Saturday, May 28, 2011

Meningitis Vaccine? Follow the Money

My god, the efforts of vaccine pushers are becoming more and more dishonest every day. In Forbes, a magazine whose obsession with vaccination is unrivaled, this article, in order to foist yet another unneeded vaccine onto the already bloated schedule actually tries to portray the ACIP - one of the chief contributors to the overvaccination of America's children - as getting in the way of vaccination.

ACIP is the organization responsible for ensuring that children are compelled to receive new vaccines. First, the FDA approves the vaccine, then the ACIP blesses it with its rubber stamp recommendation and finally the states use that recommendation to mandate it for our kids. But now something might go terribly wrong with that formula. A vaccine, because it is of such little value, is in danger of becoming the first one ever to be denied this coveted recommendation. This has drug makers scrambling. At stake are millions if not billions of dollars. A recommendation must be secured at any cost.

Supporting the drug company efforts are a number of special interest groups and not surprisingly Forbes magazine. Today they released on their blog a desperate plea to garner this billion dollar blessing. Written by
Glenn G. Lammi, a lawyer, (strange until you discover he works for the Washington Legal Foundation, a corporate lobbying group) the piece attcks vaccination's best friend: the ACIP:

Lammi begins:
An immunization advisory panel at CDC may block public acceptance and use of an anti-meningitis vaccine approved as safe and effective by FDA based on “cost-effectiveness” concerns. 
It would be a deeply unfortunate irony if we allowed a small number of federal health officials to undermine all that has been achieved by the larger public health establishment (along with private entrepreneurship and enterprise).
Astonishingly, Lammi acts as if the organization whose entire Raison d'ĂȘtre is to peddle vaccines is somehow an impediment to those vaccines.

The author even recognizes the ACIP's fealty to vaccines, acknowledging that:
ACIP has never rejected use of an FDA-approved vaccine in its history.
My god if the ACIP doesn't think a vaccine has any benefits, that vaccine must be pretty unnecessary.

The author then, without bothering to share why it's true, makes this statement:
Even though there is now a meningitis vaccine judged by FDA to be safe and effective for infants, no pediatrician is going to use it, and no health insurer is going to cover its use, until ACIP acts.
Maybe, if no one uses it, it's because it's of little use. But talk to your doctor if you have faith in him. If he recommends it, you're certainly welcome to accept the vaccine - ACIP recommendation or not. And god forbid, if people think it's so necessary, they can actually pay for it with their own money instead of demanding the insurance pay for another unnecessary treatment that drives up costs for everyone else.

Lammi then reveals the real reason this recommendation must be granted:
ACIP and CDC need to understand how their recent actions could severely undermine vaccine development and production in America. Vaccine manufacturing is already fraught with risk. Vaccines are an inherently unstable drug due to the complexity of biologics, resulting in far more failures than successes in development. Bringing one vaccine to market costs upwards of $1 billion. Manufacturing plants, which cost up to $300 million, must meet exacting FDA standards and pass scores of inspections. The return on such massive investments is small compared to other drugs due to actual and virtual government price controls and the inherent limited time and amount of vaccines’ use.
So we must accept anything the drug companies can concoct for the sake of vaccines and vaccine manufacturers - not us. We spent 1 billion dollars on this vaccine and regardless of whether or not it's good for children, they're going to get it. We need to recoup our investment.

Lammi continues, asking incredulously, "If an infant use for meningococcal vaccines becomes the first [vaccine rejected by the ACIP], what kind of message will that send to vaccine makers?"

Let me answer that for you. The message it send is that people are not vaccine receptacles, existing to benefit drug companies.

After his brief flirtation with honesty, Lammi the lobbyist returns to form with this deceptive appeal to get this vaccine its precious recommendation.
Vaccination against diseases that used to kill millions is one of human kind’s greatest technological achievements, a success in which public health organizations and their leaders have played a major role.
He shamelessly conflates a story about millions of saved lives (which even if true applies to Third World countries and long forgotten times) to sell a vaccine against an illness that affects a vanishingly small number of people.

I ask you, do we really need to be continually hit over the head with stories such as these until we realize this obvious truth: it's all about them, not us. With the amounts of money involved, the drug companies will go to any length to insure our children get these vaccines needed or not. The Machine is about the money and the special interests, not our children.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Welcome to West Virgina: Measles Sanctuary State

Today California finds itself at the mercy of a measles outbreak raging through the state. Thirteen cases have already been reported. Terrified for the safety of my family (after all public health officials say the measles is a killer), I began to think of leaving the state. But where would I go? It seemed the entire country was being affected. Perhaps we could seek refuge in America's heartland, I thought. Those hopes were crushed when I, to my dismay, heard a single case, occurring in Iowa, had triggered a state-wide public health emergency there. How long would it be till that case would engulf the entire region? Too risky, I told myself. It was back to square one. Then I began to hear whispers of a place that was measles-free, of a place where a family could go to live in safety away from the specter the measles

Initially, I scoffed at the idea, "Measles-free? Impossible!" But those whispers wouldn't stop. They grew louder until finally it was revealed to me that there was a safe zone. In the mountains, there was a whole state of people there who didn't get sick; and that state was West Virgina.

I learned local news station were reporting on this miracle.

WOWK TV trumpeted: 
No Measles in W.Va. while Other States See Increases
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported a nationally increase in measles, but that trend is not holding true in West Virginia, state officials said.There have been no cases of measles reported to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Office of Epidemiology and Prevention Services (OEPS), this year, officials said.
How could that be? What was West Virginia's secret?
“West Virginia has a strong school entry law which requires vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) and there is no doubt that could be playing a role in helping protect our children,” said State Epidemiologist and OEPS Director Dr. Loretta Haddy.
So that was it. We could thank the herculean efforts of petty tyrants such as Dr. Loretta Haddy: Public Health Servant of the People.

Apparently, the virus couldn't survive the authoritarian vacciantion laws implemented by the state.

While the rest of the country was playing Russian roulette with the lives of their children by allowing parents to claim a vaccination exemption, those in West Virginia, by forcing unwanted vaccines on children and their families, were creating an impenetrable cocoon into which no infectious illness could penetrate.

West Virginia do-gooders were like the pig who built his house ot of bricks while others, oblivious to the dangers, built theirs out of straw: ideal kindling for the wildfire that is the measles

There was one thing however that seemed odd and it made me want to read the story one more time so I could better understand what was transpiring.

What stood out was Dr Public Servant's saying, “West Virginia has a strong school entry law ... and there is no doubt that could be playing a role in helping protect our children."

Which was it, I though, "There's no doubt its protecitng our children" or "It could be playing a role protecting our children" My curiosity was piqued. Rather than rely of the word of public health officials, I was motivated to learn more about the measles and the factors influencing West Virgina's absence of cases. I came across this report by the CDC stating:
During January 1--May 20, 2011, a total of 118 cases were reported from 23 states and New York City
So more than half the states, regardless of vaccination laws, were just like West Virginia: they also experienced exactly zero cases of the measles. The Mountain State and its totalitarian laws were not so special after all.

I even discovered that California, with it's liberal exemption laws, had a 79% vaccination rate. West Virgina with it's draconian laws managed a vaccination rate of only 77%. (This is based on 2008 data the most recent I could find)

Additionally the CDC reported:
Of the 118 cases, 105 (89%) were associated with importation from other countries,
That made me ask myself, "Is West Virginia a hub of international travel?" After all four states accounted for almost half the reported cases. And all see more visitors from abroad than does West Virginia. California and Massachusetts (another state without a philosophical exemption) due to their size; Utah, due to Mormon missionaries and Minnesota, due to it large Somali population.

As to the measles, the more I looked into it I found they weren't the deadly killer they were portrayed to be. As a matter of fact, before vaccination, almost everyone who got the measles did quite well. Even parents of the era expressed little concern when their children contracted the illness.

There was no West Virgina miracle. It was all an illusion. We could stay home. We'd be safe in California, measles or no measles. What a relief

Turning a few cases of a mild illness about which few parents in the pre-vaccine era were concerned into a disease akin to Ebola or for that matter the Andromeda Strain is simply a transparent attempt by the vested interests to lay the groundwork to restrict exemptions in the future. If more people wake up to the scam that is the modern vaccine program, rates may, as the establishment fears, drop. If that does happen, more cases of mild illnesses may occur. Therefore, if the public can be made to accept the idea that a few cases of the measles is an emergency, the establishment will be well positioned to call for rollbacks to exemptions if any substantial increase in infectious illnesses occurs due a partial repudiation of vaccination.

What the establishment does not want to accept is that regardless of the number of measles cases, they do not have the right to medicate children against the wishes of their family. If people see more cases of a certain illness and feel threatened by that, they can certainly get their children vaccinated. But to force that vaccination on families is a direct affront to the liberty that lies at the core of this nation. Forced vaccination was not justified when all children contracted these childhood illnesses and it certainly wouldn't be justified if a fraction of those pre-vaccine era cases returned.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Measles Emergency.

With the pertussis epidemic of 2010 behind us, the public health community is scrambling for some new contrivance with which to scare the American public. They appear to have found it. Their latest propaganda efforts surround a few cases of measles scattered across the nation. To rational human beings it's the measles; to the public health community it's "an emergency"

Yesterday I posted a little comment on a story out of Iowa in which it was reported public health fanatics were declaring an "emergency" over one, yes one, case of the measles. I thought that was the end of it until I saw a story even more absurd than the original. It began with the same news reported yesterday:
State health officials declared a “public health emergency” Tuesday after a test confirmed a case of measles in an unvaccinated Dallas County baby who apparently picked up the disease in India.
The piece then went from humorous to absurd with a statement that is among the most ridiculous I've ever come across; and it comes from a doctor: the person parents are told to talk for unbiased credible answers about vaccination. Anyway here's (witch?) doctor Patricia Quinlisk on the measles:
 “I get asked by medical students, ‘Which disease are you most afraid of?' And they expect me to say Ebola or SARS or something like that – but, it’s measles,” she said. “I don’t think people understand how bad it can be, how many people can get seriously ill and, unfortunately, how many people can die from this disease. It’s bad and it’s probably the most spreadable disease we have in our society.”
Nothing could be farther from the truth. In the pre-vaccine era, there were three to four million cases of the measles each year with only about four hundred and fifty reported deaths. And those deaths likely occurred in a subset of the population that were at increased vulnerability due to nutritional deficiencies or inadequate living conditions. The fact that naive medical school students are subjected to fabrications such as the one put forth by doctor Quinlisk perhaps explains the fanaticism that drives some pediatricians to discharge patients who decline the vaccine for this mild illness.

Those who were parents back when the measles was prevalent didn't think much of the illness and saw it as just another part of childhood. Much like those of us who've gone through the chickenpox with our own children. This fact is however antithetical to Quinlisk's goal of fear mongering so, in the same story, she's reported as engaging in this odd attempt at historical revisionism:
Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, medical director for the Iowa Department of Public Health, said many Americans falsely recall measles as a benign childhood illness.
Quinlisk's attempt to redefine the past to serve her establishment is eerily is reminiscent of the tactics used by the totalitarian regime portrayed in George Orwell's novel 1984. "The Party," as it was called, famously believed that the past needed to be recreated in a way to serve the needs and desires of the regime. (The novel's famous quote "Those who control the past control the future" summarizes that philosophy) But sadly for the good doctor her assertion about America's experience with the measles is as fictitious as Orwell's novel. Unfortunately, for readers of the Register, the fiction continues with this statement:
Two to three people die out of every 1,000 who come down with the disease, health authorities say.
We did two pieces on this recently bandied-about statistic, debunking it here and showing the CDC can quote no basis for it here.

The piece winds down revealing:
Most Iowans are either vaccinated against measles or are immune because they had it as children.
So what's the emergency then? The rational person, not having a vested interest in either  vaccines or the promotion of an irrational fear of infectious illnesses, would say there is none. But the vested interest driving this story are not interested in the truth, they're interested in advancing an agenda that solidifies their power and reinforces a system upon which they depend. This story of a measles "emergency" and the blatant attempts at historical revisionism further demonstrate that the entire vaccine program is simply a contrivance built to serve the needs, not of us, but of the Machine and those who comprise it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Dr Wendy's Washington

The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens 
unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments. 
George Washington

In the state named after a great champion of freedom, freedom has just suffered a chilling setback. Parents who choose not to vaccinate their children will now be forced to attend meetings with medical professionals designed to harass them into accepting unwanted vaccines. Reminiscent of Chairman Mao's reeducation camps, these meeting are finding great favor among the community of do-gooders comprising the public health and medical establishments.

One who is particularly enamoured with the new law is Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, a.k.a. Seattle Moma Doc,
a pediatrician and graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s school of Bioethics, home of vaccine cheerleader Art Kaplan. She's taken the time to write a blog post celebrating the type of nanny state progressivism that would have George Washington spinning in his grave

I stumbled upon it when I ventured into that viper’s nest of vaccine extremism, Vaccinate Your Baby!

Anyway Dr. Swanson begins:
Yesterday Governor Gregoire signed a new bill into law that will demand families talk with a health care worker about the risks when exempting from immunizations
How nice. In Dr. Swanson's police state utopia, the government can demand parents subject themselves to harassment from the propagandists of a public health apparatus dependant upon vaccination.

Swanson then, perhaps to create an imaginary crisis from which the state must save us, employs the common trick popular among the vaccine establishment of pretending that numbers appearing significant on a relative basis are meaningful in absolute terms. She warns:
In the last 10 years there has been a doubling in the number of students with exemptions for vaccinations in our schools. 
Yes, that may be true; exemptions may climb from 2,000 to 6,000 (the press release only gives percentages not actual numbers so 2,000 to 6,000 is a guess extrapolated from California exemption data) over a ten year period - in a population of millions - but rates overall may increase due to various factors including state funding, vaccine campaigns and public heath outreach.

But what if rising exemptions mean more parents are becoming aware of the scam behind vaccination and are deciding not to participate. For a Machine whose existence is predicated upon such a scam, dissent of this nature cannot be tolerated and must be extinguished at first sign.

To that end, Dr Swanson then descends into wild speculation to advance her rickety case in support of these browbeating sessions, stating:
The biggest reason [for exemptions] may be a convenience factor. 
And that's based on what exactly? She offers no evidence, even though, in today’s blogosphere, links to support statements are quite easy to incorporate into one’s work. Maybe she just made it up? Regardless, what she does do is use the weasel word may which can be used to say anything regardless of the facts.

Weasel words are important components of the Machine’s propaganda efforts and in this case Dr. Wendy Sue employs the weasel word may with great alacrity. But in reality, with no evidence, "convenience" may either be the biggest reason or "convenience" may not be the biggest reason.

Perhaps she feels the public will be more amenable to being led around by the nose if she can sketch the debate in terms of irresponsible parents to busy to take the time to get their life saving vaccines

Or maybe parents, rather than being lazy and stupid like the establishment imagines us to be, just realize despite the millions spend hyping vaccines those vaccines aren’t very important.

But wait here comes her defense of her position
The state suggests that 95% of exemptions are not for a medical reason, but one for convenience.
Ah yes, an unsubstantiated “suggestion” by the state. Wonderful. We’d be crazy not to believe anything the state “suggests” because they have our best interest at heart and because they have no vested interest in maintaining high levels of unwanted vaccination.

Her limited grasp of the vaccination issue (and fixation on the imagined convenience factor) then leads her to state:
Seems like you’d never opt out of immunizations for convenience putting your child or another child at risk.
But as readers of this blog are well aware, not vaccinating cannot put anyone at risk. Infectious agents predate vaccines; therefore one can only protect against, not create, risks because, again, those risks have always existed. As a parent you do have the responsibility to protect your child (not the children of others) so then the issue becomes protect from what: potentially risky medical interventions or mild illnesses that used to be part of growing up. I think I’ll let parents, not the police state, decide which is more worrisome.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Me and the CDC

While writing last weeks post on Forbes magazine's infatuation with vaccination, I came across a statistic (wildly inconsistent the the current body of scientific evidence) that's bandied about endlessly in the vaccine community: as many as 1 out of every 500 contracting the measles will die from it. In the piece, I speculated as to where it's origin lie but it was only speculation. I decided to contact the CDC and wrote:
Your site makes this claim:
 For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die.
What is the basis for this number? In the pre-vaccine era ~450 deaths occurred out of 3-4 million cases. That's far fewer that 1 or 2 deaths per thousand.
To their credit, they responded promptly, proffering this "answer":
Measles can have more serious effects and complications on children, especially children less than 5 years of age, than on younger adults. Pneumonia, which is more common in children, is responsible for approximately 60 percent of deaths. It is estimated that 1 out of every 1,000 children with measles will die. In the pre-vaccine era in the US, approximately 3 to 4 million cases occurred each year, but not all cases occurred in children. So, one would expect the mortality rate to be lower than 1 per thousand.
Very nice, but I don't actual see an answer to my question in the text. Do you? Was my question confusing or unclear? I don't think so.

But let's eliminate some extranious material to examine the question's clarity. Stripped down, the dialogue goes something like this:
Robert: What's the basis for the claim "for every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die."
CDC: It is estimated that 1 out of every 1,000 children with measles will die
No, the question was clear; maybe they were just avoiding it. Or maybe they don't even know their own sources. Neither is a glowing reflection on the agency. But I really was hoping for an answer considering the "statistic's" popularity within the vaccination community. Anyway it's no big deal. It's a point that can be easily refuted with citable evidence. And I'm sure one day, a source or rationale will emerge. 

More troubling than this unsatisfying response was the thought that some would have to deal with the CDC or another government agency to provide answers regarding questions of much greater importance - such as those involving vaccine injuries and their causes. What would those people do and what recourse would they have? It's a sobering question and, in light of the bureaucratic, pro-vaccine nature of the establishment,  one I'm happy I'll never have to ask

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Forbes: Magazine of the Machine

Forbes magazine and have become, over the past year, particularly active in dispensing establishment propaganda. I’ve come across a number of their pro-vaccine pieces in recent months but have not had the opportunity to comment. That is until now. Yesterday I came across an article by Steven Salzberg, a Professor and Director of the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at the University of Maryland, College Park, that was so absurd it demanded action.

Characteristic of Forbes reporting, the piece contains a slew of either unsubstantiated or patently false talking points.

The author begins by imagining that a few cases of the measles now appearing across the country are the product of an amorphous “anti-vaccine” movement. Unsurprisingly, he provides no evidence of such causality. (Vaccine propaganda requires only assertions not evidence)

Arguing against this theory are record high vaccination rates and the fact that, since the introduction of vaccinations, there have always been sporadic cases of vaccine preventable illness, “anti-vaccination movement” or not.

Unless there were a 100% vaccination rate, no one too young to be vaccinated, no travel and vaccines that were perfectly effective, sporadic cases of infectious illnesses will occur. Besides, not everyone who is unvaccinated is under the spell of the anti-vaccine movement.

Moving along, the author goes on to parrot the Machine talking point that the “measles is a dangerous …virus,” employing, to support his assertion, an unsubstantiated CDC claim that:
“For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die.”
The CDC provides no basis for the figure but they’re likely clinging to data obtained during a single US outbreak occurring in the 90s affecting a particularly unrepresentative and especially vulnerable population: the urban poor. Further, underreporting of cases was widespread during this outbreak, making the measles seem more formidable than they actually were.

As a matter of fact, in the pre-vaccine era out of 3-4 million cases only about ~450 deaths were reported. Additionally, a recent European outbreak to which Salzburg, in his piece, refers, shows one death occurring out of 6,500 cases. This is in line with other recent European outbreaks. Additionally, as mentioned previously, it’s well known that measles cases are widely underreported; so deaths are likely to occur in at a rate of even less than 1 per every five or six thousand cases.

It is upon this rickety foundation that Salzberg claims, in regards to the measles, “This is not a disease to take lightly.” But, as far as “diseases” go, the measles is one to be taken lightly. It’s hardly even worthy of being called a disease. In the pre-vaccine era, when kids got the measles, parents said their kid was sick. Not that he or she had a disease.

Salzberg’s attempts to paint the measles as “dangerous” is just another example of the Machine distorting language in order to create a false impression under which vaccination seems warrented.

His obsessive fondness for vaccination then compels him to lament:
California now has about 2% of parents refusing vaccines for their children for personal beliefs. This gaping hole in our public health system needs to be closed.
Calling a 2% personal belief exemption rate a “gaping hole” is nothing more than wild hyperbole. The sad fact is that (since there should be no such thing as a vaccine mandate) there is an exemption rate at all. As to the “gaping hole,” one does exist, but it is in regards to the gaping hole in a parent’s freedom to raise their children as they see fit and without the interference of a hyperactive public health apparatus.

Salzberg then turns to a common - yet absurd - talking point popular with vaccine peddlers: those who don’t vaccinate put others at risk.
…they [parents who don’t vaccinate] appear unconcerned about the risk they forcing on the rest of us…if parents refuse to vaccinate their children, they are putting the rest of us at risk, and these children need to be kept out of public schools.
As to putting you at or forcing risk upon you, the risk of infectious illness exists and has existed for thousands of years. No one forces it upon you. My not vaccinating simply denies you additional protection to which you have no right. It’s you, not I, who is responsible to protect yourself. Vaccines give you the means by which to do this.

In regards to keeping kids out of school, people, kids included have a right to reject unwanted medical interventions. This right does not stop at the schoolhouse door. If not for government interference in education, one would be free to attend whichever school one chose. Schools would be free to set their own requirements for admission. Vaccination could be among those requirements. Fans of vaccination such as Salzburg could attend those with rigid vaccination policies while others not so enamored with the practice could attend schools without a vaccination requirement. Unfortunately, government makes a scenario involving free choice impossible and therefore morally abrogates it’s right to set such vaccine requirements

Continuing, Salzburg claims:
Parents who follow this advice [not to vaccinate] rely on the immunization of others to protect their own children,
But we don’t rely on you to do anything. Stop vaccinating. I dare you. You vaccinate because you’re afraid of the mumps. I’m not. Besides, rely implies that I’d be in dire straits or I’d have to act without you. Neither is true.

His terror at being put at risk by unvaccinated children cavorting through schools continues:
They also neglect to consider that vaccines are never 100% effective, so even those of us who vaccinate our kids are still bearing a greater risk by allowing the unvaccinated to attend school.
 Yes, your risk is greater than if you had the right to have government thugs force unwanted vaccines on other people. But you don’t have that right so get over it. You just have the right to the protection you can obtain by your own voluntary actions; not actions forced upon others.

In conclusion, Salzburg floats the bizarre suggestion that: 
We could start by telling people to get vaccinated before they leave the country. If they refuse, we could require them to be tested for infections when they return.
He fails to comprehend is that people have rights and these rights supercede his personal desires. People, going about their everyday lives, cannot have their freedom violated. And freedom involves the right to travel without being poked with the vaccinators needle. It also includes the right not to be, unless probable cause exists, tested, examined and probed for signs of infectious illness.

Crazy ideas such as the one proffered by Salzberg warn us about what the police state of the future may look like. And we must be vigilant in resisting  such a regime. But more importantly we must begin to dismantle the hidden police which already exists and has as it's foundation  mandatory vaccination