Friday, June 13, 2014

Anti-vaccination nonsense

It seems that it doesn't take much to get the anti-vaccination nuts to come out. I was on facebook and saw that someone had shared an image telling the story of how Jonas Salk passed up the potential profits of his polio vaccine so that it could be affordable to all. A pleasant story of a selfless act for the good of everyone. Yet that's all that it took for anti-vaccine comments to come flowing in...
"The only safe vaccine... is a vaccine that is never used."

Dr. James A. Shannon -- National Institutes of Health
How nice of them to take the quote out of context and distort the message. This is a paraphrased response from being questioned if a vaccine was absolutely 100% safe. Shannon honestly answered that no vaccine or medicine is 100% safe. Everything has side effects and risks. But a risk/benefit analysis of vaccines shows a slight risk, but a huge benefit. Funny how the anti-vaxxer conveiniently left that part out.

If the anti-vaxxer wants to be consistent, then they should realize that the only 100% safe way to drive a car, is to not drive a car. The only 100% safe way to eat, is to not eat. And the only 100% safe way to drink a glass of water is not to. They will refuse vaccinations because of the slightest of potential risk, but why do they risk eating every single day. After-all, the only safe meal is one that's never eaten. There's a much greater risk that they could choke, than the chances of a permanent side effect from a vaccine.
"There is no evidence whatsoever of the ability of vaccines to prevent any diseases. To the contrary, there is a great wealth of evidence that they cause serious side effects. Dr. Viera Scheibner
Um... Why should we trust Viera's opinion on this? She isn't a medical doctor, but a paleontologist! If I need fossils examined, I'll get her a call. But her giving medical advice is akin to a chef telling you how to fix your car. I often see it claimed that vaccines cause serious side effects. Yet I've yet to see credible scientific evidence to back those claims up. And the claim that there is no evidence that vaccines work is absurd! Vaccines are tested and shown to work prior to being sent to use. Also, are we just supposed to believe that it is a coincidence that as soon as the polio (and other vaccines) were introduced, that the rates of those diseases suddenly fell and fell?
"The medical authorities keep lying. Vaccination has been a disaster on the immune system. It actually causes a lot of illnesses. We are changing our genetic code through vaccination." Guylaine Lanctot M.D. Canadian author of the best-seller 'Medical Mafia'.
Ah yes, a doctor of such high regard that she was stripped of her medical license in Canada, and subsequently fled the the United States. A purveyor of woo such as 'touch healing' and homeopathy is the last person I'd approach for sound medical advice.

But as for her claims... Many studies have been conducted, and time and again it if found that vaccines don't cause autism (for example). Also, foreign DNA in a vaccine is not going to alter your DNA. Remember, your body attacks things that are foreign. They are treated as invaders and the body fights and destroys it. That's why organ transplants need to be a close match to work. If you just throw in a heart of the wrong blood type, the body will reject it. Are we supposed to believe that a whole ton of foreign DNA in a liver can't hijack the body and take it over, yet a small trace amount in a vaccine can?
There is no dispute that millions of Americans received polio vaccines that were contaminated with the virus called Simian Virus 40, or SV–40. There also is no dispute that SV–40 is capable of causing cancer, but there is a major dispute as to how many Americans may have received the contaminated vaccine, with estimates ranging from 4 million to 100 million people. There is also a major dispute as to when the polio vaccine supply got cleaned up. In addition, nobody knows how many people got sick or died because of the contaminated vaccines.
It is very much worth noting that there is no evidence that SV40 has caused cancer in humans. Also, that only some of the vaccines were contaminated, not all. 98 million Americans did receive the polio vaccine, but only 10-30 million may have received contaminated doses.

The live oral version of the vaccine (that was actually the more contaminated version) showed that recipients didn't even develop antibodies for SV40, as it was  safely passed through the body too quickly.  Also, those that received the injected vaccine were not shown to have a higher risk of cancer than those that weren't vaccinated at all.

And here's a very important point. The polio vaccine has been free of SV40 since 1963 (plus our screening methods are so much better now). Yes, this is a problem that occurred fifty years ago. Yet I have heard from people that they will refuse the polio vaccine because of this SV40 story. That is madness! That would be like refusing to by a refrigerator because they used to have asbestos in them.

Well... That's not exactly a perfect comparison since asbestos has been shown to cause cancer in humans, and SV40 hasn't. But you get the point. In what way is it logical to avoid something today because of something that was present 50 years ago and isn't now?

The lengths anti-vaxxers will go to astound me. Actually, they remind me a lot of religious zealots. Quote mining, talking things out of context, ignoring contrary data, embracing nonsense, and thriving on fear. I wish I could say that if they don't want to vaccinate, that's their problem. But the truth is that it's not just their problem. We almost had many of there diseases eradicated.

Sadly, gullible people began to listen to the anti-vaxxers and started skipping vaccines. Because of this, there have been outbreaks in areas, of diseases that were a rarity not long ago. Even polio is starting to make a come back. Freaking polio! There are enough anti-vaxxers out there now that heard immunity is becoming compromised. Non vaccinated carriers are more often passing these dangerous viruses to little children that are too young to be immunized. Babies have died, simply because Americans ignorant of the facts decided to save $40 and skip a potentially life-saving (and not just their life) vaccine based on bad information. America badly needs a new scientific awakening.

-Brain Hulk

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