Examiner Online Allows Parents to Speak Out on Vaccination Choice
New Jersey To Mandate Cradle Past Grave Vaccination!

New Jersey and Autism Perfect Together!

Jason_and_freddieBy Katie Wright

Deirdre Imus organized and moderated an amazing vaccine forum last week at Hackensack University Hospital. To my recollection it was the first time staunch defenders and architects of our infant and toddler vaccination schedule have spoken to the public and taken uncensored questions from parents of vaccine injured children. It was exactly the kind of event, promoting open discussion between doctors and parents that Autism Speaks should be facilitating. We all know that Deidre and Don Imus have been huge advocates for kids with cancer and chronic illnesses, like autism, for decades. What many people do not know is that the Imuses have helped create one of the most child friendly, progressive and greenest hospitals in the nation at Hackensack.

New Jersey recently made the flu shot mandatory for every school age child and baby in daycare over the age of six months. Given that an astonishing 1 in 64 boys in NJ is autistic it is both reckless and insane for New Jersey to mandate yet another vaccine for infants and toddlers.

The flu is not a horrible, often life long, severely disabling epidemic in New Jersey, autism is. Dr. Larry Rosen combed through New Jersey’s influenza records and found that one New Jersey child died from the flu last year. That is indeed a horrible tragedy but not a state wide crisis.

Dr. Margaret Fisher was a speaker at the forum. She is a pediatrics professor an AAP representative. Dr. Fisher rejected any and all parental concerns about over-vaccinating infants and toddlers out of hand. Dr. Fisher forcefully stated that all parents are wrong to be concerned about “so many shots so soon.” She expressed excited anticipation about adding even more vaccines at younger and younger ages to our infant vaccination schedule. It only went downhill from there… I looked around the room and it was like two parallel universes. All the Moms seemed to be thinking, “Is she serious? Is she out of her mind?” Dr. Fisher continued to deliver an angry tirade against those who dared to question the sanctity of vaccination safety policies. Fisher described VAERS as the data base ensuring safety against adverse reactions, but admitted it is a “passive” mechanism. I would say VAERS is so passive it is comatose. Did anyone’s pediatrician actually make a VAERS report after their child’s adverse vaccination reaction? Mine did not, and at the time, I had no idea VAERS existed. The only adverse reaction that pediatricians seem to reliably report to VAERS is death.

.Dr. Jeffrey Boscamp was also on the panel. He is Chairman of Pediatrics at Hackensack and an active member of the NJ AAP. Dr. Boscamp showed an audience of autism Moms and Dads horrific slides of African babies suffering from whooping cough, meningitis and measles. For good measure he also threw in some old chestnuts from the American polio epidemic. We were treated to photos of kids in the iron lung and long lines of families taking their children to receive the polio vaccine. Dr. Boscamp referred to vaccines as a “gift.”  I kept thinking to myself, if only I could return his gift and have my son healthy and well again!  How many times have parents who want safer vaccines been labeled “extremists”? Well Dr. B is giving us all a run for our money! Dr. Boscamp spoke about how great it was to vaccinate his teenage daughter with Gardisil on the “Today” show and how that vaccine should be mandated as well. Clearly, he is committed to stopping disease, as long as that disease is not autism.

In his tour de force of vaccines= always good, questioning vaccines= monstrous, there were no pictures of kids like mine. I would have loved to insert a few photos of my own into Boscamp’s slideshow of horrors. Christian age 2, eczema all over his face, head and limbs, eyes shiny and infected. Christian age 2 and a half hospitalized with staph. Christian age 2 and half with pneumonia, strep, croup and cellutis. I would also include a few candid shots of our home: a bedroom wall smeared with feces, Christian’s head covered with electrodes for three 48hour EEGs and maybe some audio of the piercing cries that went on for hours, everyday, for years.

An amazing autism Mom, Louise Kuo Habakus spoke for every parent of a vaccine injured child when described Boscamp’s African slideshow as “insulting.” Indeed, no American parent who wants safe vaccines and a sane schedule can be accused attempting to sabotage African health care. What those pictures have to do with the health and well being of children in New Jersey eludes me. In turn Dr. Boscamp said he was the one who was “insulted” saying that he works in a hospital with sick children! And he wanted… a medal, applause; I am still unclear what that point was about. Yes, Boscamp agreed that autism must be partially environmental but it could not be the vaccines, case closed! David Kirby then asked Fisher and Boscamp what they think the environmental trigger might be. Clearly neither doctor had given this much thought. Boscamp hypothesized that it was cleaning products and unsafe homes. Kirby agreed that cleaning products are often toxic but in such a diverse nation are we all really using the same cleaning products and living in the same type of home? It seems unlikely.

At this point David Kirby jumped in asking Dr. Fisher why they still “have no idea what is causing autism” and why that is OK. Kirby pointed out that the medical community figured out in less than 5 years that HIV was causing AIDS and no stone was left unturned in fighting the that disease. Here we are 20 years into this epidemic and “I don’t know” is still an acceptable answer. Also if they do not know, how do they “know”- it is definitely not vaccines?? For once Drs. Fisher and Boscamp had no response.

I want to pay special attention to Dr. Montana. Dr. Montana was sitting in for Dr. Heather Howard, of the NJ Health Department, who had somewhere more important to be.  Meanwhile, New Jersey probably has the highest rate of autism in the world and most parents point to over-vaccination as a trigger. Dr. Montana looked as if she were attending the forum under pain of death. Whenever a parent spoke she rolled her eyes, looked at her watch, clearly bored and inpatient. Dr. Montana never uttered a word until Deirdre Imus directly addressed her silence on the recent NJ flu shot mandate for babies 6 months and older. Dr. Montana stated that when schools have outbreaks the Dept. Of Health gets angry phone calls from parents who are irate that a classmate of their child has measles or another disease. “It is very difficult getting these phone calls! And we get many phone calls!” Therefore, mandates are the only solution… I guess to her being left alone, unmolested by pesky parents? The fact that vaccinated children often get these diseases is irrelevant. When the panel wrapped up, Montana tore out of the room like it was on fire. As much as I disagreed with Dr. Fisher and Dr. Boscamp they deserve a lot of credit for taking this forum seriously and not behaving as if they had somewhere else more important to be.

The subject of mandates electrified an already tense room. A question from a Mom with a 6 year old ASD child and a 6 month old baby in daycare was submitted. The Mom did not want her baby to receive the flu shot but the baby would be barred from daycare as a result, how is this justifiable that the State of NJ make these decisions rather than the parents of this baby? Dr. Montana just smiled wanly and shook her head. David Kirby pointed out that European nations do not have any of the type of strict vaccine mandates American states employ and certainly not for the flu shot.

Next came a bizarre discussion of AAP doctors as crusaders against indifferent and ineffective inner city parents. Louise, Barbara Majeski another NJ autism Mom, stated that the AAP and the Dept. of Health have no right mandating so many vaccines so early in a baby’s life when the risks of combination vaccines are so clearly unknown. When a family already has a child who experienced terrible adverse reactions who is better informed to make the right decision about vaccination, the parents or Dr. Montana? Not a tough choice. Dr. Fisher than said that inner city parents do not get their children to the pediatrician and the mandates are in place to insure they do. I guess the implication is that inner city parents cannot be trusted to care appropriately for their kid? More likely parents who do not have or cannot afford health care, but of course that did not come up. Dr. Boscamp echoed Dr. Fisher saying that “they have tried and tried” and these kids do not get to a pediatrician’s office without mandates but it did not work. So, of course the answer is to give up and blame families?

To summarize the AAP doctors points:

1)     Vaccines are a gift.

2)     Mandates exist because inner city parents cannot be trusted to care appropriately for their kids.

3)     The state of New Jersey, no matter how indifferent and uninformed they are about autism, know better than parents of autistic kids about the benefits and risks of vaccinating siblings

4)     The real health crises are in Africa, not New Jersey. We still have no idea what is causing autism but it is definitely NOT vaccines.

5)     Parents need to trust their doctors and the AAP.

Summary of Parent points

1)     1 child died of the flu in New Jersey last year.

2)     VAERS is a ridiculous safety database.

3)     While the AAP has demonstrated admirable dedication in fighting diseases affecting children in the Third World their concern about autism is minimal and their treatment of parents abysmal.

4)     Foolish and punitive mandates for the flu shot only promote more distrust of the AAP, the CDC and local health officials. Mandates do not work, reasoned debate and open discussion does. This is how health care policies are made and enacted in Europe, with parents and other stake-holders involved in every aspect of the health care policy-making.

5)     Sick autistic children are suffering tremendously, adverse vaccine reactions to untested combination vaccines are rampant and these issues must be immediately addressed before any new vaccines are added to our already over-crowded schedule

Katie Wright has two young boys. Her oldest son, Christian, is severely affected by autism. He developed normally; smiling, talking, walking; only to lose every skill and every word by the age of 2 and a half.  Upon the advice of medical professionals Katie and her husband were advised to pursue only high quality behavioral therapy, speech and OT for Christian. It had no meaningful impact on Christian until his parents sought help from DAN! doctors who treated the underlying causes of Christian's descent into autism. Christian has improved but still has far to go. He has Inflammatory Bowel Disease, the measles virus in his gut and an immune system akin to a late stage AIDS patient. Christian does not have a psychiatric disorder. Before autism, Katie Wright was the Clinical Director of Sexual Assault Crisis Center in Stamford Connecticut. Katie is proud to serve on the Boards of NAA and SafeMinds.

Comments

Joyce M. Simmerman

Since the good Madam from the Health Dept. did not like the ph.calls from angry parents after their child got a disease wondering about the vaccinations of others; PERHAPS an crescendo of ph. calls from angry parents BIGGER than that from the other parents would solve the problem? Just one tactic! Best wishes to all & so glad to hear the championship from the Imus's.

Caro

Keep in mind that the pharmaceutical lobbies donate to politicians in order to promote and protect their own interests, and that money still makes the world go 'round. As long as money, instead of people, control laws, those with the most money will control the fates of those with the least money. It is up to us to protect our children, regardless of the "facts" fed to us to silence us and decrease our resistance. I will not be a sheep. My children have been vaccinated on a schedule comfortable to me, regardless of what we have needed to sacrifice. I love how educated and aware the posters on this page sound, it's a refreshing change from the sheep baaing at the bus stop. :)

John Stone

Brent

In the UK we have not been monitoring this properly by any means but in 2004 Nation statistics gave an incidence of 1 in 100 for children between 5 and 16 years of age (that is born between 1988 and 1999):

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=1229

Brent Rooney

Hello Age of Austism readers,

I am a medical researcher but very new to
autism. Would much appreciate it, if someone can give me a book title or webpage address that will give me autism rates for devoloped countries other than the U.S. In a 2006 article Dr. Judith Grether estimated the U.S. autism rate as 6-7 per one thousand U.S. children; my email address is:
fullterm40@gmail.com . Thanks.

Cherry Sperlin Misra

Of course children in Africa get measles and meningitis and pertussis. Some of these kids have no immune system due to AIDS and some of them have very little immune system left, due to the mercury in the vaccines they were given. Hello? World Health Organisation? Have you ever heard about the Immune System? Its a very useful thing.

Cherry Sperlin Misra

To Patrick, A couple of suggestions- Stop eating fish or seafood for at least 6 months. Get out in the sun daily for 25 minutes minimum, with arms,legs exposed. Research sources of mercury other than fish, to see if you are getting mercury from sources other than fish,vaccines.You might be living near a coal fired power plant for instance. Keep your thyroid in good control. Take vitamins and wait for your immune system to turn itself around.

Twyla

Willie, thank you for writing as a physician who sees the logic of the current concerns about vaccines. You make a good point that many of the physicians whose voices we hear on this subject are political appointees. So much of what we hear is clearly political. I often wonder what many physicians -- especially pediatricians -- say to each other on these topics behind closed doors.

Katie, thank you so so much for attending and for writing about this for those of us who couldn't be there -- so interesting to read about this groundbreaking meeting. So frustrating in many respects, yet I love the fact that the powers-that-be seem to have finally started thinking that stonewalling may not be sufficient, and they may actually have to debate these issues.

Kevin Barry

Thanks for the report Katie.

It is clearly not appropriate to compare the developed vs. developing world regarding the conditions which promote infectious disease.

Here's to refrigeration, toilets, and relatively clean water.

from A User Friendly Vaccine Schedule:
www.generationrescue.org/pdf/user_friendly.pdf

"What is less known, and doctors are not taught, is that the death rate for measles declined 97.7 percent during the first 60 years of the 20th century. The mortality rate was 133 deaths per million people in
the U.S. in 1900, and had dropped to 0.3 deaths per million by 1960.

Measles caused less than 100 deaths a year in the U.S. before there was a vaccine for this disease (in 1963). The same thing happened with diphtheria and pertussis. Mortality rates dropped more than 90 percent
in the early 20th century before vaccines for these diseases were introduced.

This was due to better nutrition (with rapid delivery of fresh fruit and vegetables to cities and refrigeration), cleaner water, and improved sanitation (removing trash from the streets and
better sewage systems), not to vaccines.

The World Health Organization promotes mass vaccination, but knowing these facts states, "The best vaccine against common infectious diseases is an adequate diet" –
fortified, one might add, with vitamin A."

************************************

Water and Sanitation
http://www.worldvision.org/content.nsf/learn/ways-we-help-water

"Children's tiny bodies are dependent on clean water and susceptible to waterborne disease and parasites. When clean water is scarce, all aspects of life are impacted.

Health: Contaminated water and poor sanitation are factors in 80 percent of all disease in the developing world."

Willie

At this time as a physician I do not recommend flu shots for anybody especially children. My children will never receive another flu shot. The CDC and the FDA simply have no credibility anymore. These Doctors you were talking to are political appointees they did not earn anything, they got there by politics. You people have to wonder what is driving this vaccine craze. The fact that they insist on vaccinating in the face of withering criticism from parents and an out of control epidemic of autism that is clearly an autoimmune and viral related disease and that they have not done the standard evidence based medical research (i.e. the randomized double blind study) speak's much larger than any lies they could tell.
So what is the real reason? They have a mandate to find a vaccine for AIDS and the only way they can do it is to get more money for vaccine research and the only way to get more vaccine research money is to sell more vaccines and the only people to sell vaccines to are children so no matter what the cost in children lives and families they must push vaccines because their agenda is not the health of your children but a vaccine solution for AIDS. (See Liam Scheff article on the House that AIDS built).
These people are truly nefarious. The idea that this Dr. Montana is saying that they are vaccinating children unnecessarily because of the angry phone calls they get from parents who's children have already been vaccinated is beyond absurd. If, as a parent, your child has survived the gauntlet of vaccines why do you even care as a parent? The child according to the CDC and FDA is supposedly safe so what are you afraid of? That argument is simply to stupid and nonsensical to even discuss in addition to being obviously completely unscientific. Only a political appointee would have the hubris to come up with an excuse that is clearly not well thought out and does not have even a modicum of scientific logic. We as parents need to truly investigate who these people are and hold them accountable.

Anna Villa-Bager (MJKIDS)

Katie,
I was sitting right next to you during the forum. You really hit this right on! I was taking notes and missed half of what you have included in this incredibly detailed, passionate article, which makes me think that you must have superior auditory memory! I hope Deirdre has another vaccine forum soon. Looks like it was still going strong when I slipped out at 5:45.

It was so nice to meet you and for anyone who wasn't there and reads the article and comments, I am happy to testify that Katie's recollection and how stated in this article is absolutely true. REALLY!!!

Anna Villa-Bager
MJKids

Patrick

Sorry Michele, my heart goes out to you and your family.

michele i.

The flu shot..... :o(
The flu shot is what put my Jackson over the edge.
Looking back, I don't understand why I got the flu shot for him in the first place. The doctor made me think it was necessary.

It is the flu..... why are we so afraid of the flu? Mandating the flu shot is the most ridiculous thing- I don't know what is more ridiculous- that or the chicken pox shot. They were both created for stupid reasons- so people don't have to be inconvenienced w/their children getting the flu or pox. And so pharma can make lots of money. :o(
If only I had known better....

Patrick

I agree, that information that would help parents make decisions would be comparing health of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated.

It doesn't have to be an expensive study does it? I would love to see a comparison of those whom have never received the flu shot in their lives to those whom have. Wouldn't this be simple review of records.

I know my health went down hill after each flu shot. After the pregnancy flu shot I suffered an auto-immune reaction (thyroid dysfunction). At the thyroid specialist a few years later was when I received the second flu shot of my life. With the flu shot shortage, they were targeting those that were immuno-suppressed (at risk). After that shot my health took another down turn. I am now more immune suppressed and susceptable to strep., fungal, pneumonia etc...

Ofcourse I focus on the flu vaccine alone as it in the past it was not mandatory thus it is a relatively easy vaccine to do a comparison of those that have received vs. those whom did not. We might find trends as to degree of health correlating with amount of shots for example.

Julie Obradovic

Did anyone ask if there is any intention what-so-ever of funding or supporting an independent study of the vaccinated versus the never vaccinated, and if not, why?

jennifer

take heart, Ray, David Kirby is right about all the autism and ESL (english as a second language) kids. We need to all bombard the news sources with our thoughts. I emailed CBC today about why I thought there was more autism in immigrants in Montreal and that they need to seriously investigate this.

Raymond Gallup

I was invited to the conference and attended. Helen couldn't make it because of a medical emergency at work at the last minute. I stayed through David Kirby and Dr. Boscamp. When I saw Dr. Boscamp's presentation I was ill and angered and I'm glad I left at the break. Helen said don't punch anybody and I said I wouldn't. If I stayed longer, I might have done something I would regret, so I left.

I'm glad to see the review above because it only verifies that this conference would have triggered some spasmatic reactions that would have caused me to go out of control. Why put myself through that?

I did accomplish a positive while there. I left information about autism and Eric as well as recent pictures of Eric (with a black eye) with Deirdre Imus and David Kirby.
What they do with this is up to them. A person can only do so much and I also realize my limitations....I'm not a celebrity. I can only hope that others who can speak out for those of us (like me) who have our limitations.

John Stone is correct about what he says regarding the Third World and vaccines. Granted the US and UK will suffer greatly until people wake up about vaccines and autism, but it will be a hundred times (or more)worse in the Third World. All you have to look at is the population growth in those countries and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to extrapolate the numbers.

The medical community DOES NOT want to admit a problem. The reason. The liability issue. They don't want to admit they are wrong because of lawsuits and loss of income. Plain and simple.

I try to get the media and others who deny a vaccine link to autism to travel with me on my bi-weekly trips to see Eric from NJ to Delaware and back (9AM to 5PM on Sundays).
Unfortunately they live in Peter Pan's Never Neverland where Fantasy outweighs Reality.

I can only do so much.

"A man's got to know his limitations."
(quote......"Magnum Force", Clint Eastwood as Harry Callahan)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070355/quotes

Ray Gallup


Ray Gallup

John Stone

Katie,

I agree with so much of what you say but I would be even more wary and concerned about the babies in the third world argument. You can only deliver health in the third world by providing decent living conditions, clean water, and proper nutrition: the answer is no different from how we have largely delivered health in the developed nations.

At the same time the WHO is delivering to third world infant, already trying survive in adverse conditons, roughly the same schedule that a US infant receives in the first six months BUT in the first three months AND with the mercury left in. This is the roughest possible introduction to this world.

People don't think this through, but if they say it is alright for those children, and not for ours, this is a well-nigh racist argument. No amount of jabbing is going to make up for adverse living conditions, and if there is a toll in the US or the UK from vaccination, it will be nothing compared with what is happening out there.

Chris

"Have you spoken with someone with post-polio syndrome? Do you know what you are talking about at all?"

Umm, yeah, my MIL suffers from post-polio syndrome. She also fully supports us delaying and very selectively vaccinating my daughter's younger siblings. We see what she lives with every day, and she sees what we live with and she doesn't think that her getting polio as a child is worse than her granddaughter getting autism.

At least she was able to grow up, go to college and have babies. My daughter will probably do none of that. Some days I wish the only problem we had was that my daughter cannot use her legs instead of different parts of her brain :(

Anne Dachel

http://www.vaclib.org/sites/debate/web1.html

I made the comparison of autism and polio and this comment was posted about polio:
"The crisis passed ONLY because of the vaccine. It was eradicated b/c of vaccines that the entire nation was clamoring for when it became available." I thought I'd pass along this information on the decline of disease and the introduction of vaccines.

Interesting.

Anne Dachel
Media editor

lisa

Sputnik

I have spoken to folks stricken by polio. Unfortunately they received their virus through receiving the vaccine - over the past 10 years.

We should not trade a disease for a severe developmental disability. This is not a choice we should have to make. We are smarter than that.

The issue I take is the lack of caring for the 1 in 150 children affected with autism and for their families. This should not be an acceptable number for vaccine preventable diseases.

Theresa

On Dr. Boscamp's joy at vaccinating his daughter with Gardasil--does he plan to put her on the Pill as well? How does he plan to handle AIDS, chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, and the host of other sexually transmitted diseases? I think we're in for a boom in teenage pregnancies and an increase in the rate of STDs over the next several years, as girls given the HPV vaccine engage in increasingly risky behavior. It may be hard to talk to your kids about safe sex (or abstinence), but it's far better than risking death or paralysis from Gardasil.

Theresa

for sputnikki-

The polio "crisis" passed in part because the government changed its definition of polio. Prior to 1955, the government included polio, aseptic meningitis, and the coxsackie virus in the total of "polio" cases. After 1955, these diseases were recorded separately. [See the notes from the Hearings Before the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, House of Reps, 2nd Session on HR10541 (May 1962): 94-112] Pretty easy to make a vaccine look good when you stop counting a big chunk of the disease it was supposed to prevent. Additionally, the polio death rate in the US went down 47% between 1923 and 1953 (before the Salk vaccine); see International Mortality Statistics (Washington, DC: Facts on File, 1981): 177-8.

The biggest advances in public health have come from improved hygiene, increased access to clean water, and improved nutrition. The nice thing about clean water is that it prevents a whole host of diseases--without having to vaccinate against each one!

Ben's Dad

sputnikkit - “parents lived in fear, as did children, that they would become ill with the disease” – were you talking about autism or polio?I’m relatively new here, but I think you will find that concern over a ratio of 1 in 62 boys getting an autism spectrum order triggered by an unknown environmental influence, will trump bogus 1 in 3000 odds of a crippling, infections, communicable virus that has not been in the US for years. I want choice, not a ban on vaccinations.

From the CDC website
“April 12, 2005, marks the 50th anniversary of the announcement that the polio vaccine, developed by Jonas Salk and his team of scientists at the University of Pittsburgh, worked. "Safe, effective, and potent" were the words used to announce to the world that an effective vaccine had been found against a disease that once paralyzed 13,000--20,000 persons each year in the United States.”

I don’t believe Salk was lying, he just wasn’t correct that the early polio vaccines were uniformly safe. There was a little inconvenient issue about contamination with with SV40 virus that came up. In looking at this I thought it was most interesting that Salk thought it was important to have a control group, and 1.2 million children were given a placebo. Bet your glad we’ve dispensed of that pesky procedure huh?

karenatlanta

Polio exists today because of the cheap oral vaccine.
It sheds fecally.
Autism impacts 1:150 kids
It is a real threat, especially since Thimerosal is not banned and still in many shots.
All confidence is lost here in the AAP.
They nearly killed my kid over vaccinating with Mercury laden shots.
My child is recovering as we get the neurotoxic Mercury out.
Katie is correct here. Our children are shoved under the carpet.
This is deplorable.
I grew up with a mother who was a public health nurse. She ran well baby clinics.
I was so pro-vaccine I never questioned my pediatrician. What huge mistake that was!
They insisted they would be catching my son up doubling up on a vaccine series missed.
Instead they set him back a decade.

sputnikki

"The polio crisis passed." ~Anne Dachel, media editor

The crisi passed ONLY because of the vaccine. It was eradicated b/c of vaccines that the entire nation was clamoring for when it became available. Parents lived in fear, as did children, that they would become ill with this disease. 1 in 3000 is a high statistic for a crippling, infectious and communicable virus. Have you spoken with someone with post-polio syndrome? Do you know what you are talking about at all?

Ben's Dad

Thank you for your coverage of this panel. It was killing me not to be able to go, but if I went, I would have had to miss my other child's parent teacher conference. At times we have to be warrior parents for our other children as well. To anyone who finds the time to 'be there' and help bring it back, I greatly appreciate it.

I think these vaccine no-apologists get away with too much citing all of these "supporting" studies. The studies only support what was studied, and not the broad conclusions that have been inferred. My goal is to read them all (is there an online autism reading room?), but from what I have seen, each study is very narrow in scope, like a stick in a game of Ker Plunk (http://tinyurl.com/56hmnk) – I must have caught that analogy from a May article on this site. The question of the safety of vaccines rests in the balls on the remaining sticks, and the balls say, they’re NOT done yet.

AnneS

Dr Montana's phone # - I don't know - but here is NJ Department of Health
1-800-367-6543
Ask for Dr Montana.

jennifer

nice summary, Katie! I makes me feel better to see other peoples' reactions to seeing speakers who are completely biased for vaccination. Lately I've attended 2 talks -one with Dr MacFabe and one with Joe Schwarcz. MacFabe conceded some points but was clearly a little ticked off that I brought it up and Schwarcz was actually hostile seeming when I questioned him about it. He did write back some emails so maybe I hit a nerve. Anyways, it is really ANNOYING as hell to sit in an audience with those types of closed minded "scientists." I was thinking it would be funny if someone did something funny on youtube-sort of like Kim's piece today but acted out.

Anne Dachel

The flimsy claims of vaccine safety, the inhumane neglect of the autism epidemic, and the vilifying of parents who attribute their children's autism to vaccinations ensure that the controversy will continue. A once rare disorder is now so common that everyone knows someone with an affected child and no one can reasonably tell us why. The experts like Montana, Boscamp, and Fisher, who furiously promote the vaccine schedule while ignoring all the disabled children, will be increasingly irrelevant. Autism is a disaster that now threaten our national security.

Polio was called an epidemic when it struck one in 3,000 Americans. Autism isn't even on the radar when it affects one in 94 kids in NJ and one in 81 in MN. It's incredible that health officials continue to pretend it's not happening. The polio crisis passed. Most of the victims recovered and went on to lead productive lives. The same won't be said about the victims of autism. They will need support and care for life.

Not one of the doctors in denial at Hackensack can tell us where all the autistic adults are. That ought to scare everyone. What will it mean when this disabled generation of children enters adulthood? How will we provide for so many hundreds of thousands of adults with autism who aren't here today? Ganz's study from Harvard put the lifetime care cost for one person with autism at $3.2 million. I'd like to see a forum addressing that.

Anne Dachel
Media editor

bek

Thanks, Katie.
I called my state vital statistics earlier this year and was able to request flu/pneumonia deaths (cannot separate the 2) for the last 35 years in my state (ND) - the number of deaths in children has gone down.

Resident Deaths to Influenza/Pneumonia By Age Group 0-18 years:

1970's (1972-1979) average was 10.75 deaths per year.

1980's average was 3.3 deaths per year

1990's average was 1.6 deaths per year

2000-2006 average (most recent year updated when I requested this info) .43 deaths per year.

I agree the deaths are tragedies, but not an indication to mandate a vaccine that may or may not immunize the person any given season. (It is still just recommended here).

Sara

Loved this... another great piece, Katie.

It's almost humorous... almost.

kim

what's Dr. Montana's phone #? I think she needs to get some more "very difficult" phone calls...

Tanners Dad

Katie,
I think that it should be mandatory for every Doctor, insurance agent, politician, teacher, and clergy to live in our households for a week. We just endured a week where Tanner would not use the restroom and we thought he would explode. Then loaded up with miralax and prune juice we now have gone in 100% in the opposite direction. Only the parents can appreciate dealing with an 11 year old going through these ups and downs. As always Thank You. You are the model warrior Mom. Keep fighting the good fight for Christian, Tanner, and All the other precious children... In the United State...Africa... And around the world.
http://www.causecast.org/member/tanners-dad

dan olmsted

Katie,

Thanks for taking the time to offer this comprehensive report and for so well summarizing the two sides of this debate -- oh, i forget, there's no debate (i'm channeling paul offit and nancy snyderman).
Your point about this zeal to vaccinate young and younger kids kids against more and more dubious diseases reminded me of Harris Coulter's comments (he co-wrote A Shot in the Dark with Barbara Loe Fisher). Here's what I wrote a few months back:
What even a lot of people concerned about the CDC immunization schedule tend to forget is that vaccines were not always aimed at infants (or in the case of flu shots, fetesus). There's a 1990 book by Harris Coulter -- one of the unsung elders of the sane vaccination movement -- titled Vaccination, Social Violence and Criminality, which I commend to everyone.

The introduction is titled "The Most Immunized Child in History!" Here are the first few paragraphs:

"The twentieth century is the age of vaccination. Edward Jenner's 1798 discovery that cowpox inoculation prevents later infection with smallpox was the start of a new science. … Most [vaccines] have been beneficial, especially those against the great epidemic diseases which once ravaged Africa, Asia, and Latin America -- bubonic plague, yellow fever, cholera, typhus, and poliomyletis. … These triumphs of immunology are undisputed, and no criticism is made of them in the following pages. …
"However, as so often happens in human affairs, success led to excess. After taming these ancestral scourges, physicians sought new challenges and, in due course, directed their attention to common diseases of childhood.
"The first such vaccine was for whooping cough (pertussis) in 1925. A vaccine for measles followed in 1960, for German measles (rubella) in 1966, and for mumps in 1967. A vaccine against chicken-pox is under preparation today.
"Researchers and physicians, however, gave insufficient thought to the difference between the fully grown adult and the newborn baby. Even in the former, the injection of toxic proteins carries a measure of risk. Injecting the same material into small babies is far more dangerous. The adult immune system has been toughened and can withstand the stress of vaccination. The two-month-old baby is inconceivably more vulnerable. But that is when immunization commences in the United States."

In a footnote, he add, "The rule that vaccination should start at two months -- earlier in the United States than in any other country -- is designed mainly for the convenience of pediatricians."

Talk about an early warning -- this wise counsel from 1990 seems almost quaint from the perspective of 2008, what with HepB at birth, rotovirus, etcetera etcetera etcetera. But Coulter was ahead of his time in many ways: The first chapter is titled Autism, and it may be the earliest full-length discussion of the possible connection to vaccines.

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