Bad Year for Bad Vaxxes

Let's see, the flu shot doesn't work and the current rotavirus vaccines cause intussusception just like the first one that was pulled from the market. Let's hope it makes parents think twice. -0- How recent is autism? So recent that...

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Voices for Vaccines III: The Opinions and Silences of Dorit Reiss

ReissBy John Stone

Following two articles on the organization Voices for Vaccine and its two leading advocates Dorit Reiss and Karen Ernst .  John Stone (UK Editor of Age of Autism) had the opportunity for a detailed exchange of views with Reiss on Examiner.com in its blog  ‘Anti Jenny McCarthy petition authored by pharmaceutical industry cronies’. The position, however, is much as before.

The legal and historical status of Voices for Vaccines

Dorit tried to make light of the association with ‘Task Force for Global’ a sizeable non-profit which claims to be a partner of the Centers for Disease control which takes money from the pharmaceutical industry. In fact, VFV were started by ‘Task Force’ in 2008 which stated its intention of recruiting members of the public to act as advocates for the vaccination program. When I originally wrote about Dorit on these Karen was on in minutes stating:

Voices for Vaccines has as its fiscal agent The Task Force for Global Health. They take in our donations and cut checks for us. Many non-profits who are too small to handle their own 501(c)3 status use fiscal agents in this way; it's quite common. We have absolutely no access to their money, nor do we benefit from their money. Voices for Vaccines is not tied to any pharmaceutical corporation or to any government organization. Thus far, all of our donations have been small and have come from individuals.

However, the Task Force website states that VFV is a project of Task Force (and it subdivision Vaccine Equity) and CDC veteran Alan Hinman is named as both director of Vaccine Equity (funded by Bill Melinda Gates Foundation,  Merck and Novartis) and VFV. When finally cornered on this we had the following exchange:

Dorit: The problem is that she [Karen]  cannot show you a negative: how is she supposed to show you that Hinman is not controlling? I point out that if you look at what VFV does, it is very clearly Karen and Ashley's voice you hear and no one else. If you want to demonstrate links to the Task Force, I'd appreciate some evidence of control.

Me: It would be a trifle unusual for the director of an organization not to have any say in its running. BTW does VFV have an independent report and accounts - I can't see anything displayed on the website?

Dorit: Note that Hinman is not listed as director on VFV. I don't know why he is on the Task Force. And I don't know about the accounts - you'd have to ask Karen Ernst.

Me: Karen can comment here if she wants.

I do not know whether Karen is grateful to Dorit but so far she has not shown up to clarify matters. Earlier on in the exchange Dorit had seemed to have more knowledge of VFV’s financial arrangements:

Many non-profits that are small make use of a financial agent. The global task force serves in that role for Voices for Vaccines. They pay the Global Task Force for it.

Agency or Regulator Capture

Here Dorit maintains the level of obfuscation we might expect following her article on the benefits of agency capture, only surprise she does not recognise any instance of capture and all the points where the CDC and industry meet – either through Task Force or the CDC Foundation – are ineffably benign and beneficent.

Dorit: … Reading the Task Force's annual report, I see some ex-CDC among its people, and some projects in which the CDC is a funder. http://www.taskforce.org/sites.... The fact that the Task Force gets funding from CDC seems to suggest that if anything the CDC has input into their projects, not that pharma influences the CDC covertly through the Task Force. That's not good evidence of pharmaceutical control (or even influence) on the CDC. To remind you, the CDC's operations are funded by Congress

Me: Surely, it is a matter of culture. Julie Gerberding was appointed head of Merck vaccine division within a year of leaving the directorship of the CDC - that is scarcely reassuring. You may be comfortable with such things, but I am not.

It's a long time ago but Task Force according to Wiki was founded by three ex CDC execs who could thus form partnerships with both industry and the CDC.

Another commenter “Ember” intervenes:

Your article arguing the benefits of (regulatory) capture is not confusing. The term regulatory capture was originated by Woodrow Wilson to signify the phenomenon of state regulatory agencies which were created to act in the public interest but which instead advance the commercial or special interests that dominate the industries the agencies are charged with regulating. There's really nothing confusing about trying to rectify the term or the practice as a "good thing."

Dorit responds to neither point. This is a later exchange:

Me: Actually, when it comes to the issue of regulatory capture the CDC Foundation is a very interesting topic. Here is a list of the foundations corporate partners with the rubric:
"Our diverse partners understand that linking with CDC through the CDC Foundation can significantly advance public health in this country and worldwide. Often, partners become engaged early on in a project to clearly understand its objectives or participate in the program design. Several partners may jointly fund a program to ensure its successful completion.

"Corporations whose goals or philanthropic interests align with CDC’s work often partner with the CDC Foundation to advance CDC's work on a specific health threat, such as protecting patients from healthcare-associated infections, reducing tobacco use and increasing screening and treatment for chronic and infectious disease." (http://www.cdcfoundation.org/what/partners#category-299)

Of course, all the major pharmaceutical manufacturers are there (and none of them are really philanthropic organizations)

Dorit: The foundation is actually set up as a good example of the…kind of collaboration that we want to encourage and that does not really raise concerns about capture. The foundation operates outside the CDC, with a dedicated team; it does things that do not require direct regulation of companies - most of the projects are focused either on research or on activism abroad; it does not give funding partners direct access to decision making inside the CDC; it allows the CDC to do things that it would not be able to do on its regular budget to prevent health threat; and in case you noticed, funding partners include The Mayo Clinic, the World Health Organization, and others.


Me: An alternative reading is that the agency simply becomes the instrument of various industrial (and other) interests, which as I understand it you welcome. That, after all, was where we came in.

Dorit: I'm not sure where you read that I welcome an agency becoming the instrument of industrial interests - that's some serious misunderstanding of my article. But the CDC foundation certainly does not show that the CDC is an instrument of the companies. It does projects related to public health beyond the core responsibilities of the CDC, separate functionally from decision making, and I'm not sure how you can say any of the specific projects makes it the instruments of companies.

Me: It certainly does not show careful distance - it makes the CDC a conduit for trade.

To which Dorit does not respond.

Banning Jenny McCarthy from public broadcasting and whether vaccines cause autism

These two issues sit together, with Dorit’s attempt to de-legitimize and marginalize Jenny’s experience. I wrote:

Me: When I wrote an article about you a couple of weeks ago…I was disturbed at your attitude to agency capture, combined with your very hard line on vaccine compliance and an aggressive strategy to shut people out and…down who disagree - Jenny McCarthy would be a case in point.
Dorit: …I always do my best - time permitting - to respond to comments from the other sides on articles in journals, though I rarely engage on your home base, which seems needlessly provocative. I certainly do have a strong view on vaccine compliance: while I do not support mandatory laws (laws imposing fines and penalties on those not vaccinating), I support tight school attendance requirements and other mechanisms for encouraging compliance. But it is unfair to characterize this as shutting down people: nobody is preventing McCarthy - or anyone else - from voicing an opinion, and she - and you - do so in many forums. The opposition to her role on The View is because of the apparent legitimacy it confers on her opinions - not as an attempt to shut her up. She still has multiple forums to express her opinions, and I would certainly not deny her her right to free speech. On the other hand, I too can exercise my right to free speech and mobilize to get a private network not to hire her.

Me: No, that's doubletalk. Her opinions are perfectly legitimate - she speaks from experience, and she asks for the vaccine program to be made safer - what could possibly be more moderate or reasonable? The basic point is that you want a say on what is legitimate. People who don't jump into line must be excluded from public life, shoved to the margins.

It's perfectly reasonable to debate the pros and cons of vaccines in a blog and it ought to be on TV too…

Dorit:.. It's not double talk: free speech does not entitle one to a public, televised platform. Jenny McCarthy provides unfounded, problematic health advice - on vaccine and other things. I won't support shutting her up, but I do protest against putting her on the show.

Me: No, you say it is unfounded, and you want to say it is unfounded in the case of every single parent who speaks up, but you weren't there - and frankly it is a bit of a nerve. The reality is that vaccines cause brain damage and they cause autism:

After the Hannah Poling case Julie Gerberding, at the time head of the CDC but now of Merck's vaccine division was forced to admit:

“….. if you’re predisposed with the mitochondrial disorder, it [vaccination] can certainly set off some damage. Some of the symptoms can be symptoms that have characteristics of autism.”.


While Vaccine Injury Compensation Program officials told Sharyl Attkisson:

"The government has never compensated, nor has it ever been ordered to compensate, any case based on a determination that autism was actually caused by vaccines. We have compensated cases in which children exhibited an encephalopathy, or general brain disease. Encephalopathy may be accompanied by a medical progression of an array of symptoms including autistic behavior, autism, or seizures."

But apparently you know better, and you know better in every single case.

Dorit: As to the cases: encephalopathy is not autism (nor is encephalitis) (see question 6 here: http://www.neuro.jhmi.edu/neuroimmunopath/autism_faqs.htm)  A mitochondrial disorder is not autism, even if some of the symptoms are similar. As these studies show, it is not clearly connected to autism: http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1471-2350-12-50.pdf
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21404085 The fact that a child has both encephalitis and autism does not negate this. And to remind you, vaccine preventable diseases also cause encephalitis - at much higher rates than vaccines - and can also be horrible to children with mitochondrial disorders. So if those conditions translate to autism, the absence of vaccines would increase rates. But they're not autism, nor contribute to it.

Liquidambar: Dorit;

Autism is just the psych term of what you got left after a vaccine injury.

Me: No one said encephalopathy is autism - straw man argument. 'Liquidambar' is right too: autism may not be the exclusive cause of autism but it is matter of the brain injury resulting in autism (which is a non-specific group of neurological impairments), and the officials admit that it happens.

Of course, now we have an autism rate of about 1 in 50 so the issue of vaccinated vs unvaccinated is very pressing.

Dorit: I wasn't there. But frankly, being there means the parent can offer excellent testimony on…what happened (allowing for the natural limitations of perception and memory that apply to every eyewitness account, especially something this charged). They are less able to address the why, because they don't have the perspective of background rates and other potential causes: those things are invisible. And I've no doubt saying this hurts the parents, and if there's one thing I regret here is that pain: it can't be pleasant to hear, again and again, you are wrong about something this important to your heart. But I will still say it, for two reasons: A. Parents who believe vaccines caused their child's autism feel guilt for allow the child to be vaccinated and bitterness at others. I think it's important to remind parents that there is no evidence for that link because it's not fair to the parents to leave them with those emotions, when it's contrary to the evidence. B. Not vaccinating leaves children at risk of vaccine preventable diseases. That's dangerous. Leaving children at that risk without evidence of a link, and with evidence to the contrary is worse. I think it's important to point out the flaws and provide the information to correct that. But I do understand that it hits a nerve, and wish there was a way to make the argument without that.

Liquidambar: Nope you were not there, as I kept vaccinating and kept seeing reactions that even the vaccine inserts says to talk to your doctor about. But something is wrong with the doctors - they did not listen untill a stroke like event

I think that is called rechallenged isn't it?

Me: Almost immediately above I have posted statements by US government official[s] admitting that vaccination can give rise to autisms - it is certainly possible and certainly happens. I guess you don't like being told your wrong or having possible guilt foisted on you either, but relevance?
Dorit: Neither statement admits that vaccine cause autism, and both point out that compensation was not for autism.

Me: In bureaucrat-speak fairyland: autism is the effect of the injury. If there was no significant effect from the injury there would be no serious compensation.

Dorit: "Symptoms that can have characteristics of autism" and "autism-like" symptoms are not autism. Symptoms cross over between conditions. The fact that I can have nausea after I broke my arm and nausea because of morning sickness does not mean a broken arm is a pregnancy.

Me: This is completely wrong. - autism is entirely defined by it symptoms. If there were any difference between "autistic behaviour" and "autism" - only possibly a matter of degree - the HHS HRSA statement resolves it by naming both (as the result of vaccine induced brain injury) and also mentioning seizures, which alas often accompany autism. But as I have also pointed out the case for a brain injury would be hard to make out if there was no resulting impairment, so in principle the impairment is acknowledged too - has to be. What Dorit does here is demonstrate her total ignorance of autism diagnosis (which doesn't stop her pontificating).

Dorit: Autism is defined by its symptoms, but it has requirement - just having some of the symptoms, or something like the symptoms is not enough. http://www.autreat.com/dsm4-autism.html

Me: And your point is?

Dorit: Encephalopathy is not autism; encephalitis is not autism; a mitochondrial disorder is not autism; the government officials did not concede vaccines cause autism, in fact they said they did not. They did point out that some of the injuries cause by vaccines can have some of the symptoms of autism. In no case did the NVICP or another court in the U.S. compensate a child on the theory vaccines caused her autism. There is no credible evidence for such a link.

Me: Dorit, if you want to argue like that its up to you, and people can draw their own conclusions about your motives, but this is what they said:

"The government has never compensated, nor has it ever been ordered to compensate, any case based on a determination that autism was actually caused by vaccines. We have compensated cases in which children exhibited an encephalopathy, or general brain disease. Encephalopathy may be accompanied by a medical progression of an array of symptoms including autistic behavior, autism, or seizures."

Now, there is more than a touch of distinctions without differences about this (as Sharyl Attkisson was pointing out) but in so far as one can make sense of it the point is there is a mechanism (encephalopathy) which results in impairment (autistic behaviour, autism, seizures) and what you have to show is brain damage occurred as a result of the vaccine. But if there was no impairment it would be hard to argue that a case needed compensating, so they are forcing a point while admitting that autism is sometimes involved.

Also, it is worth noting that in the statement "autism" and "autistic behavior" are symptoms of encephalopathy ("encephalopathy may be accompanied by a medical progression of an array of symptoms including...") and there is no mention of "symptoms of autism", which is erroneously interpolated by you in order suggest it is not proper autism. But not only is this technically silly - another distinction without a difference - what concerns parents is not whether there is some Platonic ideal of autism to which their child's disability corresponds, but their often reasonable belief that their child has been damaged.

This conversation goes round in circles a few more times with Dorit splitting the same hairs. The government did not compensate the autism, they compensated the encephalopathy which caused the autism (but then if encephalopathy didn’t cause anything why compensate it?) And at the end of it is simply not clear why Jenny McCarthy would be unreasonable in believing that her child’s autism was caused by a vaccine, or why Dorit – who says she believes in free speech – is reasonable in wanting to ban Jenny from speaking in the mainstream media. Some might call it humbug, and who would I be to disagree?

The safety and effectiveness of vaccines, the case of Andrew Wakefield etc.

Me: There are lots of things which ought to be debated here - and now you are making a show of welcoming discussion but this has not been the pattern until this point.

My own contention over vaccines is not that they don't have benefits but they are neither as effective or as safe as you or the propaganda would have everyone believe: in fact the truth is decidedly messy and we don't have proper accountability. I suspect if you had your way it would be reduced to zero. But this is done by silencing people and that is not a scientific project.
Dorit: Obviously I also disagree with your claim that vaccines are not safe and effective and I think the evidence on this is very clear cut. I'm willing to discuss specific points with you.

Me: Well, there are a great many specific points to discuss and one is aggressive campaigns against parents or professionals who have spoken up about vaccine damage - that in itself is a way of distorting the evidence base. The problem with Andrew Wakefield was not the quality of his research but the fact that he listened to parents - that was what was intolerable. But as was shown in the English High Court last year - in the appeal of his senior colleague John Walker-Smith - there was nothing wrong with the Lancet paper which the UK General Medical Council skewered all three doctors on. Of course, it was a warning to everyone else who stepped out of line.

I was particularly sickened at the beginning of the year when GAVI/Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation successfully lobbied the UN to continue the use of thimerosal in vaccines on completely spurious arguments.

I sent Dr Larson 90 abstracts of pubmed studies condemning thimerosal to no avail. It is very easy to conduct studies which don't find anything but these were 90 which did.

That's two points. It's very late at night here.

Dorit: The last point about thimerosal - as pointed out, thimerosal in vaccines has actually been studied in relation to autism, and no harm actually found. Your studies seem to be a combination of animal studies and tissue studies, and the human studies examining the issue - and examining it in the context of vaccines - are stronger. I would also add that I'm not sure why you think it's possible to fake a negative result but not a positive one. Seems that either result could be arrived at in a valid or flawed manner, depending on the methodology.

Me: No, you can fake both positive and negative but it is easy to design studies poorly to obtain indeterminate results. This critique by Brian Hooker of two recent CDC studies is very telling, and nobody of any sense came to defend them.

Dorit fails to respond to the Hooker question and moves on to Andrew Wakefield (with something of a concession):

Dorit: I think your description of the Walker-Smith decision is incomplete. It is true that the judge found the council did not have evidence that the procedures performed on the children were clinically unjustified, and that may affect Wakefield's case; but the judge's overturning of the guilt for misrepresenting the ethic's committee approval was based on Wakefield changing the article after the last draft Walker-Smith saw - basically, on Wakefield misrepresenting the facts behind his co-authors back, and that is not an exoneration of Wakefield, quite the contrary. Similarly, the Walker-Smith decision does not address Wakefield hiding conflicts of interest and the other problems.

However, silence reigns again when I demonstrate that there is nothing in the ethical approval issue to incriminate Wakefield either:

Me: I think John Walker-Smith missed it because there wasn't much to see:

"Ethical approval and consent

"Investigations were approved by the Ethical Practices Committee of the Royal Free Hospital NHS Trust, and parents gave informed consent."

The investigations needed ethical approval and had them and the paper did not have ethical approval and did not need it. The statement does not say the paper had ethical approval. Nor was it commissioned by the Legal Aid Board or based on their protocol, so no conflict there. Nor was it the convention in that period to declare court work as a competing interest.

Perhaps Dorit might like to consider how people’s lives can be unfairly and erroneously trashed when they stand up against governments or industry, and wonder whether this is really the nice side to be on.

Paul Offit and rotavirus vaccine

I did not raise this but of course Offit is one of the four professional advisors of VFV. It was, of course, a VFV predecessor of Karen Ernst (and fellow St Paul citizen) Lisa Randall who in 2008  went after Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News because of her report on Offit, through Orange County Record  who, finally – in 2011 – published a retraction:

An OC Register article dated Aug. 4, 2008 entitled “Dr. Paul Offit Responds” contained several disparaging statements that Dr. Offit of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia made about CBS News Investigative Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson and her report. Upon further review, it appears that a number of Dr. Offit’s statements, as quoted in the OC Register article, were unsubstantiated and/or false. Attkisson had previously reported on the vaccine industry ties of Dr. Offit and others in a CBS Evening News report “How Independent Are Vaccine Defenders?”

July 25, 2008.


Unsubstantiated statements include: Offit’s claim that Attkisson “lied”; and Offit’s claim that CBS News sent a “mean spirited and vituperative” email “over the signature of Sharyl Attkisson” stating “You’re clearly hiding something.” In fact, the OC Register has no evidence to support those claims. Further, Offit told the OC Register that he provided CBS News “the details of his relationship, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s relationship, with pharmaceutical company Merck.” However, documents provided by CBS News indicate Offit did not disclose his financial relationships with Merck, including a $1.5 million Hilleman chair he sits in that is co-sponsored by Merck. According to the CBS News’ documentation recently reviewed by the OC Register, the network requested (but Offit did not disclose) the entire profile of his professional financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies including: The amount of compensation he’d received from which companies in speaking fees; and pharmaceutical consulting relationships and fees. The CBS News documentation indicates Offit also did not disclose his share of past and future royalties for the Merck vaccine he co-invented. To the extent that unsubstantiated and/or false claims appeared in the OC Register and have been repeated by other organizations and individuals, the OC Register wishes to express this clarification for their reference and for the record"

Anyway Liquidambar raised the issue of Offit’s rotavirus vaccine conflict:

Liquidambar: Get paid for your work - is fine, but how often is it that you get to actually vote on your own work and force it upon everyone because it is made mandatory. He got a hefty some for his work too - 6 million I do believe.

Dorit: How can they vote to make their work mandatory?

Me: "Unlike most other patented products, the market for mandated childhood vaccines is created not by consumer demand, but by the recommendation of an appointed body called the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). In a single vote, ACIP can create a commercial market for a new vaccine that is worth hundreds of millions of dollars in a matter of months. For example, after ACIP approved the addition of Merck’s (and Offit’s) Rotateq vaccine to the childhood vaccination schedule, Merck’s Rotateq revenue rose from zero in the beginning of 2006 to $655 million in fiscal year 2008. When one multiplies a price of close to $200 per three dose series of Rotateq by a mandated market of four million children per year, it’s not hard to see the commercial value to Merck of favorable ACIP votes.

"From 1998 to 2003, Offit served as a member of ACIP. Before and during his ACIP term, Offit was involved in rotavirus vaccine development activities, the value of which ACIP influenced. Shortly before his term began in October 1998, Offit’s first two rotavirus patents were granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the first on May 6, 1997 and the second on May 12, 1998. During his ACIP term, Offit received two additional patents in 2000 and 2001"

Dorit: It's a little unclear whether your insinuations about Dr. Offit stem from your feeling that he voted on his personal interests or because you see him as representing Merck. At any case, they are incorrect:

A. Dr. Offit does not hold the patent for Rotateq - CHOP does. After the initial payment, he does not get royalties (and I am sure you don't begrudge a man payment for 25 years work, work that resulted in a vaccine with the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives), so he does not have a financial stake in the success of the vaccine.

B. As you yourself point out, Dr. Offit stopped serving on ACIP in 2003 and the Rotateq vaccine was voted in later. He was not involved.

C. Dr. Offit does not work for Merck - as is pretty easy to find, he works in the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and for Penn Medical School. He does not depend on Merck for his salary.
Me: I should have included the next paragraph:

"Four months before Offit was appointed to ACIP in October 1998, the committee had voted to give the rotavirus category a “Routine Vaccination” status, in anticipation of an FDA approval of RotaShield (oddly, ACIP made this vote before the FDA approved Wyeth’s RotaShield vaccine on October 1, 1998). Shortly after Offit’s term began, there were several additional votes involved in establishing the rotavirus vaccine market and Offit voted yes in every case. In May of 1999, the CDC published its revised childhood vaccination schedule and rotavirus vaccine was included. This series of favorable votes clearly enhanced the monetary value of Offit’s stake in Merck’s rotavirus vaccine, which was five years into clinical trials."

Dorit: So the vaccine was added to the schedule before Offit joined, and he had to decide on specific issues after the facts, issues related to a vaccine that was not his - was, in fact, a competitor - while his vaccine was still in trials, behind in market entry. Sorry, not very good evidence of a conspiracy or capture.

Dorit: It is true that the CDC's ACIP approves - and removes approval - from vaccines. For example, after concerns about intussusception arose from Rotashield, that vaccine was removed from the market - and removal from the market (like in this case), and non-recommendations - for example, not recommending meningococcal C for infants - is good evidence that ACIP does not blindly stamp industry recommendations and is not captured.

Me: Even better for Paul O. His product also has a big record with intussusception.

Found 914 events where Vaccine is RV5 and Symptom is Intussusception

Found 7 events where Vaccine is RV5 and Symptom is Intussusception and Patient Died

Found 266 events where Vaccine is RV5 and Patient Died

Of course, VAERS is only passive surveillance and is likely only to record a small percentage of incidents.

Dorit: Actually, to remind you, Rotateq tested for intussusception in the clinical trials, and the rate was lower for the vaccine group than the placebo group. The CDC examined the VAERS incidence, and it was found no higher than the background rate - remember, intussusception does happen naturally - which leads to the conclusion that rotateq does not cause intussusception, that we're just seeing the regular rate. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafe.... And again, this whole incidence is evidence of how seriously real problems with vaccines are treated: a serious adverse event was discovered in one out of 10,000 children with Rotashield; the vaccine was removed from market; the new vaccines were tested to make sure they don't cause the same problem. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vp.... This is pretty good evidence that there is no capture and the system works.

Me: And post-marketing monitoring? The spirit of the three wise monkey reigns!

In the UK we are just about to get rotavirus vaccine (the GSK version) so it is quite interesting to look at our Health Protection Agency charts - it seems to be fairly consistently around 15,000 lab confirmed cases a year (connected with hospital admissions). That's a lot, but what I don't see are any associated deaths (unlike the vaccines).

I should have said post-market monitoring seemed to have worked better in the case of Rotashield than Offit’s Rotateq but raising the issue that the vaccine seemed more associated with death than disease was once again met with Dorit’s silence.

I have not reported every aspect of the  discussion: for instance Dorit’s hobby horse about suing parents who do not vaccinate for infection, as against the problem of vaccines that shed and spread infection (for instance the nasal flu vaccine Flumist/Fluenz), nor our exchanges about genetic research. But it was an interesting and ultimately revealing dialogue, which perhaps I enjoyed more than she did.

John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.



Comments

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Did I say with Rotashield the old schedule was giving 3 doses within the first six months--not sixty days? Sixty days includes 2 doses with the new schedule in the current clinical trial. If you have questions, please ask.

There are still an amazing number of comments at this article, 400 or so, and not all of them are polite or honest. I would take honest over polite any day. I have trouble with people saying the MMR did not cause Hannah Poling's autism, that HHS has never compensated any child for vaccine-caused autism, but only autistic symptoms and behavior, as Dorit Reiss has done. She must see herself as an advocate who is entitled to argue only her side of the story, but as always, this issue for the sake of the children deserves that both sides of the truth be fully fleshed out.

Dorit writes that CDC decided Rotateq did not cause any new cases of intussusception over and above what would occur naturally. RotaShield, a different vaccine, was taken off the market in 1999, after in just one year of use there were too many cases of intussusception.

Now Rotashield is back in clinical trials! What they are doing is just giving only two doses and earlier, within the first month and before sixty days, since under the old schedule, it was after 3 doses and 60 days that that the cases of intussusception showed up! They are trying it out now on infants in Ghana, where there is a high mortality rate. They say it is because RotaShield is cheaper than the other rotavirus vaccines.

On Rotateq, the CDC has said: "While an increased risk of intussusception from rotavirus vaccine has not been documented in the United States, if a risk does exist of the magnitude seen in the data currently available from Mexico, 1 case of intussusception caused by rotavirus vaccine would occur per approximately 100,000 infants who are vaccinated following age recommendations. Considering that the data currently available suggest a small risk of intussusception caused by rotavirus vaccine is possible and considering that the benefits of rotavirus vaccination are great, CDC continues to recommend both Rotarix and RotaTeq." http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/rotavirus/intussusception-studies-acip.htm (2010)

Apparently things haven't changed much with the CDC's position, as this 2007 notice was "last updated 5/8/2013."
http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/ucm142404.htm

Dorit might have added that the CDC is continuing to monitor Rotateq: ". . . .Therefore, to further evaluate whether, in the general population, RotaTeq could be associated with increased rates of intussusception or other serious adverse events, not only is VAERS data being evaluated continually, but Merck is conducting a post-marketing study of approximately 44,000 infants, and the CDC Vaccine Safety Data Link is conducting a post-marketing study of approximately 90,000 infants.

(In the meantime, "go ahead and use it!" That was six years ago....) CDC does not seem too concerned. Someone please correct me if you have additional information.

Dorit Reiss comes off like a death's head of insincerity. She professionally argues for legal sanctions against noncompliance. What could be more obscene or abusive than taking someone's child away for noncompliance with corporate policy or tort robbery in the middle of a recession?

She did appear to be making the band of merry Skeptics she appeared with for a few days several weeks ago on the blog's fB page behave themselves more than they usually would. They didn't threaten anyone with rape or death by fire at least. But meanwhile, back on their Skeptic pages, the same individuals were flaming away.

Dorit's lies are bad enough, but her membership on an array of Skeptic forums, including the Australian Skeptic pages, belies a pretty high tolerance for vitriol and "memes" insinuating threats of violence towards noncompliant consumers, etc.

To me, the need to add insult to injury-- mixing verbal abuse with threats of incursions on rights for the benefit of corporations, not to mention campaigning to criminalize non-drug treatments-- betrays a presentiment that maybe there's something regrettably undemocratic and destructive about the whole thing. By the same token, doing it with a smile could betray an equivalent lack of conscience.

I filled out a health form for my daughter's school the other day. The top half was about the mandatory vaccines (not a word about exemptions available), and the bottom half said that the many children with asthma, allergies, seizure disorders, ADHD, or diabetes had to fill out more forms and get confirmation from their doctors and permission to give all their meds at school. Those who comply with the top half will quickly be forced to comply with the bottom half as well.

I also like Dorit's civility, and think it reflects BP's realization that their tactic of slinging mud at us for being evil wackos is not working, and they'll try the honey approach over the vinegar one. However, Dorit, because of her very intelligence and education, should be held to a higher standard, and her lying for profit cannot be excused. On Shot of Prevention this week, Christine posted a photo from Dorit's website of a child who died of chickenpox twelve years ago, and a link to his story on her site. It was a tragic story, the child's organs failing and his sister going to the hospital to say good-bye to him. She says nothing about how rare this was, dare one say one in a million? nor that a big CDC study in 2000 showed that severe adverse reactions, up to and including death, to the varicella vaccine were very common. Nothing about how mild this disease is in most children (and even in most adults, my father had a mild case when he was 43), nor that our present shingles epidemic is owing to the lack of natural boosters from the virus circulating in the environment. I guess legal training prepares one to be no more than a hired gun.

The absurdity of all this is overwhelming. My only recourse at the moment is to revert to fairy tales. One is the Emperors New Clothes in which the little boy pointed out that the Emperor was naked: All the public health professional, the doctors, the law professors telling us that vaccines dont cause autism- and then the young man in California, (I think of him as Joe the Plumber's son), looking casually, but directly at me and stating "If you dont take all the doctors' vaccines- You dont get autism".
And my next fairy tale is to send Little Dorit out on a white horse to find the five children who have not been vaccinated , but who have severe autism. (I say five, because Im sure the pharma companies have the wherewithal to cook up a few fake cases- so Ill say 5) Oh, yes, and Miss Dorit, we will let you come on tv with those 5 kids and let the parents tell us how they are sure the kids were not vaccinated, and what happened to them - because we do believe in listening to parents.

Dorit usually responds with name calling and belittling, at least in my experience on one facebook group, "Stand Against Vaccinations-Find out the Truth." Whenever ANYONE posts any thoughtful discourse or research, Dorit and the other admins of this group quickly begin foul language and name calling. I would encourage other thinking persons with the capability to withstand the "abuse" and the intellect to counter Dorit's legaleze and obfuscation to please join the group. That is, if the Pharma shills will let you...

John as my grandmother used to say some 70 years ago "You must have the patience of a Saint."

You: But is not 2 + 2 = 4

She: Usually but in this context ...

Me: Forget it!

Keep up the good work; it is dirty work but someone must do it.

Hi Jim,

Yes, and anyone who thinks that the hard-nosed and ruthless executives of the pharmaceutical companies are not poised and ready to exploit their contacts in the government bureaucracy is perhaps being rather simple. Of course, if you are the head of Merck vaccine division you were all too recently head of the CDC as well.

BTW interesting new post on CHS:

http://childhealthsafety.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/all-studies-claiming-no-mmr-vaccine-autism-link-invalid-according-to-mercks-vaccine-director-former-us-cdc-director-the-us-hrsa/

There is alway this fantasy that soft regulation will bring about the earthly paradise: but actually it simply permits the greedy, the ruthless and the plain wicked to do exactly what they want - and it is particularly easy in the dream (wish-fulfillment) world of vaccines to hide the realities: protest your philanthropic motives and superior intellectual grasp, trash and insult anyone hurt along the way or anyone who stands witness to the damage and destruction. Many people will continue to be intellectually flattered by being included in the dream-world. But it is also a kind of political hell.

John

John, "Conduit for trade" sums it up quite well.

We are all in "election mode" down here in Australia and not one politician has mentioned Autism.

Perhaps they are concerned of "Big Pharma" withdrawing their campaign money.

Elizabeth Gillespie

John, you might just be helping Dorit take a step towards her own personal epiphany.

I was just reminded by a friend of Bob Krakow's fine article in Autism File 'Fake News, Fuzzy Science and Storytelling in the Vaccine/Autism Debate' and the insight it offers into CDC culture (and Julie Gerberding):

http://goo.gl/EOiGZG

Hi Carol,

Only to say that it was a clear and truthful statement and I am not sure why Judge Mitting made such a big deal. I suspect Dorit was misled into thinking there was more there because she was looking at the judgment and not at the paper. To do her justice when I pointed it out she did not take issue.

John

The version of ethical approval John Walker-Smith saw was this: "This clinical investigation has been approved by the Ethical Practices Committee of the Royal Free Hospital NHS Trust." The clinicians objected to this wording because their clinically-driven investigation did not require Ethics Committee approval. Wakefield said he would liaise with The Lancet and change the wording. The paper was then published with this sentence: "Investigations were approved by the Ethical Practices Committee of the Royal Free Hospital NHS Trust, and parents gave informed consent." In _Callous Disregard_ Wakefield says that the research element of the paper, analysis of some intestinal biopsies, *did* require both EC approval (provided by 162-95) and parental consent and that's what his sentence referred to.

Makes sense. If Wakefield had anticipated such a hullabaloo, no doubt he would have written something a little different. Liaising often has a detrimental effect on my prose. But it hardly justifies Reiss's characterization: "...the judge's overturning of the guilt for misrepresenting the ethic's committee approval was based on Wakefield changing the article after the last draft Walker-Smith saw - basically, on Wakefield misrepresenting the facts behind his co-authors back, and that is not an exoneration of Wakefield, quite the contrary."

Obviously, Wakefield isn't the only person who has trouble expressing himself clearly so you'd think she'd have some empathy.

This woman is a fast talking kook who is too impressed with her own fancy footwork. I would like to hear her rationale for the Hep B shot at day one, and how she is protecting the many kids who get into drugs and loose sex at age two months. All this talk and talk and going around and around is plainly ridiculous. It is annoying.

Benedetta:

Glad the Autism Whisperer made you smile. I agree with you that it's nice to have the double speak in print- as infuriating as it is.

John:

I'd hate to go up against you in debate club. Perhaps Dorit should have conceded to you earlier in the exchange.

Jen:

I saw an ad for Gardasil in the July Parents Magazine. There was a rather enlarged section noting that some children may "faint" after the injection but rarely. However, sometimes the "fainting" may be accompanied by "shaking" or "going stiff" and you may wish to contact your doctor immediately. And, oh yeah call their 800 number to report this if you have a moment. Wow, I'm not worried at all...

Isn't Encephelopathy BRAIN INFLAMMATION? Cause...my kids "not autistic symptom like brain" has high nitrotryosine levels, ten times of normal in fact.

(thescipub.com/pdf/10.3844/ajbbsp.2008.73.84‎ ) and or
https://www.google.com/search?q=high+nitrotyrosine+levels+autism&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

Tomatoes tomatoes....it causes a disruption at the synapse level, therefore causing a delay or stop in normal maturation and pruning of the brain, WHALA, we identify that as "autism". http://www.drzimmermann.org/new-study-shows-vaccines-can-negatively-affect-brain-development


Stop calling it autism, it's brain damage by environmental ioatragenics...be it from vaccines, toxins, food supply, or mothers/and eventually babies infected with viruses/bacteria/fungi/mycoplasma (unnatural and manmade) who have inadequate capital immune systems to handle our world as is. Bottom line, environmental factors have been underestimated, and genetics overestimated, for their roles in autism-spectrum disorders.

It is clear that Mother's inflammation raises risk of child's autism....let's ask why she is inflammed (flu vaccines forced on her much)? In the Mind study, the prenatal signature of infections are clear, they were lyme borrelia specific, mycoplasma and strep and other viruses based on KDA weighted proteins (shocker, NOT!) Many of those are found in VACCINES, and others in the environment. Inflammation in moms also by caused by constant eating of foods that cause inflammation such as wheat, milk or what I call the ILK food of modern worlds. Her toxicity level MATTERS. The toxicity level in vaccines PALE in comparison to the amount of toxins found in mothers and fathers. That said, a vaccine INJECTED into the life blood doesn't help matters. Talk about the final LAST STRAW! This is when autism APPEARS...WHALA, like magic, NOT!

Perhaps we need to start talking of what leads up to vaccine damage, such as birth clamping cords too soon (causing blood brain barrier damage), or mothers inflammation before we go after vaccines as a whole damager.entire reason scenario....in fact, lead ups to damage occur. One cannot have a clean slate, really, and have vaccine damage, imho. After all, why did my neighbors children not get damaged, as much as mine? We must START asking those questions of these people, because it would implicate we are not a herd, a city of cows, who don't eat the same grass, sleep the same amount of hours, have the same immune viability or are exposed and handle toxins in the same way.

Our genetic part of autism is the inability to handle so furiously fast all these epigenetic changes in our environment, SO SUE ME? If you don't know what those changes are as a mom or dad, then you will have a child with autism, PERIOD. If you are not assessing if mom has poor gut bacteria, or inflammation, there is where autism starts. If the mom or dad are infected with lovely mycoplasma and lyme, no way in HADES will they have a lovely perfectly normal child, no way. And if they don't question this current vaccine paradigm, I suppose in today's information age (there is no excuse now really), they will get their TRUST thrown back at them, way back at them, in the form of damaged children. Thinking moms is an underestimate. If they don't think, they will have a child who will be unable to think. This diatribe in no way reflects my view on "it's mothers fault"...no way....but I am saying harshly what I SHOULD have been told, do your damn homework. Sheeple....all of us...until your bubble is burst and your trust maligned....people will never wake up....never.

To adapt something that Dorit herself said: if the VICP official had said "encephalopathy may be accompanied by a medical progression of broken limbs, gangrene..." it would be very curious but what they are talking about are neurological symptoms and "a medical progression", not random events.

'Wordplay.' That is exactly the kind of thing lawyers excel at!! I noticed she had nothing to say back to me about the fact of the vaccine studies not standing up well to the meta- analyisis done by Cochrane (in particular their review of recent flu vaccine claims). If those scientists don't think it stands up well, I think that really does mean something.
Otto, you are so right, it all comes back to 'the problem is the problem.' I mean can you imagine the kind of bad advertising that happens when a 14 year old girl gets massively disabled after her Gardasil vaccine. The whole high school and community would know about it.

Christine Thompso; One good thing - on the intenet double speak and all - is printed so they can't whisper.

Autism whisperer :) -- I know it caused your doctor caused you pain, but your description brought a smile to my face yesterday.

As for the double talk -- it is the advantage of everyone on this planet that it is talked out -even with double talk -- because this knee jerk - faith based name calling and that is it will not get vaccines any safer as the autism numbers increase.

Good Job - John Stone!
You are like a lawyer too - that carefully explained it and held her feet to the fire.

Also this mitochondrial stuff they keep saying - taht some have an inherited disease, and it just suddenly shows up when vaccinated -- probably only 2% of the population has it -- is wishful thinking on their part.

We had this genetic testing for this mitochondria and it is not genetic.

Just like autism gene they keep searching for.

They just roll out a puppet one after the other to do the phama talk...

This is very helpful in that in illuminates the semantic back flips that vaccine propagandists use to justify their lies, as the science is clearly against them.

Dorit Reiss- Dr. Wakefield and his 15 year old, retracted Lancet paper have nothing at all to do with vaccine hesitancy/refusal. Iatrogenic vaccine induced brain injury, visible now in every neighborhood in America, is part of the reason. The other major factor is peer reviewed science:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2536523/

'Within 48 hours after immunizations to diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis; Haemophilus influenzae B; measles, mumps, and rubella; polio; and varicella (Varivax), the patient developed a fever to 38.9°C, inconsolable crying, irritability, and lethargy and refused to walk. Four days later, the patient was waking up multiple times in the night, having episodes of opistho-tonus, and could no longer normally climb stairs. Instead, she crawled up and down the stairs. Low-grade intermittent fever was noted for the next 12 days. Ten days following immunization, the patient developed a generalized erythematous macular rash beginning in the abdomen. The patient’s pediatrician diagnosed this as due to varicella vaccination. For 3 months, the patient was irritable and increasingly less responsive verbally, after which the patient’s family noted clear autistic behaviors, such as spinning, gaze avoidance, disrupted sleep/wake cycle, and perseveration on specific television programs. All expressive language was lost by 22 months. The patient continued to have chronic yellow watery diarrhea intermittently for 6 months, which was evaluated with negative testing for Clostridium difficile, ova/parasites, and culture. Four months later, an evaluation with the Infant and Toddlers Early Intervention program for possible autism was initiated. Along with the regression, her appetite remained poor for 6 months and her body weight did not increase. This resulted in a decline on a standard growth chart for weight from the 97th to the 75th percentile.

Evaluation at 23 months showed atopic dermatitis, slow hair growth, generalized mild hypotonia, toe walking, and normal tendon reflexes. The Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) score was 33 (mild autism range), and she also met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders-IV criteria for autism."

And:

http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f3037

"across the country, mandatory influenza vaccination policies have cropped up, particularly in healthcare facilities,1 precisely because not everyone wants the vaccination, and compulsion appears the only way to achieve high vaccination rates.2 Closer examination of influenza vaccine policies shows that although proponents employ the rhetoric of science, the studies underlying the policy are often of low quality, and do not substantiate officials’ claims. The vaccine might be less beneficial and less safe than has been claimed, and the threat of influenza appears overstated."

John:

Thank you for posting this thought provoking exchange. I'm deeply troubled by the wordplay regarding autism & autism like symptoms. It reminds me a bit of the U.S. government's current stance on Egypt's coup that isn't a coup but may have coup like symptoms. Why mention autism and autism like damage from vaccines in these judgments at all? As is reported over and over by the CDC, "there is no link between autism and vaccination." So, how can this logically be untangled? Double speak can be clever word craft (the definition of what is is comes to mind) but it fails the "smell test." Our children & children yet to be deserve more.

AnneS

She is, of course, a professional (associate professor of law) so you would expect a level of courtesy. But also you are right that the web is flooded with abuse on this topic. Virtually all of the articles which "spontaneously" appeared about Jenny McCarthy and her job on "The View" were extremely dirty. I wonder what Dorrit really thinks about them?

John

While I disagree with Dorit's reasoning, I do have to commend her for arguing so nicely, with none of the name-calling and other tactics that so often go on.

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