Wednesday, February 04, 2015


The science behind vaccines is less like global warming and more like gravity.  There's plenty of evidence here.

I notice that lately, the press is trying to paint the anti-vaccine crowd as conservative/Republican.  That just ain't so.  Marin County, California's home of the anti-vaccine crowd, only has about 7 Republicans in it.  Jenny McCarthy isn't known for her conservative political slant.  That's only two examples, though.  Are there more?  Yes:

Jon Stewart and Robert Kennedy, Jr.
Bill Maher (who doesn't trust the govt to stick a needle in his arm but supports Obamacare?)
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton (says the Huffington Post)
Hillary Clinton attacks vaccine producers
Mother Jones
Oprah Winfrey 
"Hollywood Parents"

Yes, I'm sure that with some digging you can find Republicans who are willing to jump on this bandwagon, too, but the list above should be a good vaccination against the lie that the crazies are all or even mostly Republican. 

I'll close with two observations:
1)  The financiers of the anti-vaccination movement now blamed for a resurgence of measles in the United States include trial lawyers suing drug companies that manufacture vaccines and high-profile Democratic fundraisers, public records show.  link

2) President Obama released his $4 trillion fiscal year 2016 budget proposal Monday, and in it he outlined some ambitious health care initiatives to improve efficiency and eliminate waste. But buried a little bit deeper is a $50 million cut to one of the U.S.’s longstanding vaccine programs for the under- and un-insured.  link

I don't really expect comments on this post.  I just wanted to have all this information available in one place in case I need it.

hat tip to Instapundit


maxutils said...

How did you come up with Jon Stewart? He completely lambasted anti vaccines last night.

maxutils said...

Okay, I get it … a post from 10years ago, where Stewart was interviewing someone opposed to some vaccines (before that study was discounted) … I guess that 's completely fair.

Jerry Doctor said...

The argument that this is the fault of unvaccinated kids has a lot of merit. They fact that the anti-vaccine zealots are probably liberals is denied. The huge number of unvaccinated illegals in our country is ignored.

Anonymous said...

The anti-vaccine folks position only works when most people ignore them. As they get more traction, the cost of *NOT* being vaccinated will make their position untenable.

Most folks today don't remember what Polio and Measles were like, but the folks who lived through pre-vaccine outbreaks wouldn't pay much attention to the anti-vaccine crowd. Going forward, one or two large outbreaks will do the trick ... because a few hundred (or thousand) dead kids tend to get everyone's attention. We won't get this unless the anti-vaccine crowd gets their way, but if they do then things will swing back. Hard.

Wikipedia has some history for Polio and for Measles. "In the United States, the 1952 polio epidemic became the worst outbreak in the nation's history. Of nearly 58,000 cases reported that year 3,145 died and 21,269 were left with mild to disabling paralysis." And "Between roughly 1855 to 2005 measles has been estimated to have killed about 200 million people worldwide."

The measles one is interesting ... about 1M people a year. The US has 5% of the world's population. If we get 50,000 people per year dying of Measles, the vaccine is going to start getting popular.

-Mark Roulo

Darren said...

Max, did Stewart challenge Kennedy at all? No, he pandered to him.

He's bandwagoning, just like Obama and Clinton and everyone else on that list.

They were against it before they were for it. :-)

maxutils said...

I think you're being a bit harsh to use 'pandering' … he didn't strike me as being for it, it just wasn't a very harsh interview. But given that the study relating to autism wasn't discredited, fully, until 2010, I think we can give him something of a pass. Not so much Obama. And I urge you to watch his monologue from … I think Monday night. Not only did he attack the stupidity of anti vaccinators, but he also specifically called out pretentious California liberals. I'll agree that the right is being unfairly painted as the bad guy here, but Stewart doesn't deserve to be lumped in with the left, here.

Anonymous said...

I'm old enough to remember consequences of the UCHD (usual childhood diseases, measles, mumps, chickenpox, whooping cough). One of my first-grade classmates almost died of measles encephalitis and was left with a seizure disorder that could not be well-controlled. She had regular grand mal seizures all the way up to HS, along with regular petit mal seizures that never were controlled. I've known guys who had mumps as adults and were left sterile by mumps orchitis. I knew pregnant women who either lost their babies (spontaneous abortion or stillbirth) or had babies born with defects secondary to UCHD exposure. Younger physicians/pediatricians have not seen this.

At least 85% of the population need to have immunity, in order for herd immunity to protect those who cannot be vaccinated (too young, sick, immune deficiency, allergies, those who simply don't make protective antibodies in response to the vaccine etc). People who choose not to vaccinate are not only putting their kids at risk, they are putting everyone around their kids at risk; at school, church, extracurricular activities, doctors' offices, shopping venues, movies etc. To me, the requirement to vaccinate comes under the general welfare provision, along with things like quarantines, travel restrictions from disease-bearing areas and border security. At both Ellis Island and Angel Island, (legal) immigrants were screened (according to then-current limits) for disease and the ill were sent back on the ships that brought them. (my DH's grandmother saw this in action).

maxutils said...

This a link to Stewart.

maxutils said...

I recently saw a survey which showed that a while ago ( I don't remember the year, but it was pre 2010), when asked if vaccines should be mandated, it was dead even between Democrats and Republicans, at 75%. The current totals? Democrats were down 2% and Republicans down 10%. But consider the question: It wasn't should you vaccinate your kids? It was should yo be mandated to. I suspect that a different question would have yielded much better results in both eras among both parties.

PhillipMarlowe said...

The name Cockburn is not liked here, but here is an account of Patrick Cockburn and his battle as a child with polio (for those who would like a more narrative reading):

And the W Post reprinted Roald Dahl writing on the death of his daughter to measles:

PS How was the RC cruise?

Ellen K said...

I am old enough to remember the last polio outbreak in west Texas. My mother lost her best friend, a second grade teacher, who caught polio from a student. I remember standing in line in the elementary school getting the new vaccine on a sugar cube. The school was crowded because our town had already seen too many kids die or end up in iron lungs as the result of the disease. I am also old enough to have had measles as a preschooler. I don't remember much because I had a high fever for nearly three weeks. I was lucky, I got away with just a slight heart murmur. Other kids ended up blind, with serious disabilities or dying as did Roald Dahls seven year old daughter from complications. Measles, whooping cough, mumps and rubella despite their innocuous grouping as "childhood diseases" are not harmless. People can die. And people with lowered immunities such as cancer survivors risk catching everything from TB (three cases in our local high schools) to whooping cough ( I caught this myself from a student and broke two ribs coughing over a period of five weeks). What is more, why would any loving parent subject their children to the risk of these diseases? My mother remembers two little graves of babies born between her and her youngest brother. Those children died of complications from "childhood diseases." Anti-vaxxers-and especially the promoters like Oprah and Jenny McCarthy-will have much to answer for down the road.