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« Unvaccinated Children Madness | Main | History Suggests HHS Candidate Not Unbiased on Thimerosal-Vaccine Issue »

Daily Kos on Dr. Wakefield: A Reader Responds

Open your eyes The Daily Kos ran a piece about Dr. Wakefield.  Grab a Tums and click HERE. One of the comments struck David Kirby as particularly insightful. He sent it to us and we're sharing it with you.

  why are you the arbiter of what is right? (1+ / 0-)

I'm not some back-woods anti-science lunatic.  I have post-graduate training in immunology, virology, and microbiology.  I work with vaccines every day at my veterinary hospital, and am responsible for making the vaccine protocols.  I'm trying to make the point that there are very rational science-based people, like myself, who see problems with the current infant vaccine recommendations. We're not anti-vaccine, just believe that there's not enough willingness to acknowledge side effects, and thereby work to make them safer.  Did you read my previous post??????? 

For instance, there is more than one study (with real scientists and everything) showing that in animals (more than one species studied) the post-vaccinal side effects demonstrably increase with increasing number of vaccines given at one time. 

It is very hard for me to believe that the human immune system is so different from several other mammal species in this regard, since it's similar otherwise.  Yet I've seen several M.D.'s claim that the more vaccines that are given at one time, the better the immune system is stimulated to produce antibodies, and not to worry that more vaccines keep being added to the schedule to be administered together.

Any veterinary internal medicine text will list all the possible side effects of vaccines, some of which we see daily.  These are most commonly mild fever reactions, but all too often we see more serious reactions, some of which cause death, or cause diseases that result in euthanasia.  It may still not be reason enough not to vaccinate, but it is a really good reason to vaccinate as safely as possible. 

BTW, all four of the veterinarians at my practice, who are different ages and went to 4 different vet schools in different parts of the country, all practice delayed and/or selective vaccinations with their children.  We know enough about how the vaccines work, as well as how pharmaceutical companies work, to take it all with a big grain of salt and make our own judgments. 

The current recommendations also don't take into account people who practice extended breastfeeding, like myself.  It's been shown that breastmilk continues to contain protective antibodies for most of the diseases that the mother has immunity for. (So I'm not endangering your child)

Because I understand the complexities of the science very well, I do think I'm qualified to critique it, and to make a plan for my daughter that is safe for her.  When you say: "We have the responsibility as parents not just to do what we think is right, but to actually do what is right.", I would just answer by saying that I am actually doing what is right, and you're just doing what you think is right.  It seems like most of the people posting here are just as knee-jerk in their responses, and ignorant of medicine, as the vaccine-autism folks on the other side that they're so quick to malign. 

I'm in my 40's and am current on most of my vaccines.  I'm wondering if all the hysterical people posting here who are happy to vaccinate my small child willy-nilly have kept their MMR, whooping cough, etc vaccines up to date.  They don't provide life-long immunity, you know! 

Do you know how barbaric the original polio vaccines were?  The side effects then were so obvious that the issues were fairly rapidly addressed.  Now I think the problems are more insiduous, but need to be addressed nonetheless.  To denigrate any criticsm as irrational, or worse, is the kind of attitude that prevents good scientific research. 
by georgeisamonkey on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 10:27:04 PM PST

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I watched the movie "Changeling" tonight and, could not help but feel the connection of powerless in the way that parents feel today. This movie was based on a true story about corruption, and the fact that parental feelings about their child or children, are worthless when dealing with a corrupt agency that is only worried about protecting themselves and fearing what will happen to them if they are found to be wrong. This was an amazing movie. I was saddened to even realise that this was a true story. This kind of outright negligence is way beyond my rhelm of reality.

I am sorry to say that it seems just as real today as it was back then. Our children are being "taken away" from us, and no one will listen. No one is ready or willing to take the blame because it might just discredit them and cost them their career.

I watched while the movie had people rally in the streets for the mother that had lost.. not only the life that she had known, but also her sons life. It reminded me of the "Green Our Vaccines" rally. It's funny how when you are touched with Autism in your life, everything you are listening to and watching, are about this very subject.

Vets have a name for it...vaccinosis.
Gut issues, behavior problems, etc...Think about it.

Sandra, what in the world are you getting at with this comment: "The smaller number's of children, means less social instruction for the children." ? There has never been a greater number of kids in daycare and preschool in this society. These kids should be kings and queens of social interaction. Yeah, lets look at all of the factors - but lets not regress to 'refrigerator moms' type arguments.

re: Sandra Adcock's comment

I believe that vaccines are the primary factor in the increase in autism over the past 20 years. I believe that environmental factors such as mercury play a role, and individual genetics cause increased susceptibility due to, for example: mitochondrial disorders, tendency towards auto-immunity or allergies, poor detoxification ability (e.g. low glutathione), and/or immunodeficiency.

It is important that studies take into account the complexity of autism causes. For example, Dr. Wakefield found measles virus in the guts of children whose parents reported that their GI problems began after the MMR. But if you randomly select a group of kids with autism, you may not find the measles virus in their guts.

It's not only about thimerosal. It's not only about the MMR. It's possible that some cases of autism are purely genetic. So a study designed to look at only one cause may not find results if the group being studied experienced many causes.

But we focus on vaccines because it appears to be the biggest cause, and it is also the cause that is most resisted by the medical community and government agencies, because to admit to vaccine problems is to invite liability and blame and loss of profits.

To grasp at a million straws -- TV watching, etc. -- is just a distraction. Most of these other factors mentioned were present in the prior generation with low rates of autism.

But dozens of vaccines and the increasing levels of mercury in our environment are significant changes over the past two decades.

We need more study of individual children injured by vaccines -- not just epidemiology studies. And we need an epidemiology study comparing vaccinated with unvaccinated. We focus on these because these appear to be of the utmost importance, and yet are resisted by those that we as taxpayers are paying to safeguard our health.

There is also an interesting debate regarding animal care, and that's diet. I liken the pet food companies to the pharmaceutical companies... where what upcoming vets are taught at school regarding nutrition is supplied to them by Colgate (Hill's Science Diet) and they tout evidence based reasoning for this choice. The regulatory loopholes in pet food production are absolutely grotesque, and I'd venture to guess that if the average person knew that by feeding kibble to their dog that it might contain euthanized animals they'd think again. Animal feed is simply an outlet for waste materials not fit for human consumption.

The domestic dog is actually, 99.8% - a gray wolf. While humans have tinkered with their appearance dramatically, evolutionarily speaking, they are wolves. Wolves don't pounce on a field of alfalfa or corn, they eat prey animals. Dogs should be eating meat.

You may be wondering where my tangent is going, and this parallels to children today...especially those that are vaccine injured. They need to be fed appropriately, which is the removal of processed food (the majority of the American diet). Removing substances, like gluten or dairy derivatives is preferred as they've only been available to humans a very short period of time and could be creating havoc in some people. Why would any reasonable physician, with even a glimpse of understanding in nutritional science (another field which is grossly manipulated) deter someone from eating species appropriate?

Much better to fund a useless GFCF study on the "benefits", manipulate statistics through methodology, then claim it's actually harmful. Never underestimate the power of the grain, sugar and dairy lobbies folks... they're aiming for your mind too.

AA

I think that to point to one variable such as vaccines is just not good. The responder that says he is not a back woods anti-science person, seems to me, to be one of the brighter one's that has made a comment. There are too many things going on with Autism to point the finger at one thing. If people don't look at the complete picture, all that will happen is more $$$ being taken away from health,one variable crossed off the list to check and the cause lost in the search for an easy answer.

My son has issues. I think the time of the shots and the number given are things to examine. I am a mother that would love for this to be so easy. Yet, I too am not a back woods anti science person.

Genetics and enviromental variables(virus... ) play a part. The fact that families are smaller is a variable that no one has mentioned. How many siblings do you have? The smaller number's of children, means less social instruction for the children. TV and computers don't help things but they are not the all in all reason for Autism either.

Let's be smart and try to check the variables and come out with good information to give parents.

All of the people that work at these places have kids too. I know some want to grease their hands, but not all are bad. And, some are very smart people with another view point to check out

This really is an excellent comment. I think the veterinary take on vaccines is worthy of a lot more attention.

Veterinarians and pet owners have been saying that vaccines are causing medical conditions in pets such as seizures, IBD, eczema, allergies -- the same conditions that are so common among people with autism.

Some of the major veterinarian organizations have revised the vaccine schedules into three categories: "core" vaccines for serious and prevalent diseases, "non-core" for less common and/or less serious diseases, and "not recommended" vaccines.

Vets (at least, some of them) consider the breed of the dog (some are more susceptible to adverse reactions to vaccines) and the lifestyle (e.g. whether traveling much) in deciding on vaccines.

For more info see http://www.ageofautism.com/2008/05/veterinarian-wi.html It's not that I'm trying to hype my article -- I don't have any kind of writing career -- it's just that I think this is quite interesting...

Oh, and Gatogorra, yeah she did diss us! But I prefer to think that she is just saying that those people who profess to be so scientific are prone to the very qualities that they criticize in others.

I made the choice not to immunize my third daughter. I breast fed her until she self-weaned at 27 months. I was called a freak and a borderline child abuser. Had I subjected this same angel to the multiple untested vaccines & she got autism I would have been called a good mom.

That child is now 6 1/2 years old...and no autism like her big sister who regressed after a hep B at 9 months of age.

Our dogs and cats get a hell of a lot more consideration than our prescious children. Some vets have seen gut issues, changes in personalities, cancers, autoimmune issues and seizures for years after vaccines. What's the deal here? The only way this gets solved, is to drop vaccines in total, and see them pee their pants. Only then, all the confidence in politicians and medical societies, will only continue this epidemic. Objective independent research is rarely funded, get real. Even our ideas on Vax, Vs Unvax, may bite us in the butt, if we are not adding to that, features that create autism as well.... otherwise, the numbers won't reflect differences in autism in one group or another. There are many ways to destroy developing brains, beyond vaccines.....

Great post.

It’s been bugging me that progressives such as those on Kos are so intolerant of vaccine concerns. On this issue they have become the ultra conservative religious right (not that there is anything wrong with that), all in the name of science. The best analogy I can come up with is that mandatory vaccination has the same appeal as progressive taxation – those who can give a little extra (mainly in the form of rights and risks) are asked to do so for the benefit of those who can’t develop immunity through vaccination. Their tone also bears a striking resemblance to the right to life campaign. Go figure. If you could write a computer program to decide an issue based on progressive ideology, I think it would crash right about here.

How does one actually project to have obtained information without actually obtaining information?

A well without water is of service to no man. Heavy clouds, but no rain may produce a menagerie of imaginary puffiness in the sky, but does nothing to slake the thirsty ground.

The glaring problem for Offit is, of course, the deliberate lack of gathering necessary cultures, specimen, glass slides, etc. in a timely fashion, all of which might certainly be potentially beneficial to exonerating vaccines for producing this epidemic of Autism, not only suggests guilt it emphatically implies guilt.

There can be absolutely no claim of no harm by vaccines if the pediatrician has attended liability risk training, been instructed verbally or by other means of communication to not clinically investigate even the possibility of an adverse event.

In the medical profession is it widely known that being asked to not to look into developing a prognosis of certain adverse events outcomes is equal to having a gun placed to their heads be being told not to tell.

Articles and studies published are essentially never removed no matter how badly the authors have screwed up. Deer is not of scientific mind enough to understand that. The level of unfair and inappropriate pressure on Wakefield therefore must be regarded as such.

Is it a fact that when these parents seeing a vaccine adverse reaction notify their pediatrician a sequence of events triggers to eliminate the possibility of a false alarm?

The legions of vaccine zealots stuck up the butthole of Offit know legitimate science requires forensics.

So, perhaps the most likely omission made by the pro-ethylmercury exonerationists is their total lack of forensic examination.

Strange, a court typically knows this.

I know many veterinarians that are far more reasonable, and more knowledgeable of vaccine science than medical doctors.

I agree that humans are not all that different from other mammals, but it's sure easy to say "that was an animal model, not human"...then we can pick apart the reasons that monkeys behave crazily when exposed to excessive amounts of thimerosal and pretend that babies are superhuman and have no problems detoxifying Hg because the poison is in the dose, didn't you get the "standard pharmacology principle" memo? Course this says nothing of the poor immature liver that is then taxed with removing unwanted substances... and we can just hope that vaccination doesn't suppress liver function because there are no credible studies to prove otherwise (pfft). Shoot first, ask questions later. Yay science.

AA

Georgeisamonkey wrote: "It seems like most of the people posting here are just as knee-jerk in their responses, *and ignorant of medicine, as the vaccine-autism folks* on the other side that they're so quick to malign".

I won't throw the baby out with the bathwater-- this vet has some good points. She does throw us to the wolves a bit herself though, huh?

What a reasonable person. Where in all of this was "reason" sold for towing the line? maybe that is where the saddest part of this fight, for me, come into play. We are suppose to be a reasonable species. Isn't that what sets us apart from animals. How is it reasonable that I have to choose a religious exemption and lose all choice of any vaccines for my child to receive an education? How is 'my way or the highway' reasonable when we are talking about the health of a generation of children? It has never set right that thimerosal was banned over a decade ago in canine vaccines, and banned in over the counter topicals and now eye solutions, but is still readily available to be injected into our children?
It is not okay to have a physician who makes MILLIONS on a vaccine that he patented and maneuvered onto the schedule, be in charge of our children's health. I'm sorry, there should be a LAW that makes it IMPOSSIBLE for you to proffit from vaccines and ALSO have a VOICE in our schedule! NOT only in our schedule, but also a voice in what safety studies should be performed and by whom.
I am appreciative of this physician and any others who have the backbone to come forward...it does take courage. As someone was saying the other day, the net is getting larger and we aregatherng hope with each new voice. Bittersweet with the knowledge that it does, unfortunately take an injured child to begin to see what is going on.

Ah democratic majority, Pharma blows to the left.
Remembering this is the blog that said Bristol carried Sarah Palin's baby with Downs.
Autism - the birth of the anti-vaccine movement, because we vaccinated and got this!

"...by georgeisamonkey on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 10:27:04 PM PST"

By that comment name georgeisamonkey is she by any chance referring to Special Master George Hastings?

excellent points by the poster- might make a great full page ad -comparing vets and Pediatricians care of their patients and their findings. Sort of like when (I think) Generation Rescue did their blitz with "too many too soon."

When we adopted our dog 11 years ago (he was 2 at the time), I researched the vaccines and heartworm med, etc recommended. We decided to be very cautious, just as we would for ourselves, the less medicine and interventions the better! In the last year or so I've seen national news reports - one on NBC Today Show- on how the number of vaccines we give animals has increased, including boosters -that may be too many for some- and how you can check titers. That paired with thimerosal being removed 10 years ago- why are vets being more open minded than mainstream medical about the FACT that vaccines can harm?

btw our now 13 year old dog is doing great, he has never had any health issues, has slowed only minimally, and people STILL ask if he's a puppy!

My vet wouldn't vaccinate my sick dog but the pediatrician DID vaccinate my sick kid on antibiotics several times. Vets are way smarter than pediatricians.

I knew I would had been better off taking my child to a vet. ^ years ago I had taken a new dog to the vet to get checked. I asked to see the vaccine package inserts. To ny surprise I saw no thimerosal listed. I asked the vet "no thimerosal?" The vet said "nope it was taken out of the animal vaccines 10 years ago" My jaw dropped, I said "you mean to tell me that my animals have been getting better care than my children?" The vet replied " I am afraid so"

I've been banned from Daily Kos under 5 different handles. Four of the bannings were for diaries and comments on autism and vaccines.

Daily Kos has a lot of good diarists on progressive and civil liberty issues. But there is also a faith-based status quo element there, especially entrenched in the diary police, that simply will not allow a rational discussion of some topics--vaccines and autism is one of them.

The reasoning is the same as the Daily Kos ban on 9/11 discussions--the nonconsensus side is linked with "nutcases" and has the potential of bringing ridicule from the mainstream upon some folks who desperately want to be accepted--and rich.

Also, because Daily Kos is a large and influential blog, plenty of Big Pharma trolls there and NDs.

Money and power. As usual.

I never thought of it before you said it, "life-long immunity"

How many of us have had our titers done to determine whether or not we still have immunities?

I wonder how their tired, old bodies would handle a gauntlet of various vaccines? Not as well as the young, developing bodies of those children they throw under the bus with their ignorance.

But science would say it must be Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIA)or that it's early dementia, or a rare form of aphasia, but definitely not the vaccines.

An MD need only learn the human body, a VET must learn numerous animal bodies.

I congratulate you for your honesty and forthrightness but hope and pray for the sake of your child that the damage resulting from any long term effects of these vaccines can be mitigated with a healthy diet, exercise and anti-inflammatory herbs. What makes vaccines so insidious is the black box nature of their use. The input, the vaccine, to the black box, the human body, results in output, immunity to disease? Well, maybe. But what else happens in that black box? Do we know precisely? Has it been honestly studied? The talk in recent months and days here has been of the need for high quality epidemiological studies. I heartily agree,those need to be done first, but so much more needs to be done. Only genuine independent objective medical research of these long term effects will restore public confidence in vaccines. Then we can intelligently decide whether the benefits of vaccines exceed their costs.

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