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Letters to the Editor

Vaccination debate

March 12, 2011

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To the editor:

As one of the families suffering from whooping cough in the Lawrence area this winter, I take issue with your article that definitively states that vaccination is the best protection against the disease. Your reporter fails to report that even people vaccinated for pertussis can contract the disease, though they carry and transmit it without recognizable symptoms, thusly spreading the disease unknowingly.

Though my family was misdiagnosed the first eight weeks we had it, I feel thankful that our symptoms presented so conspicuously that we could be diagnosed accurately and could then stay home and do our part to stop the spread of this difficult illness. Additionally, I’d like to respond to the considerable flak I’ve been receiving, as a representative of the unvaccinated population, on the Journal-World’s wellcommons.com forum in response to this article.

The reasons so many of us nationwide, and undeniably here in Lawrence, choose not to vaccinate are largely misunderstood. Rather than dismissing us as crazy, please listen to our concerns; our questions are quite relevant in this great health care debate.

Though we have yet to see convincing, unbiased evidence of either the long-term efficacy of the herd-immunity approach to disease prevention, or the safety of the vaccinations themselves, we are eager to engage in real scientific debate with individuals, and especially researchers, willing to face fear of disease, look closely at the manipulation of our fears by the profit-driven health care industry, and find effective solutions to the ever-evolving maladies of our human existence.

Comments

gr 3 years ago

Rabies and smallpox? Interesting topics. Might want to look into them.

The whole concept of smallpox seems rather flawed. Using one disease, cowpox, to inoculate against another! Yes, I know with what our brains were inoculated with in school, but isn't it strange that diseases, which have different characteristics, can protect against the other?

If smallpox vaccination, using the unrelated cowpox disease was so successful, why is pertussis vaccination seem to be failing as schools require more and more vaccinations? So-called Jenner science made up from the superstitions of dairy maids. Can anyone say syphilis?

Even Jenner saw the failure of his ideas and tried desperately to keep making up new stuff.

I read that less that 15% of those bitten by a rabid dog will get the disease if not treated. If treated, they will die sooner. Pasteur to the rescue! 19 Russian peasants were bitten by a rabid wolf. Pasteur gives them the potion and 3 of the 19 die. If only 15% would get the disease, his odds were not very good. Looking into it, there seems to be some unknown that it can even be detected in dogs.

Pasteur, the falsifier. He killed a 12 year old with his vaccine and then lied saying the rabbits they inoculated with the boy's cervical bulb were still alive and that the boy died of other causes. 8 days later. After 9 of 18 vaccinated people died from his vaccinations, he said he wouldn't accept any further discussion of his theories and methods. No one would be allowed to monitor his experiments. At least he had some brains and in an experiment to prove anthrax vaccinations, he wouldn't use his own vaccine but used someone else's which contained an antiseptic.

Nope. If there were even such a thing as a rabid dog, I sure wouldn't get vaccinated for it. I would have a higher chance of dying if I did. I believe in science. Not marketing by big business. Or frauds such as Pasteur.

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gr 3 years ago

Of those vaccinated last year and this year with the Flu and H1N1 vaccine, 747 people had serious events they reported.

And of those vaccinated last year and this year with Pertusses containing vaccines, 242 people reported serious events.

And these are the serious events, not the less serious ones or people who didn't report them. Is that worth the risk? Some may feel it justified to risk death if it helps them from getting a sore throat or runny nose provided there's some real science behind it. But that's the problem. Where is the science? Is it just a matter of correlating cell phone use to decline of disease? Or is there real testing going on using the scientific method?

When you look back into the history of the vaccines and you see Bechamp and Jenner and Pasteur going at it, but Pasteur had better publicity of marketing skills, it makes you question things. Then, when you read that some of the vaccine batches weren't found to be "effective", meaning causing a reaction in the people, but other batches did cause a reaction, you wonder, why? When you read that those batches which caused a reaction were accidentally contaminated, then new batches were intentionally contaminated, it makes you wonder what kind of "science" is behind the concept of vaccination. Contaminates are now called, adjuvants, without which the vaccine would not be "effective". Adjuvants containing such things as aluminum.

How do you make a GMO human?
Vaccinate them by inserting all kinds of different species' DNA into them. Who knows, maybe as a side benefit you can generate another disease, too.

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slvrntrt 3 years ago

Bring back smallpox!!

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lawrencenerd 3 years ago

I see a lot of comments where people say vaccines aren't 100 percent safe. While this is true, the risk that a vaccine will harm you is extremely low. The likelihood that it will prevent you from catching the disease it was designed for if you come into contact with it is extremely high.

Parachutes don't always open correctly and can be ineffective, and even kill a person if they become entangled with one in a bad way. I sure as hell wouldn't jump out of a plane without one though.

Fear science and shelter yourselves from factual information and modern medicine all you want. Better yet, go find a rabid animal to bite you than stalwartly refuse the vaccination that will prevent you from dying so you stop making the gene pool all muddy with stupidity. You aren't even keeping your money from "big pharma" either. The medicine you take when you get ill from something you could have gotten a cheap vaccination for surely puts far more money into their pockets.

http://www.jennymccarthybodycount.com/

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devobrun 3 years, 1 month ago

BTW, gr's question is "fear of what". gr clearly doesn't know anything about fear. It doesn't matter what the fear is of or about. It is an emotion and it might be irrational, but it's as real as it gets. Maggie is afraid, gr. Maggie needs no logical reason to take her shots, folks.

She needs a dad to be strong for her.

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devobrun 3 years, 1 month ago

llama, lemme help you.

Maggie is scared. She is a feeling and caring and emotional human. Every bit the artist, mother, life is grand, but terrifying human. She is to be loved, not lectured. She is to be led, but by swaying her feelings.

Do not attempt to sway her emotions by logic. This is not an excursion into thought for her. I believe that she has heard the rational arguments and agrees to them. But she is a person of feelings and the rational hasn't changed them.

So, find a way to sway her feelings. Mother Teresa says take your shots. The first Lady says take your shots. Your mother, Maggie, took her shots and would want your to take your shots. Maybe get in touch with one of her kids (secretly) and ask them to be brave for their mother.

Rational is not in this scenario, llama. Sway her feelings or forget it.

Kinda like a selling of......windmills and solar......electric cars......facebook.....what a bunch of emotional rubes we live with.

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gr 3 years, 1 month ago

Some speak of fear. Fear of what? Is it fear of catching a scary disease or fear of getting poisoned.

Fear sells.

And history and many of the above posters shows it sells well. Big business has sucked so many of you in and has done a very good job.

But, what is the null hypothesis here? I asked one and he said the null hypothesis was following what the popular majority believed. He did admit he did not understand the scientific method. What do you say the null hypothesis is with use of vaccinations and who has the burden of proof for disproving it?

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devobrun 3 years, 1 month ago

First rule of toxicology, Maggie, is that it is all in the dose. Yes, there are people walking around carrying the disease. It is a bacteria and can certainly live in humans without causing major symptoms. This means that the bacterial load in the person is small. It is clinging to its life. Otherwise the toxins produced by the bacteria would be debilitating.

Thus, your assertion that people carry it around is mitigated by the importance of the amount they carry around. And that amount is surely less than in the person with full blown pertussis.

Finally, since carriers have a small amount of bacteria in their system, the chance of them spreading the disease is smaller.


Furthermore, the site you referred us to is quite informative and quite mainstream medicine. The only thing unusual about it that Dr. Jenkinson believes that pertussis is more common than thought and under-diagnosed. That may well be the case.

So what?

What is treatment for pertussis? A Z-Pack. What do you give a person who has a cold that lingers and a cough that won't go away? A Z-Pack.


Finally Maggie, doctors make mistakes all the time. Your body is the most complicated thing on the planet. Missed diagnoses are common and I think Dr. Jenkinson is probably correct. But what makes you think that you won't make decisions that are worse than the doctors?

What qualifies you more in your dealings with disease than a person who reads about disease, tests methods and treatments and comes to opinions based on vastly more experience than you have?

I prefer to make my own mistakes too, Maggie. I don't call the plumber, electrician, carpenter every time I need a fuse changed, or a drain cleaned. I've made my share of mistakes and I now do pretty well. But if I've learned anything, it is knowing when to consult a person who knows better than I.

I hope your infectious disease experience is limited to less dangerous types, like pertussis. My mother contracted polio in 1953 and became quadriplegic. You don't want that.

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Tony Kisner 3 years, 1 month ago

"Though my family was misdiagnosed the first eight weeks we had it, I feel thankful that our symptoms presented so conspicuously that we could be diagnosed accurately"

-Conspicuous finally in the ninth week I guess?

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speak_up 3 years, 1 month ago

After lurking for months on this site, reading all of your comments but refusing to get involved in what so often devolves from congenial debate into name-calling and finger-pointing, I must respond to this thread. I take issue with the presumption that all liberals agree with pseudo-scientific conspiracy theories like that presented in Ms. Beedle's post. This is simply not true. It is entirely possible to lean left-- I mean FAR left-- of center and still understand that theories such as hers are ridiculous and dangerous. Please do not lump us all together. There are ignorant people on both the left and the right. I would not assume that just because Brownback does not believe in evolution that EVERY Republican is equally ignorant on the subject.

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QuinnSutore 3 years, 1 month ago

See what liberal researchers do to the safety of our kids?

Now just imagine what they can do with an entire health care system to abuse.

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gr 3 years, 1 month ago

So many people in support of big business. Where is the bozo when you need him?

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KUrolls 3 years, 1 month ago

merrill (anonymous) says… Doctors do NOT cure anything necessarily

This why liberals wanted Obamacare for themselves?

btw- I listened to your radio show on 980 this morning. You post differently then to talk.

You post apocalyptic.

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devobrun 3 years, 1 month ago

That's it, I'm packin' a pair of vinyl gloves for the next time I find myself being compelled to join hands and sing Kumbaya.

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acg 3 years, 1 month ago

Blunt trauma? WTH is wrong with you? Each one of those deaths was called SIDS, which is a fancy way of saying "we don't know how these babies died". And what kind of person has a child die and then asks for money from someone? What an effed up way of thinking.

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devobrun 3 years, 1 month ago

Wow acg, what were the autopsies on those kids? If these deaths were attributed to anaphylaxis, then stop the presses. Either your family and friends have a serious condition that should be reported, or you are the most unlucky person in the world.

The U.S. government maintains a clearinghouse for information on vaccine death and injury. HRSA has a program to pay money to victims of vaccine insult. Go to :

http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/

If any of these kids deaths were attributed to vaccine reaction, you should see about getting some money.

If the kids died from blunt trauma.....don't bother.

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acg 3 years, 1 month ago

I vaccinated my kids because I had to, in order to get them into daycare. Was I worried about giving these shots to my children when they were babies? Absolutely! My aunt's baby died the day he was vaccinated. My daycare provider's baby died the day she was vaccinated. My sister's baby died the day he was vaccinated. My other sister's best friend's baby died the day he was vaccinated. Is there a correlation? I have no idea. Does it seem way too coincidental? You bet your ass!

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devobrun 3 years, 1 month ago

KansasPerson, since the LTE emerged over 50 hours ago, I doubt that Maggie has the stomach to have read down through 131 comments. I hope Maggie can answer your first question, especially, but I doubt we'll hear from her.

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KansasPerson 3 years, 1 month ago

Maggie, I'm weighing in on this for the first time and I have a couple of questions.

First: In your other posts on WellCommons, you said: "I acknowledge that, by choosing not to vaccinate, I am taking advantage of living in a largely vaccinated population with many diseases under control thru vaccination."

I'm sorry if I'm removing your quote from some important context; if I did so, please feel free to fill in the blanks for me. What I'm seeing here is that you are actually agreeing that vaccinations are a good thing because they produce, on the whole, a population that is free from many diseases. If you do, in fact, believe that, then why do you choose not to vaccinate? It reads like you are taking advantage (your words) of a system that has been created by something that you don't agree with. So I'm confused.

Second: I get what you're saying about the vaccinated people showing fewer symptoms and thus spreading the disease (if they were to get it) more easily, but (a) do you have any proof that unvaccinated-yet-infected people are walking around with pertussis? If their symptoms are so light, they're not getting diagnosed, so isn't it just your belief (with no proof) that they have pertussis and not just a cold?

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Majestic42 3 years, 1 month ago

Gee thanks, Maggie. The concept of Herd Immunity thanks you for screwing the rest of us over.

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Blueskies67 3 years, 1 month ago

Debating a scientific issues cannot be won citing articles, or by simply referring to a website where you have misunderstood the information. In order to clearly understand the subject, you really need to obtain all the primary papers published by peer-review process in a reputable journal. Reading one of these papers and understanding its content really requires training, typically given in a university at the graduate level. When I was 19, I had the attitude that corporate Amercia was "evil" and intentionally polluting our environment for their greed. I was going to become a regulator and go after the evil corporate giants and change the world. A wise collegue informed me politely that I had the wrong attitude. I should focus on working with the corporations to make a change. The light bulb went off over my head, and I have spent the last 20+ years trying to make a difference through my work rather than making viseral comments. I suggest that those who do not understand how scientific research is conducted, go back to school, join those have dedicated their careers to making a positive difference, and debate your beliefs on your science, not on articles or gut-reactions.

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clyde_never_barks 3 years, 1 month ago

I know several families like Maggie's who choose not to immunize. This issue is only part of a much larger dialogue that is ongoing. The same type (and I'm referencing the people I know personally - fwiw) of people also don't believe that they should have to put their children in booster seats after they are 3; don't typically carry health insurance; jump from doctor to doctor because they keep disagreeing with their prescriptive solutions; they do homeschool. It absolutely boggles my mind to watch this type of behavior. In an age of modern medicine, why wouldn't you take precaution? It's because the rest of us do that their kids do not become ill/dieased. Watch those numbers shift as the "anti" vaccination population increases.

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devobrun 3 years, 1 month ago

So Alfred and autie, does this mean I should stop shopping at the Merc? Little Moonbeam and her mother are probably not vaccinated because of the conspiracy to rob their essence, so Moonbeam's runny nose might very well be b.pertussis and they are spreading germs around the whole grain aisle.

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Alfred_W 3 years, 1 month ago

What incredibly simplistic logic, comparing possible outcomes and ignoring the PROBABILITIES of each outcome. Sure, based on some theoretical game logic you can come out ahead by not vaccinating...provided that the rest of the population IS vaccinated. However, if very many people actually employ this strategy then non-vaccination rapidly becomes the losing play rather than the winning one.

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autie 3 years, 1 month ago

Jeezus....what a bunch of wooden headed numbskulls. Should we go back to the 19th century standards when kids died left and right from the horrible things of the day like measles or mumps? What about smallpox and polio? Any parent that doesn't vaccinate their child should be locked up for neglect. All that other crap is just that, crap. some holy than though hocus pocus that has no basis in a modern world. The simple fact is that where thousands and thousands died before, they don't now.

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Kansans4VaccineRights 3 years, 1 month ago

Vaccines are not 100% Effective or 100% Safe. Both unvaccinated children and adults and fully vaccinated children and adults can potentially contract and spread a communicable disease and sadly even die as a result. However only those who are vaccinated have a real risk of suffering from a mild or serious vaccine injury, including death. Disease prevention is an individual and personal responsibility.

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raw_sunflower 3 years, 1 month ago

"The reason you get flak for your decision is because your actions endanger us all..." Honestly, if you're vaccinated, then how are the un-vaccinated going to threaten you?

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devobrun 3 years, 1 month ago

Yes Paul. science is supposed to slay the boogie-man, not create him.

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raw_sunflower 3 years, 1 month ago

Tell us, what IS that other side of the vaccine story? Should I just believe you because you've dismissed it?

If you've had a cold, the flu, and a host of common illnesses, then you have experienced dis-ease.

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Paul R Getto 3 years, 1 month ago

devo: Thanks, you reinforced my point for me.

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devobrun 3 years, 1 month ago

The anti-science debate regards science as politics and science tested in computers and science engaging in grand narratives. Big Bang, evolution, etc are untestable challenges to other untestable assertions like creation.

No Paul, this discussion is about a real world experiment. An hypothesis is posed and it is being tested.....science is being done. Vaccines are deployed into the world and disease and side-effects are monitored. Cause and effect are clear and sample size is in the millions. Real applied science, Paul.

This is quite different from science based upon observation, speculation and computer modeling. While vaccines are used and their effects are judged, climate science pontificates about computer projections of the climate 30 years from now.

Big difference.

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Paul R Getto 3 years, 1 month ago

Is this silly discussion about children's shots a sub-set of the generic anti-science anti-evolution so-called debate? Is there a risk to any medical procedure? Sure. Is there an even bigger risk to ignoring what we have learned as a medical community? Yes. The quacks make good money scaring people with their wild ideas.

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TheBigW 3 years, 1 month ago

Me wife & I sleep just fine knowing our vaccinated child is the best protected as one can be from the ignorant non-vaccinating morons of society, many of whom it seems reside in Lawrence Ks. and protect their kids health via nothing but organic raw foods and soy products and bad advice from some "alternative practitioners" who get their license from a cracker jacks box.....

Maybe if Ms. Maggie went to a real doctor her kids wouldn't have been misdiagnosed for eight weeks and allowed to expose not only the community as a whole, but all the other kids, while contaminating the the "little red school house" grounds for eight weeks, due to some wacko ideologies based mostly on fiction, a few half truths, and fellow nutcase "liberal" friends who spend way to much time pasting and copying crap off the internet as proof to back up their wacko claims and ignorant beliefs & ideologies.

Then to top it all off she makes not only one public comment that makes clear that her non vaccinating of her kids just because she dose not believe in it and is in direct violation of the state statutes... yet she has to chime in again and bang that drum louder for all to hear, like that's going to help win over the community to her warped ignorant beliefs .....

IMHO Maggie you should be prosecuted for child endangerment for not only your own kids health abuse, but also those who you willfully exposed at your kids preschool because of your asinine mentality, lucky for you the state statutes have no enforcement or penalty at this time.

Maggie maybe you & others who are like you should home school!

P.S. Remember, don't drink the water or kool aid.

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LoveThsLife 3 years, 1 month ago

I think the scary thing is for parents of children too young to immunize...get on youtube and look at some of those videos of infants with whooping cough..very scary and sad to watch. I don't know why parents would want to knowingly put their child at risk.

Maggie-I'm glad thing turned okay for your family, but it upsets me that you could have exposed others, specifically those who might have immature or compromised immune systems and have no choice.

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nepenthe 3 years, 1 month ago

To the OP:

Your arrogance is astounding! I have a mother who is suffering from post-polio syndrome. I've talked to her about the days when children did not go out to play during the summer. As she told me, you stayed in the house. The town she grew up in didn't even have a swimming pool then, because kids were not encouraged to gather for fear they would spread 'infantile paralysis'.

Despite these precautions, she came down with polio anyway and couldn't walk for years. Her legs never developed correctly and her life has been very difficult because of it.

And here you sit on your high horse, denouncing vaccines and declaring you won't vaccinate your children? You have no idea what it's like to live in a world where you live in utter fear of coming down with a disease you cannot treat, or that may affect you or your children for the rest of theirs.

If you choose not to, then kindly find a nice cabin in the woods and never EVER show your face in public. The idea that you and your walking disease factories are among us even now is frightening.

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Liberal 3 years, 1 month ago

I found another right wing website story written by the AP. A story that mostly talks about experiments the gov't either did or allowed in the 40's-70's. However they also uncovered this about current medical testing.

I hope you can sleep at night. Knowing you are being taken care of by the feds... They have been so reliable.

Enjoy...

http://www.news-sentinel.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/SE/20110301/NEWS/103010340

As the supply of prisoners and mental patients dried up, researchers looked to other countries. It made sense. Clinical trials could be done more cheaply and with fewer rules. And it was easy to find patients who were taking no medication, a factor that can complicate tests of other drugs.

Additional sets of ethical guidelines have been enacted, and few believe that another Guatemala study could happen today.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' inspector general reported that between 40 and 65 percent of clinical studies of federally regulated medical products were done in other countries in 2008, and that proportion probably has grown. The report also noted that U.S. regulators inspected fewer than 1 percent of foreign clinical trial sites.

Monitoring research is complicated, and rules that are too rigid could slow new drug development. But it's often hard to get information on international trials, sometimes because of missing records and a paucity of audits, said Dr. Kevin Schulman, a Duke University professor of medicine.

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seeker_of_truth 3 years, 1 month ago

Typical response, don't confuse me with facts, my mind is made up. Thanks to rightwing nutcase sites.

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Liberal 3 years, 1 month ago

Oh, here is another article from another fringe website the CDC...

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Vaccines/HPV/jama.html

Summary of HPV Adverse Event Reports Published in JAMA

The study's main findings

The findings were generally not that different from what is seen in the safety reviews of other vaccines recommended for a similar age group, 9 to 26 years old (meningitis and Tdap). Based on the review of available information by FDA and CDC, the HPV vaccine continues to be safe and effective, and its benefits continue to outweigh its risks.

The study's main findings include the following: More than 23 million doses were administered nationally since the HPV vaccine was licensed in June 2006. There were a total of 12,424 reports to VAERS of adverse events following HPV vaccination through December 2008. Since the HPV vaccine was approved, the vast majority (94%) of adverse events reported to VAERS after receiving this vaccine have not been serious. An adverse event is considered serious if it is life threatening, or results in death, permanent disability, abnormal conditions at birth, hospitalization or prolonged hospitalization. The most common events reported were: Syncope (or fainting)–common after need injections, especially in pre-teens and teens Local reactions at the site of immunization (pain and redness) Dizziness Nausea Headache Of the 12,424 reports of adverse events, 772 (6% of all reports) described serious adverse events, including 32 reports of deaths. The 32 death reports were reviewed and there as no common pattern to the deaths that would suggest they were caused by the vaccine. In cases where there was an autopsy, death certificate, or medical records, the cause of death could be explained by factors other than the vaccine. Some causes of death determined to date include diabetes, viral illness, illicit drug use, and heart failure. There were two reports of unusual neurological illness (per autopsy, probable variants of Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) often referred to as “Lou Gehrig's Disease”) that resulted in the death of two young females. There is no current evidence suggesting that the HPV vaccine caused these illnesses, but researchers from several highly regarded academic centers are studying the cases. There was increased reporting of syncope and pulmonary emboli (blood clots of the lungs) compared with what has been found for other vaccines given to females of the same age. Of the people who had blood clots 90% had a known risk factor for blood clots, such as taking oral contraceptives (birth control pills). VAERS reports cannot prove the vaccine caused the adverse event in women with these risk factors. However, this finding needs further investigation.

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seeker_of_truth 3 years, 1 month ago

Liberal, I feel feel sorry for your total ignorance and refusal to educate yourself. Same as I feel for LTE's family due to what her ignorance has put them thru.

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Liberal 3 years, 1 month ago

Scientist Know everything...Scientist Know everything...Scientist Know everything...Scientist Know everything...Scientist Know everything...Scientist Know everything? Hardly

How many vaccines have been recalled? How much money has been paid out as a result of damages caused by vaccination?

You know most of us that were vaccinated in the 60's have a higher risk of certain kinds of cancer for the poison that they injected in us. Don't worry about it though...Scientist Know everything.

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Liberal 3 years, 1 month ago

How about the first swine flu vaccine back in the '70's? That was a huge success!

Here is a nice article from the fringe website the LA Times talking about the 1976 vaccine.

http://articles.latimes.com/2009/apr/27/science/sci-swine-history27

Swine flu 'debacle' of 1976 is recalled

The episode triggered an enduring public backlash against flu vaccination, embarrassed the federal government and cost the director of the CDC his job.

April 27, 2009|Shari Roan

Warren D. Ward, 48, was in high school when the swine flu threat of 1976 swept the U.S. The Whittier man remembers the episode vividly because a relative died in the 1918 flu pandemic, and the 1976 illness was feared to be a direct descendant of the deadly virus.

"The government wanted everyone to get vaccinated," Ward said. "But the epidemic never really broke out. It was a threat that never materialized."

What did materialize were cases of a rare side effect thought to be linked to the shot. The unexpected development cut short the vaccination effort -- an unprecedented national campaign -- after 10 weeks.

The episode triggered an enduring public backlash against flu vaccination, embarrassed the federal government and cost the director of the U.S. Center for Disease Control, now known as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, his job.

The pandemic fears of the time and the resulting vaccine controversy may be fueling some of the public's -- and media's -- anxiety about the current outbreak, said health officials who recalled the previous event.

Ward said his family discussed the vaccine in 1976 and decided not to get it. If a vaccine is ordered for this latest threat, he said, "I'm not getting it. I felt back then like it was a bunch of baloney."

The swine flu brush of 1976 -- some call it a debacle -- holds crucial lessons for the government and health officials who must decide how to react to the new swine flu threat in the days and weeks ahead.

For starters, officials must keep the public informed. They must admit what they know and don't know. They must have a plan ready should the health threat become dangerous. And they must reassure everyone that there is no need to worry in the meantime.

It's a tall order. Doubts about the government's ability to handle a possible flu pandemic linger, said Dr. Richard P. Wenzel, chairman of internal medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University, who diagnosed some of the early cases in 1976.

"I think we're going to have to be cautious," Wenzel said. "Hopefully, there will be a lot of good, honest public health discussion about what happened in 1976."

Officials should be prepared for plenty of second-guessing, especially for any decisions regarding vaccination, which was at the core of the 1976 controversy, said Dr. David J. Sencer, the CDC director who led the government's response to the threat and was later fired.

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none2 3 years, 1 month ago

It shocks me to know that there are still ignorant people in the world that have no clue why we have vaccinations. I have had many vaccinations over my lifetime probably more than some since when I lived with my dad and he was stationed overseas (Philippines), the whole family had to be immunized. I'm so thankful that I could get them. My dad had polio back before there were vaccinations. My paternal grandmother also may have had a case of it. Here sister died of a disease that now has a vaccination. A maternal great aunt died of TB.

My maternal grandmother also used to tell me stories of her mother who stayed in Chicago from time to time between 1885-1900 with relatives. Every time a child died of a childhood disease, the teachers would put a pansy on their desk. It was a fairly common occurance in that day and age. It isn't any more. Thanks to modern vaccinations. Ms Beedles needs to learn her history and get out of this conspiracy mindset.

George Santayana put it very eloquently: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

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TheBigW 3 years, 1 month ago

As a scientist, the accusations against researchers and the medical field presented by this author are completely unfounded and rather upsetting. I would assume the non-vaccinators do not have professional training but instead rely on fringe websites for their information. My vaccinated child goes to one of the preschools where two children were diagnosed with whooping cough. He was sick with a nasty cold when I heard about the cases. I promptly called our pediatrician to have him checked for pertussis, knowing that he has a slight chance of contracting it or harboring it. The test came back negative. Maybe I should expect the family of the sick children to pay for my doctor bill. Don't want to follow the health code....home school!!!

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gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 1 month ago

Maggie, in which area of medicine do you have your degree? I assume you are also good at reading statistical studies?

I'm glad to know, though, that prophylactics are just a big pharma scam. I, for one, will remember your sage medical advice the next time I vacation in Haiti and skip the condom. A condom, much like vaccinations, are not perfect! They can cause serious side-effects and are obviously just a part of the huge scam. I'll just have unprotected sex instead of being a "sheepie" and rely on the vinegar and morning dew shower a homeopath on the interwebs suggested. Thanks again!

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The_Original_Bob 3 years, 1 month ago

"Do I understand that the author is proud that 1. her family had done nothing to avoid catching whooping cough, then 2. continued to inflict themselves on the rest of us, even as they were obviously ill, then 3. is shameless enough to make a public fool of herself?"

Exactly. You put my point into words that I couldn't do myself.

This woman is crying about what? She didn't vaccinate her kid and they the kid got sick and what the hell's the point of tis again? Five of six kids that were not vaccinated got the whoopoing cough at this daycare. That is just poor ass parenting.

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staff04 3 years, 1 month ago

Hmmm...so let me make sure I got this straight:

You and your family choose not to be vaccinated and you got whooping cough.

Your neighbors (most of them at least) DID get vaccinated and did not get whooping cough.

Makes pretty good sense to me.

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webmocker 3 years, 1 month ago

To the writer of the LTE:

As others have suggested, please share the scientific evidence that proves the polio vaccine and smallpox vaccines did not work, or that they did more damage than the diseases themselves.

Until you do that, many will find it hard to accept your statement:

"Though we have yet to see convincing, unbiased evidence of either the long-term efficacy of the herd-immunity approach to disease prevention, or the safety of the vaccinations themselves, we are eager to engage in real scientific debate with individuals, . . . ."

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devobrun 3 years, 1 month ago

Primary care physicians must deal with illogical, arrogant, and silly people all day long. The above discussion shows how paranoid and irrational people gum up the works. It is the price we all pay for freedom and I don't want that to change, but.....

At what point does a 99% reduction in disease become an untested and biased scientific assertion? I just don't get how a person could reject the efficacy of vaccines.

It's crazy to be so paranoid of other people's profit motive that you would not avail yourself of the benefits of the service. Vaccines work, ya doober. Get them for yourself and your kids. You'll all live longer. And so will we.

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beatrice 3 years, 1 month ago

So the letter writer didn't get vaccinated and ended up getting sick.

um ... okay.

This letter is a little like reading of a motorcycle rider who crashes while not wearing a helmet who then blames their head injuries on the hardness of the pavement.

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notajayhawk 3 years, 1 month ago

Lordie, I thought this argument was dead. Thankfully, those who keep perpetuating it will be soon enough.

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 1 month ago

"merrill (anonymous) says… Doctors do NOT cure anything necessarily." So, in addition to canceling the medical insurance on yourself and your family, you refuse to see a doctor?

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kugrad 3 years, 1 month ago

Dismissing all scientific evidence, not to mention prevalence data, as "biased" is a simplistic argument that is inherently unscientific. You are endangering the lives of your own children and the children of others by not vaccinating your children. Prevalence data, which clearly demonstrates the positive effects of immunization in minimizing disease, is not "biased." Perhaps people who are not vaccinated can still carry whooping cough, but certainly the chances of that happening are miniscule when compared to the likelihood of a non-vaccinated child carrying the disease. That is just a fact.

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Olympics 3 years, 1 month ago

Maggie and Brent....you are part of the problem. Shame on you both. Being willfully ignorant is not virtue.

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Liberal 3 years, 1 month ago

Yes, and fluoridation of the water is safe as well. Pesticides and herbicides have done nothing but positive things. Corporations including big pharma always do the right thing. Politicians tell the truth. Child birth must happen in a hospital, intervention is a must for the safety of the mother. Santa Claus is real...

All I have to say is follow the money.

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devobrun 3 years, 1 month ago

From Wiki: "Quarantine law began in Colonial America in 1663, when in an attempt to curb an outbreak of smallpox, the city of New York established a quarantine. In the 1730s, the city built a quarantine station on the Bedloe's Island"

Or you can take a vaccine.

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funkdog1 3 years, 1 month ago

The growth of the non-vaccination crowd in the last few years has the luxury of being young enough to not remember the horrors of when polio, measels, small pox, influenza, tuberculousis etc., etc., maimed and killed thousands upon thousands of people. Unbelievable arrogance.

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devobrun 3 years, 1 month ago

From the LTE:

"Though we have yet to see convincing, unbiased evidence of either the long-term efficacy of the herd-immunity approach to disease prevention, or the safety of the vaccinations themselves, we are eager to engage in real scientific debate with individuals, and especially researchers....."

You attribute the great reduction of cases of polio, smallpox, measles, mumps and the others to what? After laboratory testing, these diseases were treated in the public sector. There is no better test than to actually do the thing that you say. In this case, disease attributed to virus was treated by a technique which causes the human immune system to create antibodies toward the disease.

And the number of infections dropped precipitously.


What the heck is "real scientific debate"? Real science concludes with the experiment, not a debate. Real science is forming an hypothesis and testing testing testing. That is precisely what has been going on for decades, and the data is in. Childhood infectious disease is much less of a problem than it was 60 years ago.

And you attribute the decrease in instances of these diseases to what?

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Centerville 3 years, 1 month ago

Do I understand that the author is proud that 1. her family had done nothing to avoid catching whooping cough, then 2. continued to inflict themselves on the rest of us, even as they were obviously ill, then 3. is shameless enough to make a public fool of herself?

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Chelsea Kapfer 3 years, 1 month ago

it is your choice not to vaccinate- but stay away from me and my kid. and the rest of society. thank you.

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notanota 3 years, 1 month ago

The reason you get flak for your decision is because your actions endanger us all, but they especially endanger the most vulnerable among us. Whether you secluded yourself once you found out you had pertussis or not, you exposed your family and countless others to a preventable disease.

You claim that you'd listen to a "convincing" argument. However, my experience says that's never the case. It's plain that you'll move the goalpost when anyone shows you evidence that your fear is unfounded. If that's not the case, I'll be happy to point to some great books on the subject.

Point of trivia - did you know that when the original smallpox vaccine was developed, there were actually people who claimed you should avoid it because it would turn you into a cow? There were. I'd wager a guess that your arguments will sound like "it turns you into a cow" in just a few years, too.

Want to see evidence of long term efficacy of vaccines? Check your arm. Do you have a smallpox scar? Now check your kid's arm. I guarantee that one or both of you doesn't have one. That's because we wiped it out, and now we no longer have to have the vaccine. Hooray for science.

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Boston_Corbett 3 years, 1 month ago

Vaccines save lives. Those who chose to not vaccinate have merely chosen not to do their fare share to their fellow society member.

Those who want to re-hash the now-totally-discredited thimerisol debate, or accuse the government of another conspiracy, are just participating in an activity as useless as those who assert the President was not born in America.

And in so doing they are eliminating the herd immunity which keeps many immuno-compromised individuals, whom are unable to receive some vaccines, alive.

Read some history, and study some virology, and you can't come to any other conclusion. That is a suggestion for you, Ms. Beedles.

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 1 month ago

Doctors do NOT cure anything necessarily.

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hipgrrrrl 3 years, 1 month ago

We have an argument of the lesser of two evils. There are volumes of evidence that a virus documented to be found in the initial polio vaccines is now being found in cancers in people that were vaccinated for polio (mesothemioma, for one). Our solution of treating cancer with chemo does not provide resolution for these types of cancers due to their mechanisms.

The problem here is that no one has a clue as to what exactly is being put in people's bodies. The manufacturers and government agencies that push vaccines (who are funded in large part by the pharma companies, btw) simply don't know...nor do they seem to be remotely driven to find out.

It is up to each person to decide if a known end result is preferrable to an unknown end result and what steps need to be taken to avoid both. Our media, our doctors nor our governement provides adequate answers to answer these sort of questions and the dogma of "vaccinate or die!" that is currently pushed on our society is simply not backed up by statistics - not even the ones found on the CDC website buried deep in their data tables.

Self-education here is key.

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akt2 3 years, 1 month ago

At the office that I work we have patients with a diagnosis of Post Polio Syndrome. They were born in the 1940's. Now they are in their 60's and live in wheelchairs, or soon will be. The vaccine was developed in the 1950's. That generation and on has not lived with the disease. I'm not sure how you can argue with the fact that vaccinating saves lives, and can prevent a lifetime of disability.

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 1 month ago

Doctors treat symptoms.

Doctors do cure anything necessarily.

Chiropractors are indulged in as much medical education as doctors.

In our case the medical clinic knew Whooping Cough was our concern so why didn't the clinic do the one test available that would make that determination? Not doing so could have been life threatening.

Vaccines are not a guarantee.

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dontsheep 3 years, 1 month ago

Well said Maggie.

It's so much easier to blindly follow the herd mentality and trust someone else smarter than you is making the best decision for you. To think we can just take a pill and everything will be OK...we can consume/absorb all the chemicals and unfoods we want.

There is an entirely different side of the vaccine story you'll never hear unless you stop moo-ing and start asking "why?".

http://thinktwice.com/ http://www.naturalnews.com/029641_vaccines_junk_science.html

Good luck Maggie. You will be made to feel stupid today on this forum. Don't.

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hipgrrrrl 3 years, 1 month ago

Good for you, Maggie. I, for one, am tired of taking my kids to a shill (their former pediatrian) for the FDA, who is a shill for the pharmaceutical companies. We have one child who was fully vaxed up to the age of five who suffers from all sorts of intestinal problems, food allergies/sensativites as well as other issues. Guess who had had no idea what to do for her? Her pediatrician! Thankfully, our naturopath and other alternative practitioners have had several therapies that have helped her heal and gotten her on the road to wellness.

Do I know that vaccines caused her problems? Nope. In fact, I'm not convinced that is the case. What I do know is that the religion of immunization has little long-term scientific backing and that the agencies that disseminate all the information we are supposed to take as gospel present said info in a falseleading fashion. I also know that the statistics of disease occurrance are not necessarily backed up by the ratio of vaccinaction to actual infection.

Deciding to vaccinate or not vaccinate should be a very educated choice by each and every parent. It takes research and a choice to wade through conflicting information. However, the statement that "...refusing preventative medicine for a baby should be considered abuse" is not only inflammatory but also apallingly misinformed.

I hesitate to use the word "sheeple", but considering one poster's enthusiasm for "herd vaccination" it may be appropriate. Just because the AMA says something should be done doesn't mean it's true and just because our government tells us something doesn't mean it's true. History backs that up.

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sourpuss 3 years, 1 month ago

Maggie, if you don't want to receive "flak" for -believing- something with no logical basis, then either do some real research into the facts about immunization and stop -believing- things or stop talking about it and keep your meritless ideas to yourself.

The movement against vaccinations is founded on superstition and fear of a fictional bogeyman. Vaccines can work in various ways, but their job is to train your immune system against a dangerous disease by presenting it with a non-dangerous version of something that will make it learn.

Personally, I do not believe childhood vaccinations should be a choice. Refusing preventative medicine for a baby should be considered abuse. Do we want people dying unnecessarily? How is that better than avoiding whatever these risks that immunization pose? Are the risks worse than death? I just don't understand how someone could let baseless beliefs take the life of their child. So sad.

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appleaday 3 years, 1 month ago

Also, the pertussis vaccine doesn't confer lifetime immunity. You need to get boosters periodically to maintain your immunity, which probably explains why members of your family would get the disease.

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appleaday 3 years, 1 month ago

One way herd immunity works is by protecting the people who are the most vulnerable to these devastating diseases. Infants under the age of 6-8 weeks who are too young to get the vaccine are the most likely to die from or have serious long-term complications from pertussis. Keeping the older kids vaccinated reduces their risk. Herd immunity is most likely to occur when about 80% of the population is vaccinated. Children in schools are the biggest pools of communicable and contagious diseases, which is why school-aged children who are not vaccinated are more likely to get disease even when a large portion of the population is vaccinated. (And remember, if you're relying on the "herd" to protect your children because you think vaccines are so unsafe, you're depending on other parents to put their kids at the risk you think exists. And, Maggie, there are plenty of studies showing the efficacy of vaccines. Look at the stories of the polio epidemic in the 40s and 50s. See much polio any more? No children in "iron lungs" or with crippling disease from this organism. Birth defects from maternal exposure to rubella? Gone. Haemophilus influenza meningitis? Gone. Read about tetanus, where the spores hide out, how you can contract it, how you die from it. Gone.

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 1 month ago

There are tests that can determine whether or not Whooping Cough is in fact present.

Why doctors do not perform this first makes me ask why? I say Whooping Cough is a serious enough concern to determine the first visit.... the first test. No matter the cost.

In 1986 it took this family 3 visits and a 3rd test to get the one test that would determine definitely whether or not Whooping Cough was present. Fortunately for all of us the test was negative in spite of quite similar symptoms. Still the medical doctors could not provide an accurate diagnosis as to what exactly our son what was experiencing.

After visiting a naturalist and describing symptoms pineapple juice and grapefruit juice treated the situation. These two have certain properties about them that break up substantial congestion.

BUTTTTT we had to rule out whooping cough before seeking other advice.

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