Medical quackery upsets me very, very much

Vector wrote:

Personally, I can't remember the last time I had a vaccination. That's completely out of laziness and being a single male. Now that I'm married, planning to start a family, and moving to Vancouver, I'll start getting vaccinated.

Other than the yearly flu-shot or vaccines for travel adults only need the standard booster mix every 10 years or so. ETA: Unless you step on a rusty nail or some such that is.

krev82 wrote:
Vector wrote:

Personally, I can't remember the last time I had a vaccination. That's completely out of laziness and being a single male. Now that I'm married, planning to start a family, and moving to Vancouver, I'll start getting vaccinated.

Other than the yearly flu-shot or vaccines for travel adults only need the standard booster mix every 10 years or so. ETA: Unless you step on a rusty nail or some such that is.

My ten year has either come and gone or is approaching soon. I've also been teaching children for the last 2 years. I really should have got vaccinated while I was in Japan. The one time I had the flu I had a fever over 40C.

Yeah I got a flu shot for the first time last year. .. just before the birth of my beautiful baby girl. I normally don't bother because my immune system is pretty damn awesome (I'm the guy that rarely catches your cold and is over it before you are)

Reminder: If you catch a cold and are over it and it was no big deal? That was not the flu. If you get hit by a truck and are down for a week? That's probably the flu.

One of the many awesome benefits of working where I do is that they bring the vaccinations to the office so I don't have to go anywhere for it (free free free!!). Unfortunately, I live in the anti-science South, so I am surrounded by folks who believe retarded crap about vaccines being the work of teh Devil.

Hypatian wrote:

Reminder: If you catch a cold and are over it and it was no big deal? That was not the flu. If you get hit by a truck and are down for a week? That's probably the flu.

+1

Influenza can straight out kill you (and does a couple hundred thousand times a year).

OG_slinger wrote:
Hypatian wrote:

Reminder: If you catch a cold and are over it and it was no big deal? That was not the flu. If you get hit by a truck and are down for a week? That's probably the flu.

+1

Influenza can straight out kill you (and does a couple hundred thousand times a year).

Speak for yourself. I only died twice from the flu last year.

LouZiffer wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:
Hypatian wrote:

Reminder: If you catch a cold and are over it and it was no big deal? That was not the flu. If you get hit by a truck and are down for a week? That's probably the flu.

+1

Influenza can straight out kill you (and does a couple hundred thousand times a year).

Speak for yourself. I only died twice from the flu last year.

Today I learned that LouZiffer is either Double Jesus or a very persistent zombie.

OG_slinger wrote:
Hypatian wrote:

Reminder: If you catch a cold and are over it and it was no big deal? That was not the flu. If you get hit by a truck and are down for a week? That's probably the flu.

+1

Influenza can straight out kill you (and does a couple hundred thousand times a year).

Influenza (the viral infection) is not that deadly (500 per year in the USA).. BUT it can lead to pneumonia (the lung infection) which is very deadly (50,000 per year in the USA).

goman wrote:

Influenza (the viral infection) is not that deadly (500 per year in the USA).. BUT it can lead to pneumonia (the lung infection) which is very deadly (50,000 per year in the USA).

Oh, it can be pretty deadly.

I just ran across a new strain of medical quackery. A group of people who understood the importance of herd immunity yet elected not to keep their vaccinations up to date nor vaccinate their children because of personal risk. Here's the quote:

a disturbingly selfish and terrible person wrote:

The middle road needs to be taken sometimes. Science and medicine have done some amazing things, not just all harmful. I didn't have my son vaccinated but if millions of other vaccinations had not been given in the past our population would be much lower and I wouldn't have the luxury of a choice, maybe not even my life.

So now we have people who realize vaccinations are worth the risk but elect to avoid the risk anyway.

Seth wrote:

I just ran across a new strain of medical quackery. A group of people who understood the importance of herd immunity yet elected not to keep their vaccinations up to date nor vaccinate their children because of personal risk. Here's the quote:

a disturbingly selfish and terrible person wrote:

The middle road needs to be taken sometimes. Science and medicine have done some amazing things, not just all harmful. I didn't have my son vaccinated but if millions of other vaccinations had not been given in the past our population would be much lower and I wouldn't have the luxury of a choice, maybe not even my life.

So now we have people who realize vaccinations are worth the risk but elect to avoid the risk anyway.

I really think the solution to this should be that folks that refuse vaccinations should be quarantined from the rest of the population as public health risks.

Seth wrote:

I just ran across a new strain of medical quackery. A group of people who understood the importance of herd immunity yet elected not to keep their vaccinations up to date nor vaccinate their children because of personal risk. Here's the quote:

a disturbingly selfish and terrible person wrote:

The middle road needs to be taken sometimes. Science and medicine have done some amazing things, not just all harmful. I didn't have my son vaccinated but if millions of other vaccinations had not been given in the past our population would be much lower and I wouldn't have the luxury of a choice, maybe not even my life.

So now we have people who realize vaccinations are worth the risk but elect to avoid the risk anyway.

That right there? That is some awesome cognitive dissonance.

Dr.Ghastly wrote:
Seth wrote:

I just ran across a new strain of medical quackery. A group of people who understood the importance of herd immunity yet elected not to keep their vaccinations up to date nor vaccinate their children because of personal risk. Here's the quote:

a disturbingly selfish and terrible person wrote:

The middle road needs to be taken sometimes. Science and medicine have done some amazing things, not just all harmful. I didn't have my son vaccinated but if millions of other vaccinations had not been given in the past our population would be much lower and I wouldn't have the luxury of a choice, maybe not even my life.

So now we have people who realize vaccinations are worth the risk but elect to avoid the risk anyway.

That right there? That is some awesome cognitive dissonance.

"I'm not going to pay my taxes, because everyone else is paying theirs, so I don't have to."

Jonman wrote:

"I'm not going to pay my taxes, because everyone else is paying theirs, so I don't have to."

As long as everyone else wears their seatbelts and drives sober, why should my family suffer the horrible consequences of not driving intoxicated?

imbiginjapan wrote:
Duoae wrote:

Eh, if you're not in the risk group there's not much point in getting one, IMO. They only immunise (statistically) for the predicted prominent strain - it doesn't stop you from getting the flu anyway but it might reduce symptoms of related strains to the one you were inoculated against.

I suppose one real hidden danger is thinking that it will really protect you from getting any flu strain...

I disagree, especially since the flu shot is not 100% effective. Your statistically improved immunity reduces the likelihood of exposing people who are in the risk group to the flu thus improving their chances of avoiding getting sick. You're not just getting vaccinated for yourself, but for everyone else around you.

I disagree with you. If I'm not working with people (or in contact with people) who are in risk groups and they are getting vaccinated then they are only as protected from the strain(s) that the vaccine covers anyway if I get it or not. If I get a strain which isn't covered then the vaccine has little positive benefit for me and less for them (since vaccines are less effective for people in the risk groups).

There's actually no point in getting a vaccination if I and the people around me don't benefit from it because the flu strain mutates so fast - having more people vaccinated from the strain can actually increase its future potency and the virulence of other flu strains that come into contact with the blood stream of people with denatured (or whatever) strains you are injected with - especially if you end up having a low-ish immuno-response that allows the virus to be passed on to other people without you realising you are sick with the flu (which has a higher probability if you're healthy, not in a risk group and vaccinated - which is contrary to your point about vaccinating people around you). Also, there is evidence that immunisation from a vaccine is shorter lived than if you actually get infected by the virus itself.

One other thing about everyone getting vaccinated is that this also increases the probability of vaccine resistance through passing on resistant genes from other bacteria (eg. Staphylococcus) which have made some vaccines less effective because the flu is now more resistant to them.

It's the age old EU - "don't put so many drugs in animal feed" versus US - "Fire up the pumps!" thing.

Other "true" vaccines I have no problem getting and have all my injections up to date. Things that actually protect and decrease the risk 80-100% are very valid vaccination schemes for the whole population.

The US (CDC), EU (ECDC) and the UK (NHS) advise you to get the flu jab if you're in an "at risk" group precisely for the reasons above. Only the US includes language that implies that everyone should get them and that's only been in place since 2010 - mainly because vaccine uptake in the US is historically so low.

NHS[/url]]
The injected flu vaccine is offered free of charge on the NHS to people who are at risk to ensure that they are protected against catching flu and developing serious complications. You are eligible to receive a free flu jab if you:

  • are 65 years of age or over
  • are pregnant
  • have certain medical conditions (see below)
  • are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility
  • receive a carer's allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill
  • are a healthcare worker with direct patient contact or a social care worker

For contrast, here's the CDC outlook on things.

CDC wrote:

The following lists include all people recommended to get the flu vaccine, those who are not recommended to receive either the flu shot or the nasal spray vaccine, and those who should take certain precautions before getting vaccinated.

I know the language in the headers (and the first line) states that "everyone should" get vaccinated... the actual list is more specific.

  • are aged 6 months through 4 years (59 months);
  • are aged 50 years and older;
  • have chronic pulmonary (including asthma), cardiovascular (except hypertension), renal, hepatic, neurologic, hematologic, or metabolic disorders (including diabetes mellitus);
  • are immunosuppressed (including immunosuppression caused by medications or by human immunodeficiency virus);
  • are or will be pregnant during the influenza season;
  • are aged 6 months through 18 years and receiving long-term aspirin therapy and who therefore might be at risk for experiencing Reye syndrome after influenza virus infection;
  • are residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities;
  • are American Indians/Alaska Natives;
  • are morbidly obese (body-mass index is 40 or greater);
  • are health-care personnel;
  • are household contacts and caregivers of children aged younger than 5 years and adults aged 50 years and older, with particular emphasis on vaccinating contacts of children aged younger than 6 months; and
  • are household contacts and caregivers of persons with medical conditions that put them at higher risk for severe complications from influenza.

ECDC[/url]]
Seasonal influenza vaccination strategies

  • Protecting the vulnerable: [.....] While immunising risk groups means direct protection, there is also an indirect protection strategy of immunising those with close contact with people in the risk groups. This is growing in importance since it is now appreciated that the ordinary vaccines work rather well in healthy adults and less well in older people and those with chronic conditions. Examples of this strategy is immunising health care staff who otherwise can infect their patients, and offering immunisation to pregnant women who may infect their new-borns (as well as protecting themselves) since babies cannot be immunised until they are then 6 months of age.
  • Protecting well children, adolescents and younger adults:
  • Reducing overall influenza transmission: This is a new approach and it is based on the observation that so much of the influenza transmission takes place in school age children that it may be worthwhile immunising school-age children to reduce transmission that may affect those in the risk groups.

To summarise - If my situation was different or if the vaccine was more beneficial then I would get it without question.

I'm trying to break your post down point-by-point by I don't really understand what you're trying to say initially - is it simply that because the vaccine isn't 100% effective, you're not going to get it?

Nobody argues that the flu vaccine is 100% effective. The reason for this is that the flu constantly changes its stripes. This is why we generate a new vaccine strain each year through predictive methods. Some years the vaccine is more effective than others because we have the right ingredients to produce an effective virus. Other years we miss, because flu mutates so quickly. Generally though we get it close enough to produce a positive net effect in the population's resistance to viruses.

The reason the CDC and ECDC recommends giving the virus to the highest risk groups first based on supply is that they gain the most direct benefit, but each risk tier beyond that creates a cascading benefit in protecting them. If we can produce enough vaccine to inoculate everyone, why not inoculate everyone? I'll grant that if you want to do the cost-benefit analysis of inoculation rates and find the break-even point go for it but I am not really much of an economist.

You also seem to be getting bacteria and viruses confused, as well antibiotics and vaccines. The argument you cite about drugs in food is using antibiotics as a preventative for bacteria not vaccines as a preventative for viruses. Vaccine development does not drive the virus in evolutionary directions the same way antibiotics do to bacteria. As already stated the flu mutates heavily on its own but that is not related to vaccines - if nobody vaccinated, it would still happen. In fact the most deadly strains of virus tend to come from areas with low vaccine uptake (though in fairness that can be attributed to antigenic shift created by sticking lots of susceptible animals and people in close quarters.)

I guess the long and the short of it is unless you never go out in public you can't really comfortably say that you never interact with anyone who is at risk for serious flu complications. Reducing the risk a degree is better than not reducing the risk at all. As far as the resistance stuff goes, I think you've got multiple concepts tangled together.

You're right about the bacteria thing. I got confused as I was reading through a load of pages on three different authority websites! I saw a paper talking about mutation of a 2009 strain and must have switched to something else and gotten muddled up. Sorry for the confusion. I was thinking about viruses getting the opportunity to mutate in people with weakened immune systems or in those that have a mild flu response, if they have the vaccine then the virus could mutate to be immune to the antibodies generated by the deactivated viruses.

No, the potential efficacy of the flu vaccine isn't the main reason but it is one. The fact that your immune system has less resistance than if you contract an active virus and also has a broader virus resistance in that scenario as well, coupled with me not being in contact with any of the risk groups are the two main reasons for me not getting it.

Those risk groups don't get hardly any benefit from me having or not having the vaccination (if you're going to include incidental contact in a public place). If they are vaccinated then they should have the benefit - the problem - specifically addressed by the CDC rule change was that a good proportion of the risk groups aren't taking the vaccine. If the vaccine isn't very effective that year then I won't be any less likely to catch it and spread it to them than if I didn't get it.... And they would similarly be just as vulnerable.

Edit: actually thinking about it, the three reasons are about equal. I can't really say "x" is the main reason - sticking this in an edit in case someone quotes me

There's a rather amusing stink over wireless "smart meters" being introduced by the power company in Maine. As usual some people swear that the RF transmission is dangerous and making them ill. I have to wonder how many people complaining called CMP on their cell phone to complain, or wrote an email on their laptop connected to a wireless router in their homes.

Duoae wrote:

The fact that your immune system has less resistance than if you contract an active virus

What are you basing that statement on? I'm not aware of any research saying that inoculating you against one strain reduces your resistance to another.

Duoae wrote:

coupled with me not being in contact with any of the risk groups

It's not just being in contact with them directly, but also being in contact with people who'll be in contact with them etc. The higher the proportion of the population that's immune, the more difficult it is for a virus to spread.

Sonicator wrote:
Duoae wrote:

The fact that your immune system has less resistance than if you contract an active virus

What are you basing that statement on? I'm not aware of any research saying that inoculating you against one strain reduces your resistance to another.

No, there has been research showing that the effectiveness of vaccine generated immune response cells are less adaptable to other viruses and the "protection" lasts for a shorter period of time than if it is exposed to an actual virus.

Duoae wrote:

coupled with me not being in contact with any of the risk groups

It's not just being in contact with them directly, but also being in contact with people who'll be in contact with them etc. The higher the proportion of the population that's immune, the more difficult it is for a virus to spread.

But that's the thing, being "immune" doesn't mean you can't be infectious and if they are immunized then whether I catch the flu or not shouldn't make a difference to them as, having taken the vaccine, the statistical chances of being able to fight it or not are the same as if I'd caught it and passed it along (having had the vaccine).

IANAD but IIRC being immunized makes it far less likely that you will have symptoms since it makes it more difficult for an active virus to take hold in your system and reach that point. For many viruses it is the symptoms which result spreading the virus; coughing, sneezing, vomiting, etc and so in turn being immunized would make you less likely to be infectious and spread the virus even should you become a temporary carrier of it.

Duoae wrote:

No, there has been research showing that the effectiveness of vaccine generated immune response cells are less adaptable to other viruses and the "protection" lasts for a shorter period of time than if it is exposed to an actual virus.

Link, please. The only time I've ever seen this is on "myths about vaccination" lists.

Duoae wrote:

But that's the thing, being "immune" doesn't mean you can't be infectious and if they are immunized then whether I catch the flu or not shouldn't make a difference to them as, having taken the vaccine, the statistical chances of being able to fight it or not are the same as if I'd caught it and passed it along (having had the vaccine).

...say what?

If you have been immunized, then when you come in contact with the virus, your body is far more likely to fight it off successfully than to contract it. As a result, the virus will be unable to replicate much in your system. So yes, technically you can be infectious even with immunization.

However, if you have not been immunized, then you are more likely to contract the virus if you come into contact with it. During the time it is incubating, you are HIGHLY infectious, and thus far more likely to spread the virus due to that incubation time period that must pass before you realize you are sick and need to isolate yourself from the general population.

And as has already been mentioned, every person who contracts the virus and thus gives it a breeding ground provides another opportunity for it to mutate into a form that the vaccine is ineffective against. Which is another aspect of herd immunity that is important.

Vaccines work. This has been demonstrated repeatedly.

imbiginjapan wrote:

I have to wonder how many people complaining called CMP on their cell phone to complain, or wrote an email on their laptop connected to a wireless router in their homes.

A couple relatives of mine have been losing their minds on Facebook about this. I shamelessly stole this without attribution.

Ed Ropple wrote:
imbiginjapan wrote:

I have to wonder how many people complaining called CMP on their cell phone to complain, or wrote an email on their laptop connected to a wireless router in their homes.

A couple relatives of mine have been losing their minds on Facebook about this. I shamelessly stole this without attribution. :D

Are you an expat Mainer too?

So some university is fighting a breakout of a new strain of bacterial meningitis and is using a vaccine that hasn't yet been approved by the FDA. (It's in regular use in Europe, though)

And of course some college students are
Skipping the vaccine "because it might not work".

http://m.nbcnews.com/health/princeto...

Farscry wrote:
Duoae wrote:

But that's the thing, being "immune" doesn't mean you can't be infectious and if they are immunized then whether I catch the flu or not shouldn't make a difference to them as, having taken the vaccine, the statistical chances of being able to fight it or not are the same as if I'd caught it and passed it along (having had the vaccine).

...say what?

If you have been immunized, then when you come in contact with the virus, your body is far more likely to fight it off successfully than to contract it. As a result, the virus will be unable to replicate much in your system. So yes, technically you can be infectious even with immunization.

However, if you have not been immunized, then you are more likely to contract the virus if you come into contact with it. During the time it is incubating, you are HIGHLY infectious, and thus far more likely to spread the virus due to that incubation time period that must pass before you realize you are sick and need to isolate yourself from the general population.

And as has already been mentioned, every person who contracts the virus and thus gives it a breeding ground provides another opportunity for it to mutate into a form that the vaccine is ineffective against. Which is another aspect of herd immunity that is important.

Vaccines work. This has been demonstrated repeatedly.

Doing this in a separate post because it's easier.

Yes, vaccines work - i never disputed that!

If you are infected you have contracted the virus, no? Seems a bit confusing in what you said. Being immune does not mean you can't and don't contract the virus but that you do not present the symptoms associated with it.

That's why we get people who can be HIV resistant but still carry the virus in their blood stream and infect other people.

To be honest, i didn't think i was posting such controversial ideas given that they've been explored by the scientific community and a bit fed up with the conversation now... Just need more education on all sides of immunology - not just the pro- or no-vaccines crowds.

Hypatian wrote:
Duoae wrote:

No, there has been research showing that the effectiveness of vaccine generated immune response cells are less adaptable to other viruses and the "protection" lasts for a shorter period of time than if it is exposed to an actual virus.

Link, please. The only time I've ever seen this is on "myths about vaccination" lists.

https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...

Live (but attenuated) viruses are more effective for children than inactivated viruses. (P.192), also on the same page:

Protection afforded by the vaccine is thought to last for at least one influenza season. However, as the level of protection provided in subsequent seasons is likely to reduce and there may be changes to the circulating strains from one season to the next, annual revaccination is important.

Vaccine effectiveness declines:

http://www.eurosurveillance.org/View...

http://www.eurosurveillance.org/View...

here but this wasn't where i read it initially[/url]]
Live attenuated vaccines produce longer-lasting immunity, similar but less than that produced by natural infection. Often one dose confers long-lasting immunity, but they are inherently less stable than killed vaccines, with the possibility of reversion to wild strain, as in polio. Some may spread, enhancing herd immunity but putting at risk the immunocompromised.

I apologise for the delay in response as, ironically, i've been ill with gastric flu the last two days (not really a flu, i don't think).

PS. I hate having these discussions on tablets. Can't wait to get my PC set up, making links, finding stuff and remembering to save it for this sort of situation is so much easier! Couldn't find all the primary sources on this stuff because the CDC and other agencies' pages override everthing in google search - which is bad because they only focus on vaccines as opposed to the whole nature of immunology. Please note that, once again, i'm not saying don't get vaccinated or that they're not effective but that i don't see the need for a 30 yr old with no contact with the elderly or kids should be required to get immunised or that it really does statistically provide much protection in that scenario....