). I see and hear that most parents believe it sounds like the right thing to do, and if the doc says it’s time to vaccinate… that’s what they do.

    When you talk with people and they don’t know where Vaccines come from, what’s in them, don’t know the toxicity of the ingredients, what are the side effects, the history of vaccines… you get an idea. When you talk with people that accept vaccines without knowing how the USA vaccine regimen compares to other OCED countries…. you kinda know.
    After these type of observations, you get an idea of how uninformed the general public is that blindly vaccinates their children.

    Does it make anti-vax parents correct because they are more informed ? …. not really. However, this idea that anti-vaxers are uninformed if bull crap…. please change the narrative. Anti-vaxers just see the controversy from a different perspective.

    • Dear RG,
      Quote:” However, this idea that anti-vaxers are uninformed if bull crap…. please change the narrative.“

      You have a propensity to put words in my mouth that I did not say. What I have said is that the anti-vaxxer scene spreads MISinformation, i.e. they spread information that is not in agreement with the best scientific evidence.
      I did not say that all anti-vaxxers are uninformed about the topic as a whole. If they, however, claim that vaccination of children against measles is doing more harm than good (or, like the nutcase Edwin Tamasese, calling measles vaccinations a “killing spree”), then these people evidently came to a conclusion that is in direct opposition to the most reliable evidence and the derived statistical models regarding spreading of viral infections.

      I have two quick question regarding your epistemology:
      You say that you “know” that parents blindly follow their doctor´s advice regarding vaccination, because of your personal experience talking with many of them.
      1. Can I ask you to estimate the sample size (i.e. with how many people did you speak about this topic)?
      2. To what percentage would you say they are “blind followers”?

      My youngest brother is a paediatrician in a German hospital. Although personal experience is a lousy measure of reality (because of the low sample size and potential bias), I will -just for fun- ask him if he agrees with you that the parents blindly follow his advice about vaccinations.
      Since he has talked to me about his experiences with parents (in a different context) before, I am pretty sure that I know the answer already.
      😉

      • @Jashak
        A German pediatrician is said to have posted the following in his waiting room: “You do not have to vaccinate all your children, only those you want to keep”.
        Perhaps that was your brother 😁

        • @ Björn Geir
          If this is true, that´s quite funny 😊

          My brother started working only several years ago, so he is not (yet?) at this level of “dark humor”.
          Although… when we spoke about this topic, he mentioned that he is already quite frustrated.
          For example, he does not engage in conversations about vaccination outside of his “duty” in the hospital, unless he is specifically asked for his opinion, because he had more than enough frustrating conversations with “internet-educated” people.

          • @Jashak

            It’s calledl the information age. We don’t have to rely on MD’s for our health any longer… thank God.
            My parents generation hopefully was the last entire generation that was brainwashed into “the doctor knows best” mentality.
            It doesn’t surprise me that your brother takes this stance, lol… He’s not the only MD that doesn’t appreciate the resistance of being questioned. This website is a great example of the same.

            Should we here in the USA, assume that only those educated by the AMA can be considered to know about matters of health and well being ?
            Those days are gone forever, if that were true, God help us all.

          • @ RG,
            Not sure why you consider trusting your doctor´s advice as being “brainwashed”. Sounds quite negative to me.

            If my car is broken, I go to an expert mechanic to get it fixed. If I take a plane, I trust the airline with the best-trained pilots, etc. pp. Does this mean that I am “brainwashed”?!
            I would say it is the rational thing to do.

            So when it comes to vaccination, why should I not trust the health specialists, who base their advice on the (continuously reviewed) consensus of the experts in the field of immunisation?
            Is there a big conspiracy going on?
            😉

          • RG,

            It’s calledl the information age. We don’t have to rely on MD’s for our health any longer… thank God.

            Visiting a Web site is no substitue for practical experience. Information is not the same as knowledge, and knowledge is not the same as wisdom. Nor will any of them alone enable you to acquire a skill. Or as my Director of Studies at Cambridge was fond of saying:
            “You can’t learn to play the violin by reading a book about it.”

          • @Jashak

            Why might I not trust my doctor’s advice ?

            Simple answer.
            First reason is because the MD is required to follow AMA protocol. AMA protocol leaves little room for MD’s to do what they want, or do what they even think might be best for the patient.
            Why do MD’s follow AMA protocol strictly ? …. because if they don’t, and the patient worsens or dies, they might be taken to court and sued.
            So whatta ya think MD’s do ? They look out for their own interest before mine.

          • @ DR.JMK

            “You can’t learn to play the violin by reading a book about it.”

            You keep telling yourself that doc.
            That might be true for musical instruments… I dunno.

            If I had followed by dip-shit urologist advice, I would have had a needless prostate biopsy…. as I’ve told you previously. How did a dummy like me know better what to do than Mr. Educated ?
            Thank God for the internet.

          • this sounds utterly moronic to me

          • @EE

            “this sounds utterly moronic to me”

            Try to make some sense.
            Please explain yourself.

          • RG,

            That might be true for musical instruments… I dunno

            It’s true for any skill – you need practice and experience, as well as guidance from somebody who knows what they are doing. This includes the practice of medicine, which is an apprenticeship, starting when you graduate from medical school.

            If I had followed by dip-shit urologist advice, I would have had a needless prostate biopsy…. as I’ve told you previously. How did a dummy like me know better what to do than Mr. Educated ?

            When it comes to prostate biopsies, the question of who needs one and even how to do it isn’t straightforward. Unfortunately most prostate cancers aren’t symptomatic until they are fairly advanced, and PSA isn’t reliable enough to be a screening test (rectal examination is better). Also many cancers are diagnosed which behave rather indolently and don’t really need treatment, though they do need follow-up to pick up the more aggressive ones that do. Furthermore, a standard prostate biopsy (six cores taken via rectal ultrasound) can miss tumours that aren’t close to the back of the prostate – a targeted template biopsy (40 cores taken through the skin under a general anaesthetic, guided by an MRI) are better, but not used much except in centres with a brachytherapy service who are used to the technique.

            My experience of urologists is that some of them can be a bit gung-ho, and have a fairly low threshold for biopsying, and indeed for taking out the prostate if they find a cancer (the data have never shown a survival benefit from prostatectomy, although there is with radiotherapy, which is also much less likely to cause impotence and almost never causes incontinence). I think they could do with being a bit more evidence-based themselves at times.

          • @ Dr. JMK

            Doc, I appreciate you reply, I know you are knowledgeable on the subject.

            However, when a man’s PSA level jumps from 2.5 to 6.5 in one leap, wouldn’t it behoove a urologist to at least request a second PSA test ?

            C’mon, to recommend a biopsy based on that is closer to incompetence than to bad reason. Why should I subject myself to such nonsense ?

            Should I have to school my doctor ?

          • RG,

            when a man’s PSA level jumps from 2.5 to 6.5 in one leap, wouldn’t it behoove a urologist to at least request a second PSA test ?

            I would certainly agree with that. Depending on the time frame this could represent an unusually aggressive tumour, but it is much more likely to be minor trauma, prostatitis or from some other random cause, even lab error.

            I always found it very useful to look at PSA dynamics, rather than just the value alone. I wrote a piece of software which enabled me to chart the PSAs of every one of my patients logarithmically, and to give me the doubling time represented by any part of the curve. It was remarkably useful in assessing how treatment was working and predicting what was likely to happen next. However, this was for people who had already been diagnosed with prostate cancer, and the relationship between their particular cancer and their PSA level had already been established (no two cancers produce the same amount of PSA, which means you can’t really compare one person’s PSA with another’s). Also most of them had had treatment which stopped the non-malignant parts of the prostate from producing PSA.

            In the case of an intact prostate interpreting the PSA is much less straightforward. Imagine a small cancer producing some PSA sitting in a much larger prostate, also producing PSA. The cancer will grow exponentially (maybe doubling in size every 6 – 12 months, or faster for a high-grade tumour), so its contribution to the PSA will rise. All things being equal the prostate itself will stay much the same size over this time frame, so consecutive rises may be indicative of a tumour. Infection and other factors can cause quite large PSA rises (even up to 50 or more) but the levels tend to fluctuate up and down.

            In practice the protocols tend to be fairly simple, mostly recommending a biopsy in anyone whose PSA is above what would be considered an acceptable range for their age, the idea being to minimise the chance of missing an important cancer. However, in my centre we found that a targeted biopsy based on an MRI scan was often more useful.

            I cannot stress the importance of a digital rectal examination – if the prostate feels abnormal this is much more telling than any PSA.

            I have been away from clinical practice now for three years, so my knowledge of prostate cancer management is now rather out of date. In that time there have been new drugs, new ways of using existing drugs and new ways of using radiotherapy. It is scary how quickly medical practice changes as new information becomes available. Less so for surgeons, who tend to change their practice only when somebody invents a new technique, bypassing the requirements of assessing whether it is actually an improvement.

            As an aside, I wonder how much of the above information you could get from a Google search?

          • @ Dr. JMK

            Doc, as usual, you give me a reply to exhibit your vast knowledge on the subject.

            So you ask, how much of what you mention “could I find from a Google search” to help me make my own diagnosis ?

            Pretty simple stuff doc.
            I uncovered the fact within an hour, that if a man has an ejaculation within 48 hours of withdrawing the blood for the PSA test, that it can throw off the results by a wide margin…. to the upside.
            I just happen to be able to recall my specific ejaculation history with regard to that specific time frame, and once I found out those facts I read, I was fairly certain that I had stumbled onto the reason for the PSA spike.

            So why wouldn’t any competent urologist request a second blood sample before proceeding with a prostate biopsy ? C’mon doc…. urgency ? How long does it take to go in and donate some blood and run the test …. it could be done in a couple days with ease.

            Worse yet, perhaps it had nothing to do with competence…. but rather $$$. In any event, my personal anecdote was worth something to me. That was nine years ago, and one of the many anecdotes that led me in the direction of my doubts in SBM. Hey…. great work in the blood lab, I can appreciate that !

      • @Jashak

        The term “MISinformation” suggests wrong information, which suggest being misinformed…. lets not wrangle about semantics. My point was that “anti-vaxers” are anything but the “MISinformed” . If you consider it MISinformation, that in many cases is your opinion.

        Being in “agreement with the best scientific evidence” is a bogus claim. People that don’t accept the claims of the WHO CDC FDA and Big Pharma as the authority can object… and we do. An example would be those that don’t accept the claims of Christianity/Catholicism won’t accept the claims of the Church because they don’t accept the Bible as the authoritative word.

        SBM is not free from the underlying motivations of profit, it can’t be trusted.

        Like I just conveyed to Frank Odds, get rid of the issues that “anti-vaxers” have with the current vaccines and the rest will take care of itself.

        Jashak
        You inquire about my sampling size.

        First of all, I will admit that the term “blind followers” is a bad label, intended carry some shock value. The term is slightly ambiguous because even uninformed parents like myself 36 years ago might have questions and reservations about vaccines, in the end, they still go along with the MD. The bottom line is, blind followers have not researched the issue for themselves much. So when you speak with your brother, “blind followers” needs some defining.

        Over the coarse of many years, I’d be making a guess as to the numbers in my personal experience. Certainly I can’t remember every situation, but I don’t need to to have an opinion about my experience.
        If when you turn your car ignition to start the car, and the car starts most of the time, you don’t need to have data to be confident that the car will likely start the next time you turn the ignition.

        Among family, friends, acquaintances in social gatherings, conversations on Facebook and other social media, and forums such as this…. I’ll guess more than 85 conversations.
        To be as accurate as I can be, I’ll answer you question like this.
        I’m guessing that out of about 85 conversations, maybe 12 from the “anti-disease” camp were what I would consider knowledgeable on the subject.

        • @ RG,
          Quote#1: “lets not wrangle about semantics.”

          I think in these discussions, the choice of words is very important. I try to be as accurate as possible (given my limited English skills).

          Quote#2:
          “If you consider it MISinformation, that in many cases is your opinion. Being in “agreement with the best scientific evidence” is a bogus claim.”

          No, it´s not. The consensus amongst evidence-based doctors/scientists (based on the best scientific evidence) is clearly in favour of measles vaccination (to stick with this example for now). As just one source, see what the Robert-Koch Institute has to say:
          https://www.rki.de/EN/Content/infections/Vaccination/recommandations/recommendations_node.html
          If you stand by your words, then please provide a quote from ANY scientific/health organisation (from around the globe), which recommends NOT to vaccinate against measles.

          Quote#3:
          “… those that don’t accept the claims of Christianity/Catholicism won’t accept the claims of the Church because they don’t accept the Bible as the authoritative word.”

          Your analogy is off. People who do not accept claims of Christianity, because they do not accept the bible as true, are (in my opinion) very rational, since there is no scientific evidence that shows that the bible is more than a man-made story book.
          In stark contrast, reputable health organizations base their recommendations on results of countless scientific experiments and statistically relevant data sets (e.g. health statistics), which can be scrutinized, objectively analysed and reproduced today or in the future, if necessary.
          This is not possible with any religious text, so you make a fundamental mistake if you equate these two issues.

          Quote#4:
          “I will admit that the term “blind followers” is a bad label, intended carry some shock value.”

          I appreciate that you reconsider your choice of words.

          Quote#5:
          “I’m guessing that out of about 85 conversations, maybe 12 from the “anti-disease” camp were what I would consider knowledgeable on the subject.”

          I appreciate that you made an effort to estimate the number of people that you spoke with (“sample size”), which -if I understood you correctly- had a major influence on forming your opinion about the state on information of parents about vaccinations.
          85 conversations is quite a lot for one person, I have to say. I am pretty sure that I had far less. But be aware that these persons were not picked randomly, therefore your “data-set” is certainly biased. Furthermore, the sample size of 85 is far too small to draw any solid conclusions about the general public. However, if you should come across of a large-scale survey, I would be very interested.

          I asked my brother about his experience with this topic. His answer was quite long (first he wrote some lines, then we had a 1/2 hour tel. conversation).
          Since this is only his personal experience and not a valid survey, his comments are of limited value, of course. But just for fun, I will roughly summarize what he told me.

          *I asked him about the “sample size”, he estimated ~200 conversations with parents regarding their babies, many more regarding other issues like influenza.
          *Since it is a public hospital that he works at, his patients were a very diverse group, representing all kinds of background in terms of nationality, education, wealth, etc.
          *In general, pretty much all of the persons knew “the basics” about vaccination (he did not specify what he considers “the basics”, though).
          *He observed some apparent tendencies: migrants from poor countries apparently had most trust in his recommendations, he could not recall any migrant parent refusing vaccination for the child. Most of the persons rejecting children vaccination seemed to fall into the “western, alternative, natural live-style” cliché.
          *and finally, he said that he often experienced that midwives gave advice to parents about vaccination, which he considered to be not helpful at all, because the advice often was in conflict with the official health recommendations.

          So as a summary, the picture that he draws seems to be less “black-and-white” and more nuanced than you seem to think – at least in Germany and according to just this one subjective source.

    • Dr Julian – ‘where is it you live that smoking is so rare?’ Well I live in a suburb of London.

      I am no expert on smoking. Back in the 60’s as a teenager, some of my friends smoked and took recreational drugs. Where I live I don’t experience what you do in London. However, strangely enough I did see someone walking along smoking today, but that was in the Midlands.

      Thank you for the information. I do think it unfortunate that the dangers were not so known in the past: my mother was a heavy smoker and died at a young age.

  • There can only be one truth. The truth is that vaccines are dangerous and ineffective. That should be the final word on the subject.

    • the final word of someone badly affected by the Dunning Kruger effect.

    • @Angela, RG and lawrence,
      in case you guys want to update your facts about measles and the risk vs. benefit balance of vaccination, you might want to read this short paragraph:
      https://science.sciencemag.org/content/366/6472/1442

      The rise of measles infections around the world (which has killed ca. 142,300 people in 2018) was designated one of the “Breakdowns of the year 2019” by the Journal “Science”… and I couldn´t agree more.

      • @Jashak

        A single death from measles should be seen as a major setback in the 21st century. This infection should by now be joining polio as all but eliminated.

        But the numbers in the report you link to are not my idea of robust evidence. No source is given for the 142,300 deaths from measles in 2018. Since it closely matches the number of deaths on the WHO website I’ll assume that’s probably where the numbers come from, but — even in a report containing only a few short paragraphs — I’d prefer this to be spelt out. (Mixing CDC data for the USA and numbers from 2018 with those for 2019 is also a possible source of confusion for readers.)

        If there were 440,000 confirmed measles case reports through 5 November (in 2019) then 142,000 deaths implies a 32% mortality for people with measles, which is ridiculously high. If we calculate the mortality rate from the WHO estimate (guesstimate?) of 9.8 million measles cases it works out at 1.45%. But that’s still way higher than any other datum for measles mortality I can find. And please note that the WHO estimated case rate is for 2018, so not comparable with the current year.

        In short, the brief report in your link to Science, which may well have been complete and internally consistent when first drafted, has been mangled (by editing?) into a mish-mash of confused or confusing data. Even though it contains interesting information, e.g. the measles epidemics in Ukraine, Madagascar and DR Congo, it can easily be challenged on the grounds of the (possibly) unrealistic measles mortality the numbers imply and thus used as ammunition by those who take pleasure in spreading unjustified fear of vaccination.

        • @ Frank,
          thanks for your feedback.

          Quote#1: „A single death from measles should be seen as a major setback in the 21st century. This infection should by now be joining polio as all but eliminated.”

          I agree, especially since a highly effective vaccine with very low side effects is available (i.e. very favourable risk/benefit balance), which could even ne used to completely eradicate the disease forever!

          Quote #2: “But the numbers in the report you link to are not my idea of robust evidence. No source is given for the 142,300 deaths from measles in 2018. Since it closely matches the number of deaths on the WHO website I’ll assume that’s probably where the numbers come from, but — even in a report containing only a few short paragraphs — I’d prefer this to be spelt out.”

          Again I agree. The author (Meredith Wadman) should have included a reference for the numbers, which would have made it more transparent from where she got them. I think it is likely that she took the numbers provided by the WHO.

          Quote #3: “If we calculate the mortality rate from the WHO estimate (guesstimate?) of 9.8 million measles cases it works out at 1.45%. But that’s still way higher than any other datum for measles mortality I can find.”

          As far as I understand, the case numbers are from reports of the member states of the WHO and the estimates are derived from statistical modelling. The ratio of deaths as a consequence of a measles infection seems to very strongly depend on the country/region.
          Here is some more info on this (copied from the WHO page):

          ___________________
          “About the estimates: These estimates are the result of statistical modeling undertaken by WHO (…) This year’s modelling shows that there were 9,769,400 estimated measles cases and 142,300 related deaths globally in 2018, decreasing from 28,219,100 cases and 535,600 deaths in 2000. In 2017, there were 7,585,900 estimated cases and 124,000 estimated deaths. By region in 2018, WHO estimates that in the African region, there were 1,759,000 total cases and 52,600 deaths; in the Region of the Americas, 83,500 cases; in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, 2,852,700 cases and 49,000 deaths; in the European region, 861,800 cases and 200 deaths; in Southeast Asia, 3,803,800 cases and 39,100 deaths; and in the Western Pacific, 408,400 cases and 1300 deaths. While estimates provide a useful indication of measles impacts and longer-term trends, reported cases provide real-time insights and comparisons. There were a total of 353,236 cases reported to WHO in 2018. In 2019, as of mid-November, there had already been over 413,000 cases reported globally, with an additional 250,000 cases in DRC (as reported through their national system); together, this marks a three-fold increase compared with this same time in 2018.”
          ___________________

          Because of the extreme under-reporting and the fact that many countries not even have an adequate reporting system in place, these WHO estimates must certainly have a high degree of uncertainty.
          Although I think it is a bit dismissive to call the numbers “guesstimates”, I understand your criticism.
          In my opinion, such numbers should ONLY be published with some indication of the error, e.g. the 95% confidence interval. And given the large uncertainty, I think it is quite ridiculous of the WHO to state “142,300” deaths. If they want to keep it simple and omit the error indication (e.g. when targeting general news outlets), they should AT LEAST say something like “around 140,000 deaths” instead.
          Putting out the number “142,300” indicates a level of certainty that is not justified imo.

          I found one article (Simons et al., 2012), published in one of the most prestigious medical journals (The Lancet), which is more accurate.
          If you are interested in how modelling can be done, you might want to read it.
          https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673612605224?via%3Dihub

          “Monte Carlo algorithms”, “variance-covariance matrices”, “extended Kalman filters” are unfortunately above my pay grade, so I do not fully understand the modelling process. However, the authors of this paper estimated 139,300 death from measles in the year 2010.
          Importantly, they also said that the 95% confidence interval was between 71,200 to 447,800 deaths (!)
          These numbers should give you a good indication of the degree of uncertainty of world-wide measles cases and resulting deaths.

          Quote #4: “Even though it contains interesting information, e.g. the measles epidemics in Ukraine, Madagascar and DR Congo, it can easily be challenged on the grounds of the (possibly) unrealistic measles mortality the numbers imply and thus used as ammunition by those who take pleasure in spreading unjustified fear of vaccination.”

          Your criticism of Ms. Wadman´s article is a bit harsh imo. Don´t forget: this is NOT a research article, but is part of the “NEWS” section. And the main message is that the recent rise of measles infections (for which there is very solid evidence at least in countries that have a good reporting system in place), is a major breakdown for science.

          May I ask: why do you think that the global mortality numbers are unrealistic? Do you have access to more solid numbers that you could provide as a reference for your assumption?

          • Jashak & Frank

            The argument around the measles vaccine is not specifically around the rate of incidence, incidence rates are not the bottom line. The controversy for those looking for better vaccines pertains to the safety of vaccines, and measles death rates.

            You continue to beat the drum, so will I.

          • You continue to beat the drum, so will I.

            Perfect analogy, given that your drum, lacking a head, is merely an empty shell.

            Well done!

          • … and he seems to have lost his drum-sticks.

          • RG

            Wrong.

            It is ALL about incidence rates. The vaccine helps prevent measles. Thus you plot the incidence of measles to check its effectiveness.

            Can you suggest a better way?

          • @Jashak

            Just to clarify… I’m perfectly happy to accept as accurate that absolute global measles mortality numbers are around 140,000, but from the incidence data in the “News” article (I don’t regard that characterization as an excuse for printing sloppy or confusing data) the gross percentage death rates are higher than the ~0.2% figure I’m used to seeing reported widely for measles (in comparable “news” articles turned up by googling “measles death rates”). That’s all.

            I was originally stimulated to make my comment on the Stokstad et al. piece because the global numbers from paragraph 1 (deaths = 142,300) and paragraph 4 (no. of confirmed cases >440,000) made poor sense to me. I could imagine our resident coterie of deep thinkers (trolls like RG et al.) rushing to proclaim those on the side of measles vaccination are now trying to tell us measles mortality has gone up. RG has now confirmed he’s not able to pick up that point so I probably needn’t have bothered.

            Thanks for the link to the Lancet article. Like you I can’t profess to fully understand the sophisticated statistical modelling processes used, but it’s good to see people at least setting out their methods in detail.

          • Let’s not forget the prolonged immunosuppressive effect of a measles infection. The all-cause mortality in children is substantially increased after a measles infection and the risk persists for several years, the evidence suggesting that the risk of death from other infections (particularly diarrhoea) is at least doubled. It seems that measles wipes out the immune system’s memory of having encountered other infections previously.

            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4823017/#R12

          • Dr. JMK

            https://www.salon.com/2018/12/23/federal-vaccine-court-quietyly-pays-out-billins_partner/

            “But some consumer advocates fear that the program has been diverted from its original purpose of providing a kinder, gentler, more streamlined way for parents of vaccine-injured children to receive compensation without the burdens of going through civil court.

            “We’re bitterly disappointed,” said Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the nonprofit National Vaccine Information Center. “In my view, this has been turned into stockholder’s dream and a consumer’s worst nightmare.”

            Fisher noted that two-thirds of petitioners who apply for compensation are turned away, which she said departs from the original mandate to assume an injury was caused by a vaccine unless there is a more plausible explanation.”

          • Fisher noted that two-thirds of petitioners who apply for compensation are turned away, which she said departs from the original mandate to assume an injury was caused by a vaccine unless there is a more plausible explanation.

            I expect that those assessing applicants found a more plausible explanation in those two-thirds of cases. For the remaining third to have received their compensation another reason would have to have been difficult to identify, but that does not mean that there wasn’t one. I would also expect that the number receiving payouts rather exceeds the number of actual cases of vaccine damage predicted by data from proper clinical studies. It would be relatively straightforward to compare the figures.

          • Dr. JMK

            Doc, you assume too much. The data is not necessarily all there to quantify the statistics into meaningful data. There are too many gaps in the data that are not accounted for.

            Me, as a safe-vaxer of many years was only made aware of any fund of money set aside for claims a couple years ago.

            I have a friend that had their three year old immunized. Within 24 hours the girl had a dramatic change in health, both physical and mental. This happened about 9 months ago, and the girl has not changed for any better. She was almost immediately referred to special education and is receiving the same today special attention today.
            So the parents did report the “anecdote” to the physician, but to no avail. MD’s don’t typically react to that stuff, they might offer an apology to the family.

            So, I was telling my friend that there is a fund set aside for claims when vaccines are the cause of irreparable damage to patients victimized by vaccine injections. Not only my (safe-vaccine) friend was not aware of the fund when I informed him, but neither was the child’s parents that made the choice to vaccinate aware of any compensation fund.
            So the question becomes, how accurate are statistics w/regard to vaccine victims, and to the statistics w/regard to vaccine victim claims ?

            Just as I was a victim of the Merck Vioxx disaster, but I never reported any claim to my doctor, Merck or anybody that tied my cardiac arrest to Vioxx. The deaths that were attributed to Merck Vioxx are officially about 60,000, while the estimated potential death toll is more like 500,000.

            The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), is in fact a court. a vaccine injury court that is is more properly known as the Office of Special Masters, which itself is a division of the United States Court of Special Claims.

            The anti-vax group claim rightly that the court is a closely held secret, established by Washington but kept as quiet as possible, lest the public catch wise to the fact that hush money is being paid to injured families.
            The government does not want to reveal the existence of the court, because the more Americans learn that there are vaccine injuries and deaths … the more they may start to question the safety of vaccines.

  • EE

    I’m here laughing at you, because the people you attract here only resist your great wisdom. You still havn’t changed anybody’s thinking about sCAM.

  • Me, as a safe-vaxer of many years

    Once again, no, RG. You are an antivaxer of many years. Antivax to your very core. Pro-disease.

    Once again, coincidence does not equal causation.

    Once again, why do these neurological vaccine injuries fail to show up in cohort studies?

    Once again, an unevidenced excuse of “Big Pharma studies covering up the truth!” will be laughed at.

    • @Lenny

      If I’m anti-vaxer, it’s only because the Pharma industry won’t produce safe vaccines, that’s all people want.

      “coincidence does not equal causation”. Lenny, you tell that to the parents of the disabled child. They witnessed the child change before there eyes in a matter of hours.

      “Why do these neurological vaccine injuries fail to show up in studies ? Because pharma has the ability to tweak studies to make them come out with the desired result, it’s a common practice. They design trials so that the endpoint can be more easily achieved.

      Once again, anti-vax parents still have a choice, until fascist governments decide otherwise.

  • I warm more to the 15 perspectives posted by “RG” since his first of Dec.7th.
    The strength and , imo, maturity of the Vaccine-skeptics ‘phalanx’ is seen via the C.H.D. [children’s health
    defense team. Robert Kennedy Jnr. is their very knowledgable spokesperson.

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