Wednesday, March 14, 2007

And now… watch my head explode!

Look back at my posts from 2005 and you’ll see a very different blog from the blah-blah-blahg posts I write now.

I used to have a great passion for outing the evils of childhood vaccinations and the over-drugging of small children with psychotropics and antidepressants. My intention had been to make a documentary about vaccinations. After far too many years beating my head against the wall with broadcasters who were in and then out, I gave up. I stopped reading about the issues about 18 months ago when income generation became more of an imperative than making change in the world.

But I still have subscriptions to a variety of news sources with the key word vaccine. 95% of the time I ignore the stories. Not today. And I’m more angry at this moment than I was when He-who-shall-not-be-named told me he was leaving the country.

The gist of the story:

Merck's chickenpox vaccine Varivax not only loses its effectiveness after a while, but it has also changed the profile of the disease in the population, U.S. researchers reported Wednesday.

The study confirmed what doctors widely knew -- that the vaccine's protection does not last long.

And with fewer natural cases of the disease going around, unvaccinated children or children in whom the first dose of the vaccine fails to work have been catching the highly contagious disease later in life, when the risk of severe complications is greater, they said.

"If you're unvaccinated and you get it later in life, there's a 20-times greater risk of dying compared to a child, and a 10 to 15 times greater chance of getting hospitalized," said Jane Seward of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, who worked on the study.

So this is where my head explodes. An idiot like me knew this six years ago. I’ve watched my friends coerced into having their 5-years olds get the chicken pox vaccine and wondered what I could have said to have been more convincing than the doctor who was pushing the shot. Nothing, apparently.

The thing that kills me is that measles used to be one disease – about as dangerous as chicken pox is, killing about 100 kids a year in the States – and typically kids who are already immuno-comprised. But today the measles virus has mutated into several strains, all of which have to be included in the shot, of course…

Vaccines are not benign. In many cases, they can cause terrible side effects. In most cases the disease for which the vaccine purports to protect the child is not a serious health risk, rather it’s a serious inconvenience for a parent to take time off work to stay home with a grumpy kid who has measles or chicken pox.

I can’t get enough oxygen to get into why and how the vaccine promoters manage to get away with convincing government and public health officials to recommend their shots – and in some American States, forcibly make every kid get the shots or be prevented from attending public school….

If you’re interested, I’ve ranted on these topics before…

Meningitis (Marketing) Can Strike Out of the Blue

Volunteers Needed for Anthrax Vaccine

Ahhh… May, June, July, August 2005… there’s stuff there abut vaccines.

And here’s the full story, Chicken Pox Vaccine Fades Over Time.


Blogger How I Died Today said...

i'm phobic of shots and set to go Tuesday for a round of vaccines before my trip to Egypt. now you've got me even more worried. i hate lying, greedy sonsabitch pharma companies.

March 15, 2007  
Blogger Donna said...

HIDT... oh the irony if your last post was about getting vaccines! Black humour at its darkest.

I spent 5 weeks working in Sri Lanka last year and was told I had to get a series of vaccines... the hepatitis series... malaria... tetanus... a whack of others. I looked at each disease on its own and decided that the only one that made sense was the tetanus.

The hep shots are not worth the risk - as long as you don't plan to have unprotected sex or use needles in Eqypt, in which case vaccine side effects are probably the least of your worries! If you want, I can try to dig up some pretty sound science about why the hep shots are a waste of immune system effort.

March 15, 2007  
Blogger JavaRoasters said...

I never had it when I was a kid. Now getting chickenpox scares the crap out of me. None of my friends with little ones seem to understand how serious it can be if you get it as an adult.

I heard on the radio today that the solution is to double the dose!!!! That, IMO, is twice as bad as the first shot they give people.

Time to move to the mountains and become a hermit.

March 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The amount of crap out there on vaccines right now is unbelievable. There has been a recent push to have all adults receive booster shots for childhood illnesses "for the sake of the children", including this lovely story in the Toronto Sun today:
And don't even get me started on the HPV vaccine controversy. Nice idea to irradicate cervical cancer, but mass mandatory vaccination for grade 6 girls for a sexually transmitted disease, with an relatively untested new head is exploding too. I read on an antivaccine blog that with the mass vaccination program, it will cost $3.5 million US per life saved from cervical cancer. Not to put a price on life but...I can think of a few better ways to spend that amount of public money, particularly concidering that the early stages of HPV can be detected through PAP smears and treated successfully. Okay. I'll shut up.

March 18, 2007  
Blogger Geoffrey Milder said...

Hey Donna!

Just wanted to let you know that I posted about our yam tempura roll adventures.

Drop me a line when you get a chance!



March 24, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yet another unintended effect of the Varicella vaccine: increased incidence of shingles.

April 23, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to the column

First - to Donna - There is no vaccine for malaria - it is pill prophylaxis, so if you happen to contract the disease, specifically P. falciparum, you dont die. Read statistics from the WHO, UN, whoever you don't consider "biased" - malaria kills tens of millions per year

Second - Donna - the hepatitis shot was probably for hepatitis A, not B. Hep B is sex, but also blood contamination - it is increadibly hearty - there have been reports of ambulance drivers contracting hepatitis B after cleaning the blood from their van, hours later. By itself, you can live with hep B, but, if you happen to acquire any future liver disorders, your chances or cirrhosis, liver cancer, death increase.

The shot was probably for Hepatitis A - which is fecal oral transmission - people who dont wash their hands and contaminate the food you eat, not sex, not needles (this is Hepatitis C)

From wikipedia "The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1991 reported a low mortality rate of 4 deaths per 1000 cases for the general population but a higher rate of 17.5 per 1000 in those aged 50 and over. Death usually occurs when the patient contracts Hepatitis A while already suffering from another form of Hepatitis, such as Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C. In these cases, a liver transplant may be necessary.

Young children who are infected with hepatitis A typically have a milder form of the disease, usually lasting from 1-3 weeks, whereas adults tend to experience a much more severe form of the disease. They are often confined to bed and minimal activity for about 4 weeks and have to stop their work for one to three months or longer. Many adults take up to 36 months and occasionally longer to recover entirely. Symptoms that may be experienced after the first month or two are low immunity: It is much easier to catch minor infections and for these infections to linger longer than they normally would."

That is what your doctor wanted you to get, and why he wanted you to get it.

With regard to the "greedy sonsabich pharma companies" - I agree, they are a for profit company. But, look up how much those who produce Natural Remidies make - it is comparable. And, because they are not classified as drugs, rather food, they do not need an approval process from the FDA - they do not need to have any studies showing they work - even the most controversial drugs / vaccines need these studies before they can be sold.

With regard to waning immunity, it has been known to occur with other vaccines - it is why people need a tetanus booster every ten years. For tetanus, this is necessary - even Donna got the tetanus shot - because tetanus is a dangerous disease - dont believe me, take two seconds, Wikipedia Tetanus.

Varicella is interesting because it is not normally a severe childhood disease - you are right that adults who contract varicella can have more severe complications. However, please do not lump all vaccines with varicella - the majority of vaccines prevent dangerous, deadly diseases.

Dont be fooled because you dont seem them in the US - due to herd immunity - the effective vaccination of the majority of the population - even those not vaccinated benefit from protection.

However, once again, as a graduating medical student working for the year in a developing country, these diseases are real - hepatitis, malaria, tetanus, rabies, typhoid, measles, whooping cough, diptheria - and I have personally seen them hurt and kill people here.

Please, challange your thinking, and I will promise you I will challange mine. Know the diseases you are talking about - for example, what famous people died from polio, how many people did small pox kill, who in the world dies from cervical cancer.

Realize that, although vaccinations arent perfect - and nothing is - they are saving lives - you just have the luxury not to see it because you live here in the USA.

And, the next time you decide that the Natural, herbal supplements are better, safer, read a bit of history on ephedrine, from the ma-huang plant. Some questions to consider - how much money did the natural supplement companies make? How many people were hurt / died? Was this more than the people who have been hurt / died due to vaccines (number affected / total number using vaccine or supplement)? What are the herbal supplement companies selling now in place of ephedrine? How many other natural remidies have these same effects?

Very few doctors are bad, even less are in it for "the money". When a doctor recommends a vaccine, I guarantee, they are thinking about your welfare. It is your choice not to get it, but make sure you know the consequences. I have no doubt that there were others who didn't get malaria prophalaxis and now cant write because they died.

Disgruntled medical student

And please dont respond with any of the conspiracy - money - pharma arguments. I have paid my way, am now in $150,000 in debt, and have no connections to any for profit companies.

November 05, 2007  
Blogger Lisa said...

The issue of childhood vaccinations is important to the both of us.

I've just launched a new site for the New Jersey Coalition for Vaccination Choice. We are working to repeal 4 new vaccine mandates for Sept. 2008 and to pass a NJ law for Conscientious Exemption from Mandatory Vaccinations.

Please consider adding a link to this site to the home page of your blog - this would really help to spread the word about this cause by increasing our search engine rankings as well as showing other people interested in this issue where to go to learn more and make a difference.

Just add link to or get link code or graphics from Link to us

Thank you so much! If you have any questions contact me, Lisa Mazzuca at

March 12, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just so you know, I am a Republican but belive 100% in what you said. So please know you do have supporters on the subject that are on the other side. Thank you for sharing.

June 06, 2008  
Anonymous Viagra said...

I've never been a fan of vaccines and agree with you 100%.

November 23, 2011  
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June 30, 2012  
Anonymous Elliott Broidy said...

I like the picture at the beginning. Sums everything up quite nicely.

August 21, 2012  

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