Possibly the vilest anti-vax rant ever

iStock_000009978311Small copy

I can tell you that anti-vaxxers are profoundly ignorant conspiracy theorists, but it is far more powerful to illustrate it with the idiocy spewed from an anti-vaxxer herself.

This comes from the crowd of cretins on the Mothering.com Vaccinations Board. In response to a request for more information about the polio outbreak among children in war-zone in Syria, MaggieLC has this to say:

I don’t know how accurate the reports are, that much paralysis sounds really high! It takes months or a year for the original symptoms and inflammation of Polio to calm and at least a year to know if a child will be paralyzed. (My dad had Polio in the 1940s, absolutely no paralysis, no iron lung, no lasting effects, but was in bed for around 6 months so our family is quite familiar with it.) Of course in the majority of cases, Polio presents as a really bad upper respiratory infection (it’s how my dad’s and everybody elses in the 1930s and 40s started) and never goes beyond a respiratory infection so MANY cases go undiagnosed.

Really? Thousands of paralyzed victims of polio, including President Franklin Roosevelt, would disagree.

Basic ignorance; nothing special there. But then comes the kicker:

Also, these camps are not clean, people are packed in together and human waste is flowing through the streets, AND SO they use Oral Polio Vaccine which is ALIVE and is excreted in the stool for up to 6 months after vaccination! Using LIVE polio vaccine will only INCREASE polio rates in the area because anyone who is exposed to the stool of children who are getting the vaccine are being exposed to LIVE POLIO. Why would they do this? A ploy to “show how dangerous it is not to be vaccinated?” Sounds like the intentional exacerbation of events…

You heard it; UNICEF is deliberately causing polio in Syrian children to demonstrate how dangerous it is not be vaccinated!

Who is this clown, anyway? As it happens, she is the lactation consultant who cheerfully advises lying to her clients about vaccination status. I thought that was the vilest anti-vax garbage that I had ever read, but in just a few weeks MaggieLC has managed to surpass herself with what may be the vilest anti-vax rant ever.

What motivates absurd conspiracy theories like this? Cognitive dissonance. The reality, apparently unacceptable to MaggieLC, is that reduced rates of vaccination have led to a polio outbreak.

The World Health Organization has declared a polio emergency in Syria.

After being free of the crippling disease for more than a decade, Syria 10 confirmed cases of polio in October. Now the outbreak has grown to 17 confirmed cases, the WHO last week. And the virus has spread to four cities, including a war-torn suburb near the capital of Damascus. According to NPR:

The Syrian government has pledged to immunize all Syrian children under age 5. But wartime politics is getting in the way. And the outbreak is expected to grow…

Most cases have occurred in children less than 2 years old, who were born in Syria after the war started and missed their routine vaccinations, he says.

But, but, but MaggieLC “knows” that the fact that polio has nearly disappeared and the polio vaccine had nothing to do with it. How can she reconcile that with what is actually happening? By resorting to inane conspiracy theories, of course:

Read the information. Polio Is mild disease 99 per cent of the time. People with low immunity have been known to GET Polio and die from coming in contact with the feces of pp who have been recently given the oral vaccine.

Do you think biological warfare is not being practiced? …

So there you have it, folks. UNICEF is practicing biological warfare on little Syrian children by giving them an oral vaccine that will deliberately spread the disease, and resulting paralysis, not prevent it.

That’s crazy even in the crazy world of Mothering.com. When others demanded evidence for her vile accusation, MaggieLC had this to say:

Don’t tell me what to do.

BLOCK!

She blocked the questioners so she could pretend they don’t exist.

When you are a vaccine rejectionist reality is such a bummer!

  • Nonnymouz

    I’m originally from an area where we have a large religious group that doesn’t believe in vaccination. As a result, we’ve had polio outbreaks in the late 70s, early 80s for polio, and at least one measles. I’ve had the measles vaccination more times than I can count. And, I currently work in an area with high immigration levels, some of whom have not had their vaccinations. We had an outbreak of pertussis among a coworker’s child recently. I caught it because recent allergies make it difficult for me to have booster vaccines. An autoimmune condition landed me in the hospital overnight; fortunately, my doctor had started me on antibiotics, so it was only overnight. I also managed to infect several other coworkers. Upon discharge, I had to follow up with all of the specialists I see. I missed a week of work, and was still sick, though not contagious, when I returned. Vaccines work. Those of us who have potential for compromised immune systems need you to get them.

  • Gunnvor Valkyrie

    Sigh…
    Those people on the boards probably are not familiar with the devastation of polio because they live in countries where the vaccination rate has been so good for a long time the disease has been eradicated. Except the propaganda of the ‘natural’ crowd is working tirelessly to change that. I think it is selfish to be honest. People with compromised immune systems like people suffering from AIDS depend on other people getting their vax to keep them safer.

  • Sullivan ThePoop

    On another note and this is a little OT, but I think it is pretty cool. I don’t know if everyone knows about the 2009 swine flu vaccine with a novel adjuvant that was used in several countries other than the US being linked with an increased risk for narcolepsy in children and how they thought it was the adjuvant since no children in the US got narcolepsy after vaccination and we used a vaccine without the adjuvant. Well, as many scientists were studying this issue a bunch of clinical reports came out of China about how children who caught the 2009 swine flu had an increased risk for narcolepsy.

    It turns out that this particular strain of flu has an antigen where part of it is just like a part of the brain that produces chemicals that help keep you awake. So if you make an antibody to that part of the antigen and you are under a certain age you develop narcolepsy. This antibody was found to be present in all children with narcolepsy and no children without in three different studies. The only reason the adjuvant vaccine increased the risk and not the one without the adjuvant is because the adjuvant was doing its job to increase the immune response and in such a round about way.

    So, it is very likely that influenza is the cause of childhood onset narcolepsy. Why I think it is so cool is because that would be the first complex autoimmune disorder that we found a definite cause for.

  • Burgundy

    My friend emailed me “penn & teller bullshit vaccines” link on youtube today. They really address the anti-vax issue well.

    • Teleute

      • http://anniedeezy.tumblr.com/ Annie

        COMPLETELY off-topic, but for a split second I thought that elephant and giraffe were getting busy.

        But yes, I can’t even with these people.

        • Teleute

          You’re not alone!

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    Slightly off topic, but does anyone else find it strange that the same people who insist that “allopathic medicine” never addresses prevention of disease are also anti-vax? What is vaccination but a large scale preventative medical plan? Oh, well, the same group of people also complain that doctors keep telling them what to do (i.e. stop drinking so much alcohol, eat less fatty food, stop smoking, exercise more, etc) and only want to give them pills, so it’s not like consistency is a strong point here.

    • araikwao

      Oooooh yes I have. It is but one facet of the STUPID that annoys me so.

  • Burgundy

    Slightly OT, my friend get a notice from her kids’ school this week. There are whooping cough cases in their area — which is the big anti-vax central in San Diego. Coincident? I think not.

    • http://anniedeezy.tumblr.com/ Annie

      It’s a consipracehhh!

  • Sullivan ThePoop

    I just got blocked from facebook for posting this: Karen-It is a very good assumption on the Mccafferty’s part that an unvaccinated person was responsible for giving their child pertussis because even though vaccinated children can get pertussis all recent outbreaks have been traced back to unvaccinated children. How does that violate their community policy?

  • EricaJ

    Based of a retrospective study of Franklin Roosevelt ‘s clinical notes it was concluded that he most likely had Landry-Guillain-Barre syndrome not polio.

    • Beth

      really? that’s fascinating – do you know where I could find that study?

    • Sullivan ThePoop

      I don’t agree with that study. Although there are aspects of FDR’s illness that fit better with GBS, there were physical symptoms that do not at all fit GBS. It was rare for a person FDR’s age to get polio, but he was isolated from other children until his teens which left him at greater risk for contracting polio.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      One study predicted the “likelihood” that FDR had Guillain-Barre vs. polio based on the presumed incidence of the two diseases at the time and the “fit” of the symptoms with classic textbook definitions.

      As anyone who has ever practiced medicine knows, the relative incidence of a disease at a given time offers an important heuristic for thinking about the differential diagnosis, it tells us NOTHING about what the patient actually has.

      Moreover, anyone who has ever practiced medicine knows that patients don’t read the textbooks. They can have any mix of symptoms in addition to or instead of textbook symptoms.

      According to the paper you are referring to, it is more “likely” that an adult with similar symptoms at that time had G-B. According to the clinicians on the scene, FDR had polio.

  • CC

    Whoa, whoa, whoa — did anyone catch this gem: she wrote: “Info on % of cases result in permanent paralysis: about 1%. It’s medically impossible to have 20 cases of Polio and 17 of them resulting in permanent paralysis.”

    I can’t even handle that she’s basically comparing polio to a little sniffle.

    • Young CC Prof

      Someone who understands epidemiology says, “Ah, 17 cases of paralysis. There must be hundreds of subclinical cases out there!”

      She says, “Only 20 reported cases and 17 of paralysis? It’s impossible! They’re lying!”

      Switching between reported cases and actual cases effortlessly. A classic anti-vaxxer lie.

  • Kat

    Mmmmm, she be crazy here too. She mentions the “vaccine Injury” of her Cri-du-Chat child as the reason she turned against vaccines. (It’s a chromosomal disorder lady. Also, she mentions that child was vaccine injured twice, which would be pretty much statistically impossible, and cites the second disorder as Cerebellar Ataxia, which I think actually could be a vaccine injury, except the child is already Cri-du-Chat, so that would likely cause the symptoms of that ataxia–like the ataxia might not even exist. Not a doctor or anything, so I could be really wrong.)

    But the best part is that she uses a personal example that PROVES her family was put at risk by not being vaccinated.

    “Plus, myself and two of my three children were vaxed (one only semi vaxed) against Pertussis. Our family GOT Pertussis a few years back. My little one, who had never had a Pertussis vaccine, got it, my oldest, who HAD gotten 2 oe 3 Pertussis vaccines got it, my middle one got it, and I got it. There was NO difference in severity based on who was vaccinated. NONE. PLus, our experince would NOT cause me to vax for Pertussis if were to have an other child. NOr will any of us get “boosters” of this poison. The vaccine is worse than the disease. I’ve LIVED both the disease and fall out and damage from the vaccine, I’d take the disease hands down every time with Pertussis. It sucked, but the vaccine reaction was FAR WORSE.”

    Well, Honey. Well… The first one of your brood who got it was the UNVACCINATED CHILD. How does that prove the vaccine wouldn’t have helped. It seems to prove the inverse. Okay, but maybe she’s saying that her vaccinated child got it–well, that’s possible. Also, how old is the eldest child. The immunity does actually wear out woman. The middle one got it, but the middle one is only semi-vaxxed, so… … And then she got it, and I’m sure she never got the booster, so she’s not covered. So by her story, her gross unvaccinated child infected the rest of her family. Only one vaccinated person got it, but we can maybe assume that person was not covered.

    So… the whole ordeal could have been prevented if everyone had been vaccinated and gotten boosters. That proves vaccines don’t work… how?

    And I wonder if she would be singing the same song if her youngest broke a rib, punctured a lung, and died? Because it’s fine and dandy to say you didn’t mind having a disease when it was mild, but another to say that if you… well…. die.

    I hate this woman and her ilk. I’m seriously considering never having children so I never have to have someone get their gross unvaxxed kids near me or my family. I’m only kind of being hyperbolic there.

    • Trixie

      Yet in that other thread she claimed it would be virtually impossible for her to transmit pertussis to an INNOCENT NEWBORN. And she LIES to the parents. This woman is an immoral idiot.

      • Kat

        Yep, I know we’ve covered that thread pretty extensively, but I was rereading it, and it was actually kind of evil. She has all the ‘necessary’ vaccines though, so it’s okay to lie.

    • Elaine

      She now notes that her child doesn’t have a chromosomal disorder and the “cri du chat” was something her doctor said that she assumed was correct and subsequently referred to incorrectly because she had the bad sense to trust someone with an MD after their name.

      • Kat

        Wow, I’m really startled by that reply. I guess the fact she addressed this comment thread directly is actually startling.

        What she describes from her doctor sounds pretty inappropriate, but she should have taken the child in for further evaluation I guess. I have no idea what the situation was/is, so it’s unfair for me to judge this particular incident of care. Anyway, if her child does not have a chromosomal disorder, then the Cerebral Ataxia could be vaccine related (I think. Again, no expert. Someone should check me on that.) However, then the child would still not be vaccine injured twice, so she could at least stop using that statistical improbability to scare monger.

        However, and I hope she’s reading so I can address this: I have a right to criticize her in my opinion, because while the posters here myself included might be harming others with our words, she is deliberately lying about her vaccine status to clients which is not only dishonest, but also life threatening. My words are very unlikely to kill a child. Her incomplete pertussis immunity really might. I know anti-vaccine people think those of us who are really concerned about the dangers of not vaccinating are just zombies of Big Pharma or something, but that cannot give them the right to ignore my concerns in a health care setting and act as if we are self-righteous to be concerned about the health of the people treating our children. Furthermore, she’s the one wielding wild accusations against health care organizations trying to help people, and what she is saying is much more hateful than what any of us are saying. But I guess she’s sure she is right and godly that she doesn’t realize she’s being hateful and cruel as well, or even worse, that she has a right to use language in a way that we do not.

        I’m very sorry about her child’s suffering, vaccine related or not, but that doesn’t give her the right to act like she is acting and proceed in the world, the real world and the internet, with such entitlement and such a double standard.

    • Karyn Croushore Hodgins

      Plus, wasn’t there a report last year about a new strain of Perussis that was not covered by the vaccine yet? I had it last year (I am vaccinated) and all my children and my 3 year old grandchild who were all more recently vaccinated (My last TDAP was in 2010) did not get it. My neighbor had it about a month ago! I will take the vaccine! That cough lasts for months!

  • GuestB

    They’re on to you, Dr. Amy! The most recent post on that thread is wondering if there is any copyright violation cuz you stole their words! Good heavens. Not this shit again.

    • anion

      Note to those wondering: No. It is not a copyright violation. Your words are shared for critical analysis, which generally falls under the Fair Use Doctrine. Look it up. (That’s not the only way in which it falls under Fair Use, and Fair Use isn’t the only way it’s not a copyright violation, that’s just the easiest to explain.)

      (Again, GuestB, that’s not a reply to you, it’s me using your comment as a springboard. Obviously you know it isn’t a violation.)

    • Trixie

      I posted something in a public forum on the internet and I’m mad that someone I don’t like read it! Waaaaah

  • Guestll

    “My father had polio in a developed country and it wasn’t that bad, ergo, I know everything there is to know about polio in a war zone.”
    Sorry to steal, Dr. Amy, but — napalm grade stupid.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Also, for certain values of “not that bad”. I wouldn’t call an illness that left a child in bed for 6 months “not bad” even if he did eventually recover. And, no, the child probably wouldn’t have survived in a war zone.

  • onandoff

    She also claims that the MMR vaccine caused her child’s Crei Du Chat [sic]. It just caused that bit of chromosome to fall right off!

    • slandy09

      The government is reprogramming our DNA! Agggghhhh!!!! (sarcasm, of course)

      • anion

        I heard it’s a real experiment, to create some sort of team of people with these DNA mutations. There’s this professor behind the whole thing named Xavier, or something? I’m not sure. It’s all very secret. I shouldn’t even mention it or think about it. Apparently this “Professor” can read minds.

        • Certified Hamster Midwife

          That sounds promising. I hope that one day they issue some kind of publication about this project.

          • anion

            *is geekily delighted by your reply*

          • Dr Kitty

            …Possibly serialised in some way, and distributed to a dedicated readership via specialist shops…

          • Certified Hamster Midwife

            I hope that there are illustrations, too.

    • SkepticalGuest

      Oh man…the crazy makes me crazy, but I feel a twinge of sympathy too. Getting hit by a rare disease can feel so random, and the human mind scrambles for scapegoats. She must be having a hard time.

      • Trixie

        Doesn’t excuse her long to parents of newborns though.

    • PrimaryCareDoc

      wow. I saw that she keeps saying that she has a child who is vaccine injured. I wondered what the injury was.

      Cri-du-chat.

      Not a vax injury at all. Rotten genetic luck, but how she can even claim that it is a vaccine injury is beyond me.

      • Certified Hamster Midwife

        Maybe she thinks that the vaccine damaged her or her partner’s chromosomes?

      • onandoff

        OK, so in her … defense … I think she’s just totally ignorant of what cri-du-chat is and thinks it’s high pitched screaming. She says elsewhere, If you had to helplessly watch your baby screaming a high pitched Cri du Chat and twitch for 48 hours after one multivaccine and then later have seizures and develop Acute Cerebellar Ataxia from an other, (and then develop myriad neurological issues from she still suffers from in her late 20s) … “. I believe the dtap caused twitching and screaming and the MMR caused the cerebellar ataxia. And hib caused something else…

        • PrimaryCareDoc

          Ah. Can’t imagine she’d be ignorant of something. I’ll bet if someone calls her on it, she’ll shriek, “Don’t put words in my mouth! I never said Cri du Chat! BLOCK!”

        • Elaine

          This seems to be the case. Her doctor said cri-du-chat and she assumed that was correct.

      • Dr Kitty

        I don’t think her daughter has 5p-, I think she used “Cri du Chat” to refer to high pitched cries the child made with a fever.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cri_du_chat

        Because 5p- is NOT just about the cry.

        • Mishimoo

          Exactly, people with Cri du Chat have different physical features as well as behavioural and cognitive differences. (One of my mother’s clients had it)

    • Kat

      As someone pointed out on my thread, she addresses that issue here: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1394557/i-put-my-foot-in-my-mouth-come-and-let-me-have-it/20

      Thoughts?

      • onandoff

        LOLOLOLOLOL!!! Sorry, I know that’s not constructive. You would just think someone so well-informed about vaccine reactions, who has done so much research because her child HAD a vaccine reaction would know, through the most cursory look at the internet, that her pediatrician misspoke.

        • Kat

          I would probably take my child to a doctor after a diagnosis of a cognitive disorder.

          It’s also weird, because that child is now an adult, so wouldn’t she have figured out it wasn’t cri-du-chat by now?

      • guest

        IdentityCrisisMama, is that you?

        • Kat

          Me? I’m amused to be mistaken for someone, but you’re absolutely wrong.

          • Guesty

            Really? You say MY thread- what thread do you mean?

          • Kat

            Oh, I meant the thread related to the comment I posted earlier here. I guess it’s not a thread, really, but rather a train of comments? I haven’t quite worked out the discus lingo, and I’m sorry for the confusion.

  • fiftyfifty1

    “Of course in the majority of cases, Polio presents as a really bad upper respiratory infection”

    She doesn’t even get this right. The majority of polio cases (90 %) are entirely asymptomatic. If there are symptoms, they are usually gastrointestinal (tummy ache, diarrhea etc). sometimes it is a sore throat. But usually “a really bad upper respiratory infection”? She made that up. In about 3% of cases, polio enters the central nervous system, where it can cause anything from severe headache to paralysis to encephalitis and death. Antivaxers will say that polio wasn’t dangerous before the invention of sewer systems caused people to get polio at a later age when it is more likely to cause paralysis. It’s true that an outcome of paralysis is more common in kids and adults, but the worst outcome of all, encephalitis, is more common in babies. Babies just got a fever, lost consciousness and died. But babies up and died a lot back in the Good Old Days.

    • anion

      “But babies up and died a lot back in the Good Old Days.”

      But I bet their eyes glowed like crazy before they did!

  • Dr Kitty

    Earth to MaggieLC people are being exposed to live attenuated Polio because there is a real chance they could be exposed to live wild Polio…which apparently isn’t a problem anyway according to you!

    17 cases of infantile paralysis means 1700 cases of Polio…in a country which, until 2010, had good vaccination rates. That is HORRIFYING, and shows which herd immunity is so important.

    If everyone in the USA thought like Maggie and didn’t vaccinate their kids all it would take would be a few immigrants from Sub Saharan Africa or Syria with Polio and there would be major outbreaks in the USA.

    Vaccine rejection depends on
    1) enough people continuing to vaccinate to maintain herd immunity for those who don’t
    2) a stable geo-political situation
    3) an absence of natural disasters

    Which is a lot of gambles…

    • auntbea

      Real polio? No biggie. Attenuated polio? BIOLOGICAL WEAPON!

      • Young CC Prof

        If your child develops antibodies without symptomatic infection, the pristine nature of his immune system will be destroyed forever. Just as daily bread is gained by the sweat of our brows, and children are brought forth with pain, so must antibodies be bought only with fever and suffering.

        So, by that logic, mononucleosis must be really dangerous, since 90% of children have immunity by age 1, and very few had a significant illness in the process.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          Does that make ABO antibodies the ultimate evil since essentially everyone (who is not AB) has them at birth?

          • Young CC Prof

            No! That makes them good, since they’re like maternal antibodies, and everyone knows maternal antibodies will magically protect your baby for years (not weeks) against illnesses you’ve never even had.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            But they aren’t maternal antibodies, they’re fetal antibodies. Which I suppose are free of original sin or something. Anyway, what if the maternal antibodies are derived from vaccines? My daughter presumably got ab from my fluvax and pre-pregnancy MMR renewal…

          • Young CC Prof

            I ran into one antivaxxer who claims that women can’t produce maternal antibodies if they had a vaccine, only if they had the disease naturally. She was “educated,” see. (And has no idea what maternal antibodies actually are.)

          • The Computer Ate My Nym


            How does that work?

          • MaineJen

            Quibble: anti AB antibodies don’t actually show up until 4-6 months of age…that’s why “backtyping” can’t be done on babies, only “forward” typing (where you test their red blood cells against known antisera). But after 6 months you’re right, essentially everyone who is not AB has them.

  • http://shameonbetterbirth.wordpress.com/ Shameon Betterbirth

    ewwww

  • anion

    So the takeaway lesson here for expectant/new mothers is: Ask the LC if she’s been vaccinated, and do not take “I’m up to date on all necessary vaccinations” as an acceptable answer. *Ask for specifics!*

    Heck, ask to see the records.

    • KarenJJ

      Sheesh, give up and go straight to the formula bottle and keep well away from the loons. Might be safer…

    • http://shameonbetterbirth.wordpress.com/ Shameon Betterbirth

      Take away lesson needs to be that hospitals should be required by law to verify vaccine status of all employees. People should not have to fend for themselves against crazies like this lady.

      • anion

        You know…that is a really good idea.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        When I started working at my current position I was required to get tested for immunity to measles, rubella, hepatitis b, and a couple of other things that I don’t remember any more. If any had been negative I would have been required to get vaccinated or provide evidence that vaccination was an unacceptably high risk for me. Also, required to get and document flu shots yearly (or, again, provide evidence of unacceptably high risk of getting the shot.) If that makes you feel any better.

        • http://shameonbetterbirth.wordpress.com/ Shameon Betterbirth

          I’ve worked at a lot of hospitals. I’ve been required to prove vaccination status as well, but only one hospital I worked at required actual written proof from a religious leader to turn down vaccinations ‘for religious reasons’, so anti-vaxxers can still opt out most of the time.

          • Young CC Prof

            Though now some hospitals require you to wear a mask all winter if you don’t get a flu shot, regardless of the reason. Many of them see vaccine uptake rates in excess of 99% once that rule comes down the pike.

  • Guest

    As I’ve said before, this is the beauty & curse of the internet. You can find a website that, in theory anyway, will back up any opinion you might have. When a friend of mine decided not to vaccinate her child, I was angry at her for not telling me (I figured it out from conversations we’d had). I had a newborn during a whooping cough outbreak & we visited them! So selfish of her, I thought. I wondered if she might have seen information that I hadn’t, so I started researching vaccinations. What I found was upsetting.
    All the websites that sited specific reasearch pointed towards a very low risk to babies from being vaccinated. The one study that pointed to a correlation between vaccinations & autism was retracted due to faulty research techniques (I believe).
    The sites that were against vaccination, usually don’t come right out and say they’re against it, but are filled with horrifying stories about babies dying or toddlers being severely effected by a vaccination. The risk is very low, but after reading some of the stories, I can see how some parents would be scared. I still vaccinated, but I’ll admit I watched my daughter pretty closely after all of her shots.
    For the shots given when babies are very young, it’s difficult to know if they’ll have a reaction as a pre-existing medical condition would likely be undiagnosed in one so young. I still think even partial immunity due to vaccinations is better than catching the disease, but maybe I’d feel differently if I was a parent who lost their child due to a bad reaction to a vaccine.

    • Box of Salt

      Guest “The one study . . . was retracted due to faulty research techniques (I believe).”

      Wakefield’s misconduct goes beyond ordinary research fraud, and was detailed by journalist by Brian Deer in the British Medical Journal almost 2 years ago, and can be found on his website: http://briandeer.com/solved/bmj-secrets-series.htm
      I’m not linking directly to the BMJ as the whole series of articles would require multiple links.

      Unfortunately, the anti-vaccine voices on the internet are loud and always present, and most of them are so heavily invested in the idea that vaccines are bad one cannot reason with them even when the arguments they present are clearly not based on fact.

      • Guest

        I knew it had been retracted, I just couldn’t remember exactly why.

      • thepragmatist

        I DESPISE Wakefield. Not to roll out the hyperbole but you know he knows that he’s full of it, and what he’s doing by continuing to lie to people is horrid. He’s STILL on the antivax talk trail, still trying to dissuade parents from vaccinating, and I do sincerely believe it’s because he’s a charlatan.

        • Dr Kitty

          Wakefield was in it for the money and the fame.
          He epitomises the “bad doctor” that all these NCB, and anti vax groups claim is the profession’s default.

          He was motivated by ego and greed to suppress the truth and harmed (and continues to harm) children in the process.

          I think the GMC said it best when they struck him off for “bringing the profession into disrepute”.

          He is a terrible human being,

          • thepragmatist

            He really deserved jail time for what he did. He single-handedly is responsible for many of those measles outbreaks. He’s a menace.

          • Young CC Prof

            Yet another example of conspiracy theorists being incredibly gullible and unable to see actual corruption when it’s staring them right in the face.

            Question authority: good heuristic. Flat-out reject anything said by anyone in authority and go believe the opposite: Pretty silly.

  • Karen in SC

    I’d like to write a story similar to The Christmas Carol where a midwife ILLC AHCB XYZ ETC is visited by three ghosts. At the end, she learns to respect birth and is a better health care provider. Maybe it can be a guest post!

    • auntbea

      Um, are they ghosts of dead babies? I don’t want to read that story.

      • Karen in SC

        Not necessarily. I’m still thinking about it…

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          The ghosts of medicine past, present, and future? Past could come in with stories of how birth went in the “good old days”, present with stories of how birth usually goes now, compared to then (to the envy of medicine past). Future could be…hmm…we’re all born in uterine replicators and midwives have no more place in society–but nurses and doctors still do?

          • Kiwi

            Couldn’t the future be where midwives are properly educated, regulated and integrated to work alongside OB’s.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Not if it’s the ghost of Christmas future equivalent. The future you describe is what happens when the midwife, inspired by the ghosts of medicine past, present, and future reforms.

          • Young CC Prof

            Yeah, the Christmas Future should show something dreadful happening if things go on as they are.

            Perhaps a world of true dichotomy in childbearing and no good choices at all. You can deliver in a birthing center/home with appalling death rates and no real help available even in an emergency, or you can deliver in a hospital which is a caricature of NCB myths, where absolutely all babies are taken by c-section at precisely 38W6D and then separated from their mothers for a full three days. Injections to prevent lactation are routinely given and almost impossible to subvert, etc.

            Finally, the midwife comes to realize that safe and comfortable childbirth can only come when the midwives and the hospitals work together. Cheesy? Of course!

          • Karen in SC

            Hey, you’re reading my plot outline…. LOL

          • http://kumquatwriter.wordpress.com/ Kumquatwriter

            Perhaps the midwife’s daughter dies in the future?

          • Certified Hamster Midwife

            Remember, the future has to be a vision so terrible that the main character changes her ways. You need to have the ghosts of childbirth past, present, and future.

            Past: we meet the midwife’s 18th century ancestor, a traditional midwife, attending a birth. The baby and mother die of something emergent and easily screened for and treated today (placental abruption? footling breech?), and Scrooge McMidwife watches her ancestor go outside to fetch wood for the fire and weep bitterly, asking God why He must waste so many lives due to Eve’s curse.

            Present: a large and comfortable bedroom with a fancy Jacuzzi, low lighting, pretty furniture, and a group of family and friends and a midwife with dreadlocks supporting a woman in labor. Only something unforeseen goes wrong–we could be really hackneyed and make it the same problem that the mother and child in Childbirth Past had. The love and hope in the room turns to fear…when suddenly, from down the hall comes a medical team wheeling a stretcher that whisks the mother to the OR. It turns out this cozy homebirth scene took place in a birth center attached to a hospital.

            In Childbirth Future, the main character changes her ways. Show her reassuring a couple that some babies weren’t meant to live. Show her on trial, with the whole community angry at her. Show her standing in the graveyard surrounded by tiny tombstones that are her responsibility.

            Or a different vision of a terrible future, a standalone birth center where midwives bark orders, restrict choices, and are just as paternalistic and rigid with their patients as their straw man OBs.

          • Karen in SC

            I think you just wrote it for me! Good job!

          • anion

            Are there no medicines? Are there no vaccinations? Are there no doctors?

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Maybe at the end of childbirth present the midwife goes off someplace (parallelling the 19th century version) and complains about the unnecessarian that was performed and how she needs to start an independent birthing center where such things won’t happen…as a lead in to the Childbirth Future scene.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            (Or maybe merging your version with CC Prof’s of a complete dichotomy so that the midwife is struck by the horror of forcing the choice of safety versus autonomy on the patient and decides to work with OBs and CNMs to ensure that this never happens…)

    • Young CC Prof

      Hey, the original included women dying in childbirth, so totally fits.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Sounds like an awesome idea.

    • Trixie

      Maybe they’re babies with glowing eyes, Narvaez style.

  • Squillo

    Of course in the majority of cases, Polio presents as a really bad upper respiratory infection (it’s how my dad’s and everybody elses in the 1930s and 40s started) and never goes beyond a respiratory infection so MANY cases go undiagnosed.

    So lots of lucky folks who don’t know they have it could be spreading polio to people who may not be so lucky.

    • Young CC Prof

      Yup, that’s exactly why polio epidemics look so weird on maps and whatnot, almost like it’s coming out of nowhere. Paralytic polio is the tip of the iceberg. There are inevitably 10-100 times as many people suffering mild symptoms and continuing to spread the virus, with no idea what’s really cooking inside them.

      • Nashira

        Sweet Buddhathulu, I know what i’m having nightmares about tonight…

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        Note that currently in the US polio is rare, but people deciding to come to work with a “minor” URI rather than risk getting penalized for taking time off is common. Thus spread influenza, RSV, TB, various bacterial bronchopneumonias, pertussus…

  • Guest

    Here’s what I know about MaggieLC just from reading her post: 1) She has never, not once in her life, been responsible for a very sick child; 2) She has never gotten to know a practitioner who has devoted her or his life to fighting infectious disease.

    • Squillo

      You forgot 3) She finds facts too threatening to tolerate.

  • Squillo

    Why is it that whenever some idiot gets caught making stupid or dishonest statements, the defense is always “I was just stating my opinion”?

    “I think MaggieLC is the stupidest person on the planet and probably eats babies for lunch in her spare time.” Hey, I was just giving my opinion.

    • Awesomemom

      I sure hope she is the stupidest person on the planet, I sure would hate to meet someone dumber than her.

      • Squillo

        Amen.

    • Young CC Prof

      So if, say, you testify against someone in a court of law, and later it comes out that you totally made it all up, go ahead and try “I was just stating my opinion.”

      • http://kumquatwriter.wordpress.com/ Kumquatwriter

        I bet that’s how they try to pass off the “bitchez be krazy” testimony in ShameOnBetterBirth’s trial!

    • Kat

      The really annoying part of her in that thread is that people detailed why the live vaccine was being given with evidence as to why you use live vaccines for outbreaks and she was like–I’m stating my opinion and you’re a bully. UGHHHHH.

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    My grandmother contracted polio as a child. She had a course similar to that the writer describes for her father: prolonged weakness but eventual recovery with a residual Bell’s palsy but otherwise ok. She went on to be, as far as anyone knows, completely healthy until dropping dead (literally) one day 70+ years later, probably completely unrelated to the polio. No post-polio syndrome, no need for respiratory support, eventual recovery. Nonetheless, I can’t imagine how any sane person could consider an illness that resulted in 6 months debility and a lifelong Bell’s palsy to be a MILD illness.

  • Trixie

    She’s spewing more sanctimonious anti-vax BS on this thread: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1394278/why-are-we-so-worried-about-vax-vs-non-vax/90#post_17530010

    “It would have never occurred to me then to get my babies injected with something just to save me from having to take time off of work (although I was a SAHM at the time) or to prevent the inconvenience of being stuck in the house for over a month. I realized when I consented to accept my first pregnancy that my life was no longer just “what I wanted to do.” “

    • MaineJen

      Oh, great, now she’s trying to make it about pro-choice. Tell you what, lady: when you decided to “accept” your pregnancy, you also accepted the responsibility of keeping that kid safe, to the best of your ability. As in, *keeping them* from getting sick. It’s great that she doesn’t have to worry about taking time off of work (don’t get me started on that one), but that’s hardly the point, is it? Taking time off work or ‘being stuck in the house’ is a minor inconvenience compared to having a child sickened with, and possibly permanently harmed by, a vaccine-preventable illness. She truly has no idea what she’s talking about. Also, her privilege is showing.

    • Young CC Prof

      Right, because the worst thing about having a sick child is the inconvenience of taking time off from work. That’s when your kid has an ear infection or a mild strep and has to stay home until the antibiotics kick in. If she’d ever seen a kid actually miserably, scary SICK, she might change her mind on that one. Idiot.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        My step-mother has a story about treating a child from an anti-vax family for tetanus. It’s an awful story, made worse by the fact that she doesn’t know whether he survived or not. The kid spent a long time alone in a dark room being unable to be stimulated at all for fear of invoking a spasm. Nasty disease. And almost totally preventable with vaccines. If you don’t want to risk having your child die alone in horrible pain with you unable to see, touch, or comfort him then vaccinate against tetanus.

        • SkepticalGuest

          I had a friend who refused to vaccinate against tetanus and there was a crazy list of things her couldn’t do for fear of contracting tetanus. Like: he couldn’t help garden because they fertilized with horse manure, which is supposedly known for containing tetanus.

          Tetanus is a super scary disease, it’s everywhere, and there’s no herd immunity for the anti-vaxxers to mooch off of. To not vaccinate is crazy. To limit your kid’s activities for fear of a vaccine-preventable disease is even crazier.

          • anion

            Oh, my son doesn’t need to be vaccinated, because I’m just going to keep him in this box his whole life. He won’t know how to do a bunch of basic things when he grows up, sure, but he’ll know Mommy loves him!

          • Young CC Prof

            One of the other sites I hang out on is Free Range Kids. What I mostly like there is the encouragement not to build your whole life around trying to avoid the super-remote dangers that we see on the news.
            Vaccines actually do let you worry less! Of course your kids will get sick sometimes no matter what you do, but if they’re up to date and past their first birthday, the probability of them catching something really dangerous goes way down. Then you don’t have to be afraid of dirt, other children, travel, etc.

          • Renee Martin

            I hang out at FRK too :-)

          • Kat

            I thought some anti-vax people do sometimes vax for tetanus. With that said, what do anti-vax people do about rabies, anyone know? With it’s pretty much 100% death rate, do they vaccinate if a child is exposed? Anyone know?

        • Box of Salt

          This unvaccinated child in NZ was hospitalized for tetanus last year: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10855638

          According to the news story, the family has now changed their minds about vaccines.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Heh. I had my child injected with all sorts of things to spare her the “inconvenience” of life threatening illnesses. I’m quite happy that she never had to live through chicken pox, that we never had to take her to the hospital for pertussus, and that she has very little risk of polio. I’m glad the HBV vaccine took down her risk of cancer and am planning to reduce it further with the HPV vaccine later on. For HER convenience. Not mine.

      • anion

        My older daughter had the chicken pox vaccine. My younger didn’t (because we’d moved to England where it isn’t given). So she had chicken pox on her third birthday. It was horrible; she was okay, except for the itching (and general unhappiness, and a low-grade fever if memory serves), but geez. She had quite a few pox in places where no diaper-wearing child ought to have broken skin, which meant cleaning her up was terribly painful for her, made her bleed, required a lot of antibiotic ointment, and was terrifying for me as I pictured the infections she could get. I kept checking her diaper at short intervals all night, too, because I was so scared of what could happen if she was left for any length of time with any sort of bodily waste rubbing into her open wounds. (Funny how the risk of infection from broken pox never figures into these people’s thoughts, either. Sure, it could be a mild complication, but it could not be, too. And afaik the “diaper area” is one of the most pox-heavy places for most kids; it certainly was for me, too, when I had them at age seven. I also had one on my eyelid that literally glued my eye shut.)

        It was immensely frustrating knowing that if we’d still been in the States she wouldn’t have had to deal with any of that.

        I have the saddest little pictures in the world of her blowing out her candles and opening presents, with a weak smile and calamine all over her bumpy face.

        I just can’t understand being so cavalier about sick children. Every time mine are sick it breaks my heart. If I can somehow avoid them being that way, I’m going to do it, you know? And she was only sick for three days. I can’t imagine thinking it’s no big deal to have a child with pertussis for weeks. Do you WANT your kids to feel awful and need constant care from you? Oh, wait…

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          I have literal scars from my bout of not-all-that-bad chicken pox at age 4 or 5. I’m very happy that my daughter does not and will not. Also that she won’t get shingles from residual virus hiding in her nervous system. What the bleep is the NHS thinking not requiring or even allowing the vaccine?

          • anion

            Yep, I’ve still got a pox scar or two, myself.

            And oh, that’s nothing. When she was younger the local NHS decided they would no longer be giving out the diptheria vaccine (I believe it was diptheria), since it wasn’t really a risk anymore in our area.

            They just don’t think chicken pox is that big a deal, it seems. And of course they don’t want to spend the money for the vaccine. These are the same people who, when my husband went in with bronchitis so bad you could literally hear his lungs make sucking noises when he took a deep breath, refused to give him antibiotics and said, “You’re a pretty healthy man. Why not just give your body a chance to heal itself, and come back if you start coughing up blood.”

            (They did cough up the meds when he went back the very next day and demanded them.)

        • Young CC Prof

          In my day, parents definitely worried about the risk of infection from broken pox. I got the most aggressive manicure of my life the day I came down with it, to prevent scratching. My parents knew that even older and disciplined kids would scratch in their sleep.

          And I am most definitely glad that my child can be vaccinated and won’t suffer that. And won’t catch chicken pox at 7 days old and almost die, like my cousin did, just a couple years before the vaccine. And won’t get rotavirus, either, and is less likely to get a full-blown flu.

        • http://kumquatwriter.wordpress.com/ Kumquatwriter

          I got the Chicken Pox at sixteen. I have only been sicker in my life when I was pregnant and when I had food poisoning. I still have a scar (not prominent) from the first sore – I thought it was. particularly nasty zit at first. I am SO glad my son won’t have to go through it!

          Also, when I was about his age I got Scarletina – twice in rapid succession. I wouldn’t wish that on any child, even if it was mild. Some of my earliest and most vivid memories is the sickness and pain and agonizing rash – itchy the first time, burningly painful the second). I especially remember the second time was much worse because I knew how long it would be and how bad (but it was worse anyway.) Take those antibiotics!

        • wookie130

          I received the chickenpox vaccine, when I was 26. For some bizarre reason, I had never had the chicken pox…nor was I immune to it. So, I had a series of two shots from it. I shudder to think how severe it may have been had I actually contracted it that late into adulthood…

          My little girl will most definitely be getting the chicken pox vaccine.

          • anion

            My MIL caught chickenpox in her late thirties; she was seriously ill for weeks, to the point where the doctor was making housecalls and they almost hospitalized her.

    • Courtney84

      For some families needing to miss a day or two of work is not an inconvenience, it has potential catastrophic events on the family’s financial stability. Doesn’t this woman know not everyone has ample sick time? Doesn’t this woman know that some people lose their job if they miss too many days of work? How “inconvenient” is it when you can’t provide for your family because you’ve lost your income?

      • siri dennis

        For Heaven’s sake, we don’t vaccinate babies so their parents won’t have to take time off work – we do it to spare the babies themselves those horrible illnesses!! Aaaaaaarrrrgggggghhhhh!!!@$$^&*(#)

        • Trixie

          Although, there’s a compelling case to be made for the economic benefits of millions of children not getting sick every year. Especially when you consider the ones who’d need hospitalization and intensive ongoing medical care.

          • Young CC Prof

            Good point. Let’s assume we let measles run free. This means approximately 2 million cases per year in the USA. (There are 4 million children born, I’m conservatively assuming half catch it. In fact, almost all would.)

            Assume each simple case means a parent has to take two weeks off from work. That’s a loss of productivity of about $1,000. Assume one case in 10 is mildly complicated and each mildly complicated case means a few days in the hospital and more missed work for parent, let’s say total cost $7000. We’d also see 500 deaths and 1000 permanent brain injuries. Let’s conservatively put the deaths at $500K and the brain injuries at $1 million each. (Yes, actuaries consider permanent injury worse than death, because the permanently injured person requires ongoing care.)

            That comes to 4.65 BILLION dollars. The total cost of vaccinating all those kids? At $6 apiece, two doses per child, that comes to a mere 4 million. (If you count the full cost of a physician visit, at $100 apiece, the vaccination campaign costs 0.8 billion.)

            So, depending how you figure, the economic ROI of the measles vaccine is either 1000 to 1 or at absolute worst, 6 to 1. Either way, we’re coming out ahead.

          • Trixie

            Yeah, then add in all the vaccine-preventable other diseases, you’re probably looking at a trillion dollars. Vaccines are the world’s greatest bargain.

    • anion

      Don’t forget the part where her cousin received in the 1970s a vaccine not available until 1995.

      Oh, and if she’s unfamiliar with ANY complications of measles…she ought to Google Gene Tierney.

      I was immunized but it was discovered in my first pregnancy that I no longer had immunity to rubella, and I spent the entire time terrified that some kook’s unvaccinated child was going to give it to me.

      • Squillo

        Google Gene Tierney.

        Or Olivia Dahl.

        • Hannah

          Gene Tierney was technically German Measles, which is a different disease, but the point still stands.

          • anion

            I just still can’t get over that story. *shakes head*

            (I wasn’t sure which MaggieLC was referring to in her post, actually, so thanks.)

      • KarenJJ

        I met our new neighbours the other day. We bonded over hearing loss. Mine from a rare genetic syndrome and hers from her mother having rubella when pregnant with her. Can’t imagine that they’re not vaccinating their kids.

    • auntbea

      “get my babies injected with something just to save me from having to take time off of work”

      So, then….she admits that vaccines are effective?

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        Yep, looks like it.

      • Squillo

        What she’s admitting, although she’s probably too dim to realize it, is that everything, even her child’s healthcare, is all about her all the time.

    • Dr Kitty

      I’m a doctor…if I have to stay home it directly impacts on patient care.
      So…yep, vax to the max at our house!

    • Bombshellrisa

      What an a**hole. It’s ALL ABOUT HER, ALL THE TIME. What mother would knowingly volunteer their child for the potential of a lifetime of suffering?

      • Ennis Demeter

        Forget a lifetime, she’s saying two weeks of illness is ok.

    • slandy09

      Yes, but do you REALLY want to see your child suffer needlessly and possibly die from a disease that could have been prevented by a simple shot? I sure don’t.

      My mother-in-law has done a lot of home health care for elderly people who have Post Polio Syndrome. It isn’t pretty.

      • Bombshellrisa

        It isn’t-our experience is limited to a family member with Post Polio Syndrome but it’s made my husband very pro vax.

  • Trixie

    Has someone pieced together who this idiot is in real life so that her potential customers can be warned? She’s going to infect a baby.

  • Lisa from NY

    I have a friend who insists that ice cream causes polio. She says it’s been document in the literature.

    Is she referring to Sesame Street?

    • Amy M

      They wouldn’t say something so stupid.

    • Melly

      That was a theory once, before polio was understood. Just google it. People noticed that polio rates rose as ice cream sales rose, so they thought that ice cream caused polio.

      • Young CC Prof

        They also thought swimming pools spread it, which might actually have been true to some extent.

        Mostly, though, it just spreads easier in the summertime.

      • Jocelyn

        An excellent example of correlation =/= causation.

    • Jessica Atchison

      My grandmother was convinced that sitting on cold pavement caused polio.

      • GuestB

        I thought that caused hemorrhoids…

        • Esther

          You’re both wrong. It causes UTIs (according to my grandmother, anyway).

        • Jessica Atchison

          That too, although she called them “piles” which made me very confused as a little girl. “Don’t sit on the cold stoop you’ll get piles!” Sounded vaguely threatening but not knowing what she was talking about made it scarier.

          • resaurus

            No, no, no, it’s sitting on the warm radiator that causes piles!

      • Guest

        I always heard constipation

      • AmyP

        I believe in Russia, it’s supposed to cause something bad to happen to your ovaries.

        http://americangirlsinmoscow.blogspot.com/2007/07/russian-superstitions-no-you-are-not.html

    • SkepticalGuest

      I had cappucino ice cream for breakfast this morning. Am I at risk? Or am I safe because it was coconut yogurt and we all know the magical properties of coconut.

      (Disclaimer: I have celiac, lactose intolerance, and other food allergies caused by the celiac…hence the coconut ice cream. Not my belief in the rainbow unicorns of coconut milk. I could have rice icecream too, but coconut ice cream is so much more delicious.)

      • SkepticalGuest

        I meant ice cream not yogurt. Though coconut yogurt is a delicious non-dairy, non-soy yogurt alternative!

      • Young CC Prof

        Coconut ice cream is freaking awesome.

    • AmyP

      In Russian culture, it’s believed that eating too much ice cream causes sore throats.

    • resaurus

      It’s one of the discredited hypotheses for polio transmission in 1950s. Polio infection would ramp up in the summer. What do many children do in the summer? Eat lots of ice cream! But then polio rates would fall in the fall and winter. What did children not do during those times? Eat a lot of ice cream! Ergo, ice cream = polio. Can’t argue with that logic….

  • SkepticalGuest

    As I type this, I am sitting my the side of my mother who has been hospitalized with a severe case of MRSA that destroyed part of her spine. She’s in excruciating pain, unable to walk or even more due to the nerve damage caused by the vertebra collapsing from the infection. Surgery is scheduled for tomorrow. It may or may not work.

    It has been an awful half year as she has battled first MRSA carbuncles so bad they required surgery, MRSA sepsis that almost killed her, and MRSA vertebral osteomyelitis (bone infection of the vertebra) that has left her in excruciating pain, unable to walk or pee. But really it’s the totally uncontrollable nerve pain that is the hardest for her to bear.

    One of my deepest hopes is that some day there will be a MRSA vaccine so that no one has to go through what my mom is going through.

    If you lived through an awful disease like this–or polio–or watched a family member suffer with it, you can only hope (and pray, if you’re religious) that some smart, dedicated researchers will develop a vaccine.

    This sort of anti-vax venom is dangerous–and totally disrespectful to anyone who has suffered from a vaccine-preventable disease. Or diseases that we hope will one day be preventable by vaccine.

    • Josephine

      I am so very sorry for your mother is going through. That must be very difficult on not only her, but on you and other family/friends as well.

    • Leslie

      I’m so sorry your mother has to go through this. She and you will be in my thoughts.

    • anion

      Fingers crossed for her, and you.

    • thepragmatist

      My aunt battled two types of MRSA and survived. The MRSA attacked her lungs. She was in a coma and not expected to pull through, and it was serious enough I was flown in to see her. It took 6 months in ICU for her to get better but she did. I’m going to see her for Boxing Day. But I guess the point is, she survived it. They eventually killed the infections. I hope the same is true for your mother. I’m terrified of MRSA. I contracted community-acquired staph from work and it was irritating– boils everywhere– I’m grateful it didn’t go further than that and that they typed it and found the right antibiotic.

    • moto_librarian

      I am so very sorry about your mother! I hope that the surgery is successful.

  • Mel

    “Why are people being exposed to LIVE polio?”

    It’s LIVE attenuated polio virus – a weakened version that provokes an immune response in people exposed to it. This is actually a brilliant invention because every vaccinated child sheds attenuated viruses which spreads the less virulent version which causes increased immune response in others. It’ s a vaccine that perpetuates itself. It allowed the US and other developed nations to get a jump on polio control before the killed vaccine was available. We’ve phased it out since wild polio is gone in our country, but it’s a strong tool for disease control in areas where universal vaccination is not possible.

    Yet another reason to read history, anti-vaxxers.

    • SkepticalGuest

      I actually know some crazy anti-vaxxers who are terrified of being around families like mine that vaccinate. You know why? Because they are afraid of their kids getting *accidentally* vaccinated through exactly the mechanism you describe.

      Bat-$h*t crazy, I know.

      • Jocelyn

        Well, I guess it’s a good thing for your family that they don’t want to be around you.

    • Sullivan ThePoop

      The killed virus vaccine was actually the first vaccine that was available, but it only provides personal immunity because no IgA antibodies are created so it cannot stop the spread of polio. In countries where polio is still endemic they have to use the live virus vaccine to stop the spread. It is the only option.

  • Ainsley Nicholson

    There is some truth to what she says about Polio being a mild disease for the vast majority of people (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/polio/in-short-both.htm: Approximately 95% of persons infected with polio will have no symptoms. ……..Fewer than 1% of polio cases result in permanent paralysis of the limbs (usually the legs).) And yes, the attenuated virus in the OPV can revert to a more virulent type, which is why the Global Polio Eradication effort is making plans to switch to them more expensive, difficult to distribute IPV version at some point after the wild virus stops circulating. However, her conclusions (biological warfare?!) are just bizarre. Does she really think that a virus with a 1% chance of causing permanent paralysis is no big deal? (shaking my head in disbelief).

    • PrimaryCareDoc

      Right. But keep in mind that the OPV is going to be very effective in stopping an outbreak, unlike the IPV.

    • Mel

      Anti-vaxxers really don’t understand the trade-offs between absolute risk and potential outcomes. For some of the diseases that we vaccinate against, the majority of people who catch the disease will get sick in a method that is annoying/painful but not life threatening. For a small sub-population that we cannot predict, however, the disease will lead to permanent severe side-effects or death. Since we can’t predict the outcome ahead of time, we vaccinate everyone.

      • Young CC Prof

        “There is a 1% chance that your car will break down if you go into town today.”

        “OK, whatever, probably won’t happen, if it does, I’ll deal.”

        “There is a 1% chance that you will die if you go into town today.”

        “Um, no, I’m staying put, thanks.”

      • fiftyfifty1

        “For a small sub-population that we cannot predict, however, the disease will lead to permanent severe side-effects or death.”

        What do you mean “cannot predict”?!!! I can predict!!! It won’t be special snowflake ME or my super healthy breastfed wonders! Bad outcomes are for losers!!

    • attitude devant

      While she is correct that the original disease can be mild, there is also this to consider, occurring in 25-50% of infected persons…..

      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/post-polio_syndrome

      • Bombshellrisa

        This is what my husband’s aunt has suffered through. She had polio long before the vaccine. Seeing her suffer is heartbreaking.

      • Squillo

        From the Nat’l Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke:

        Results published [from a survey of U.S. polio survivors] in 1994-1995 estimated there were about 1 million polio survivors in the U.S., with 443,000 reporting to have had paralytic polio. Accurate statistics do not exist today, as a percentage of polio survivors have died and new cases have been diagnosed. Researchers estimate that the [post-polio syndrome] affects 25 to 40 percent of polio survivors.

        So, although many people who are infected by the polio virus never even know it, more than 1 million Americans between 1940 and 1994 were actually ill enough to be diagnosed. Almost half of them suffered the most serious form of the disease. And 250,000 to 400,000 people developed post-polio syndrome.

    • Courtney84

      I’d say the same people who think 1% chance of paralysis is no big deal are the same people who think 1% chance of uterine rupture at home is no big deal.

      • Young CC Prof

        Hmm. Especially when they quote mortality numbers that are based on ruptures that occurred in hospitals, not “five minutes” away.

      • fiftyfifty1

        “I’d say the same people who think 1% chance of paralysis is no big deal are the same people who think 1% chance of uterine rupture at home is no big deal.”

        Yep, and the reason they think that 1% is no big deal is because they feel sure that that 1% won’t be them. Who me???!!! Special, perfect, healthy me???!!! I’m not like those weak nasty people that get sick!!

      • Elaine

        Yet they typically think that an 0.001% chance of a serious vaccine reaction is unacceptably high. *head scratch*.

    • Susan

      My understanding is the killed Virus is only safer for the first vaccine ( or round of vaccines?) and that after that the live OPV is safe because the baby should have some active immunity. I have seen the recommendations change over time from OPV, to the killed virus (Salk v Sabin?). I really don’t remember but I looked into all of this when my children were young, and my daughter actually had the injections at my request over the OPV for the reasons you describe. She is 31. But I was also heavily into woo and among a lot of anti vaxxers. I was surprised, when my son, now 15, was immunized, and I wasn’t so woo infected, that actually the standard had changed the the killed virus. But I recall at some point later in his vaccination course they changed to oral. At that point in my life I actually trusted our pediatrician to know more than I did. Horrors.

      • Young CC Prof

        As I understand it, the live oral is better, but there’s a tiny bit of risk associated with it. The injection is safer, but not quite as effective, and sometimes people who got the injection can still pick up the virus and shed it for a few days.

        If you’re living in a country like the USA, that sees maybe one case of imported polio per year in the whole country, the one in a million risk of live vaccine starts to look significant in comparison. If you live in a place where polio is endemic, or where, thanks to the war in Syria, an outbreak is plausible, then you need oral for better control. (Israel, for example, hasn’t seen any actual polio cases, but they’re picking up live virus in the sewers, meaning it’s out there.)

      • Sullivan ThePoop

        The difference between the two vaccines is the immune reaction it creates. The live polio vaccine is taken orally and creates both IgG and IgA antibodies. Since polio is an intestinal infection IgA antibodies are the main defense against contracting the disease as they act in the intestines. The killed virus cannot be given this way because it would be destroyed without causing an immune reaction. The killed polio virus is injected and only creates creates IgG antibodies which protects a person from having any nervous system involvement if they contract polio, but they can still contract polio and shed pathogenic WT virus particles that can infect others.

        Also, any attenuated virus can mutate back to the pathogenic WT form 1 in 1,000,000-2,000,000 doses. This usually does not affect the person who is vaccinated, unless they are immune compromised, but a susceptible person who comes into contact with the virus particles. Then again, the attenuated virus particles also shed and provide immunity to susceptible people who come into contact with the particles.

  • amazonmom

    What an idiot. She has zero ways of knowing

  • Amy M

    At least everyone else in that thread seems sane.