White House Embraces Anti-Vaccine Pseudoscience

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    Feb 23, 2017 3:02 PM GMT
    NYT: Vaccine opponents, often the subject of ridicule, have found fresh energy in the election of a president who has repeated discredited claims linking childhood immunizations to autism and who has apparently decided to pursue them. With President Trump’s support, this fringe movement could win official recognition, threatening lives and making it urgent that health officials, educators and others respond with a science-based defense of vaccines.

    Vaccines have saved lives by protecting children and adults from diseases like measles, polio, smallpox, cervical cancer and whooping cough. And there is no evidence whatsoever that vaccines or a preservative used in flu shots cause autism. Scientists have also shown that parents who refuse to immunize their children are threatening to undo decades of public health gains.

    Yet, activists like Robert Kennedy Jr. continue to push pseudoscience about immunizations. The terrifying thing is that they appear to have Mr. Trump's ear. After a meeting with the president last month, Mr. Kennedy said that the president would name him to head a new committee on vaccine safety; the government already has an advisory group that is meeting this week. And last week, during a news conference with Robert De Niro, Mr. Kennedy offered a $100,000 reward to anyone who could prove that vaccines are safe for children and pregnant women.

    Of course, countless studies show that vaccines are safe and effective — more than 350 health groups compiled a list for Mr. Trump — but they haven’t penetrated the reality distortion field created by Mr. Kennedy and his fellow travelers. The biggest danger is that their movement will sow enough doubt that more parents will refuse to let their children be immunized. In some states like Texas the number of children who do not receive vaccines has risen sharply over the last decade and is now in the tens of thousands. Not only does this increase the risk of infections to the youths who don’t get shots, but it also threatens infants who are too young and children who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. This phenomenon has already led to outbreaks of measles and mumps.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/23/opinion/the-anti-vaccine-movement-gains-a-friend-in-the-white-house.html?
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    Feb 23, 2017 11:07 PM GMT
    Why don't they offer that money to someone who can *prove* they are UNSAFE. Safe is relative - you can always have a small, rare # of cases of reaction to a vaccine because everyone's biochemistry is different! Are strawberries safe? Not if you're allergic to them. Peanuts, shellfish, eggs, milk, etc, etc. Are they *unsafe*? No, they are not - they are *generally* safe. You can't prove something is safe, but you can prove if it is unsafe.
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    Feb 25, 2017 3:37 PM GMT
    Doctor9 said
    Why don't they offer that money to someone who can *prove* they are UNSAFE. Safe is relative - you can always have a small, rare # of cases of reaction to a vaccine because everyone's biochemistry is different! Are strawberries safe? Not if you're allergic to them. Peanuts, shellfish, eggs, milk, etc, etc. Are they *unsafe*? No, they are not - they are *generally* safe. You can't prove something is safe, but you can prove if it is unsafe.

    Nicely stated. Problem is we will see a spike in preventable diseases. For which ultimately the public, in one way or another, directly or indirectly, must pay the bill.

    Not to mention that when there's a disease breakout even the vaccinated can be at risk. As a doctor you know that vaccines rarely protect 100%. Their real protection comes when nearly the entire population is protected. I'm sure you know the special terms for this.

    When I was kid in the early 1950s there were charity drives for kids with polio. We even saw films of them in iron lungs, or walking with leg braces & crutches. Scary stuff when you're just a little kid.

    Then the polio vaccine came along. Parents rushed to have their kids get it (at least mine did). You can identify the people who had the first vaccine from that era - they stuck your arm multiple times with a pin, raising a dime-sized bump that some of us still have. Later polio vaccines used different non-scaring delivery methods.

    I still get every vaccine for which I'm eligible. The Army made me get them, too, no choice there, to make me "deployable" overseas. None has ever hurt me yet.

    I don't ever again want to see pictures of children struggling with leg braces & crutches, or confined to iron lungs like round coffins. If Trump or Republicans should cause that again they deserve the same for themselves in Hell, for all eternity.
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    Feb 25, 2017 8:06 PM GMT
    woodsmen said

    Activists like Robert Kennedy Jr. continue to push pseudoscience about immunizations. . . . After a meeting with the president last month, Mr. Kennedy said that the president would name him to head a new committee on vaccine safety.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/23/opinion/the-anti-vaccine-movement-gains-a-friend-in-the-white-house.html?


    Trump's next appointment? He'll appoint rapper B.o.B. to a committee to investigate if the earth is really flat.
  • musclmed

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    Feb 26, 2017 10:44 PM GMT
    Doctor9 saidWhy don't they offer that money to someone who can *prove* they are UNSAFE. Safe is relative - you can always have a small, rare # of cases of reaction to a vaccine because everyone's biochemistry is different! Are strawberries safe? Not if you're allergic to them. Peanuts, shellfish, eggs, milk, etc, etc. Are they *unsafe*? No, they are not - they are *generally* safe. You can't prove something is safe, but you can prove if it is unsafe.


    You can find the Anti vaccine movement in liberal strongholds like Santa Monica Ca. Robert Kennedy JR is a ultra left liberal. The article seems to pin it on Trump however naming a commission on vaccine safety isnt unwise.

    Vaccines such as the Varciella vaccine which were bought into by my Pediatric colleagues has a high failure rate, and sought to solve a problem that was not present. Now young adults are contracting serious forms of chickenpox.

    A consequence of Varicella vaccine amongst children is that it is rarer in the wild. It seems however this has had a foreseeable consequence in a steep rise in Shingles amonst older adults who are not being challenged anymore by virus in the wild.

    This is one vaccine, every vaccine has to be judged on its risks and benefits. As these children grow up they will need boosters every 10 or so years it appears or even more frequently.

    Varicella is an extreme example of a how a company like Merck was able to manipulate the FDA and CDC, this is NOT pseudoscience. The vaccine is a dud. And may have harmed many children in delaying chickenpox to a later time or dooming them to vaccines every 5 years.

    This article was a slanted propaganda piece. It only states part of the story . Each Vaccine has its own risks and benefits.