Dr. Bob Sears in not anti-vaccine, except when he is, which is pretty much all the time

The last time I wrote about Dr. Bob Sears, pediatrician to the uninitiated, I told you about his anti-vaccine views and his anti-vaccine activism on Facebook. Let me make it clear to you that he is an administrator of an anti-vaccine Facebook page:

PAOAVThe page is titles “Parents and Others Against Vaccines.” If that is not anti-vaccine, I don’t know what is. We rational people have a mole in that group, and that’s how we learned of Dr. Bob Sears’ involvement. Yet it doesn’t take covert action to see his anti-vaccine ways. Dr. Bob Sears does the anti-vaccine thing quite well out in the open:

“IF YOU DIDN’T HATE PAUL OFFIT BEFORE . . .
I typically just ignore my critics. None of them are worth my time or emotional energy, and very few of them have anything scientifically worthwhile to say.
But I’m going to give a shout out to my colleague, Dr. Paul Offit, for his brilliant discussion on How to Handle Questions About Vaccine Safety. Every answer he gives is spot on and completely accurate in every way. I don’t know what I’ve been thinking, questioning vaccine safety. His answers are so complete, so truthful, and so without holes that any doctor who is blessed enough to read it will be thoroughly armed with irrefutable answers, and any parent who questions vaccine safety will be instantly converted to the truth.
I wonder just how many doctors believe the arguments he puts forth in his answers. Part of me hopes that most doctors out there aren’t that stupid. That it’s just a select few who are hard-core party-liners that have lied to themselves for so long that they actually believe this stuff. A few of his laughable highlights include:
“You don’t have to trust pharmaceutical companies.” Trust the side-effect reporting system.
Every year, 18,000 young children somehow, magically, caught hepatitis B every year before the vaccine came into use.
And don’t worry about all the side effects on the package insert – they didn’t really happen (ok, that was MY paraphrase)
And the real doozy: $2.8 billion in compensation to vaccine-injured people isn’t actually for those unfortunate enough to have been injured. It’s all just for lawyers to make money. No one has to prove their case in court, so these awards mean nothing.
Now we can all rest easy and completely vaccinate all of our children, on schedule, without a care in the world. Thanks Dr. Offit for helping us see the light!
Dr. Bob”

The word “hate” is quite strong to throw around lightly against Dr. Paul Offit, pediatrician and vaccine creator, especially when Dr. Offit has received threats against his life for promoting the use of vaccines to prevent horrible death and disease in children. But it’s not like Dr. Bob Sears thinks things through very well, is it?

If you’re initiated, then you recognize the common anti-vaccine techniques that Dr. Bob Sears is using:

  1. Doctors are part of a conspiracy: “That it’s just a select few who are hard-core party-liners that have lied to themselves for so long that they actually believe this stuff.”
  2. Vaccines didn’t save us and maybe vaccines cause the disease they’re intended to prevent: “Every year, 18,000 young children somehow, magically, caught hepatitis B every year before the vaccine came into use.”
  3. If it’s on the package insert, it must be true: “And don’t worry about all the side effects on the package insert – they didn’t really happen (ok, that was MY paraphrase)”
  4. Because money has been paid out with no contest through the vaccine court, then the government must be admitting to something: “$2.8 billion in compensation to vaccine-injured people isn’t actually for those unfortunate enough to have been injured.”

I’m not going to waste MY time in debunking Dr. Bob Sears’ laughable assertions. A physician who should know better, and one who lets one of his patients kick off a measles epidemic then lies (or forgets) about it is not worth anyone’s time. Even worse when they pose for a happy time picture with one of the most disgraced medical frauds in recent memory known as Andrew Jeremy Wakefield:

BFFs? (Dr. Bob Sears on the left, Andrew Jeremy Wakefield in the center)

What I see here is a clear example of professional jealousy. I’ll explain.

  • Dr. Paul Offit was part of a team who created a vaccine against Rotavirus, a virus that causes diarrhea and kills thousands of children a year around the world. Because of that vaccine, thousands of children have been saved. Thousands! Dr. Bob Sears, on the other hand, has not done such a thing and resorts to ad hominem attacks on social media to try and counter Dr. Offit’s credibility.
  • Dr. Paul Offit works at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, a premier pediatric medicine institution. Dr. Bob Sears does not, and I’m willing to bet a month’s salary that Dr. Bob Sears could never get a job there, or anywhere where they take infectious disease of children seriously. What’s worse than an anti-vaccine pediatrician? Polio. Polio is worse.
  • Dr. Paul Offit could be living it up right now from the profits of the vaccine he helped create. Instead, he has given up all financial interests in that patent. He doesn’t make money from it. On the other hand, you know who makes money from vaccines? Dr. Bob Sears. Why? Because of his modified schedule, Dr. Bob Sears’ patients who want to “space out” their vaccines (a variation of the “too many too soon” anti-vaccine gambit) more than likely have to pay for each visit to his medical practice, or to the practice of their choice. Or, what, Dr. Bob Sears vaccinates for free? Besides, less (or no) vaccines mean sicker children, and those sick children go see pediatricians like Dr. Bob Sears.
  • Dr. Paul Offit has had dozens of peer-reviewed journal articles published. That’s a big deal if you want to call yourself an expert on something. You have to prove it in your research and your peers have to review and agree with you. Dr. Bob Sears? Not so much. I mean, he has sold hundred of thousands of copies of his anti-vaccine book, so…

One of the things I used to do in high school to impress “Pedro” (not her real name) was to act like I knew more than I did and did more than I did. Whenever some other suitor came around, I’d tell Pedro all about how the suitor was this or that. In essence, I talked smack. Then I turned 17 and realized that the true way to win a competition is to actually compete. With all the jealousy and “hate” that Dr. Bob Sears has against Dr. Paul Offit, one has to wonder about Dr. Bob Sears’ mental age. Is he trying to impress a girl or just the legion of anti-vaccine followers he has?

But, hey, I could be wrong. This could all be a misunderstanding and Dr. Bob Sears is not really anti-vaccine and doesn’t really administrate the Facebook group whose admin page links directly to his Facebook profile (something he would have had to approve of). If it is, I’d like to hear his side of the story.

What do you say, “Bob”?

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10 thoughts on “Dr. Bob Sears in not anti-vaccine, except when he is, which is pretty much all the time

  1. Bob won’t say anything. Partially out of cowardice, but throw in a good helping of arrogance and ignorance as well. There is a dash of intelligence by Sears in not replying, as he clearly figured out long ago the anti-vaccine/vaccine-hesitant parents to which he panders don’t want to hear about real science and medicine when it comes to vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases–and instead glom onto a phony “middle of the road” quack.

    I’ve never seen a complaint to the medical board filed against Sears since I first became aware of his danger to health in 2007. He openly admits in his 2011 2nd edition of his “vaccine book” that he saw a lot of pertussis during the 2010 California pertussis outbreak–but failed to state how he was a direct cause of this (but it was good for his financial bottom line, I’ll bet). Directors of public health for Orange and LA County have openly condemned Sears for his anti-vaccine views and book, yet the Medical Board of California does nothing. Nor does the California chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) or the national AAP. Unfortunately, Sears’ anti-vaccine position has its own “immunity” as he “hides in the herd” (to use his own words from his book) of the vast majority of pediatricians who do vaccinate. What is sad is that it will take more outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases with more injuries and deaths before his “immunity” is revoked.

  2. As I posted on “Dr. Bob’s” Facebook page, he runs a boutique practice that caters to the “vaccine-challenged” and accepts cash only…..so someone is in it for the money, and it isn’t Dr. Offit.

  3. I would love to see Sears buy the Offit Family a fleet of new cars with the sort of defamation included above. But, we all know that Paul is above seeking damages from cranks.

  4. This attack was inappropriate and unprofessional, and the arguments made classic anti-vaccine. If Dr. Bob really wants to be seen as anything but anti-vaccine, as he claimed on that thread, he has some work to do.

    • D, if Bob believes the vaccine inserts are proof of potential vaccine harm, then it stands to reason that in his universe Offit is in favor of harming children. This is a different universe, which is why I think he should not be allowed to practice medicine. He is a danger to society and his patients.

      • I’m amazed that he does retain his license. It calls into question the level of supervision of the various boards of the state(s) he is licensed in.
        Frankly, I’m wondering if he should have a finding that he is a clear and present danger to the safety, security and national interests of the United States of America.*
        For, as outlined above, he did contribute significantly to a measles epidemic. What other havoc could he end up causing if left to run unchecked?

        As for too much, too soon, there is such a thing. The CDC is exemplary at finding which is too much, too soon.
        This is especially true, as the CDC tends to occasionally err on the side of caution. Occasionally as in, only days that end in “y” in English.

        *There is only one person in the land who can make such a finding and it’s blindingly obvious the POTUS would not do so for a US citizen inside of the US, who isn’t offering a credible threat of WMD level harm. So, this is a rather black humor joke, borne from my previous occupation in the military. To date, within the current war dates, there is only one US citizen to earn such a finding. A man who willingly left the US to join Al Qaeda, who recruited for Al Qaeda and was armed. A drone was sent to eliminate the threat, as the loss of life would have been exceptionally high in attempting to arrest him and return him to the US for trial (think hundreds of US Special Operations killed, thousands of locals injured).
        Such are the things national leaders have on their minds, I do not envy, nor would I ever want their jobs.
        A further aside, I personally know of no Special Operations officer or NCO who would obey such an order within the US. We all too well remember the debacle where an operational detachment operator was an observer (read as consultant) for a law enforcement operation that went sideways and said operator then was polygraphed. That particular unit was like only two others, exempt from civilian polygraph examinations. *Big* questions were raised in regards to the Posse Comitatus Act, which ended up being trivially answered, but even being asked was embarrassing to the nation.
        I’ll also offer the tidbit that I know a *lot* of such personnel.

        Well, good night. It’s close to bed time for me.
        I’m on second shift and soon, I’ll be on dead man shift for a few months. Fortunately, part of my military training was rapid sleep cycle adjustment. That is something fortunate, as I am still dealing with my father’s estate, of which I am both executor and heir, mostly of debts.
        Something I am ahead of in the “game”, as the quality of construction was rather good and his quality of work in improvements is exemplary. As encumbrance is less than 70% of the value of the property alone and the financing is only a little over my current week’s net, it’s a winning proposition.
        I’ll also add that our town has acted in abominable bad faith with me, causing significant financial distress, gave notice to perform certain actions external to the home, then acted three days before the notice was due and was one day after receipt of said notice and some other assorted bad faith actions, my attorney is quite enthusiastic in handling future legal action. Something interesting, as he only gets 20% of successful court decisions/settlements. Even after I mentioned punitive damages that would claim a full five years of town budget.
        Yes, I will admit, I am vindictive.
        But, I’d also donate the funding, minus a modest sum, back to the town to fulfill their budget for the vast majority of said budget.
        I’d only keep 3 million, maximum. One for me to work on the property, then build my own home elsewhere. One to invest in short term interests. One to invest in long term interests. Much of the first million’s change toward charities.
        I’d have a lot of spare change for that.
        Considering the 20% for the attorney and my “cut”, it’s be less than last Punic war damages, but quite close for the populace, who would suffer a tax hike to cover that 20% and my “cut”.
        That, I’ll leave them hang for. They chose the abusive representation, they suffer for the consequences.
        I’ve always owned my own mistakes, we’ll see how our town handles it.
        I suspect the populace will not like the harm visited upon them due to their chosen representatives.
        I only add this for context in my though processes.
        Including not wanting *actual physical* harm to occur to the “physician”, but that financial harm is possible and preferable. Perhaps, even criminal charge and imprisonment harm.
        Overall, I’m the most gentle person you’d ever want to meet. To the point of shooing flies outside of my home, rather than killing them. I’ve had far than my share of violence and death. The ultimate weapon has and remains that of the human mind, for the mind can visit far more creative harm than brute force and all through the legal system, when creatively applied.

        Dorit, I’m quite certain you’re reading. I mentioned you in another blog and you responded.
        I’ll suggest that treason occurred at a certain ranch, via various “militia” “units”.
        A private militia is Constitutionally possible, but it is always under the command of the governor and local county, it’s not under the total command of its “commander”. That was true during the French and Indian war, it was true when the Constitution was penned and ratified and it is true now.
        For seditious speech, I’m honestly happy to be offered the chance to argue to a mock jury the merits of “second amendment remedies”. That was an open invitation to imminent lawless action if an election failed to provide their candidate office.
        I can make even a superior case for public office holders who espoused their state departing the union and said officers were seniormost in the state administration.
        And yes, I’m aware of the case you offered.
        I come from a far different background. On one side, I am a Son of the American Revolution. On the other, an immigrant family. I’ve also learned, the hard way in enforcing said laws on US government networks, *why* we have certain laws (which hampered some operational problems). I’ve also personally guided a bomb near a house upon a family next door to a terrorist. It ended his reign on terror, but also eliminated an entire family. Precision bombing is cool, but bombs are anything but precise.
        Interestingly enough, the singular survivor of said event was forgiving, as we eliminated a major neighborhood pest. My personal demons aren’t of that, mine are far worse.
        So, considering my background, a decent case can be made that I’m a true blood royal SOB. 😉
        When one suggests armed revolt (second amendment remedies quite well suffices), it is sedition.
        When one suggests lock and load and stop the government trivially suffices if the person is a member of an unregulated militia.
        I’ve personally witnessed the atrocities of civil wars. I’ve read of the atrocities of the American Civil War.
        I’ll add, for military service members, there are a few crimes that result in a needle in the arm and death is soon coming.
        Mutiny, sedition, treason and espionage.
        As a retiree, I really don’t have a problem with that. Special position of trust and special weapons available thing.

        Still, I’d enjoy your input and arguments. Here or offline. Ren and our intrepid host have my e-mail and are welcome to share that with you.

        • Though, I did notice they played with the numbers a bit on one table of adverse reactions by giving the competing vaccine rate of deleterious effect (sorry, I closed it and can’t recall, but think it was redness and swelling), then giving the rate of theirs as based off of the competing product, thereby lowering the displayed irritation rate significantly.
          OK, I re-opened the report. What I was mentioning was for vomiting.
          Then for erythema, swelling, pain, fever > 101, anorexia, vomiting (again), drowsiness, fussiness.
          “** p <0.05 when compared to whole-cell pertussis DTP vaccine."

          So, there are realistic chances for redness, swelling, pain, fever, loss of appetite, vomiting (like that's *really* unusual for many babies, due to some thinking a burp related spit-up of formula is vomiting), drowsiness and fussiness (don't get me started about fussy babies, our first and two out of three grandchildren were fussy beyond measure).
          The morbidity and mortality rate of the above is rather low, to the point of being ignored (as in so close to zero as to not be able to be considered caused by the vaccine).
          What was the morbidity and mortality rate for pertussis, diphtheria and tetanus again?
          Oh yeah, what matters is the rate was one hell of a lot above worthy of being ignored, as in one hell of a lot of children dying from a set of diseases that were trivially preventable via vaccine protection.

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