Stop laysplaining vaccination to me!

Female doctor making stop sign with her hand

Pro-tip: Don’t bother telling me what doctors do or don’t learn in medical school; I went to medical school and you didn’t.

Don’t bother telling me how many “unhindered” vaginal births obstetricians have seen; I’m an obstetrician and you’re not.

And for the love of all that is holy, stop laysplaining vaccination to me!

Your belief you know more than physicians reflects your ignorance of science coupled to your extreme gullibility, fortified by your utter lack of self-awareness.

What’s laysplaining? It’s my new term for the annnoying behavior of a layperson (typically an anti-vaxxer or alternative health advocate) who “explains” disease, prevention or treatment to a medical professional in a condescending, overconfident, oversimplified and inaccurate way.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but your treasured belief that you know more about vaccination than physicians reflects your ignorance of science coupled to your extreme gullibility, fortified by your utter lack of self-awareness.

You’re like the second grader who having mastered addition and subtraction declares that calculus is a plot by math professors to oppress students. There is no possible way for a second grader to understand the substance, utility and necessity of calculus; he or she must accept the word of those with expertise in higher math.

Similarly, there is no possible way for a layperson — EVEN YOU — to fully understand the substance, utility and necessity of vaccination; most adults, being more mature and self-aware than second graders, understand that they have to accept the word of those with expertise in medicine, immunology and epidemiology.

No, you’re not Galileo or Darwin, who ushered in great paradigm shifts in science and neither are the quacks you follow on Facebook. Both Galileo and Darwin were scientists, fully trained and completely up to date with contemporary scientific literature.

Both were engaged in basic scientific research and made extensive, mind-numbingly detailed observations of the natural world before articulating their theories.

Both PUBLISHED their findings so that other scientists could critique them and potentially reject them.

They didn’t declare the result of their research and expect anyone to blindly accept it. They understood that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and they provided it.

They did not “trust” their intuition and they didn’t expect you to trust yours.

And critically, they didn’t attempt to monetize their findings.

To my knowledge — feel free to correct me — in the entire history of medical science there has never been a lay person who caused a paradigm shift. You’re not going to be the first one and neither is the quack you follow on Facebook.

But wait! Doctors can be wrong, so maybe they’re wrong about vaccination.

Yes, doctors can be wrong, and other doctors — not laypeople — might subsequently correct them.

Prior to the germ theory of disease, doctors were unaware that they could transmit microscopic pathogens from cadavers to live patients. Semmelweis, through careful observation and experimentation, proved they could. Laypeople did not make that discovery, nor did they adopt Semmelweis’ recommendations until the medical profession as a whole had done so.

How about the debacle that was thalidomide? Doctors prescribed it to pregnant women, not understanding that the medication could cross the placenta, and children suffered severe limb defects as a result. But the connection between thalidomide and limb defects was not discovered and explained by laypeople. It was discovered by Frances Kelsey one of the first female physicians (also a pharmacologist) at the FDA.

So don’t tell me how measles was “disappearing” before the vaccine was licensed; I studied epidemiology and you didn’t.

Don’t tell me adjuvants are toxic; I studied both immunology and toxicology and you studied neither.

Don’t tell me that Dr. Bob Sears agrees with you; I read the scientific literature and didn’t see his name accompanying his published findings.

Don’t tell me vaccines “shed” or herd immunity doesn’t exist; I’ve practiced medicine and you haven’t.

Please, please stop laysplaining vaccination to me! You aren’t dazzling me with your knowledge; you’re merely confirming what I knew about you already: you are deeply ignorant of science, thoroughly baffled by statistics, and setting a new standard for both gullibility and lack of insight.

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  • Matthew Leo

    I do wish doctors learned more statistics in medical school, or before they enter medical school. Or if they teach statistics in medical school, I wish doctors remembered it more. When I’ve discussed doing tests with doctors I have yet to meet one that remembers enough about conditional probabilities to understand when a test is unlikely to be useful or even might be misleading. Call it mathsplaining if you like.

    Of course the anti-vaxxers are even worse.

  • Here is a sound strategy: Belittle your target audience by comparing them to second graders and by bashing their intelligence throughout the entire article. I am sure they are all thoroughly convinced now. The United States is not the be all and end all of science. There are other countries, in scandinavia for example, that believe it is not necessary to vaccinate children nearly as much as they are in America. I am not anti-vaccination by any means, but when we moved to scandinavia, the doctors were astonished at the number of vaccinations our 3 year old had already received. Scandinavians have their own peer reviewed research and contradict American doctors on many issues. I am not saying that one system is better than the other. But clearly, both systems can’t be right in their methods. Another example is the clear overuse of antibiotics in America. The Danes limited the amount of antibiotics prescribed, and have effectively reduced the number of super-bugs circulating. And if you ask a Dane’s dentist about the use of silver fillings versus plastic, they rely on completely different data that states silver fillings cause teeth to crack over time. This is why the Danes use plastic instead of metal for teeth fillings. Again, completely different research conducted by another group of scientists. You don’t have to be a doctor to see conflicting peer review studies in action. I think it is healthy to have a bit of skepticism.

  • StephanieJR

    I go on holiday for a couple of weeks and come back to a horde of idiot anti vaxxers descending upon us! Anyone care to catch me up on their latest bullshit, or is it just more of the same bleating ignorance?

    • Who?

      Sadly nothing original.

      Demanding double blind studies they wouldn’t participate in, all their feelings, complaining about tone, the herd isn’t real, etc.

      At least Peter Harris, the sexual harrasser turned Australian architecture expert, hasn’t appeared.

      Hope you had a great holiday!

      • StephanieJR

        Thought not. They need to get some new lines.

        And thank you, it was good!

    • rational thinker

      Same shit different day. 🙂

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Same old, same old!

  • McAllister Bryant

    This is what we call the MDeity complex. Now, I agree fully with your position about anti-vaxxers but damn…that line about condescending and overconfident is dripping in irony.

    Two things I have learned in life…Anti-vaxxers, much like climate science deniers are idiots. But I also learned that not everyone with a PhD or MD is quite as smart as their mother told them they were.

    Chill a bit. Look up “bedside manner”. Auto correct tried to make that “bedside manor” which would be a great name for a retirement home for Docs.

    • space_upstairs

      See, that’s the problem. Everyone has been told by their parents/teachers/someone that they are smart. Everyone is awash in information and convinced they can interpret and judge it well. Everyone is overconfident. Dr. Amy matching the tone of her most avid opponents may not win anyone over, but neither, in my experience, does modeling a more measured confidence. I tried the latter extensively here, to the point of admitting my cognitive biases and that my layperson opponent may even be smarter than my PhD self, to an alternative health fanatic a while back. How did it go? Mockery for my admitted biases, continued attempts to convert me to an alternative health worldview, and the use of my polite tone as a weaponized example to mock and dismiss others whose doctorates are actually in a health-related field (and thus are more authoritative than I for talking about health science – I only count myself as authoritative about science in general) for their lack of it.

      In short, the problem runs far deeper than any single blogger with a condescending tone, and cannot be remedied by polite and humble arguments. Something about today’s culture – the self-esteem movement running for over 40 years and thus fostering arrogance in at least 2 generations since childhood and 3 since young adulthood, social media Internet search and their dependence on niche marketing – does not encourage respect for authority or for one’s neighbor in general, and certainly not for one’s own limits.

    • Amazed

      Chilling up a bit and explaining that anti-vaxxers are good parents who will be won over if shown the wrong of their ways gently has proven to be ineffective.

      I’m not impressed with people coming here to condescend and use irony on Dr Amy. I’ve seen “chilled”, polite, respectful blogs discussing the same topics Dr Amy does. They barely get a comment. You seem to think yourself just as smart as your mother told you but you failed at the first test – check and see the results before bashing.

      Look for Ellen Mary, a regular commenter at Dr Amy’s blog. She’ll be happy to tell you how angry and disrespected she felt here thanks to her birth choices, I’m sure. Many of us have argued, lashed out, whatnot at her when she commented here. She was sure it was just Dr Amy and us being mean. But something of what was being said stuck to her mind and she went to have her baby at hospital. Had baby’s life saved because of this. Very happy with the result. And she isn’t the only one.

      Dr Amy’s tone works because anger makes it harder for people to just shrug what she writes off. They keep coming and for some, things stick and sometimes, a life is saved.

      As to anti-vaxxers, I don’t see what your suggestion is. Let’s see: is the problem that we have measles epidemics all over the world? Or that Dr Amy is “mean”? You seem to think it’s the second one and it’s such a sad thing to observe.

      There are lives at the stake and you come here to scold someone about their TONE?: For real?

  • Megan Elizabeth Hume

    This is well written, but still garbage. The average doctor is not a medical expert, and it is absolutely possible that a person who is not a medical professional can have as much or more understanding of vaccination or disease than any randomly selected doctor.
    I have had to explain not only what a vaccine contraindication was to my former doctor, but also how to pronounce the word.
    One study found that “Physicians knowledge of contraindications was low.”
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1508536/

    • rational thinker

      Dr. Amy is not any average MD she is an OBGYN that is a specialist or expert in obstetrics an gynecology so try again. Also it sounds like your former doctor was being polite and trying not to laugh in your face if that even ever happened. Anyway even if she was just an MD she would still be considered an expert and they better be an expert that is what they went to college so long for!

      • Sally Ketchum Ladd

        She hasn’t practiced in years–I’m guessing she left the profession before or not long after the 1986 law that gave Big Pharma blanket immunity for vaccine injuries.As such, she is out of touch.

        • rational thinker

          It is rather funny that you don’t consider Dr. Tuteur a credible source because she is retired and not practicing. Then you people praise Andrew Wakefield who is a non practicing ex physician because his license was REVOKED and believe everything he lies about.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      If you bothered to read the article you cited, you would know that the problem is that physicians tend to think that things that are not contraindications are and therefore miss opportunities to vaccinate.

    • JoAnna K.

      This is it, the dumbest comment I’ve read today!

  • Sally Ketchum Ladd

    Here’s what one of your medical colleagues — a pediatrician who actually practices medicine — has to say about the risks of vaccines.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LB-3xkeDAE&feature=youtu.be&app=desktop

    • rational thinker

      Why do you people always resort to the supposed insult of actively practicing medicine? Nobody here is insulted by it probably not even Dr. Amy. She did not lose her license she is retired a big difference. Being retired does not mean you don’t keep all your medical knowledge or keep up to date with current studies. Come up with a better one next time please we hear it so often.

      • Sally Ketchum Ladd

        Why do you people fail to research facts before you comment? She left medicine years ago to raise her 4 children, so she hasn’t practiced in years. I doubt she even knows that vaccines being pushed pregnant women haven’t even been tested for this group.

        • rational thinker

          Wow

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          You figured all this out of the result of your amazing “research”?

          Wow, you are amazing! You were able to read her bio at the top if page.

          I now to your impressive insight!

          • Sally Ketchum Ladd

            More than @ra@disqus_R1vlVWDrFW:disqus did in the way of research!

          • rational thinker

            Ummm.. I did not have to research why she retired I know she left to raise 4 children. Yes retired is the right word because she did not return to practice afterward. Being retired does not make her less credible.

          • Sally Ketchum Ladd

            Ummmm, I beg to differ. Being retired from practicing medicine for many years takes you away from seeing the effects of administering medications and vaccines on actual patients. She also is clearly completely disinterested in the existing abundance of science showing vaccines are neither safe nor effective, unlike the pediatrician who presented the slideshow for which I posted a link above.

    • Sally Ketchum Ladd

      So where are your comments on this fact-based slideshow by a pediatrician who respects his patients and their concerns, @AmyTuteur:disqus??

      • JoAnna K.

        Sorry friend the burden of proof is on YOU if you are going against all established medical science proven over and over again across the entire globe.

      • Amy Tuteur, MD

        What are my comments?

        1. You have a pathological, irrational fear of vaccines.
        2. That is allied to, and abetted by, a complete and thorough-going ignorance of immunology, statistics and epidemiology.
        3. You are astoundingly gullible.

        Pro-tip: citing a YouTube video is the scientific equivalent citing Highlights Magazine. It reflects childlike lack of knowledge, experience and maturity.

  • Vaccines are not tested for adverse effects of injected mercury,
    nor for injected aluminium in connection with brain damage and autoimmune conditions,
    nor for risk of infertility and brain damage due to injected polysorbate,
    nor for potential dangerous health consequences of injected foreign DNA,
    nor for carcinogenic properties,
    nor for long-term side effects,
    nor for dangerous interactions between ingredients – especially when several vaccines are administered within a short period of time,
    nor for ….
    – but vaccines are safe?

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      There is no stupidity quite like the stupidity of anti-vaxxers. Thanks for dropping in to illustrate that!

      • Sally Ketchum Ladd

        You’re a disgrace to your former profession and a hateful human being.

        • rational thinker

          You are just demonstrating the point of the article.

        • sabelmouse

          i agree!

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          Says the ignorant freeloader trying desperately to boost her own ego at the expense of infants and immunocompromised children!

          • Sally Ketchum Ladd

            Says the doctor who hasn’t practiced in years and hasn’t observed the destruction of health from vaccines pushed on patients by doctors who promised to “First, do no harm.”

            Sorry, but it’ll be a cold day in hell before I throw myself or my children on the sword to ostensibly “save” infants and the immunocompromised with unproven and unavoidably unsafe vaccines. And where is the research showing how many are “saved” by fake herd immunity anyway?

            This is still a free country, and we are all entitled to informed consent for medical treatment. God help us if Big Pharma triumphs and we are all forced to be injected with whatever toxins our corrupt government decides are “safe.”

            And as far as ego goes, your blog is one giant ego-boost for yourself.

          • rational thinker

            Oh so you are a conspiracy theorist too then?

    • You see how this “doctor” responds to you? Wow I’m glad she isn’t practicing anymore

    • rational thinker

      Did you know that there is more mercury in one can of tuna than one vaccine. Go pretend to be “educated” somewhere else.

      • Sally Ketchum Ladd

        Research ingestion vs injection, troll

        • rational thinker

          “research” “troll” is that the best you can come up with?

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      …Could you present some evidence of this? Any evidence?

      • Sally Ketchum Ladd

        If you’re so interested, do your own research. You can start at nvic.org

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          So, that would be a “No, I have no evidence to present, just posturing” then. Thanks.

          • Sally Ketchum Ladd

            No, that would be a “I can’t sum up 23 years of research in a comment on a blog.” I have literally dozens of links to science showing vaccines are not proven safe nor effective. If you are truly interested in knowing more about why, I am more than happy to share links. Just not interested in wasting my time debating with trolls and close-minded people.

          • rational thinker

            Then post the links.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            No one said you have to produce all the evidence. Just any evidence. Come on, if you really have that much data surely you could post just one little source or argument. And yet you haven’t. Almost as though…

            And no, I’m not interested in your links. I want your analysis of the data. Let’s make this easy: Pick one adverse event and one vaccine. What is the evidence that the vaccine causes this AE? Is the risk of this AE worse than the risk of the infection the vaccine prevents? In short, give a brief risk/benefit analysis. It’s very, very easy and if you can’t do it, it’s because you simply don’t know what you’re talking about.

          • Sally Ketchum Ladd

            Look at the pediatrician’s slideshow I posted above. He cites multiple clinical studies.

            Why don’t you prove vaccines are safe and effective? I want your analysis of the data. Let’s make this easy: Pick one adverse event and one vaccine. What is the evidence that the vaccine doesn’t cause this AE? Is the risk of this AE worse than the risk of the infection the vaccine prevents? In short, give a brief risk/benefit analysis. It’s very, very easy and if you can’t do it, it’s because you simply don’t know what you’re talking about.

    • Sally Ketchum Ladd

      No, they are not. Unfortunately the masses have been hypnotized into believing vaccines have saved us all. Really? Look at the health of our kids now vs. 30 years ago! I thank god I learned the truth before I injected my kids with Big Pharma’s lethal cocktail of toxins & foreign DNA.

    • sabelmouse

      true, but apparently this is negated by you saying it 😉

  • Lenore Daguanno

    Any ‘doctor’ who says science is settled refusing to acknowledge new peer reviewed published research, of which there is plenty on this subject now, is NOT worthy of her medical license. She knows full well vaccines have not been safety tested in clinical placebo trials yet CDC recommends them to everyone including PREGNANT MOTHERS. They were deemed ‘unavoidably unsafe’ by Supreme Court in 2011. The vaccine inserts list death,disease, among others problems as possible side effects. FACTS.

    • space_upstairs

      Unavoidable because we have to choose between the risks of vaccines and those of communicable diseases running rampant. As for not accepting new research: I am an astrohysicist. I acknowledge new research sayng dark matter and dark energy may not exist. But I do not “accept” it until this research becomes more numerous and/or more robust than that which says that 96% of the substance of the cosmos is a mystery. Same with doctors and research on vaccines.

      • Sally Ketchum Ladd

        In your research you might want to learn to spell “astrophysicist.” And what research have you done on vaccines?

        • space_upstairs

          Sorry, my spelling tends to be crap typing on a phone (and frankly, typing in general…proofreading my papers is a long process). I just fixed it. And though I don’t know vaccines as a field, I know how research works better than a layperson, I dare say, even if I make more typos than laypeople do. When certain research is not widely accepted or just not done, rarely is it a matter of cognitive bias alone. The risk of chronic disease from vaccine ingredients, for instance, is likely not researched in part due to lack of plausibility given the dose of these ingredients per set of vaccines.

          • Sally Ketchum Ladd

            What utter nonsense. There is absolutely no justification for injecting 72 doses of 16 vaccines into children between birth and age 18 without double-blind, placebo-controlled studies demonstrating this is safe.

          • space_upstairs

            What has been demonstrated is that vaccines usually drastically reduce the risk of infectious disease. As for raising the risk of chronic disease, 72 shots sounds like a lot, but how does that total compare to exposures to similar substances in food, water, air, etc.? Over the course of a lifetime, almost surely far less. Also, a lack of placebo control can be explained in part by ethics: to deny well-proven protection against infectious illness in the name of seeking a vague hypothetical risk of chronic illness may be considered unethical. One other thing: certain vaccines with strong side effects are typically only given to individuals with high risk of germ exposure. Think yellow fever, smallpox, rabies. These are not given to everyone, only to military personnel and the like or people bitten by animals (and their cats and dogs that bite and are bitten by other animals often).

          • Sally Ketchum Ladd

            Demonstrated how?? You cannot demonstrate vaccines are safe and effective without double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of the current CDC recommended schedule. As you pro-vaxxers love to say: correlation does not equal causation.

          • space_upstairs

            Well, the correlation between vaccines and a drop in infectious disease rates is very strong, and can be combined with theoretical plausibility of mechanism to convince most people, even in the field, of probable causation. Also, I can talk anecdotal evidence, a favorite among alternative health promoters: I got lots of vaccines, including Tdap and flu boosters while pregnant, and my daughter and I are fine…unless you wish to blame my stalled labor resulting in an elective C-section and whatever it is that will kill us someday on vaccines. I think there are too many good candidates for other causes of both: genetics for big babies plus my small hips for the C-section, universal human genetics and the usual lifestyle factors acknowledged by mainstream doctors for the future chronic diseases. But it sure would be nice if one simple, small consumer choice like avoiding mainstream medicine (including but not limited to vaccines) and/or food could prevent all that, right? I can understand why you want to believe vaccines cause chronic illness and insist that only an expensive rehash of basic science could just maybe prove you wrong. Similarly, we have just as good reasons (most of us would say better ones, but without those studies you demand I cannot convince you of that) to believe that vaccines are mostly worth any chronic disease risk for the promise of not catching every nasty bug that used to plague our grandparents’ generation (who, by the way, still died/are dying of chronic disease despite so many fewer shots).

          • rational thinker

            POLIO

          • Sally Ketchum Ladd
          • Who?

            Would you agree to your or your child participating in such a study, aware that might mean that you or the child would receive all the vaccines?

            No?

            Then stop calling for it.

          • Sally Ketchum Ladd

            Nope! Because I know that vaccines would harm my kids in one way or another. However, there are plenty of people (sheeples) who would be willing — just as there are for many other clinical studies.

            Furthermore, if you want to try to prove the current CDC-recommended vaccine schedule is safe based on scientific data, you cannot start with the presumption that it’s safe! This defies all logic and scientific protocol. There is also the opportunity to analyze epidemiological data to ascertain the overall health of vaxxed vs. non-vaxxed.

          • Who?

            So who would you suggest should be the participants in this trial you call for? I think it’s a ridiculous idea, and wouldn’t want to participate because I wouldn’t want to risk missing out on vaccines.

            If you think such a trial is a good idea, who should be in it?

          • Sally Ketchum Ladd

            LOL. You are clearly a troll. Buh-bye!

          • Who?

            Well you were easy to dispose of.

            Don’t forget to tell your friends!

          • rational thinker

            See classic, she could not answer your question so she resorted to name calling.

          • Box of Salt

            Double blind for 18 years? Best of luck with that, Sally Ketchum Ladd.

            P.S. You need to subtract out IPV from your list of 16. Let us know if you don’t understand why.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      There are few people more ignorant than lay people who think they understand vaccine research. Thanks for dropping in to demonstrate it!

    • rational thinker

      So does a box of Slim fast or Atkins food products. I love the “insert” argument but please get a new one.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Okay, name a vaccine that has a particularly ominous package insert and let’s talk about it.

  • Lenore Daguanno

    She forgot the part where Dr. Semmelweis was horrendously ridiculed and shunned. His ideas completely discarded by DOCTORS who thought they knew everything. He was never vindicated until after he died. He was tried and convicted by same shameful deep level of arrogance and condescending attitude as this doctor, who seems to know everything.

    • space_upstairs

      As I explained to another below: germ theory was new in Semmelweis’s day and so he could not be vindicated until decades of extraordinary evidence proved the germ theory of communicable disease correct, and specifically that disease-causing germs could be passed from the dead to the living via doctors. How can scientists not immediately accept ideas so obviously right, you ask? Two reasons. One, the bad one, cognitive bias. The other, the good one: far more paradigm-challenging ideas turn out wrong than right, and too few studies have reliable results, so every new idea is wrong until proven right. What is cruel in criminal trials is necessary in science.

  • Travis Holley

    Augusto Odone and Lorenzo’s Oil. That is one of the situations where a layperson came up with a solution to a medical problem. He received an honorary doctorate for it though…. That doesn’t change the validity of your argument because Augusto studied relentlessly concerning his son’s condition so in a way he went through a mini-med school.

    • Sally Ketchum Ladd

      I have also studied relentlessly for the past 23 years, but all one has to do is open their mind and spend a few hours to learn that the fox is wreaking havoc in the henhouse.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      And what’s the evidence that LO is helpful? IIRC, the clinical trials weren’t all that encouraging.

  • Lisa

    I can certainly understand the frustration in this article. If I had someone tell me that their diagnosed Bipolar Disorder was a plot hatched by big pharma I would be respectfully concerned. However, may I give one professional opinion to another? This article seethes with anger, hubris and condescension. Now, on the one hand, anger is reasonable, particularly when it leads to medical decisions that kill the very young, elderly and weak. But if you’re a doctor of any kind, you’ve signed up to work with the public, and you need to do so ethically. And that means with self-awareness. Even when people are saying things to you that make smoke come out of your ears. In my profession, it’s pretty much mandatory to be supervised throughout your career. That way you always have someone to talk to when your client reminds you of your mother and it’s really getting in the way of their therapy. And when things get too disturbing, it’s expected that you will seek therapy. Most therapists have their own therapist their whole life. I think this should be the norm for every medical professional. If you’re ever looking at a patient and thinking “you’re an idiot” – get to a therapist and work those feelings out. Because it’s not compassionate toward them – something you’ve taken a oath to be- and not healthy for you.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Sadly, there are many, many doctors who are extremely respectful and compassionate toward anti-vaxxers … and they are ignored. It may be time for some of us to try something new especially because anti-vaxxers suffer from the delusion that they have educated themselves about vaccines.

      • I believe the more angry and condescending you make yourself out to be, the more those that question or protest vaccines are more likely to dig their heels in and refuse to listen to such people. That’s the way I get.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          That’s the way all ignorant, immature people get!

          • Raymond Brun

            We’re hoping that you doctors through government make vaccines mandatory. After all governments works through/with science and logics can prevail and overcome madness (it is madness imo), I’m a layperson in all these department as well but that’s my 5 scents.

    • fiftyfifty1

      “Most therapists have their own therapist their whole life.”

      LOL, no. Only the Freudians and Jungians from what I can tell.

  • someone

    How many people die per year due to medical error?

      • Amazed

        What they don’t get is that one needs to ask themselves a simple question: how many of these people would have lived without any access to medicine? Because mistakes this severe don’t usually happen to your average healthy Jane who went in to treat her average cold. I have experienced medical errors and while one has affected my overall health (a freaking surgeon standing in for an ORTHOPEDIST who did not offer me adequate follow-up in the wake of taking the plasters off my broken foot), none of these killed me. Why was this? Why, because I’m a healthy person who doesn’t need any aggressive treatment, so although there was a mistake, it couldn’t be as bad as to kill me.

        People who die due to medical error are overwhelmingly in bad health and/or critical condition. Healthy and relatively mildly sick people don’t die due to medical errors, usually.

  • Griffin

    So, I can finally see Steve’s list of “verifiable evidence that someone’s child went to sleep and never woke up 12-48 hours after a vaccination”. Disqus WAS playing up after all.

    I can’t open the first (Fox News) link because of regional issues but I can open the next, which goes to a site called the Healthy Home Economist (HHE). The author has an MGA from University of Pennsylvania and is now running a site “devoted to teaching families about the effective, practical application of traditional, ancestrally-inspired diets and evidence-based wellness”. She sells her books on diet, natural remedies, and living green and has a “shopping list” page that hawks the products of other sites called Conscious Food, Wholesome, Pure Food for Better Health, etc.

    I poked around a bit on the HHE shopping page and it was… well, interesting. Clicking on the Meat and Seafood section took me to a site called Epic, which promotes the paleo diet and sells jerky (US$50 for 8 pieces [64 g]), pork rinds (US$16 for 70 g), clothing bearing their logo etc. It must be doing quite well because it has 26 managers and directors who are collectively called The Wolfpack, including one guy who is from “the sacred motherland of Austin TX” and – rather alarmingly – has “a purebred bloodline and passion for betterment”. I invite you guys to check out Epic’s The Wolfpack page: I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a large collection of bizarre people before. Epic also sells bone broth for an eye-watering US$42 for 400 ml.

    The HHE doesn’t mind people using formula when it’s not convenient to breastfeed but of course it has to be homemade because commercial baby formula contains “>50% sugar”, “lacks any quality, nutrient dense ingredients”, is “fortified with synthetic vitamins/minerals”, “lacks enzymes, completely dead product”, and is “devoid of beneficial bacteria”. She hawks a homemade baby formula kit from Radiant Life (Ancient Wisdom for Modern Health), which costs US$174 for a 37-day supply. It is based on raw milk, which is NOT included in the price.

    Anyway, onto the HHE’s post on the poor little baby who died shortly after a vaccination. The report is based on a 2013 article in the Indian newspaper The Mumbai Mirror. The child was 1 month old and had a cough when she received the Hep B, DTP, and oral polio vaccines. She died several hours after the vaccinations. The HHE rails at the “negligent, incompetent medical staff” for vaccinating a sick child. Then, revealing her ignorance, she says, “Apparently, Ayushi’s situation is far from unusual. Many Indian children receiving a large number of routine vaccinations at one time are sick, malnourished and may even live in shocking conditions without access to clean water”. Um. Those are EXACTLY the people who desperately need vaccines, and as soon as possible, as soon as they can mount an immune response to the vaccine.

    In fact, I suspect that the baby had not received the recommended vaccinations at birth since oral polio is normally given at birth in India (along with BCG and the first dose of DTP and Hep B).

    In her post, the HHE also mentions another case where Stacy, a Belgian 8-week-old (born 1 month premature, a twin) with a slight cold, was vaccinated against rotavirus, pneumococcal disease, DTP, polio, Hep B and HIB. Seven days later, she developed a high fever and was hospitalized for observation (while receiving an unspecified “medicine”). Unfortunately, in the next few hours, she developed signs of pneumococcal meningitis and/or septicemia and died despite 3 hours of resuscitation attempts. The traumatized parents claim the pediatrician first stated the baby had gastro but that it “wasn’t serious”; the nurse was indifferent to the child’s needs; and that a request by a pediatrician for a spinal tap and a specific antibiotic was denied by the head pediatrician.

    The mother mentions seeing a homeopath for the other twin soon after Stacy’s death. Both parents are utterly convinced that the vaccines overwhelmed their already sick child and made her susceptible to the devastating effects of an invasive Streptococcus pneumoniae infection. They believe that the Belgian authorities, including doctors, are secret agents of a money-making scam that fills their own coffers and those of big pharma.

    Of course, as an immunologist, I know that the much more likely possibility is that the child was infected with S. pneumoniae (which is ubiquitous) 4 days after the vaccinations (3 days is the usual incubation time for S. pneumoniae). Her slight cold and the fact that she was 4 weeks premature may have made her less able to fight off the infection. The Prevnar vaccination didn’t have enough time to produce a sufficient response to the bug because it takes 3 shots to build full immunity to S. pneumoniae: the first vaccine only primes the immune system, it does not generate a quick and effective immune response by itself.

    It’s a sad case, like that of Ayushi. The authorities did make a mistake: the parents demanded an autopsy, which they claim was denied. The reasons are not clear but in my opinion it should have been performed to calm suspicions of a cover up by the authorities.

    Going back to the HHE’s report of Stacy’s case, she again displays her lack of understanding of basic vaccinology.
    (1) She thinks it is “shocking” that a baby gets vaccinated against 8 diseases in one day – when babies are exposed for the first time to literally thousands of bacteria and viruses every day; heck, for every human cell that makes up our body, we bear 10 bacteria on and inside our bodies
    (2) She calls Prevnar (pneumococcal conjugate) “a dual vaccination for meningitis and pneumonia”, making it sound like it is two vaccines in one. I wonder what she’ll make of the fact – if she ever learns it – that Prevnar is actually based on THIRTEEN S. pneumoniae strains!
    (3) She says, “The pediatrician told Stacy’s parents that she was fine and probably just suffering from gastroenteritis, which she was already vaccinated against”. Yes, the baby was vaccinated against rotavirus but gastro can be caused by bugs other than rotavirus. (In any case, I doubt the pediatrician suspected gastro because the parents say the exams showed signs of pulmonary and blood infection.) Also, like Prevnar, the rotavirus vaccine is only effective after several vaccinations. The HHE also makes the same mistake with Prevnar – she says “Cause of death was recorded as meninigitis, again, an illness she was vaccinated against”. Yes, 1 week earlier for the first time.

    A quick look at Steve’s other links suggests they are more of the same: morally corrupt people making hay off the terror and pain of parents whose child has died soon after vaccination. These ignorant profiteers don’t want to see that it is a coincidence because by deliberately inciting and promulgating mistrust of authorities, they drive people to buy their products, which promise “wellness” and safety. It’s disgusting.

    • MaineJen

      “Purebred bloodline and a passion for betterment” is scary on all kinds of levels 😮

      • rational thinker

        Yeah that one freaked me out a little, sounds like a serial killer, or a Nazi.

        • demodocus

          Nazis, making serial killers out of ordinary bigots since 1933

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      I didn’t go through all the links, but I did notice that several of them were about vaccines that were given improperly (one needle used four times!) In another, the story was about a girl who died 4 days after a vaccine against HPV. The follow up to the story was that the autopsy showed that the death was due to a cyst in the brain. The medical care may have been substandard* and arguably malpractice, but it had nothing to do with the vaccine. Which makes sense when you think about it: 4 days is too late for an acute allergic reaction and too soon for an IgG mediate autoimmune event.

      *It’s hard to tell for certain from just the newspaper report and a bad outcome does not necessarily mean poor care, but it really sounded like they should have admitted her to the hospital at least.

    • rational thinker

      Thanks for checking that out for us I really haven’t had time to do it.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      “Epic also sells bone broth for an eye-watering US$42 for 400 ml.”
      Bloody hell, I’m in the wrong racket. Time to fire up the crockpot!

      • Griffin

        The HHE also spruiks an “organic” slow cooker. Honestly, the whole site reeks of con-artistry. It’s bald-faced plucking of decadent prats with more money than sense. It seems that all you need to do to part a fool from his money is to mash up elements of real information and knowledge, sprinkle the mix liberally with the key rich idiot bait terms (organic, microbiome, ancestral, non-toxic etc), and add a large dose of conspiracy theory. Do all of this in a serious authoritative way and you’ll soon have the prats lining up to throw money at you.

  • Chi

    NONE of those are anything REMOTELY resembling a credible source on vaccination safety of effectiveness.

    ETA: Also I realize now that you’re reposting the parachuting antivaxxer’s list.

  • Amazed

    17 confirmed cases this far. My niece can’t be vaccinated – doctors advise against it in her case. My friend’s preterm baby was about to get her measles shot but no such luck. There are no more doses. They’re on the waiting lists. Both mothers are very, very concerned. And I place no trust in anti-vax parents’ integrity and care for others. Last month, a bunch of kids got sick because they went to a birthday where the mother had not cared to call beforehand and say that her kid was VERY ill. SIL only realized it when after the party, she went to pick up Amazing Niece.

    Anyone thinks anti-vax parents are going to refrain from rushing their kids to the doctor with clear measles symptoms without caring who is in this waiting room?

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      Oh my gosh. When it comes to making mom friends, I don’t care if you breastfeed or bottlefeed. I don’t care if you use cloth or disposable diapers. I don’t care if you feed your kid Cheetos or carrot sticks. But so help me, vaccination is one deal breaker, and the other HUGE deal breaker is not letting me know when your kid is sick.
      Before Christmas, I was watching an extra kid for a while. I explained very carefully to mom that I couldn’t take the kid if she was sick by late November because we were going to visit family, including my DH’s grandmother who is recovering at 80-something from cancer surgery and pneumonia, for the holidays.
      Kid arrives in early December and has a cough. I let mom know. “Oh, whoops! DH must have thought it was just allergies!”
      I was bloody furious. Sure, it was “just” a cold, but my really lovely grandmother-in-law hasn’t gotten to hold my youngest kiddo yet. *looks sad* Why? Because Baby Books The Third was still sniffly when we were out there, and there was no freaking way I was handing his adorable self and his rather less adorable germs over to Abuela and her questionable immune system.
      (Mind you, she go to see him, at least, because when she came over I passed him off to someone else, changed clothes, hugged her, and had Baby Books held up at the end of the room so she could coo at him. Not really the same, though…)

      • Amazed

        Definitely not the same!

        I saw pictures from said birthday. Poor birthday girl looks really miserable. I was ready to shake this mum. Hard. One possible explanation is that this was an expensive party and they didn’t want to lose the money and eat their expensive cake on their own at home but first, when one throws a party in a flu season, they should do a very careful calculations and take all ifs into account. And second, the money all these parents spent to treat their kids and possibly themselves had certainly matched the money given for the party.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          When last heard from, she was having a difficult time finding the time to sit down and write due to her responsibilities at her (personally owned) art gallery plus the three concerts she’s attended in the last couple weeks. So, I’d say she’s doing very well, and thanks for the good wishes. 😀
          As to your last, that poor kid! And that’s also why the most $$ I spend on a kid’s birthday party is ordering in some pizza and grabbing a variety of decent beer and wine…sigh.

          • Amazed

            A funny note: Recently, Amazing Niece stuck her baby with black magnets all over. Baby had chicken pox, you see.

            Sad thing is, she took better care of her sick baby than many adults do. I mean, chicken pox parties? Are you kidding me?

      • My brother didn’t tell us he was sick until we’d driven 1.75 hours to see him. “I have a cold,” he said, and sat and stared like a zombie. We all came down with flu starting a day or so after the visit. Grrrr! My brother is nearly 50! He should know better!

  • Griffin

    Maybe we should replace the word “herd” in “herd immunity”. It seems to inflame people like Steve, maybe it makes them feel they are not important enough. I guess I wouldn’t like to be referred to as if I am cattle by people who seem to know things I can’t understand. What about “group immunity”?

    • mabelcruet

      But then they’ll object in the grounds that they aren’t part of the group, they aren’t sheeple and are better than the rest of us who don’t think deeply enough and just accept the propaganda blindly.

      Maybe ‘population immunity’?

      • Griffin

        Sounds good. It’s so broad and unspecific, surely nobody could take exception to it?

        • mabelcruet

          Someone somewhere will complain. But I think we do need to get another term that reduces the ‘animal’ feel of the word herd.

    • Box of Salt

      Community immunity.
      It even rhymes.

      • rational thinker

        Sounds great ill vote for that one

      • Griffin

        Yes, catchy

  • Steve Spiller

    VACCINES ARE SAFE AND EFFECTIVE. HERD IMMUNITY. GOTTA PROTECT THE HERD. VACCINES ARE SAFE AND EFFECTIVE. HERD IMMUNITY. IMMUNOCOMPROMISED PPL HAVE TO BE PROTECTED. VACCINES ARE SAFE AND EFFECTIVE.

    Talk about an echo chamber…

    • Griffin

      Did you delete your post with all the sources containing verifiable evidence that someone’s child went to sleep and never woke up 12-48 hours after a vaccination? Or did Disqus eat it? Can you repost?

      • Amazed

        Would it be OK if I do it for him? I don’t know how it is for other people, but I can still see this post. I haven’t refreshed in a while, though.

        Oh, I see rational thinker has already done this. I can’t open even one page, though. They’re all non-existing or not allowed to see for my region.

        I’ve never seen a bunch of links that are ALL unavailable to me.

        • Griffin

          Yes, please. Maybe take a screenshot as well. rationalthinker reposted it I think but I can’t see the repost either.

          • Amazed

            In fact, I can only see her repost. I mistakenly took it for the initial post. Sir Brave bravely (and dirty) deleted, after all.

            Try to refresh and look for rational thinker’s post again. If not, I will post the links for you. But they’re all literally unavailable to me. I don’t know why. And many of them don’t even come in my address bar with their full names.

          • Griffin

            Weird. Are you in Europe? I am, and when I clicked on Steve’s first link (the Fox News link), I got “not available in your region” and then the whole thing disappeared. Same with rationalthinker’s repost. Is it something to do with Europe’s right to disappear net censorship law? Can anyone from the US still see rationalthinker’s repost?

          • Amazed

            Yes, I’m in Europe. I wonder what’s going on. Usually, I can open the US links just fine.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      I was in a math forum the other day, and they all kept saying things like, “2 times 2 is four!” and “26 – 12 = 14”

      Talk about an echo chamber!

      • sdsures

        ‘I was in a math forum the other day, and they all kept saying things like, “2 times 2 is four!” and “26 – 12 = 14″‘

        Ohhh-kaaaay… O_o

  • Griffin

    Hmmm, a laysplainer who doesn’t believe measles can kill people in developed countries has parachuted in. The unmannerly attitude suggests he/she is not looking to exchange ideas in good faith. Not worth the effort really.

    • Steve Spiller

      I actually believe it can kill people. Malnourished people. Much like the common cold can kill malnourished people.

      • MaineJen

        You are a goddamn parody of yourself.

        • Steve Spiller

          Thanks for adding such quality commentary to the discussion, MaineJen.

          I’m actually surprised you didn’t go with your ever effective and often-used “cough*racist*cough” response this time.

      • Griffin

        Since you were not rude, I will reply:

        The unvaccinated 7 yo daughter of Roald Dahl, the writer, died of measles encephalitis. From her photos, she was well nourished. This is what her father wrote:

        “Olivia, my eldest daughter, caught measles when she was seven years old.

        As the illness took its usual course I can remember reading to her often in bed and not feeling particularly alarmed about it. Then one morning, when she was well on the road to recovery, I was sitting on her bed showing her how to fashion little animals out of coloured pipe-cleaners, and when it came to her turn to make one herself, I noticed that her fingers and her mind were not working together and she couldn’t do anything.

        “Are you feeling all right?” I asked her.

        “I feel all sleepy, ” she said.

        In an hour, she was unconscious. In twelve hours she was dead.”

        • Steve Spiller

          Again, I’m not disputing that children have never died from measles. Especially back before the 1950s. Of course some children died, but those rates had been drastically reduced before a vaccine was ever introduced due to improvements in sanitation and things like running refrigerators in every household.

          Now imagine if nobody believed Dahl and called him crazy for suggesting that measles killed his daughter like they do to people who’s children went to sleep and never woke up 12-48 hours after a vaccination?

          • Griffin

            Sanitation, better nutrition, and fridges indeed helped reduce the rates of all sorts of diseases. People are also now less likely to die from diseases like measles because of better medical responses to them. But vaccines are necessary to prevent epidemics from bursting out and killing the vulnerable among us – the young babies, the immunosuppressed, the ones with underlying medical conditions, the frail elderly.

            With regard to your second paragraph, can you provide verifiable evidence that someone’s child went to sleep and never woke up 12-48 hours after a vaccination?

          • Griffin

            I’m still interested in seeing verifiable evidence that someone’s child went to sleep and never woke up 12-48 hours after a vaccination.

          • Who?

            What’s a few dead kids, amiright?

            And those folks do exist these days. The delightful (and now renamed) Australian Vaccination Network accused a mother whose baby died of whooping cough of lying about it.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        If we could get a vaccine for the common cold that was half as effective as the one for measles, I would be all over it. In a heartbeat.

        • Steve Spiller

          Good for you. I wouldn’t. You are free to do whatever you believe is beneficial.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            True. I mean, you have an MBA, so you are really smart. For a moron.

          • Steve Spiller

    • rational thinker

      Steve and paleo guy should be best friends.

      • MaineJen

        Yeah. The “malnourished” thing sounds awfully familiar.

      • Steve Spiller

        I keep hearing about this paleo guy. He does sound like a pretty cool guy, actually. I’d welcome an introduction.

  • Amazed

    Three more cases of measles here. Last morning, there were zero. Now, we have five confirmed, two in the freaking capital. Lucky us.

    • Steve Spiller

      5 cases!!! AHHHHHHHHH.. THE HORROR!!!!!! We are all gonna DIE!!!!!!

      • rosewater1

        5 cases=5 people WHO DID NOT NEED TO GET SICK.

        It’s rare, but measles can be fatal.

        • Steve Spiller

          It’s rare, but pimples can be fatal. Let’s mandate Accutane.

          200,000,000 cases of pimples = 200,000,000 people WHO DID NOT NEED TO GET PIMPLES.

          • rosewater1

            Sigh. Is that all the argument you have? Pimples?

            You want to gamble? Go right ahead. I hope it works out for you.

            If any of those 5 people are children, it would be nice for such a concerned parent as you not to belittle their suffering.

            But, I suspect that is asking too much,.

          • Amazed

            At least one is a child. With a vaccinated older sibling. Who didn’t get sick. Surprise, surprise.

          • Steve Spiller

            So… There is a possibility that this was likely a vaccine strain of the measles that was shed onto the younger sibling… Surprise, surprise.

          • MaineJen

            Please stop talking about things you don’t understand. You’re hurting my brain.

          • Steve Spiller

            I will if you stop talking about medical journals pulling studies as if you understand how businesses behave the way that they do. That hurts my brain.

          • Amazed

            Are you a naturopath, Stevie boy? You seem to know much about how businesses act. A naturopath, a homeopath, or just Andy’s buttlicker? What are you?

          • Steve Spiller

            Andy’s buttlicker? Lol. I feel like i’m debating a bunch of elementary students.

          • rosewater1

            And golly we’re lucky that a wise one like you is here to school us!

          • Steve Spiller

          • rosewater1

            As fascinating as all this is, I must excuse myself.

            My father is in the hospital, recovering from c diff and surgery for a perforated bowel. After reading what you have to say, clearly I have things to tell the people caring from him. Who cares if they are medically trained?

            Then I’ll need to call my nephew and tell him that his wife clearly doesn’t need the doctor visits and therapy that she’s getting to recover from a massive stroke 2 brain surgeries.

            And they don’t need to take my great niece to any more well baby visits, right?

          • MaineJen

            My husband went through a Hartmann’s and then a colostomy reversal because of ruptured diverticulitis. 6 years later he’s completely recovered except for a ginormous scar. Wishing your father the same!!

          • kilda

            aw, you think what you’re doing is “debating?” adorable.

          • rosewater1

            Hmm, why don’t I believe you? Like most of your ilk that show up on this site, you’ll stick around until something or someone else distracts you.

          • Amazed

            Please, Jen, do take one for the team. He just literally wrote that he doesn’t care if two kids are going to live or die. Let him keep talking. Let his words stay and expose anti-vax mentality.

          • MaineJen

            But….the stupid. It burns us.

          • Amazed

            Be brave. Please. Else, things like, “Vaccines were invented in 1942 and in 1943, there were already autistic children!” will keep spreading. Yes, I personally saw this one.

          • rosewater1

            And gee, pity that BOTH of them didn’t get sick with this harmless disease, right?

          • Steve Spiller

            Well, since the measles is safest to contract as a child, I suspect all 5 of those kids will go on to live long healthy lives.

            Lol the measles is harmless people. Unless, of course, you live in Bangladesh.

          • MaineJen

            cough*racist*cough

          • Steve Spiller

            Yes, because it’s racist to point out a country’s poverty level.

          • rosewater1

            You suspect they’ll live long healthy lives? Okay, I’m satisfied. And I’m sure the parents will be too.

          • Steve Spiller

            I couldn’t give a fuck less.

          • Amazed

            Please, please, Steve, keep talking. Thank you so much for revealing what your anti-vaxxer ilk is like – heartless scums. Please keep demonstrating it for eternity.

            You couldn’t give a fuck less if these kids live or die. Thank you for your honesty.

          • Steve Spiller

            Well, I can say with 100% certainty that none of those 5 kids will die, and so I couldn’t give a fuck less if those parents happen to believe that their children’s lives are at all at risk. It’s ppl like you who should feel ashamed about fear mongering everyone over a mild illness to the point where they actually think their lives are threatened.

          • rosewater1

            Excuse me??? 100% certainty? I’ve worked in the medical field for close to 15 years. I have NEVER heard ANY medical professional say anything “100%” in terms of a patient’s health. But you’ll say it?

          • Steve Spiller

            Where are we? United States? Yep. 100% certainty.

          • rosewater1

            No. Not 100%. Not ever. And you know that. You are clearly enjoying the stir you are causing, and doing everything you can to fan the flames. Including posting utter nonsense.

          • Amazed

            Hey, now we know why Olivia Dahl died from complications after measles! She wasn’t in the United States!

            For the record, as many of the regulars here know, I’m not in the United States either. As much as it pains homeopaths, naturopaths, lactation “professionals”, and anti-vaxxers, Dr Amy’s site reaches people all over the world.

          • Steve Spiller

            I’m fully aware that idiots exist all over the globe. That fact doesn’t “pain” me at all, actually. I figured as much.

          • rosewater1

            THAT I knew from your first comment. Thank you for saying it. It’s the most honest statement you’ve made.

      • MaineJen

        Wow. You’re an awful person.

        • Steve Spiller

          And you’re wildly unintelligent.

      • Daleth

        5 cases!!! AHHHHHHHHH.. THE HORROR!!!!!! We are all gonna DIE!!!!!!

        Come back and talk to me after your kid becomes one of the five. Right now, you seem to have no problem with other people’s children dying or suffering permanent brain damage. If it were your own kid I think you might change your tune.

        • rosewater1

          Don’t you know that “some children aren’t meant to live? Or have fully functioning brains?”

          • Steve Spiller

            Why do I get the feeling that your brain isn’t fully functioning?

          • MaineJen

            Don’t even talk to him, rosewater. “He has an MBA.”

          • Steve Spiller

            Yep, don’t try to talk to be about business! My understanding of business is far too complex for a lay person.

          • MaineJen

            I don’t give a FUCK about business. I just think it’s deplorable that you don’t care about children getting measles, a disease we had effectively eradicated in this country until you idiot anti-vaxxers decided your little snowflakes didn’t need shots any more. I also think it’s deplorable that you’ve effectively written off “malnourished” and “impoverished” children in other countries, who still die of measles because they can’t get the vaccine that you turned your nose up at for your little snowflakes.

          • Steve Spiller

            Actually, rates of MMR vaccination in many of these malnourished countries are higher than they are in many parts of North America, yet, ppl still die. Well hmmm.. That’s odd. I thought vaccines were the reason death rates declined in North America??

            “Measles vaccination rates in parts of Africa surpass those in North America”

            “That said, in 2000 an estimated 600 African children died from measles every day. Despite improved vaccination rates, the figure still stands at 400 a day, according to GGA’s researcher, Kate Van Niekerk.”

            https://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/feb/07/measles-vaccination-rates-africa-surpass-north-america

            It has NOTHING to do with vaccines and EVERYTHING to do with sanitation.

          • MaineJen

            That’s…not what the article says. DO you actually need to be able to read, to get an MBA? Or do you just need to be a Six Sigma black belt?

          • Steve Spiller

            That is EXACTLY what the article says, actually. Lol I literally copy/pasted those quotes from the article. What do you mean that’s not what the article says?

            Ignorant much?

          • MaineJen

            Well, “Steve,” the article (not a scientific article BTW, just a puff piece from the Guardian, which I’m sure you know isn’t a medical journal, being an important businessman and all) doesn’t specify WHICH African countries still have 400 children dying per day of this ‘harmless’ illness. So we don’t know if the countries with close to 100% vaccine uptake are the same countries with the high death rate.

            Africa is a huge continent, you see. With many different countries. What DO they teach in MBA school?

          • Steve Spiller

            Wait.. Africa has many countries??? I had no idea!! Lol. You’ll weasel your way out of anything that flies in the face of your beliefs. It’s cool. I’m glad I was able to introduce that information to you.

          • Steve Spiller

            The US has a 91% vaccination rate, while in Canada, which is currently experiencing an outbreak in Toronto, it is 84%, according to a UN estimate. A 95% rate is required for so-called “herd immunity”.

            The GGA survey indicates that some African countries are now achieving near 100% vaccination rates, up by 39% since 2000.

            The survey shows that 16 countries in Africa, including Tanzania, Morocco, Libya, Mauritius, Eritrea, Gambia and Egypt have almost 100% vaccination rates, and five others – Zimbabwe, Algeria, Kenya, Botswana and Lesotho, have higher rates than the US.

            In 2000, WHO reported that 60% of the 777,000 measles deaths worldwide occurred in occurred in sub-Saharan Africa. With improved communication, social mobilisation, counselling and funding, however, measles deaths were reduced by 91% by 2007. At the time, WHO’s director general of health, Margaret Chan, described the trend as “a major public health success and a tribute to the dedication of the countries in the African region.”

            That said, in 2000 an estimated 600 African children died from measles every day. Despite improved vaccination rates, the figure still stands at 400 a day, according to GGA’s researcher, Kate Van Niekerk.

          • GDL

            The Guardian article makes it clear that some parts of Africa (19 countries) have achieved better rates than USA. The ones dying from measles are in the parts (remainder of the 55 countries) with less effective vaccination.

        • Steve Spiller

          Lol… I am not worried about the measles in the slightest. I don’t succumb to the fear mongering like most ppl do.

        • demodocus

          people don’t always die from Russian Roulette, either…

      • rational thinker

        No most likely the children of the ignorant idiots who did not vaccinate them are gonna die. I do not find it a joking matter.

        • Steve Spiller

          Find me an unvaccinated child who died from the measles in the USA in the past 20 years. I’ll wait.

          • MaineJen

            Well you see, Steve, most children in the US are vaccinated for measles, because their parents aren’t morons. So there haven’t been many cases of measles in the US in the past 20 years. Until now.

          • Box of Salt
          • Steve Spiller

            … a list of supposed measles deaths. That is not a list of unvaccinated children who died of measles. Nice try though.

          • Griffin

            I’ll let the Americans give you a case in America. I live in Western Europe, which has excellent medical care, nutrition, sanitation etc. Because the Italians allowed their measles vaccine coverage drop from 95% (needed to prevent outbreaks) to 91%, cases have gone up from 850 in 2016 to 4885 in 2017. Twelve died in 2017-2018. Here is a list of the dead:

            “Among those measles deaths in Europe, there have been at least twelve measles deaths in Italy (five in 2017 and seven in 2018, among just 7,697 cases), all either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, including:

            a 6-year-old boy with leukemia who caught measles from an intentionally unvaccinated sibling (2017)
            an intentionally unvaccinated 9-year-old girl with chromosomopathy, which is not a contraindication to getting vaccinated (2017)
            a 16-month-old girl with chronic medical problems who caught measles while hospitalized for persistent fever and a subsequent bleeding disorder (2017)
            a 27-year-old woman (2017)
            a young patient who died of measles encephalitis (December 2017)
            a 25-year-old unvaccinated mother
            a 10-month-old unvaccinated boy who likely caught measles when he had been hospitalized for an RSV infection
            a 38-year-old
            a 42-year-old unvaccinated man who was immunocompromised
            a 51-year-old in Sicily
            a 29-year-old in Sicily
            a 23-year-old with leukemia in Trieste who had received one dose of the measles vaccine (October 2018)

          • Steve Spiller

            You name all of these immunocompromised people and I’m supposed to take that as a reason to get my kids vaccinated? 12 immunocompromised ppl in a population of 60 million die and you think that’s going to convince me that the measles is dangerous. For christ sake, these ppl couldve just as easily been killed by the common cold.

            I mean seriously, use your heads!

          • MaineJen

            Again………reading

          • rational thinker

            Again don’t understand what someone is saying.

          • Griffin

            You don’t seem to understand: the reason there is not more than 12 dead in 2 years is because of high immunization rates. If the measles coverage rate drops further in Italy, many, many more than 12 will die.

            Measles also has long term effects on those who survive it, such as subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, where there is progressive brain inflammation that is pretty horrible and often fatal. Approximately 1 in 600 measles-infected babies will develop it. There is no cure.

            And by the way, those 12 poor Italians did not have to die. They would not have gotten measles if the Italians had kept their vaccination rates to 95%.

          • MaineJen

            Did you catch that dirty delete? He just tried to post a few dozen links to “prove” his case…from Fox News and Cafe Mom, to name a few. LOL

          • Griffin

            Did he delete? I tried to open the first one but then it disappeared. But one of my posts from today has also disappeared, maybe Disqus is playing up? I would hope though that Fox News and Cafe Mom are not his only sources.

          • rational thinker

            the list is still on my screen I haven’t refreshed page in awhile

          • MaineJen

            I”m super interested in the Cafe Mom one. I’m sure it’s super informative.

          • rational thinker

            I know right

          • MaineJen

            AGE OF AUTISM

            I *almost* feel a little bit sorry for him. And then I remember that thing about him not caring if kids live or die.

          • rational thinker

            was this the list I just reposted down below?

          • MaineJen

            Yep

          • rational thinker

            yup looks like he deleted it, I don’t think he will be back

          • Griffin

            Damn, it WAS there but now I can’t see it.

          • rational thinker

            I reposted it its down below

          • Griffin

            His latest comment in all caps and his aggression towards us suggest he is a fearful person, hence all the anger. I actually kind of do feel sorry for him, despite his cruel indifference to preventable deaths.

          • Who?

            Yes the immunocompromised should just suck it up, isn’t that right?

            If ‘using your head’ is what got you to this point, I’ll pass, thanks all the same.

          • AnnaPDE

            Yes, that’s exactly why. Because you are part of society and don’t get to kill others, especially vulnerable others, through reckless decisions.

          • Raymond Brun

            Seriously 🙂
            Im assuming the list from Griffin is accurate.
            These particular beings died of a disease that vaccine avoids deaths from.
            On the other hand, can you make a list of those who died of this vaccine ?
            Anything else would not be logical.

  • Steve Spiller

    Ironic that you praise Ignas Semmelweis in this piece while labeling all doctors who speak out against vaccines as quacks… You do realize that during Ignas’ time, they labeled him a quack for his beliefs as well and even through him into a mental institution, right? Didn’t acknowledge that he was actually right until after he passed. Why do I get the feeling that Andy Wakefield is essentially a modern day Ignas Semmelweis?

    • space_upstairs

      Because you’ve never had or known someone with smallpox or polio? 😉 Seriously, paradigm shifts are rarer than most laypeople think, as is being discussed here. If the current best guess is wrong, there are usually good reasons behind it, and only time and good science can tell who the next paradigm shifter is.

      • Steve Spiller

        Oh, I completely agree. These shifts are rare and only time will tell. However, I strongly disagree with the assertion that “there are usually good reasons behind it”. What exactly was the good reason behind labeling Ignas Semmelweis a quack for suggesting that washing your hands between surgeries was safer and would reduce mortality rates?

        • space_upstairs

          Probably that germ theory was kind of new then (or not fully accepted yet – consider all those who still thought TB was linked to artistic temperaments) and that germs in dead bodies that could make living people sick had not yet been discovered.

          • Steve Spiller

            So you are saying that the good reason is because his theory wasn’t yet widely accepted or understood by the majority? Lol. Yeah… No shit.

          • MaineJen

            His “theory” isn’t accepted because he’s a liar and a fraud. Next!!

          • Steve Spiller

            Yea and so is Ignas Semmelweis!! He’s a liar and a fraud and should be thrown in a mental institution!!!

            Sound familiar?

          • space_upstairs

            And the reason it wasn’t accepted was the lack of decades of extraordinary evidence to prove him and Pasteur right. Even the best ideas need evidence.

        • Steve Spiller

          You know what, actually, you are correct in stating that there are usually good reasons behind it. Here are a couple good reasons we are where we are today with regards to vaccinations…

          https://qz.com/1540673/merck-is-all-but-ready-to-vaccinate-the-world-against-hpv-and-make-billions-in-the-process/

          http://fortune.com/2019/02/05/pfizer-pneumonia-vaccine-treatment-shot-prevnar-13/

          “In 2014, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended the immunization for adults ages 65 and older in addition to young children, typically those under the age of 2, and adults with certain chronic conditions. And that sent the profits on Prevnar skyrocketing to $23.4 billion since just 2015.”

          So yes, I take that back… There usually are good reasons behind labeling these doctors who go against the grain quacks. In this situation it goes like this… Get CDC to put your vaccine on the childhood schedule or broaden it’s recommendations = profits soar. Ruin any doctor who dare threaten those profits and potentially raises issues that would cause the CDC to remove those recommendations by labeling them quacks.

          • space_upstairs

            There are always bad reasons mixed in with the good ones. But the good reason to accept vaccines today is that there is far more and better evidence that they effectively control contagious diseases than that they frequently cause chronic ones.

    • rational thinker

      My daughter is autistic she needs constant supervision 24/7. She is 14 years old and still in diapers, and partially verbal. Now let me tell you my opinion about Wakefield. He is a lying, manipulative, money grubbing piece of shit and if there is a hell that’s exactly where he is going. I find it disgusting to praise someone with that amount of blood on his hands. Have a nice day 🙂

      • Steve Spiller

        So… Let me get this straight. Because your daughter is autistic and you think that Andy Wakefield is a piece of trash, then it must be true!!? Because people with autistic children are all knowing and have all the answers? Is that your point? Lol.

        Yeah. Makes tons of sense. Almost as much sense as this article.

        • rational thinker

          You just proved what a massive moron you are. You did not understand anything I said. I have met some morons before but wow you take the cake.

          • rational thinker

            Ok I am going to explain my original comment slowly so you can understand it. First I always have to state the severity of my child’s autism so people know it is the severe kind because nowadays due to mistaking other conditions for autism (like Jenny Mccarthy’s son), and because laypeople like yourself not realizing the difference between an ASD and full blown autism. So even though my kid has autism my point obviously was that I would be the first one to say vaccines DO NOT cause autism. You are born with it you do not develop it, and actual autism is more rare than you think and has more do with genetics than anything else. Now the other thing that I clearly stated that this was my personal opinion of Wakefield, so you need to brush up on your reading skills.

    • MaineJen

      So Semmelweis had a paper retracted because his methods were proven shoddy and his data fabricated? Semmelweis was set to profit off of an alternative treatment he just happened to be developing?

      Oh…no. That was just your boy “Andy.”

      • Steve Spiller

        Andy had his paper retracted because medical journals are under pressure to appease the entities which fund them, much like news stations. If you don’t want to believe that, I can’t help you. One must understand the economics of science to understand how this works. Unfortunately, without a business degree, you are merely a lay and couldn’t ever possible understand how or why the world works this way. I have an MBA and I really wish you people would stop LAYSPLAINING to me about how medical journals run their businesses!!!

        • MaineJen

          Oh hey! I work in immunology. I sincerely wish YOU would stop trying to laysplain immunology to me. Vaccines work. Bye.

        • rosewater1

          Ahh, it’s a CONSPIRACY!

          • Steve Spiller

            Are you laysplaining to me? I have an MBA and honestly i hate when people laysplain to me like they have a clue how businesses behave.

        • Daleth

          Andy had his paper retracted because medical journals are under pressure to appease the entities which fund them

          Is that also why “Andy” lost his medical license? ….*crickets*….

          Here’s why the Lancet retracted Wakefield’s fraudulent article:

          “as Britain’s General Medical Council ruled in January, the children that Wakefield studied were carefully selected and some of Wakefield’s research was funded by lawyers acting for parents who were involved in lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers. The council found Wakefield had acted unethically and had shown ‘callous disregard’ for the children in his study, upon whom invasive tests were performed.” More details at the link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2831678/

          FYI the Lancet, founded in 1823, has been owned by the Dutch company Elsevier since 1991. Elsevier is funded by tens of thousands of subscriptions from med schools, medical and scientific professionals, etc. Did you research that before posting, or did you just assume that general economic models you learned studying Wal-Mart or McDonald’s or IBM while doing your MBA also applied to the Lancet? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elsevier#Market_model

          • Steve Spiller

            I have an MBA. Stop laysplaining please. You don’t understand how businesses behave.

          • MaineJen

            Yes, and as we all know, MBA is the end-all, be-all of terminal degrees. You have the best education. The best expertise. The best words. Bigly.

          • Steve Spiller

            You aren’t allowed to question professionals in their field of expertise. I’m just following the logic of this entire article.

          • Daleth

            I have an MBA. Stop laysplaining please. You don’t understand how businesses behave.

            Did you ask if I have an MBA? Did you ask if I have a business background? Funny how you just assume you are the only qualified person here.

  • Nyte Shayde

    I can’t applaud loud enough.

  • guest

    So, my daughter, who is 14 mos, had to have her 12 mos vaccines postponed due to illness. I brought her in for her vaccines today, and the doctor told me that they are out of MMR and several others. We have been waitlisted. The measles outbreak here in WA state has pushed thousands of unvaccinated families to suddenly come in to pediatrician offices and demand vaccines.

    I am angry. My family has painstakingly kept up our vaccination schedule in an area with notoriously low vaccination rates. I remember being scared for my newborn and other babies because my neighbors were buying in to the antivax thing 100% and I had seen babies with pertussis when I worked as an orderly. I really wondered if the herd immunity that might protect them was just gone.

    Now my daughter is in fragile health and cannot get her MMR vaccine because these people suddenly realized “oh shit, measles is real” and came in demanding immediate care for something they neglected for so long. Not because it was the right thing to do, but because they are scared for themselves. I am glad they are getting vaccinated, but this seems like a bandaid on a bigger problem. Will they keep up with their shots, or will they just go back to not caring when the outbreak is over?

    • Nyte Shayde

      I don’t know where you are, but if you’re in the Puget Sound area, Pac Med currently has the MMR vaccine as well as Providence, Mary Bridge, and Seattle Childrens.

  • doninkansas

    I LOVE YOU!!! I am not a doctor, but I have worked in healthcare for 40 years. I go so tired of people who have no medical training of any kind trying to correct health care professionals with their pet cures they read about online or their ______. (fill in the blank) told them is the TRUTH.

  • Heidi

    So…. um….. can I borrow that picture on the bottom and make posters for my office and exam rooms? Because I’m dying to laminate the angry pointing woman and the definition of laysplaining. This is fierce.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Absolutely!!

  • drcrj

    While many see this as “angry” and “arrogant,” I completely sympathize with the frustration and fury at seeing headlines about ACTUAL PEOPLE DYING because of the anti-vaxx nonsense. At what point, tone police, is the author justified in expressing the fact that she’s at wit’s end? After the 10th utterly preventable death in her city? After the 100th? After the 1000th bit of hate mail she gets for being part of a “Big Pharma” conspiracy? The rage is understandable… and necessary.

  • Fred Francis Down

    Whilst I fully understand the doctor’s frustration at being challenged by lay people with a totally superficial knowledge, attitude plays into the hands of the a the anti-vaxers, who see doctors as arrogant.

    Medical doctors are not the sole possesors of medical knowledge. I graduated with an honours degree in genetics and my first job on graduation was working for the Medical Research Council in the UK, working in the field of exercise physioogy. Most of the people in the team were not medical doctors but physiologists.

    As for medical advances made by non medical people.
    Pasteur – germ theory of desease – vaccines etc was a chemist.

    • GDL

      Pasteur was also a physicist. But he was dean of science at Lille university (where he started working on fermentation) and director of scientific studies at a prestigious French education establishment. His work in Chemistry etc is not evidence that he was some sort of layperson when it came to biology. And this was in 19th Century.

      • Fred Francis Down

        I am not trying to pass Pasteur as not a layperson in biology, my point was that he was not a medical doctor.

        • GDL

          My apologies, I edited in haste and lost what I was aiming for. Pasteur was a bit of a polymath, came at microbiology through his work on fermentation. And his discoveries aided and developed the germ theory and thence he moved into study of diseases.

    • rational thinker

      I don’t think the post is arrogant I sense the tone of the piece is more venting and fed up.

  • OGF of Zolin

    Thank you, a million thank yous.

  • Ken Milne
  • Ken Milne
  • Craig Iedema

    Climate Change Deniers would fit into this category also.

  • Amazed

    First two cases of measles here. A woman and a child. Both unvaccinated, of course. The kid has an older sibling who has been vaccinated but for this child, the mother read much, knew better and did better. Naturally!

    Excuse me, I’ve got an urgent need to puke.

  • Peter Olins

    “Laysplaining”!
    I hope it catches on. It succinctly captures a whole domain of ignorance and behavior.

  • Rosalind Dalefield

    The connection between thalidomide and phocomelia was not discovered by Frances Kelsey. It was discovered by Australian OBGYN William McBride.

  • Rosalind Dalefield

    Also, they should stop telling this Board-certified toxicologist, with over 20 years’ professional experience, that vaccines are “poison” or contain “toxins”. No they are not, and no they do not.

    • sabelmouse

      what do YOU call mercury, aluminium, and so on?

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    Minor correction: I think you mean Frances Kelsey.

    • Rosalind Dalefield

      No, she means Australian OBGYN William McBride. He was the one who identified the link between thalidomide and phocomelia.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        Good point. Kelsey rejected the application because it was incomplete and lacked rigor, not specifically because of the embryo-fetal risk. Random trivia: The thalidomide application was her second since being hired by the FDA and was given to her because it was an easy one.

        • Rosalind Dalefield

          That is correct. However, she did not identify that thalidomide was teratogenic. That was McBride. He was awarded a CBE and the Order of Australia for his work.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    I heard the other day that even Jay Gordon is now telling people to get vaccinated.

    • rational thinker

      Holy shit I never thought that was possible. This is the guy who reportedly saw autism happen in his office many times after kids got the MMR. I always thought he was the worst one out of all the quacks.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        It’s kind of strange. He was one who constantly argued that measles was a mild disease, so there was no reason to worry about it.

        Of course, he also justified it by referring to the Brady Bunch measles episode, so he was pretty dumb in doing so even in that way.

        But with the outbreak in the northwest, apparently he’s decided it’s not worth it.

        • Who?

          It must be making for some interesting conversations in his office.

          Because once the cornerstone is removed, the edifice starts to look a little wobbly.

          700 dead of measles in The Phillipines. I guess they were poor. Andrew Wakefield has a lot to answer for.

          • Steve Spiller

            Lol… The Philippines* is a developing country ravished with poverty. The people there are severely malnourished and of course many won’t survive even some of the most mild illnesses. The fact that you think people dying from measles in the Philippines* says anything about the severity of measles is just laughable.

          • space_upstairs

            One in 500 *healthy* people who catch the measles will suffer severe complications. The rate for severe complications from the vaccine is closer to one in 500,000, as is the risk of (getting measles in a developed country – 1 in 1000) x (complications if you get the measles – 1 in 500). If people stopped vaccinating, everyone would get the measles again and we’d be back up to 1 in 500. Which sounds rare, but it’s way higher than your odds of hitting the lottery.

          • Steve Spiller

            You may want to check your statistics. Even the CDC claims that before the measles vaccine was introduced that the rate of sever complications was very low. But sure… Whatever you say!

          • Daleth

            Even the CDC claims that before the measles vaccine was introduced that the rate of sever complications was very low.

            Uh, what? Quote from the CDC:

            “As many as one out of every 20 children with measles gets pneumonia, the most common cause of death from measles in young children.

            About one child out of every 1,000 who get measles will develop encephalitis (swelling of the brain) that can lead to convulsions and can leave the child deaf or with intellectual disability.”

            https://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/complications.html

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            And 498/499 of those who don’t suffer “severe complications” will be miserable with a fever and nasty itchy rash for more than a week, and will be stuck at home. If they are kids, that means they can’t go to daycare, and their parents will have to take a week or more off of work. If that parent makes $50K a year, it only costs them about a thousand bucks.

            But, oh, I know, a low-grade fever for maybe a day and soreness at the injection site for those 498 kids would be SO much worse than getting the disease….

          • space_upstairs

            The irony of anti-vaxers is that if a vitamin or herb could legitimately claim to do what even the most dicey mainstream vaccines (e.g. flu) could do for common illnesses, they would almost surely take the vitamin or herb in a heartbeat. So it’s not a question of effectiveness, it’s a question of market niche. Vaccines are marketed to the common man and therefore must be no good.

          • MaineJen

            cough*racist*cough

          • Steve Spiller

            Racist? For merely pointing out a fact that a country has high levels of poverty? Lol. Whatever you say.

          • Daleth

            The fact that you think people dying from measles in the Philippines* says anything about the severity of measles is just laughable.

            How about America, then? Before the vaccine came out in 1963, about 500 people a year died from measles and another 1000 suffered measles encephalitis, which often causes permanent brain damage. Also, about 48,000 people a year had such severe cases that they were hospitalized.

            Bear in mind that the population then was half what it is now, so those numbers these days would be 1000 deaths, 2000 cases of encephalitis and 96,000 hospitalizations, every single year.

          • Who?

            What’s a few dead, poor, brown kids?

            I don’t know if it makes you a racist, or just an ignorant dullard with an attitude problem.

            Oh and I see you have an MBA? I’ve avoided getting one because I knew they’d go out of fashion, as they have, but you do you.

    • Christopher Hickie

      Jay Gordon is an opportunistic lying sack of you know what. He should have lost his license for going on the news to tell people not to vaccinate during multiple SoCal measles outbreaks as well as his anti-vaccine web page and his “Vaccines?” DVD you can buy on Amazon.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Oh, I know it, Chris.

        He is all about self-grandizing. He needs to do something to get back in the spotlight.

        I’ve considered him nothing but a joke for years, and my only engagement with him (when I did that stuff) was mockery.

      • Peter Harris

        While you are busy smearing others, real crimes and corruption is going on, right in front of you, and you say nothing!

        Clearly, you are the sack of s*** in this debate!

        Examples of fraud cases.

        $3 billion GSK settlement. On 2 July 2012, GlaxoSmithKline pleaded guilty to criminal charges and agreed to a $3 billion settlement of the largest health-care fraud case in the U.S. and the largest payment by a drug company.[8] The settlement is related to the company’s illegal promotion of prescription drugs, its failure to report safety data,[9] bribing doctors, and promoting medicines for uses for which they were not licensed. The drugs involved were Paxil, Wellbutrin, Advair, Lamictal, and Zofran for off-label, non-covered uses. Those and the drugs Imitrex, Lotronex, Flovent, and Valtrex were involved in the kickback scheme.[10][11][12] The government investigation of GSK was launched largely on the basis of information provided by four whistleblowers who filed two qui tam (whistleblower) lawsuits against the company under the False Claims Act. GSK settled the whistleblowers’ lawsuits for a total of $1.017 billion out of the $3 billion settlement, the largest civil False Claims Act settlement to date.[13]
        Pfizer $2.3 billion settlement: Pfizer settled multiple civil and criminal allegations for $2.3 billion in the largest case of pharmaceutical and health care fraud in US history. The drugs involved were Bextra (an anti-inflammatory drug), Geodon (an anti-psychotic drug), Lipitor (a cholesterol drug), Norvasc (anti-hypertensive drug), Viagra (erectile dysfunction), Zithromax (antibiotic), Zyrtec (antihistamine), Zyvox (an antibiotic), Lyrica (an anti-epileptic drug), Relpax (anti-migraine drug), Celebrex (anti-inflammatory drug), and Depo-provera (birth control).[14]
        Merck $650 million settlement: Merck settled a nominal pricing fraud case in which the company was accused of taking kickbacks and violating Medicaid best price regulations for various drugs.[15][16]
        United States et al., ex rel. Jim Conrad and Constance Conrad v. Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc, et al. involved a drug manufacturer selling a drug, Levothroid, that had never been approved by the FDA. These allegations settled for $42.5 million due to multiple whistleblowers stepping forward to provide detailed information on the alleged fraud. The collective reward to the relators in this case was over $14.6 million.[17][18]

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharmaceutical_fraud#Types_of_fraud

  • Christopher Hickie

    Hey…I went to med school and vaccinate children. Thank you!

    • rational thinker

      Thank you, for saving lives every day by giving vaccines to children.

  • mabelcruet

    I think research methodology is an area some of these activists really don’t understand. The papers they quote tend to be fairly geriatric, and of course cherry picked to suit. I don’t think they understand that scientific progress is made by testing and re-testing hypotheses, and that negative findings are just as important as positive ones, and that just because something has been published doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s still current. Papers aren’t generally withdrawn if their conclusions are later found to be erroneous (generally papers only get withdrawn when there are issues regarding probity, falsifying data or similar fraud, like Wakefield). But just because an article is still available, that doesn’t mean it still holds true-science progresses, and we can see how it progresses over time. We don’t just say stop, we don’t need to do any more research on this, we know all there is to know. Off topic a bit, but I can only think of one trial where it was halted because the results were so spectacular that to continue it would put infants at risk-it was a huge neonatal hypothermia brain cooling trial to reduce the risk of hypoxic brain damage. Those babies who were randomised to the cooling arm did so much better than those who weren’t cooled that it was considered unethical to carry on and instead give everyone cooling.

    I started med school in the mid 80s, and we were most definitely taught about immunology, nutrition, breast-feeding and everything else that some of these groups claim we know nothing about. And that knowledge gets revised over time-we don’t just stop learning once we graduate. We have to show ongoing professional development, life long learning. And nurses and loads of other health care professionals have to do the same (and lawyers and accountants and various others do it). The way some of these activists group tell it, it’s like we stop thinking immediately after graduation and just coast along, and nothing could be further from the truth. We are always questioning and learning and taking new knowledge on board.

    • Griffin

      I agree, anti-vax people (and others of their ilk) do NOT understand the scientific process. I think it’s because they don’t understand – or don’t want to believe – that WE AND THEY are all emotional lizard-brained beings. They operate from fear, they want to be in control. I get it. It’s not easy to be a human.

      Yet the scientific process is the best approach that we have to get to rational decision-making despite our prejudices and self-centered impulses. Because we are humans, the scientific process is corruptible, definitely not a perfect process but like Churchill said about democracy “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those others that have been tried.”

      The balast of knowledge takes a long time to acquire, and yes, the acquisition never stops. I agree with Dr. Tuteur that at a certain point, when there is wilful ignorance that is putting other people’s lives in danger, one needs to make clear that the ignorant ARE ignorant. A little while back, I said to a laysplaining acquaintance, “Bacteria are not viruses. They are NOT the same thing. Therefore, antibiotics – which btw target BACTERIA – don’t work on viruses. You are NOT a doctor, please don’t give such irresponsible advice.” It was said with some unsmiling emphasis. It didn’t go over well with the laysplainer or her husband but I do know the target of the laysplainer went and got a real doctor’s opinion after that.

      “Laysplainer” – it’s a good term, I like it. It’s a shortcut for an exasperating and difficult-to-handle type of person that abounds these days. By labeling it, maybe we can more effectively tackle it.

    • Sue

      I was also in Med School in the early 80’s and like you, I learned a huge amount about the anatomy, physiology and pathology of the immune system, infectious diseases and how vaccines work (“medical students only get one hour on vaccines”), and the anatomy, biochemistry, metabolic pathways and clinical functions of all the macro- and micro-nutrients (“doctors only get one hour on nutrition”).

      For specialist training, we not only had to learn research methods but also had to publish or present original research.

      I’ve lost count of the amount of times some random person on social media, who never went anywhere medical school, has lectured me about what I learned there, and since.

    • OGF of Zolin

      They also have no conception of levels of evidence. To them 3 anecdotes is impossible to fathom as anything but a compelling “series of cases”.

  • rational thinker

    This reminds me of the guy in the paleo diet discussion he was certain he knew so much more than anyone else, it was more arrogance than intellect with him.

    • space_upstairs

      Like Mabelcruet mentioned, he didn’t seem to fully understand science as a process and why paradigm shifts are slow to happen. He thought that because he read lots of research that supported his pet ideas, he could prove them right, and a paradigm shift in nutrition and medicine was well under way. He did not account for cognitive bias, which I tried to model for him by showing my cards, but knowing of cognitive bias usually only helps you see it in other people, and if you see it in yourself it’s just the tip of the iceberg and does not stop you from engaging in it.

      • rational thinker

        What shocked me most about him was how he kept implying he was smarter than everyone else even after finding out he was arguing with two real scientists. So out of curiosity a few weeks after the conversation with him on the paleo post I tried to find out if this was a one time thing or if this was a habit. I found out he trolls old posts of anything anti paleo. He turns up on blogs that are months or years old to preach about his paleo diet, and anyone who did not agree with him he called dumb or anti intellectual.

        • space_upstairs

          I’m not surprised he made a full blown hobby out of it. Anyway, though I am a real scientist, I admit to being as far from the field of nutrition and health as possible, which worked against me in the debate along with admitting my own cognitive biases. (I should have known that there was no way he would admit his, knowing what I do about them.) Yet I’m sure a sensible health researcher would have backed me up in my debates with the crank engineer about dark energy and the like, on the basis that most scientists respect the work behind the “mainstream” of other fields and usually of their own (unless, perhaps, they dedicate themselves to challenging the paradigm of their own field and are deep in their own cognitive biases).

        • demodocus

          My personal favorite was that kid who was arguing with Mabel about something in the development of neonates.

          • mabelcruet

            I still maintain he was trying to get us to do his homework assignment for him…

      • mabelcruet

        Scientific progress is generally made in a series of teeny tiny baby steps. In my own speciality of pathology, we have a technique called immunohistochemistry-immuno stains are a great way of identifying the cell of origin in tumours. Knowledge of where the tumour originated helps with treatment decisions. When immuno was first developing, the papers produced were all ‘tumour X is positive with stain Y’, and it was hailed as the absolutely last word in diagnosis, and it was going to revolutionize how pathologists work, and we wouldn’t need to know anything about tumour morphology anymore because all we would need to do is throw brown stains at the tumour and see what sticks.

        But as more and more work was done and we realised that there is cross reactivity and aberrant expression, so we now end up with ‘if immuno for X, Y, and Z is positive, and A and B stains are negative, then it’s tumour C. But if XY and Z are positive, and A amd B also positive, and D negative, then it’s tumour E’. It’s not a revolution at all, it’s a useful tool. But if you go back to those first papers, it’s very different from what we hoped.

        There’s very few ‘big ideas’ and paradigm shifts in medicine, just very slow incremental plodding. I realise how frustrating this can be for people seeking cures, but the fact is that we aren’t hiding the cure for cancer, or the way to everlasting life. And when there are big headlines saying the gene for disease X has been found, we are still many, many years away from that being actually useful from a patient treatment point of view. It’s unethical of doctors to promise cures where no cure exists, but that’s what some of the alternative therapy practitioners do, and for a scared and desperate patient, looking for answers, that’s very attractive.

        • space_upstairs

          Indeed, and progress is often 2 steps forward, one step back. For instance, in astrophysics at the end of the last century, we finally knew the cosmic geometry at the expens of going from not understanding 85% of the substance of the cosmos to not understanding 96% of it. Unfortunately, science history and jounalism make paradigm shifts sound far more common and easy than they really are.

        • MaineJen

          Ugh. Ask me about C4D staining…or better yet, don’t :/

          • mabelcruet

            There’s far too many CD stains-I lose track of them completely. Thankfully they aren’t going to be sacking pathologists imminently, immuno stains are a very strong diagnostic tool but have to be used carefully. In paediatrics, we have a group of malignant tumours that all look similar, so they are called small round blue cell tumours (ecause they all look like small round blue cells, obviously). There are some morphological differences in the cells and the background that help to identify the type, but because they have an embryological origin, there’s a lot of cross reactivity with the various stains, even those tumours that originate in wildly different tissues. We have a standard panel of stains that covers all the possibilities, but diagnosis is a combination of morphology and staining patterns. If we have a trainee with us, and I’m feeling really cruel I ask them to put the stains in order of preference based on morphology (like, imagine you only have the ability to do one single stain, so based on the morphology, which stain do you choose that will be the most helpful?) I don’t want them to rely completely on immuno because it can trip you up on occasion, especially in this age group.

            I wish the immuno was prettier though-its dull brown or blue. The old special histochemical stains were so much more colourful.

  • Who?

    Off topic but a fine example of laysplaining.

    I love makeup and skincare. Had a ‘free’ facial with a skincare company, which left me with an allergic reaction to the products and chemical burns on my face.

    Got that all medically treated (hydrocortisone cream to clear the swelling and damage under my eyes, antihistamines for the itching and burning, all kinds of lotions and unguents to heal, moisten and protect).

    Went back to the provider of the facial for a chat, told her I’d been to the doctor. She said that doctors (even dermatologists) aren’t really ‘trained in skin’ in the same deep and thorough way as her and her team, so it was a bit misguided of me to rely on their input rather than coming back to her.

    Then went on to suggest I spot-test some products. When I told her I recently put on their sunscreen and had to wash it off after 5 minutes due to itching and burning, she changed the subject.

    So take that, doctors!

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Have you considered reporting this company to your country’s regulatory agency? In the US (other countries vary), “supplements” and “natural” medicines aren’t regulated as closely as actual medications, but even there, a product that causes chemical burns sounds like something that should and could get shut down.

      • Daleth

        Good idea. Also, it sounds like the facial provider was trying to give you medical advice. Does she have a medical license? No? Well then, that’s against the law.

  • attitude devant

    My least favorite laysplaining is when people tell me doctors don’t study nutrition. Ummmmm…..yes we do, and who are you to tell me what I learned in medical school?

    • Sue

      Same. I tell them that I learned everything from the anatomy of the salivary glands to the physiology of gastric acid secretion, the metabolic pathways of all the macro and micro nutrients and the clinical deficiency and toxicity syndromes.

      What we don’t learn at medical school is dietetics – how to design an individual diet for a patient – because we collaborate with dietitians, who do their entire training on that. Just the same as we collaborate with physios rather than give our own physical therapy – but we do learn anatomy and clinical examination, and diagnose musculoskeletal conditions.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      My personal favorite is “They don’t teach anything about prevention/they only teach you how to treat the symptoms not the underlying disease in medical school” one. Because apparently smoking cessation, treatment of hypertension, aspirin, and cholesterol management don’t treat the underlying cause of heart disease, chemotherapy only treats the symptoms of cancer, and vaccines have nothing to do with preventing infectious disease.

  • space_upstairs

    Splaining usually refers to the more privileged claiming to know more than the less privileged, and I think misinformed laypeople are only equally privileged to trained professionals given that we are all of the aspirational class. But I know what you mean: the Dunning-Kruger is so strong in some people. I knew an engineer who tried to convince me that adopting his favorite crank physics hypotheses would revolutionize my field, and I was a sucker for the conspiracy that says there are forms of energy we don’t understand and perpetual motion machines are impossible. Some people, though no more privileged than we are, are so inflated by the privilege they have that they cannot admit to important limits to their knowledge or especially to limits to the very knowability of things. Shouldn’t we have those flying cars by now? They forget that Skype was sci-fi 50 years ago.

  • tracit

    Agree with everything except this: “Similarly, there is no possible way for a layperson — EVEN YOU — to fully understand the substance, utility and necessity of vaccination; most adults, being more mature and self-aware than second graders, understand that they have to accept the word of those with expertise in medicine, immunology and epidemiology.” There are plenty of laypeople that can and do understand this. And no one should blindly accept the word of experts on anything. It’s ok to question experts, but you have to be able to accept what they tell you when it is based on evidence and science. No one knows everything.

    • fiftyfifty1

      “There are plenty of laypeople that can and do understand this.”

      I would challenge you to find me a layperson who truly understands the biology behind vaccinations. I have never met anyone with less than a masters degree in immunology or a related field who comes even close.

      “And no one should blindly accept the word of experts on anything.”

      Really? I do on a regular basis. If the pilot says we have to deboard the plane due to weather, I accept his word. When the teacher tells me my daughter would benefit from a math tutor, I hire one. When Pete from the gas station tells me my car needs a repair, I get it done. When the lady who cuts my hair tells me a certain style won’t look good with my hair type, I believe her. No further explanation demanded. As a doctor, I am always glad to explain my reasoning behind any advice I give. I am consistently rated by patients as being an excellent communicator. But know this–the explanation I give is at best the cartoon version of the totality of what I know. Patients may think they “really understand” when they are done talking to me, but their sense of understanding is largely an illusion. How could they possibly understand the nuances of complex medical decision making?

      • tracit

        If, by truly understands, you mean the nitty gritty minutiae of the biology of vaccines, then sure. No one without years of education is going to get there. I took “fully understand the substance, utility and necessity of vaccination” to mean the ability to understand the general why and how of the biology of vaccines. Most people can and do understand that. And the next level of understanding is also within the reach of plenty of laypeople.

        And I don’t blindly accept the expertise of pilots, and neither, I think, do you. I have looked into the statistics and am well aware that flying is safer than driving. I also know enough about the functioning of modern airplanes to feel safe trusting my life to the pilots. That’s not blind acceptance. I’ve had enough life experience to make me suspicious of anyone who wants me to take their word for anything without explanation or questions. If a teacher tells me my child needs a tutor, I’m going to ask some questions before hiring a tutor. Ditto for the gas station guy and the lady who cuts my hair. None of that is blind acceptance. If you are willing to make those decisions without questions, you are a more trusting soul than I am.

        And given how stupid you apparently think all of your patients are, I’m glad you’re not my doctor, regardless of how excellent your communications are rated.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          I would argue that trying to understand the biology of vaccines in general is not something that the average lay person should spend a lot of time on, at least not past learning the basic concept of “give a weakened or dead antigen to teach the immune system how to deal with it”. Instead, I’d suggest learning more details of the specific vaccine you are considering whether to take or not. “Vaccine” is a generic word, much like “medicine” or “food”. There is a major difference between, say, the flu shot, the small pox vaccine, and the various experimental melanoma vaccines, even though they are all, technically, vaccines.

          • Daleth

            I would argue that trying to understand the biology of vaccines in general is not something that the average lay person should spend a lot of time on, at least not past learning the basic concept of “give a weakened or dead antigen to teach the immune system how to deal with it”.

            Here’s how I explained it to my preschoolers:

            “Your blood is full of tiny superheroes and whenever you get sick, that means tiny bad guys got in, and your superheroes are fighting to kick them out. When we take you to get shots, every new shot teaches your superheroes a new kung fu move to kick the bad guys out. They also learn new kung fu moves every time you get sick. The reason you guys get sick more than we do is because we already got all our shots and we got sick as kids just like you, so our superheroes know a lot more moves than yours do. But yours will catch up. Anyway that’s why you have to get shots.”

            I also taught them that when their superheroes kick the bad guys out, they sing, with gusto, the chorus to Queen’s “We Are the Champions.”

            It’s basically true, right? They understand it, they sing the Queen song when they’re sick, and they’re very stoic about getting their shots because they understand the purpose.

            And I agree with you — I don’t think most adults outside the healthcare field are going to understand vaccines any better than my kids already do. The adults will use different vocabulary and probably won’t sing the Queen song, but their understanding isn’t really any deeper.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I am going to unashamedly steal quite a lot of this to help me in explaining shots to my kidlets. 😀 Thank you!

        • Sue

          I am also an experienced clinician who is considered to be a good communicator, and who sees it as my role to interpret and explain symptoms and signs on the basis of my understanding of how the body works. I have learned the clinical sciences in exquisite detail, and the explanation I give can never encompass all that detail.

          Like fiftyfifty, I don’t pretend to have the same understanding of the law, or aeronautical engineering, or motor mechanics – and the people I consult for these services understand that I will never equal their knowledge and understanding. I don’t feel offended by that judgement – I just don’t have their training or experience.

          So, your accusation of “given how stupid you apparently think all of your patients are, I’m glad you’re not my doctor, regardless of how excellent your communications are rated.” appears to be way off the mark.

          My motor mechanic doesn’t think I am stupid, but he does know that I don’t know enough to second-guess his expertise, no matter how smart I am.

          Expertise is not the same as intelligence.

          • Daleth

            Expertise is not the same as intelligence.

            That is a KEY point. I think a lot of antivaxxers and other anti-science or anti-intellectual types have a chip on their shoulder about their own intelligence, and they take any suggestion that they might not know enough to understand XYZ scientific subject as a personal attack.

            They like disagreeing with doctors because in their view, that means they’re smart. When we say, “That’s not your area of expertise” or “internet research is never going to teach you as much as med school” or “I’m not sure you know enough about immunology to have a valid opinion,” and they hear, “You’re not smart enough!” Hence the defensive, stubborn response.

          • tracit

            The last two sentences of the last paragraph struck me as extremely condescending. Yes, doctors have lots and lots of education that I and other non-doctors will never have. That does not in any way, shape or form mean that I (and other non-doctors) cannot understand “complex medical decision making.” There is a distinct tendency of people who consider themselves experts in anything to get the attitude that “regular” people just can’t understand their topic. And, while it’s true that “regular” people won’t likely ever reach the same level of expertise, it’s dangerous nonsense that “regular” people can’t understand it.

            I want to be very clear here. I am not an anti-vaxxer. I am not anti-science (I have a biology degree). I am, however, anti-the expert god complex.

          • fiftyfifty1

            It’s not a god complex, it’s reality. Even in closely related fields (like other subspecialties of medicine) I would be flying blind. It’s not that I’m stupid, it’s that there is just so much complex knowledge. And that knowledge is not just a bunch of “minor details” or “minutiae” as you call it above. Knowing that “lift” exists is not enough to keep a plane in the sky. Knowing that adjuvants exist is not enough to be able to argue their relative merits. The devil is absolutely in the details. In terms of medical decision making, I am no paternalist. Patients make the final decision based on their own complex lives and values. But their medical understanding is never complex. It is always simplistic (just as my understanding of any field other than my medical subspecialty is simplistic.)

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            Funny, your comments struck me (and other physicians) as remarkably and inappropriately condescending to us!

          • Peaches

            I would agree with Amy. Your response is very defensive and seems to come from some experience with a physician that either intentionally or unintentionally insulted your intelligence. Try not to be so defensive and untrusting of physicians’ advice. It is not a personal affront to you. I am in anesthesia and I trust my specialist colleagues on their advice about their field of expertise, in most cases, without “checking up” on whether it fits with current research. I am never going to know what they are imparting to me for advice and knowledge of their treatment to the extent that they are after residency, fellowship and clinical experience has provided for them. Have a little faith in this system!

          • tracit

            My attitude comes from many experiences with experts of all stripes being mistaken on things they claimed to be much better at than I. I used to be a trial lawyer – there are a LOT of “experts” who are anything but. And “experts” are human – they make mistakes just like everyone else. In addition, my dad almost died twice due to mistakes by doctors who didn’t want to be questioned about their “expertise.” No one will ever get anywhere with me by saying I should accept what they are saying just because they are an expert. In fact, that statement will make me question their expertise more closely – it’s the only way for me to figure out if they actually know what they are talking about. Most people are capable of understanding a lot more than “experts” give them credit for. There is a peculiar blindness to the capabilities of outsiders that comes from studying and working in a particular field for a long time. It comes with the territory, and is one of the prices paid for gaining expertise in the first place.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            How would you feel about a layperson told you how to litigate cases and declared that his reading on Google made him qualified to advise you since he “knew” you had only spent 30 minutes in law school on the principles of evidence?

          • tracit

            I never said anything like that. You are conflating me with the people you are upset with. I have been very consistent about my position. I distrust anyone who says that I should blindly trust them because they are experts, for very good reasons. And I think most people with expertise in any one area are blinded to varying extents to the capabilities of those outside their profession. I never had any problem discussing legal questions with my clients, as I never thought I knew everything. It was their life and the consequences of the choices we made would fall on them – they had every right to ask me questions until they understood what the situation was. I saw us as a team, not as an expert and a lackey.

          • Peaches

            By all means, question experts when their advice seems not to fit the situation. I feel sorry for you because you have not the insight into the fact that you are soured by these experiences of yours. To question all experts is a hard way to live life…

            Have a little faith that we are not all the same!

            Please stand back and look at part of the reason these experts are this way… It is not to make you look bad but because we are human and make mistakes, it is a matter of survival, of a way to do our job. If we were wishy-washy when we gave advice or said it with any lack of confidence, do you think we would be effective at our job. Do you think we could continue to function after a mistake or a bad outcome? whether it was our fault or not? Whatever you do (biology, lawyer?) you could not function effectively being questioned continuously… This job is demanding enough!

          • Daleth

            I used to be a trial lawyer – there are a LOT of “experts” who are anything but

            I am a trial lawyer and if you’re talking about expert witnesses, I know exactly what you mean — but that’s a whole different ball game. An expert witness certainly does have greater-than-layperson knowledge about the subject matter in question, but they’re paid to support the argument of the litigant who hired them.

            They’re absolutely not being paid, the way a treating physician is, to provide as-objective-as-possible medical advice based on the patient’s condition and the latest research. If vaccine-injury cases were tried the way most civil cases are, an antivaxxer could fly in some hippie MD to testify as an expert that vaccines caused her kid to become autistic. That quack would be an expert witness, but I don’t think it’s what any of us are talking about here when we say “expert.”

            I just want to be sure we’re all on the same page when we use the word “expert.” The standard for qualification as an expert witness under Rule 702 is not nearly as high as what most of us, speaking plain English, have in mind when we say “expert.” And the role of an expert witness is to be biased in favor of the litigant who hired them. So could we leave expert witnesses out of the discussion, in order to make sure we’re all talking about pretty much the same thing when we say “expert”?

          • Griffin

            “I am, however, anti-the expert god complex.” While I can only speak for myself, I’ve been on this site for 6 years: I suspect NO ONE here supports unquestioning belief in experts. There is a reason this site is called The SKEPTICAL Ob.

            You earlier said a PP was not seeing the wood for the trees, but in fact it is you who misses the forest here. You do not see that Dr Tuteur and we commentators have been struggling for years with how to approach the anti-vax/ free-birth/ attachment parenting people respectfully but in a way that improves the outcomes of the ones who cannot speak in this story. Namely, the children, and the underinformed/ misled/ lied-to women who are dragged into bizarre birth/ child-raising cults that harm them while others profit from their misery.

            It’s not easy. You should read more on this site before assuming single statements represent the whole.

          • Griffin

            “I am, however, anti-the expert god complex.” While I can only speak for myself, I’ve been on this site for 6 years: I suspect NO ONE here supports unquestioning belief in experts. There is a reason this site is called The SKEPTICAL Ob.

            You earlier said a PP was not seeing the wood for the trees, but in fact it is you who misses the forest here. You do not see that Dr Tuteur and we commentators have been struggling for years with how to approach the anti-vax/ free-birth/ attachment parenting people respectfully but in a way that improves the outcomes of the ones who cannot speak in this story. Namely, the children, and the underinformed/ misled/ lied-to women who are dragged into bizarre birth/ child-raising cults that harm them while others profit from their misery.

            It’s not easy. You should read more on this site before assuming single statements represent the whole.

        • Sarah

          Out of interest, how does not blindly accepting the expertise of pilots look in the situation fiftyfifty mentioned, ie the pilot saying it’s not safe to fly due to weather?

          • tracit

            And we have the winner of the “missing the forest for the trees” award. Still, I’m going to answer, if only to avoid being accused of dodging. First, it’s a crappy example of blindly taking an expert’s word for something. Even if I disagreed with the pilot, it’s not like I could do anything about the situation, so I really have little choice in the matter. Second, I generally follow the weather in my departure and arrival locations when traveling, so I’m already aware that there’s an issue before the pilots say anything. If I’m not sure about it, I ask questions. Again, not blindly taking any expert’s word on anything.

          • Sarah

            How interesting that it only became a crappy example when someone asked a question you found inconvenient.

          • tracit

            It was always a crappy example. That’s why I mostly skipped over it the first time. Hence, the “forest and the trees.”

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      I agree that “trust me I’m a doctor (or lawyer or engineer or CEO)” is not a good argument. And the point of science is that anyone can do it: the data don’t care who you are. However, it takes a lot of time and effort to learn immunology, medicine, and epidemiology. So, yeah, question, but be aware that there is a lot of data back there that it’s going to be difficult to understand completely unless you are willing to invest a lot of time and effort into learning it.

      • tracit

        I agree, but the original post only said “fully understand the substance, utility and necessity of vaccination,” not “fully understand every minor detail of the immunology, epidemiology and biology” of vaccines. I think the former is well within the reach of many, if not most, people. I have a degree in general biology and I feel that I have a good understanding of the former. Do I understand every detail of how every individual vaccine was developed, works, doesn’t work, etc.? No. But that’s not what the OP said, and it’s not what I was responding to.