What does God know about vaccines?

I don’t like to discuss religion. I don’t like to discuss the existence of nature of a god or the God. Those are all philosophical things that have no place in scientific discourse and, in non-scientific discourse, usually end up getting us all up in arms about this or that. However, we need to acknowledge that an enormous proportion of us humans believe in God or gods, or, at the very least, believe that we are not in charge of our destinies, at least not 100% percent.

There are times when anti-vaccine and anti-science types try to use religion as a way to promote their ideas. Take for example this post by “Megan“. Megan’s about page reads like something out of a quack’s dream:

“I have a degree in Political Science, a law degree, and am a Naturopath, Certified Natural Health Educator, Registered Power Yoga Instructor, writer, and stay-at-home mama. My better-half holds a biology degree, chemistry minor, is a Family Practice Physician, and is a Captain in the United States Air Force. Together we have four kids under three; and yes, we plan to have more.”

Four kids under three?! I’m not a mathematician, but that’s more than one kid per year. Get a hobby, you two.

Oh, and get a clue. Her “better-half” has those degrees but is a “Family Practice Physician”? Either Megan forgot to mention the “doctor of medicine” or “doctor of osteopathic medicine” degree, or we have some shenanigans going on here. I’m inclined to call shenanigans because she goes on and write:

“We eat a gluten, dairy, meat, sugar, and genetically modified free diet; yet, our food still tastes good!”

Nothing genetically modified? I didn’t know people could live on sunshine alone. Apparently, people do. (Of course they don’t.)

Megan goes on:

“We do not vaccinate. We do not medicate… We advocate natural medicine in most situations.”

Which is it, Megan? Do you medicate or not? To me, Megan reads like a Poe. I ran her profile by several rational people, and we agree that it doesn’t make sense. Her husband is a physician but they don’t medicate? Does he medicate his patients? If so, he’s a hypocrite. He’s in the Air Force but they don’t vaccinate? I know first-hand that the military does not ask you if you want to be vaccinated. You kind of just get vaccinated, even against smallpox. So, yeah, hypocrisy again. Furthermore, Megan is a naturopath, and all those other things, but:

“I became interested in natural medicine six years ago when I was hospitalized and diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Determined to avoid drugs, surgeries, and horrible side-effects I sought alternative therapies and a major lifestyle change; and it worked. I no longer have Crohn’s disease and have been symptom and medication free since. I’ve also recovered from candida, hashimotos thyroiditis, liver disease, gastroparesis, kidney infections, adrenal insufficiency, pituitary hypo function, polycystic ovary syndrome, a horrible skin condition, weight problems, hypoglycemia, dysthymic and postpartum depression, infertility, and more…naturally.”

Holy shit. Pardon my French. People that list these many conditions are what we call “train wrecks” and there usually is a strong psychogenic component to being so sick.

Finally:

“[Her website] is meant to build-up, empower, and encourage you to channel your inner crunch.”

Your inner crunch? I can’t… I JUST CAN’T, OKAY?!

Anyway, I just took ten minutes to myself to relax and be able to write about Megan’s post on how God doesn’t like vaccines. She begins:

“Christians, we need to talk. If you are not a Christian, this post is not for you.”

Because, you know, Jesus only preached to Christians.

“No judgment here, but I need to speak to my Jesus peeps. You see, there’s this little thing called a religious exemption, and it’s being threatened.”

No judgment, then proceeds to judge. More hypocrisy. The whole post is full of it. She goes on to write about religious exemptions and how they’re being done away with a little at a time. Like all of that is a bad thing.

“Then there’s the propaganda by religious leaders geared towards people like us. If your pastor says it’s okay…then it must be okay right? No…because your pastor isn’t Jesus and probably hasn’t read the vaccine inserts or additives list.”

But guess who is about to pretend she’s Jesus (or knows as much as Jesus)? You got it…

“We actually think “we” hold the key to improving upon His design… as if He forgot something when He created the immune system.”

Well, it’s not so much that God forgot. It’s more like He dropped us into a world filled with pathogens, many of them deadly. The immune system can only take so much. If the immune system was perfect, then we wouldn’t get sick at all. Heck, if God really wanted to cover all the bases, he would have just done away with pathogens.

I know. I know. I can feel the atheists rolling their eyes. But that post is not for you, remember? So humor me.

“God is pro-life. This is an un-contested issue. There is zero scriptural support to the contrary.”

There is also zero scriptural support to rejecting vaccines.

“If you’re a Christian, you might be surprised to know that more than 23 vaccines contain cells, cellular debris, protein, and DNA from aborted babies, including: Adenovirus, Polio, Dtap/Polio/HiB Combo, Hep A, Hep A/Hep B Combo, MMR, MMRV Pro Quad, Rabies, Varicella, and the Shingles vaccines.”

I know for a fact that scripture warns against lying, Megan. There are no fetal cells from “aborted babies” in vaccines. The viruses that are used to create the vaccines are grown in cell cultures. Those cell cultures are derived from other cells. Those other cells are derived from even other cells, and so on all the way back to, like, the 1960s. As someone with so much education, Megan, you and your husband should realize the amount of bullshit you’re spreading. As a Christian, you should be pretty much afraid of eternal damnation right now.

“First of all, sacrificing the few for the many is biblically unjustifiable.”

Like Jesus’ sacrifice for the world? Like the flood, in which the world was sacrificed for Noah et al to repopulate the Earth? Like Samson sacrificed himself by taking down the pillars? No, nothing in the Bible about sacrifice.

“In fact, aborted babies are being used everyday to create new cell lines for more vaccines.”

Lies.

“It’s true… most Christians don’t question vaccinations and haven’t thought about God’s take on the issue. I used to be one of them. Regardless of your denomination, we all serve the same God, and God does not support vaccines.”

Well, all we have to do is ask God to get rid of vaccines or vaccine-preventable diseases. After all, it states in the Bible that He will answer our prayers, right, Megan?

Perusing through the rest of Megan’s blog, I came to the conclusion that she is, indeed, a big hypocrite. She used a verse from the Bible about how blood is supposed to remain pure and not contaminated, not even with other human blood, but then she writes this on a post appropriately titled “Everyone Needs a Good Quack Doctor“:

“I’m not anti-modern medicine. I think prosthetics and organ transplants and the doctors who help us pick up the pieces from our poor lifestyle choices and sew our legs back on after car accidents are great.”

Ah, so Megan hypocritically tells us that “contaminating” our bodies with organs from another human is okay, but God forbid we get cells into us through vaccines.

Finally, Megan concludes with this enormous lie:

“Modern medicine is an epic fail; and to be honest, the medical community that claims to be ahead of the game is so far behind the curve it’s not even funny. Consider this, we haven’t a single cure for any chronic disease, nor do we know (or acknowledge) the causes either.”

So there’s no cure for diabetes? We don’t know that diabetes is caused by overweight and obesity or pancreatic failure? We don’t know that losing weight or going on a diet cures it? We have ignored that insulin and other drugs control blood glucose to the point that diabetes can be cured?

Nah, we don’t know nothing about none of that.

So I’m calling shenanigans. In my opinion, based on her screeds, Megan is not any of the things she claims to be, not even a Christian. A true Christian, as devout as she claims to be, would be afraid of lying so much. I think she’s a plant to try and bring out the crazy in her readers.

I think she’s a troll. I think she’s Craig Egan.

Yes, you should be concerned that measles is back

When we last met, I told you how the anti-vaccine crowd were not the only ones to blame for the current resurgence in vaccine-preventable diseases. One of you mentioned how pediatricians who cater to anti-science views are to be blamed as well. I almost forgot about the likes of Dr. Jay Gordon and Dr. Bob Sears, and others. Thanks for reminding me. The one thing I did not do was absolve the anti-vaccine activists from any blame. Certainly, when you are outspoken about things that have been proven to be wrong to you, when you write about them here and there and post videos on YouTube and other places to continue to try and convince people of lies, then there is plenty of blame to come your way.

Hat tip to “Lilady” for a pointing me to this ridiculous blog post over at Age of Autism, the daily web newspaper of the non-existent autism epidemic. Remember, for them to continue to exist there must be an autism epidemic, and for them to continue to be supported by anti-vaccine luminaries like Andrew Jeremy Wakefield, this “epidemic” must be caused by the MMR vaccine. They certainly walk a fine line by also blaming thimerosal, which was never in the MMR vaccine. Look at it this way: If any of the thousands of studies done to find a causal link between thimerosal and autism were proven to be true, then the MMR-autism causal theory would get blown out of the water. It’s a fine line indeed.

Anyway, the blog post in question is titled with the ridiculous question of “Should we be concerned”? (No question mark on their title, though.) It is written by the first half of this pair of American Loons. The reasonable person’s answer to that question is “Yes! Yes, we should be concerned. I mean, my God, we almost eradicated the goddamned virus, why the hell is it back?” But the authors at AoA and a majority of their readers don’t seem like reasonable people for me. So, of course, articles like that will find a natural home in that blog.

The post starts and continues will all manner of errors, misunderstandings and misinformation about measles:

“Prior to 1960, most children in the United States and Canada caught measles. Complications from the disease were unlikely. Previously healthy children usually recovered without incident.”

Notice how he makes it out to be that measles is a perfectly normal thing that every child got through. It’s not normal. It’s a viral infection. It causes complications and even death. You forgot to mention that, you lunatic! The post is also filled with convoluted reasoning like this:

“Authorities also claim that unvaccinated people are contracting the disease and spreading it to others. However, a study published this year in Clinical Infectious Diseases showed that people who are fully vaccinated against measles can spread the disease to other people who are fully vaccinated against measles. Thus, vaccinated people are vectors for the disease.”

Did you catch it? He is trying to tell us that the unvaccinated are not to blame because there were a handful of cases where vaccinated people caught it and spread it. Like the two things are mutually exclusive. Of course vaccinated will still catch measles. The vaccine is not 100% effective. There will always be those for whom the vaccine doesn’t trigger immunity. But, because people are willingly not getting vaccinated, the number of non-immune is bigger than it has to be.

Then there is this enormous misunderstanding of how relative risk works:

“It is also important to note that in nearly every outbreak of measles, large percentages of the cases occur in people who were fully vaccinated against the disease. For example, in 1988, 69% of all school-aged children in the U.S. who contracted measles were adequately vaccinated. In 1995, 56% of all measles cases in the U.S. occurred in people who were previously vaccinated.”

In every single outbreak of a disease for which the large majority of people are immunized, there will be a majority of people who are immunized and are cases. However, when you break it down to relative risks, those who are vaccinated are less likely to be part of the outbreak. In 1995, there were 301 confirmed cases of measles in the United States. That’s an important number because, at the time, it was the lowest number of cases in the country since we started keeping more accurate records of measles in 1912.

But facts and figures and statistics don’t seem to bother Mr. Miller, the “health pioneer” and “independent researcher.” Also, vaccines don’t save anyone:

“Today, most developing nations require their infants to receive several inoculations, including a measles vaccine at 9 months of age. They have very high vaccine coverage rates (a percentage of the target population that has been vaccinated), yet their infant mortality rates are dreadfully unacceptable. For example, in 2011 Gambia, a poor country in Africa, required its infants to receive multiple vaccines, vaccinated 90% to 96% of its infants (91% received measles vaccines), yet 58 of every 1000 infants still died before their first birthdays. Ghana also required its infants to receive several vaccines, vaccinated 91% to 98% of its infants (91% received measles vaccines) yet also had a dismal infant mortality rate: 52 of every 1000 infants died before their first birthdays.”

Ah, yes, silly us. We thought that children who have to deal with malnourishment, malaria, HIV/AIDS and all sorts of other existential threats could do without measles, but Mr. Miller smashes all causes of death together to tell us, basically, that we should stop vaccinating because children are still dying. The level of flawed reasoning is astounding. “Yet 58 of every 1000 infants still died before their first birthdays,” he writes. You know what they DID NOT die from? Measles. Mr. Miller doesn’t tell us how much higher the death toll would be if these children also had to face vaccine-preventable diseases.

Another frequent reader of this blog, “Todd W.”, decided to step into the murky waters of the comments section, and I applaud him for that. But you can read for yourself that it is hopeless. Immediately, his credentials were questioned, and they wondered if he was being paid to comment. He was told that he reads “like a CDC commercial”. (Have you seen any commercials brought to you by CDC?) But, again, that’s par for the course for the quacks and hacks that know very well how to manipulate words and numbers to please their crowd.

Don’t be fooled. Age of Autism is all about pleasing the kind of people who want to believe in monsters under the bed. They are now even catering to the “chemtrail” crowd:

chemtrail_age_of_autism

The real threats to public health

I’ve told you before what German measles (Rubella) can do to an unborn baby. Lucky for us, the virus is covered in the MMR vaccine, a very good vaccine with a very good record of safety and effectiveness. We’re also lucky that the virus only has us as its reservoir. Immunize enough of us around the world, and the virus is eradicated. Period.

Unfortunately, there are people out there who more than likely have a mental disorder. Why a mental disorder? Because only psychopaths would knowingly endanger others and knowingly spread rubella (or mumps, or measles). Let me make this clear: Pregnant women have a diminished immune system, and they are very susceptible to these infections. If you spread rubella, or any other thing, you risk killing a child in the most painful way possible. These psychopaths go on social networks and network with each other, agreeing to report to each other if someone in their unvaccinated families contracts measles, mumps, rubella, or chickenpox. They then coordinate parties to get their children, and each other, exposed to these diseases. In some cases, they even agree to mail each other lollipops that sick children have licked.

It is disgusting, and it is extremely dangerous. Reasonable people see this. These psychopaths don’t. And, yes, I’m using that term to keep myself from calling them other names. Here’s the evidence, off of Facebook:

rubella_1 rubella_2

chickenpox_2 chickenpox_1

 

chickenpox_3

I am looking into each and every one of those names there, and I will not hesitate to contact the proper health protection authorities in the places where they live. The threat is just too great.

And, by the way, you psychopaths out there, if you’re reading this, the reason you’re having to resort to these idiotic tactics is because of the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.

Connecting the dots when you can’t connect two brain cells

Let me connect some dots for you. Merck makes one of the anti-HPV vaccines. Merck gave money to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine to endow a chair. In the minds of the anti-vaccine crowd, anyone in that chair (figuratively and literally) might as well be Satan’s spawn. After all, who but Satan’s child would take a position paid for by Big Pharma? No one in their right mind would work for Big Pharma.

Furthermore, no one would ever want to study and become an expert on vaccines through education and hard work because that means you’re a shill. No, you must gain all your knowledge of vaccines and their side-effects from anti-vaccine websites, celebrities, and chiropractors. Sure, there are some honest-to-goodness physicians sprinkled among the nutjobs, but you know what they say about the company you keep. (Anti-vaxxers are not science-based if they have a few scientists and physicians in their ranks. It makes the very few scientists and physicians anti-vaxxers.)

If you, say, study law and become good at defending the legal framework that supports compulsory, mandatory, or required immunization, then you’re a shill. You can’t be anything else. That’s the way things are if you can’t connect two brain cells together then go about trying to connect the dots of the conspiracy theory in your head. Allow me to elaborate. Continue reading

The dog days of summer

I must admit to you that I’m not in much of a blogging mood when it’s this hot out. My walk to the office and then back to my flat are exhausting in this heat. The mid-Atlantic humidity really does a number on me. When I get home and all my clothes are soaked and clinging to me, the last thing I want to do is blog. (Yeah, that was not a pretty picture.)

I’ve been especially grumpy lately because some pro-vaccine advocates have taken it upon themselves to tell me what to write, how, and when. They think that I’m a writing machine. I’m not the blogger with hypergraphia. I’m the blogger that is slowly working his way to the 200th post, and is thinking very hard about what to write once that milestone is met.

I guess I could tell you all about the lies and misinformation being spewed by the anti-vaccine advocates, but what else do you expect from anti-vaccine advocates? Or I could tell you that Andrew Jeremy Wakefield continues to claim that he didn’t say what he said, or that his study said something completely different to what it really said. But what else do you expect from Andrew Jeremy Wakefield?

I could explain to you why a petulant anti-vaccine loon thinks that having/knowing/friending/peeing next to someone who does business with someone who is related/knows/works or pees with someone in the pharmaceutical industry makes you “morally bankrupt.” But what do you expect from that child? That’s all he knows how to do, a real stain in the educational institution that is GWU.

Maybe I could tell you why homeopathy would violate all rules of physics if it worked like homeopaths and others say it does. Or that “alternative and complimentary medicine” is not really “medicine.” Rather, these things are no better than “wishful thinking.” While there is such a thing as the placebo effect, there is no room in reality to say that these things are cures for anything.

What I’m trying to say is that I can only write and write and write some more about the things that anti-science, ignorant people say or do online and in real life. There are only so many topics that can be covered. There are only so many people I can laugh at (while simultaneously shaking my head). I keep thinking about this as the 200th post is coming up.

Remember, this blog was not supposed to be all about refuting stupidity. It was supposed to be a companion blog to “The Poxes.” It just got out of hand because there really is that much stupid to refute. There really are that many ignorant and evil people in this world. So we’ll see where I go once I hit 200.

With experts like these, who needs doctors?

A friend of mine was telling me the other day that he used to date a girl who he “outgrew.” He said that he bumped into her when he went back to his hometown. She happily told him that she was engaged to marry a “doctor.” He asked her what kind of doctor her fiancé was, and she happily replied that her fiancé was a chiropractor. We both laughed at the thought.

If you know me, you know I have issues with chiropractors calling themselves “doctors,” especially those who claim that “adjustments” can cure or prevent infectious diseases. Continue reading

My first legal threat!

I got a legal threat from “Deathby Vaccination” on Facebook:

“Attn: Mr Edward Jenner a.k.a. Reuben Gaines:
On October 4, 2012, at 9:26:07 p.m. using your Comcast IP address: [redacted] I have been informed that you viewed LeprechaunUSA.com after finding my son’s picture through a GOOGLE search from a computer that was using Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_8_2) AppleWebKit/537.4 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/22.0.1229.79 Safari/537.4 software.
As a Member of the Bar, and per FBI recommended Cyberstalking Procedures, YOU and ANY and ALL organizations, and/or entities you are associated with, including, but not limited to: ThePoxesStory and The Poxes Blog, plus acquaintances thereof which you may encourage; Corporate entities, such as JOHNS HOPKINS, MERCK, GSK, PFIZER, etc., including, but not limited to their agents, suppliers, vendors, and any entity they/you are directly or indirectly associated with, are hereby put on notice and ORDERED TO CEASE AND DESIST any and all contact, harassment and /or stalking of me, my family-especially stalking of my children, my friends-including FACEBOOK FRIENDS, and any and all groups and entities that I am associated with.
In Archive v. Shell, the court ruled that Archive did not exercise “dominion” over the copied (archived) material. You, Mr. Richard Jenner, HAVE “exercised dominion,” as evidenced by the linking and re-posting of my son’s pictures from a website I own, which is a violation of the posted TERMS OF USE for that website. (see: Archive v. Shell-2007, a case in which I was involved).
Additionally, as a graduate of JOHNS HOPKINS and possible agent thereof, who stalked and identified a minor child by name on the internet, by his picture, who is NOT a PUBLIC FIGURE, is not helpful to your cause.
In addition, any and all photographic images, or electronic facsimile(s) that violate the TERMS OF USE of the domain, LEPRECHAUNUSA.COM, are hereby ordered to be remove and destroyed/deleted immediately, the destruction and removal of which does not constitute reduction or satisfaction of civil, criminal, or monetary culpability in violation of the TERMS OF USE you accepted by visiting and viewing that website, then blatantly ”exercising dominion over” the LeprechaunUSA.com website contents.
A POLICE REPORT and Agency Report will be generated by me for the unauthorized use and exploitation of pictures of my minor children by you, known to me by your Facebook alias: RICHARD JENNER, an adult, together with your “hint” that I view your Facebook group’s “WALL”, along with the transcript of your messages, which strongly suggests that you and/or members of your group(s) may possibly be involved in pedophile activity, or have an unhealthy interest in tracking young toddlers on the internet.
Of further possible interest to authorities is your Russian reference to Koltsovo, Novosibirsk Oblast.
“Koltsovo is roughly the equivalent to both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Army Chemical and Biological Defense Command. It has research facilities and capabilities for all levels of Biological Hazard, CDC Levels 1-4. It is one of two official repositories for the now-eradicated smallpox virus,[a] and is part of the system of laboratories known as the Biopreparat. Recently the facility has been upgraded and secured using the most modern cameras, motion sensors, fences, and biohazard containment systems. Its relative seclusion makes security an easier task. Since its inception there has been an elite army regiment guarding the facility. The center was believed to be a hub for biological warfare research for the old Soviet Union.” -Wiki”

Wow!

I’d like to know where and when I identified his child by name? He emailed me his child’s name. I didn’t do that. His page is out there for the world to see. Whatever. This is how rabid anti-vaxxers will react to being exposed to the truth. I’m blocking him from contacting me on Facebook.

One thing, though… Why did he decide to mention “Corporate entities, such as JOHNS HOPKINS, MERCK, GSK, PFIZER, etc.” Conspiracy theory, much?

Stand by your words

When I was a kid, I accused an uncle of being a thief. I was eleven or twelve, and I had seen him take money from a cash register at the store where he worked. I told the store owner what my uncle did. I don’t know why I did it. I just did it. The owner confronted my uncle and fired him when it was confirmed that he had stolen the money. Sure enough, I caught all sorts of hell from my family. They claimed that I should have protected my uncle instead of the store. Besides, they said, the owner has plenty of money to spare. What’s $100 here and there?

Well, $100 here and there is $100 here and there, and they were not my uncle’s $100. I had witnessed a crime, and I wasn’t going to turn my back on that. Soon thereafter, my uncle cornered me alone in his house when I came to visit. He yelled at me and called me a “little girl.” I told him that at least I wasn’t a thief. He said that I was to recant my story to the family or he would beat me. So I told my mom, dad, and everyone who would listen to me. And listen they did. As my uncle sank more and more into trouble with the law and with the family, he kept trying to get me to recant my story. His threats flew left and right, and I didn’t recant. I couldn’t. I saw what I saw, and the owner confirmed it. It was all in the hands of the police and prosecutors. What? The money was going to magically disappear from my uncle’s checking account and appear back in the cash register of the store if I recanted what I saw? Of course not. He made the mistake of stealing, then the mistake of depositing the same exact amount he stole into his banking account.

I stood by my words. I said what I said because it was the truth, and nothing was going to change it.

This is not the case with the “daily web newspaper of the autism epidemic.” That I know of, they have now twice retracted blog posts. First, it was a ridiculously stupid post about how pro-vaccine advocates and scientists were eating a baby at Thanksgiving. Their managing editor even commented:

“Dr. Nancy is under the table servicing Dr. Offit’s RotaDick. Wait, can you hear her? “Fere If doh bontrobersy!!” Someone should tell her it’s not polite to talk with your mouth full.”

I know, right? Needless to say, some people on their own blog disagreed with the blog post, even as the author of the post defended it as “satire.” In a matter of days, they took the post down.

And now, they took down a post whose title was, “RFK Jr., Nazi Death Camps and the Battle For Our Future.” Here is the cached version of the post. Here is Orac’s take on that post. Basically, RFK Jr. equated children with autism to the Holocaust. I’m not joking. Children with a neurodevelopmental condition, in the opinion of RFK Jr., are like the death camps in Nazi occupied Europe.

I wish I was joking. But, because they can’t or won’t stand by their word, the editors at the “daily web newspaper of the autism epidemic” removed this post. I wonder if they won’t stand by what they write because what they write is the truth. Or because it’s garbage? That’s not a trick question, by the way.

You expect politicians to do better to protect public health

Jeremy Thiesfeldt is a state representative in the great state of Wisconsin, a Republican. Mr. Thiesfeldt has decided that no flu vaccine in healthcare workers is better than any vaccine in healthcare workers, because, dammit, this is America:

“The debate over the mandatory influenza vaccinations of employees is worthy of a vigorous public airing. Much controversy has been growing nationwide as to the plight of employees, particularly healthcare workers, being dismissed from their jobs due to their refusal to accept such an unwanted intrusion into their personal healthcare decisions.”

Quite an intrusion indeed. Next up, I hear, Mr. Thiesfeldt will lobby to get rid of OSHA standards requiring personal protective equipment like gloves and masks. I mean, if these healthcare workers want to be free, then they should be free to not be protected. After all, gowns, gloves, and masks are not 100%, and, according to Mr. Thiesfeldt, if it’s not 100%, it’s not worth it:

“The history of vaccinations in the US has been one filled with controversy. The strongest argument in favor has been the high degree of effectiveness of many common vaccinations that reaches 90% or higher. The influenza vaccine does not enjoy this success. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported that for the 2012-13 season the vaccine had a 38% fail rate. This is consistent with all the evidence from previous years putting the fail rate at anywhere from 30-50%.”

Mr. Thiesfeldt needs to be educated on the Nirvana Fallacy. Of course, readers of this blog know that even if the vaccine gave a 50/50 shot of not getting sick, I’d take it. It’s better than nothing, and there are plenty of people working to make it better. But Mr. Jeremy Thiesfeldt doesn’t stop there. The rest of his statement reads like a blog post at any “reputable” anti-vaccine blog:

“Another documented fact is each year individuals nationwide have been severely harmed by submitting to the influenza vaccination, and in some cases death has resulted.”

I’m yet to come across a confirmed death from the flu vaccine in all the years that I’ve worked in public health, and I look at tons of reports. Allergic reactions? Yes. Guillain-Barre Syndrome? Yes. Even one case of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. But death? Not really. And all of those injuries from the flu vaccine? They all occurred at a lower rate than deaths and complications from influenza itself.

But politicians are not known for using facts to further their agendas:

“Do we have any less incidence of flu because of it? Not appreciably. The largest declines in incidence and deaths from influenza came prior to 1980, which is around the time the flu vaccine became widely used. In fact, a 2005 US National Institute of Health study of over 30 influenza seasons could not find a correlation between increasing vaccination coverage and declining mortality rates in any age group.”

I can’t find that study. If someone does, please send it my way.

“The flu vaccine is different each season. It is an educated guess as to what strains of the virus will be most prevalent in coming months. In spite of best efforts, often these predictions are wrong. Because of these variations, hospitals are already filled with both patients, employees, visitors and varying vendors who have been ineffectively vaccinated.”

No, sir, these predictions are not often wrong. They are often correct. Even the type B flu, which we mismatch a lot, is still a match 50% of the time. (Yes, no better than a coin-toss, but better than nothing.)

And on and on he goes about freedom, with slippery-slope arguments that allowing employers to discipline healthcare workers who do not vaccinate will lead to forces vaccinations in other settings and for other vaccines. But, you know what, Mr. Thiesfeldt looks young. He probably doesn’t remember the 1960’s, when women had to worry about having disfigured children because they were exposed to Rubella. He probably has never seen a child die from the flu, or have to talk to the child’s parents.

He must have Wisconsin residents’ best interests in mind, right?

“The requirements of Obamacare will likely eventually push healthcare employers to reach a required plateau of immunizations of their workforce in order to receive certain bonuses or reimbursements. Pharmaceutical corporations have obvious financial interests in the mandate as well.”

Ah, conspiracy theorist. Never mind.

PS: The always awesome Todd W. at Harpocrates Speaks has covered this issue as well, and very well so.

You know how threats go, right? (UPDATED AGAIN)

This woman doesn’t. Not only did she threaten someone through the phone, leaving a message, but she her target posted it on YouTube. Talk about “exploding the internet”.

If she takes it down, I’ve downloaded it and will update this blog post accordingly.

The caller in that recording did not post the video. The person who received it Someone did.

I don’t have time to get into an analysis of the video and what she says, but just listen to her carefully. Listen to what she threatens to do if anti-vaccine people are not left alone.

And, is it just me, or is there a hint of antisemitism sprinkled in?

Anyway, here’s the transcript:

“Hi, uh, Doreen (?), my name is Holly. Um, and I was actually just calling, because I wanted to let you know that I found out your address… um… where you live in South Bay with your, uh, husband. And I just want to let you know that I am going to be posting that very, very, very publicly, uh, on Facebook if your group does not leave some of the… uh… antivaxers alone. Um. So just take this as a word of warning, uh, miss professor of law. I do know how… You do know hows these things work, these threats work, right? Um…  But I will be calling the police and reporting you for harassment. I will also be blowing up the internet, showing your address and all of that. Just want to let you know. Um. So if you don’t leave us alone, we’re, we’re going to do this to you. Ok. Great. Well, have a good day. Bye-bye.”

I emphasized in bold the part where she outright admits that it’s a threat.

UPDATE:

After denying it over and over again, the woman who made the threatening phone call has come clean and apologized:

So maybe this is the end of it… For now.