Vaccines and autism

I hate to pile on (and I rarely get the flu vaccine, as I can go months without seeing a baby or an old person, but I deserve criticism for that choice), but I'm not sure I buy into the idea that vaccines are big money. Some brief research on trustworthy sites shows that vaccines are so unprofitable that some pharmaceutical companies aren't even making them.

"But what about the Amish?"
-100% false statistics

"But what about your views on Big Pharma?"
-Completely unrelated to the issue of vaccines

" I still would recommend that anyone having a baby vaccinatie their kids"
-Ah here we go. Your actual thoughts. If any of the other arguments you're trying to make (and strawmen you're trying to create) actually held any water, you wouldn't be saying this. So what exactly is your point? At best I can see, it is "don't demonize people who disagree with you" which is generally good but we've repeatedly established how this isn't disagreement, it's endangering and/or killing other people. But either way, is that it? Can we stop this rhetorical runaround since you agree people should vaccinate their children?

SixteenBlue wrote:

-Ah here we go. Your actual thoughts. If any of the other arguments you're trying to make (and strawmen you're trying to create) actually held any water, you wouldn't be saying this. So what exactly is your point?

oddity wrote:

... why does everyone's Big Pharma scepticism disappear when they talk about this stuff.

Firstly, you're misusing the term skepticism. Skepticism is the refusal to believe in things that aren't supported by evidence.

And there's an enormous preponderance of evidence to show the efficacy and safety of vaccines. Thinking that vaccines are safe and effective is a skeptic's conclusion.

oddity wrote:

Vaccines are big money. It's in their interests to make sure 100% of people get vaccinated. While I'm not anti-vacc, I'm anti flu vaccine - as it looks like a blatant money grab to me. The last one was supposedly 20% effective. I'm sure they didn't charge 80% less for it.

Citation needed.

Vaccines are not where the money is in the pharmaceutical industry. Pretending otherwise is kidding yourself.

The 20% efficacy of this year's flu vaccine is to be expected. The process of formulating the vaccine includes taking a educated guess at which strains are going to be prevalent next winter. Do you have a crystal ball that tells the future? No? Neither did the people making the vaccine. Sometimes when you roll a d20, you get a 1.

oddity wrote:

I've been pointed to articles that mention that some vaccines are responsible for some damage, disability and deaths.

You're right. Vaccines are responsible for some damage, disability, and (very rarely) death. But that's to be expected when you literally expose every human to a pathogen. Different immune systems are going to have different reactions.

Since measles are in the news, lets take the MMR vaccine. 1 in 3,000 kids getting the vaccine will have seizures. 1 in 30,000 will temporarily have a low platelet count, which might lead to a bleeding disorder. Fewer than 1 in a 1,000,000 will have a serious allergic reaction.

There's also a chance that the vaccine might lead to deafness, long-term seizures, coma, and permanent brain damage. But these things happen so infrequently that doctors literally can't determine if they are related to the vaccine or are simply statistical noise.

And it's not like doctor's don't have a large enough dataset. More than 500 million doses of the MMR vaccine have been given since the early 1970s.

oddity wrote:

To which I would say - you're right... but with a caveat. If there's a death, they are going to list the actual cause of death. Maybe somewhere along the way in their report it might mention that the infant's immune system appeared to be stressed or strained, but the actual cause of death. Possibly a recently vacc'd kid is exposed to something else... or suddenly needs an operation. Blah, blah. etc. etc. The kids system ends up overtaxed. I don't know. But I'm not anti-vacc, so I haven't dug that deeply into it.

But the only way to make the human immune system stronger is literally to expose it to as many nasty things as possible. That's simply how it works.

Any way you cut it being exposed to a vaccine is much less stressful on a child's immune system than exposing them to the actual virus.

oddity wrote:

I'm just willing to accept that kids are supposedly many people's number one "possession"(can't think of a better word right now). So they want certainty. Nothing is certain. This tactic seems to me that they are trying to do what's best. They get that vaccines are important. And they are going to do them, but there's enough doubt in them about possible risks and the credibility in the actors that it makes sense to them to delay.

But those parents aren't doing the right thing. They're making a terrible decision. And doing so out of fear combined with a poor understanding of how the human immune system works and a worse understanding of statistical risk.

Take measles for example. Parents who only focus the more serious (and exceptionally rare) side effects are overlooking the fact that if their kids actually gets the measles there's a 0.2% chance that they will die. So right there there the risk of death from the MMR vaccine is so low doctors cannot measure it compared to a 0.2% chance if they catch the highly infectious disease.

Having the measles also opens the door to complications. There's a 10% chance a kid with measles is going to get a serious ear infection and that can lead to permanent hearing loss. There's a 9% chance that a kid with measles will also develop pneumonia (and, historically, about 30% of children with measles and pneumonia died). There's a 2% chance they'll get encephalitis, which can lead to memory loss, seizures, strokes, and hemorrhaging.

So what's the safe bet for parents? A 0.000033% chance of seizures from the vaccine or a 0.2% chance of death from getting the measles coupled with a one in ten chance they're going to get a secondary infection and all the danger and complications that that entails?

oddity wrote:

As an example this site has a vaccination schedule http://kidshealth.org/parent/growth/... . That's alotta sh*t, really fast. the great majority of infants seem to handle it fine, so whatever. But what if your family is one that hasn't typically been very robust. Low birthweights. History of failure to thrive. Whatever.

You know what's being exposed to a lot of sh*t really fast? Being born. You go from a nice sterile crib where you're protected by someone else's fully developed immune system to being completely on your own in the midst of a biological cesspool.

Infants have to get immunized because they only get temporary immunity from diseases from their mother. And that immunity begins to wear off after a few months. Of course, that's why doctors and scientists have come up with things like the vaccination schedule...

And so what if your family has a history of illness or if your child had a low birth weight or was born prematurely? Viruses don't care about any of that. Which is why doctors recommend that low birth weight and premature babies get vaccinated on schedule.

Yes, those children have higher incidents of side effects from the vaccines, but they would also have a much harder time fighting off the actual disease if they got infected.

oddity wrote:

If I have an argument at all, it isn't anti-vacc, it's just why does everyone's Big Pharma scepticism disappear when they talk about this stuff. Vaccines are big money. It's in their interests to make sure 100% of people get vaccinated. While I'm not anti-vacc, I'm anti flu vaccine - as it looks like a blatant money grab to me. The last one was supposedly 20% effective. I'm sure they didn't charge 80% less for it.

Because I can separate out the fact that drug companies produce vaccines--which have been proven over and over to save lives--from their egregious business behaviors such as focusing on treating highly profitable "lifestyle" ailments instead of curing real diseases, spending way more money marketing those drugs than researching news ones, and abusing the hell out of our patent system to maintain their monopoly on needed drugs as long as possible. They're still assholes. They're just assholes that save lives.

And don't confuse the flu vaccine with other vaccines. Influenza is one of the most highly mutable viruses Mother Nature has produced. There are multiple different strains of it floating around at all times and they are constantly changing. The only thing humans can do is do enough research to determine which three of four strains might become problematic the next flu season and develop a vaccine for them. A vaccine that takes about six months to manufacture. So of course there's going to be mismatches and the vaccines aren't going to be 100% effective.

The diseases children get immunized from are genetically stable. That means their vaccines are highly effective.

OG_slinger wrote:

The diseases children get immunized from are genetically stable. That means their vaccines are highly effective.

Not only are those diseases genetically stable but limiting the number of infected people gives them fewer chances to propagate and therefore mutate.

Yonder wrote:
oddity wrote:

For the Hepatitis vac... sh*t, there's no real reason to get that before 12... unless you're a sicko pimping your infant.

Actually some children aren't as lucky as you to hang out with Kryptons all day. Many of the people a normal person comes in to contact with have skin that is vulnerable to cuts and abrasions that may cause blood infected with Hepatitus to come out!

As someone who nearly died at 2 weeks of age from a hepatitis infection from the f*cking hospital, yes! I was born about a decade before the vaccination was available, unfortunately.

OG_Slinger:

Minor points - 1 in 3000 calculates to 0.033%

But the only way to make the human immune system stronger is literally to expose it to as many nasty things as possible. That's simply how it works.

There are other ways to boost human immunity. Vaccination is one of the chief ways, but it's not the only way. The other ways are hideously expensive and not as effective. I'd be a lot more suspicious about "Big Pharma" marketing those.

There's also a chance that the vaccine might lead to deafness, long-term seizures, coma, and permanent brain damage. But these things happen so infrequently that doctors literally can't determine if they are related to the vaccine or are simply statistical noise.

Hm. No.

There's a chance that people who've taken the vaccine will also develop deafness, epilepsy, coma, permanent brain damage and so on; but these events happen so infrequently in people with vaccines that we can't tell whether or not the vaccine is a factor at all - these events actually do happen to people infrequently in general and we have no idea why. People can suddenly just up and die. Shrug.

LarryC wrote:

Hm. No.

There's a chance that people who've taken the vaccine will also develop deafness, epilepsy, coma, permanent brain damage and so on; but these events happen so infrequently in people with vaccines that we can't tell whether or not the vaccine is a factor at all - these events actually do happen to people infrequently in general and we have no idea why. People can suddenly just up and die. Shrug.

You literally just restated what he said.

LarryC wrote:
There's also a chance that the vaccine might lead to deafness, long-term seizures, coma, and permanent brain damage. But these things happen so infrequently that doctors literally can't determine if they are related to the vaccine or are simply statistical noise.

Hm. No.

There's a chance that people who've taken the vaccine will also develop deafness, epilepsy, coma, permanent brain damage and so on; but these events happen so infrequently in people with vaccines that we can't tell whether or not the vaccine is a factor at all - these events actually do happen to people infrequently in general and we have no idea why. People can suddenly just up and die. Shrug.

kuddles wrote:

You literally just restated what he said.

No, he came very very very close to restating what he just said. The part that is different is bolded above.

In OG's bolded phrase he states causality between the the vaccine and the severe symptoms. In Larry's phrase he is careful not to imply any sort of causality. Of course, in the context provided by the italicized portion of OG's post it is obvious that he is stating that the causal link referred to is one that is not at all certain to exist.

Larry's statement is superior, because no section of it can carry the wrong message across if the rest of it isn't read. Of course, Larry's correction is also unnecessary because it's a two sentence paragraph, and neither of the two sentences are that long or complex. It seems incredibly unlikely that anyone ever reading the paragraph, except apparently Larry, would ever misunderstand it, but, hey, that's par for P&C :).

Yeah. You're tragically underestimating confirmation bias. If you want to see causality, OG's statement flat out gives it to you.