Sunday, February 13, 2011

Failing and Flailing The Current Pro Vaccine Campaign Promotes New Autism Myths

It appears that those who promote vaccines as an important  public health tool are losing their battle to persuade people that vaccines are perfectly safe and do not cause any harm, do not cause neurological damage and do not  cause or trigger any of the neurological disorders in any children ever.  I say this as the father of two children who have received all required and recommended vaccines. I say this as the father of a 15 year old son  with Autistic Disorder and profound developmental delays who has never attributed his son's disorders to vaccine injury.  I say this as a person who believes that vaccines are in fact an important, but not a perfect,  public health tool. I say this as a person who believes that Bill Gates' screaming and  frothing from the corners of his mouth while yelling murder, murder at the top of his lungs will not work.  I believe that the current strategy of attack will not work, will be counterproductive and will result in further declines in vaccination rates.

I say this because I believe that those who engage in such attacks have failed, utterly failed to demonstrate any knowledge or understanding of autism disorders or the challenges faced by the parents they belittle and denigrate directly and by implication with their simplistic allegations.  I believe that those who continue these unproductive strategies should themselves accept responsibility for declines in vaccination rates.  They have failed and now they flail. They flail wildly and continue their failure and quite possible increase the numbers of persons who will now be suspicious of vaccine safety.

The current offensive against those who ask any questions about vaccine safety has gone from alleging poor research, to making unproven in a court of law allegations of fraud and homicide.  The research of one journalist forms the basis of a world wide big media stream of allegations of fraud against Dr. Andrew Wakefield.  The bases for Bill Gates wild eyed claims that those who question vaccine safety are responsible for killing children is not articulated anywhere in any comprehensible form.  New autism myths are created and one of the myths that demonstrate the ignorance of those who promote vaccines at any cost is the myth that large sums of autism research dollars have been diverted from finding causes of autism disorders to proving that vaccines do not cause autism.

At Medical News Today Christian Nordqvist (Editor in Chief and CEO of Medical News Today) confesses in The Tragedy Of The Fraudulent MMR Autism Link, A Personal Story    that he once had nagging doubts about whether his son's Asperger's Syndrome was caused or at least aggravated by receipt of an MMR vaccine.  Now he is satisfied beyond all doubt, after reading the Brian Deer "research" alleging fraud against Dr. Wakefield that the MMR vaccine played no role in his son's conditions.   There is not much substance in Mr. Nordqvist's recounting of his struggles with his nagging doubts but there is one glaring and false autism myth which the Editor in Chief and CEO of Medical News Today is quite happy to promote when he states:

The billions of dollars, Euros, Pounds and Yens that did not go into autism research between 1998 and today, because philanthropists, grant givers and government departments might have been distracted by these false findings, now need to go into autism research. We do not know whether a huge grant might have occurred during this period that would have achieved a massive breakthrough in this field if that study had not been published - if so, I name it a tragedy for babies with autism born yesterday, today and in the near future, and also for their parents, siblings and other close relatives.

(Underlining added HLD)

That is one of the biggest reaches that I have yet seen in the debates about autism and autism research.  Mr. Nordqvist starts by stating that "billions of dollars, Euros etc" did not go into autism research beteween 1998 and today"  because potential sources of research dollars MIGHT have been distract by what he calls Wakefields false findings.   No evidence, study, research or source of any kind is referenced to support this wild speculation.  Mr. Nordqvist is happy to then go on and speculate about all the autism research that might have resulted in a massive breakthrough had the Wakefield study not been published.

Might, might, maybe, ah ha! pretty well sums up Mr. Nordqvist's sorry logic.

OK, the article by the editor in chief and CEO of Medical News Today might be the weakest and loopiest of all the comments made in the heated vaccine autism wars but it does show clearly the depths to which  those who seek to silence anyone who questions vaccine safety will descend. 


farmwifetwo said...

Dr MacFabe said the same thing Wed night (UWO). Their research is all using private dollars. They can't get any for "biomed" (he hates that word and the fact it's called "woo" science) research wrt autism. That is why they are going slowly - with the help of UoG (article in this quarter's Portico mentions it), Queens, Harvard and he's off to Saudi Arabia and working with the Somali's in Ont - to do evidence based, peer reviewed work. It's all on their website.

NOBODY wants to touch "it isn't all genes" even though after all the research on genes and autism they can only prove a link in a tiny part of the ASD population.

I am pleased he is finally proving that my views on high bp - acidic cord blood - my views on diet - eldest - are finally being proven. I am amazed at how they are working to prove that it's not just "now" but past abuses of antibiotics - like the large doses I got as a child due to my allergies - parental health - family histories of IBS which he's attributing to antibiotic abuse - is all slowly being researched using a team, and realizing that genes and the environment also work together.

If you ever get the chance to hear him talk.... do so.

As for vaccines (and we too have them all) as long as you sit there and tell people they are stupid... they'll ignore you. People don't take things at face value anymore. People no longer believe Dr's walk on water and they talk about abuses, about not being listened to, about being ignored... and if you aren't treated with respect... You no longer trust. People no longer trust.

Anonymous said...

I agree. As long as AHOLES such as Kristina Chew (as one example) try to tell me vaccines are perfectly safe (in her never ending rants on Care2 and on her blog) the less I will believe they are safe. I have zero trust in such a clueless mother. I think most parents who have read her ridiculous opinion pieces do the complete opposite of what she suggests. I know that is my reaction to her and is the reaction of many who know of her and those like her.

Carl said...

"failing and flailing"

i have never heard it called that but in reality it actually is a good explanation of why i am not so sure that vaccines are not at least partially responsible

whether it is eventually found to be "in the margin of error" or amongst the "small portion of vaccines dont work" etc

one thing my sons doctor once said when i asked him how after he got the chickenpox vaccine that he could be the one to get a serious dose of chicken pox while our daughter who was not vaccinated for chickenpox (it was introduced after she would have been vaccinated for it) got only one or two pox.
his doctor replied "not all vaccines work 100% of the time and we are required by law to report to the public health department any time it does not"

i wonder what we would see if we got a good look at those records of vaccines not working

i wonder what we would see if we compared that list to known autistics

possibly nothing but you never know

Anonymous said...

Imagine how different public attitudes would be toward vaccines if the CDC investigated each case of vaccine injury, to prevent further cases.

Imagine if vaccine injury victims received sympathy and subsidized medical treatment.

Imagine if CDC and manufacturers responded with compassion and medical ethics instead of denial and abuse.

michael said...

I personally made a conscious and well researched decision not to vaccinate either of my boys - I do not trust the pharma companies.

My youngest regresessed into autism around age two.

The fanaticism with which immunisations are pushes still leaves me very suspicious. Besides my boys had chicken pox more mildly than there immunized friends.

Unknown said...

michael I believe that vaccines are important, but not perfect, health tools. My sons receive their required and recommended vaccinations but I am very concerned about the perpetual campaign to discredit all those who question any element of vaccine safety.

Anonymous said...

Speak of the devil. Chew's at it again on that trash Care2. I agree, the more she rants the further I run in the other direction of what she believes. This is a woman who admits signing an IEP on the spot. No one does that and no attorney would ever advise that whether you like the IEP or not. She's as smart regarding her son's education as she is about vaccines. It shows even the highly educated are really dumb when it comes to their autistic children.

Anonymous said...

I do believe that vaccines and/or some combination of environmental insults can certainly be a trigger for autism. The numbers have gone through the roof and it only makes sense. Environmental influence is a factor in so many diseases so why do people like this Dr. Chew feel it is so far fetched to believe this?

I think the more someone like her writes about vaccines being a closed case the less people will believe this. She is also not a doctor but merely some half assed professor in a language department at a low level college in Jersey City. I find it comical anyone gives her a soap box.

I think she is just happy that some school took her child and he was not thrown into a residential facility as she wrote on her blog her last district wanted for him. She is controversial and has no doubt made it impossible for any solid ABA center to want to be associated with her. The high end PhD's in those centers would run from someone like her. She seems happy with her son riding bikes and having no true cognitive goals which is unfortunate for him. I find it sad that Chew also, on occassion, bashes ABA now that she no longer uses it for her son. I notice her pattern is if she doesn't believe in a therapy or theory and no longer has use for it (or it failed HER son)then it must be useless. She is self absorbed and not respected by many in the autism community.

Anonymous said...

Two of the most accurate comments yet on the simle minded professor that is Kristina Chew. Go away Chew. No one is listening to you!

Alastair L. says
Feb 15, 2011 6:52 AM
@Liberty G.
I couldn't agree more. Kristina Chew is one of those knee-jerk commentators that we are so familiar with in the right-wing media (called attack dogs for good reason).

As soon as the established authority they connect with indicates this person is outside the camp they go for the jugular. In Chew's case every article I've read of hers demonstrates she has no feeling for scientific discourse and is incredibly naive and sloppy in the way she covers anything scientific or IT.

In fact even on her home patch — Classics (oh, for a world of certainty, Kristina) — she claimed Jocasta (mother of Oedipus) was an example of literary monster-mothers just to fit her 'critique'. My understanding is quite the opposite.

Chew's accusations against Wakefield are all verbatim from Brian Deer's text. Deer is still due to appear before a British journalism ethics panel to account for it. He is not a scientist and didn't produce scientific data yet Chew continually says the evidence against him is scientific. I'm not surprised she doesn't know the difference between a hatchet job and scientific research.

As for her claim Wakefield received money, it was after the paper was written that he spent a decade in US as an expert witness for the defence.

Chew frequently uses the word "simply" in these blogs about autism and vaccines. If there is one thing this spectrum disorder is NOT that is SIMPLE. She also uses "sadly" a fair bit. Best apply Simple and Sad to Chew'

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Steve R. says
Feb 15, 2011 6:33 AM
Yes Kristina - we know dear - you've covered the topic like a stuck record (remember stuck records?).

We also know that it seems you are being paid by big pharma to be part of the vaccine cover-up.

And we also know that more and more of us are not even bothering to read your monotonous posts any more (are you listening Care2???).

Anonymous said...

I stopped reading Chew's blog long ago. It's clear that she's paid by someone associated with the big pharm companies that are huge in her state of NJ. She's a useless mouthpiece that contributes nothing. Reading her blog was so uninformative and dull anyhow. It was sad that she really thought that people had an interest in her inappropriate 3am walks with her child and bike riding jaunts with her weird husband. Can the child read, write, have a communication aid? I noticed nothing was ever written by her indicating she was advocating for services that would actually make a difference in his life someday. She was pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Good questions.