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Measles Outbreak Casts Spotlight on Anti-Vaxxers


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#41 Banty

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 03:35 PM

View Postdrdredel, on 25 January 2015 - 01:49 PM, said:

But you understand that this is a choice being made based on an evaluation of perceived possible risk factors, right? Do I roll the dice on measles or do I roll the dice on mercury destroying my child's central nervous system?

That was the very real perceived choice back in the 90s. And no, there wasn't any effective and trustworthy way to verify that that *wasn't the choice, and yes there *was mercury in the vaccines at the time. So, today's parents are indeed making a very foolish decision because today there is indeed enough trustworthy (read: undeniable) information that this is a safe practice. But that wasn't true 20 years ago.

That risk decision, you know, was made on the basis of *most every other parent vaccinating*. If this were a new vaccine and measles were rampant like when I caught it in 1964, there would be no such outcome of a risk decision.

So, without anything to base their conclusion on even concerning the downside risk, they did what they did, relying on that there are not too many of them. It's close to antisocial.

The anti-vaccs mostly came out the the same crowd that believes in things like homeopathy and other alternative medicines despite their nonexistance or limited value. They don't trust medicine, period.
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#42 drdredel

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 04:01 PM

View PostBanty, on 26 January 2015 - 03:35 PM, said:

That risk decision, you know, was made on the basis of *most every other parent vaccinating*. If this were a new vaccine and measles were rampant like when I caught it in 1964, there would be no such outcome of a risk decision.

So, without anything to base their conclusion on even concerning the downside risk, they did what they did, relying on that there are not too many of them. It's close to antisocial.

The anti-vaccs mostly came out the the same crowd that believes in things like homeopathy and other alternative medicines despite their nonexistance or limited value. They don't trust medicine, period.

But Banty, you're talking to one - we don't need to speculate, I can tell you exactly what my mindset was at the time! I have never been opposed to "modern" western medicine and I've never believe in Homeopathy (and continue to be a very staunch defender of the notion that it's just base quackery). And yet I came to that very conclusion based on my fundamental lack of trust in government assertions. The problem with being hyper rational is that you quickly get paralyzed by the fact that it's EXTREMELY hard to trust any assertion and history has shown that a substantial percentage of assertions made by the scientific community turned out to be incorrect. Now, this isn't a dig at science, it's the way science works - we assert what we understand something to be at the time and we're prepared to revise as new evidence appears. But that's a REALLY unconvincing tack to take with someone who understands that mistakes made with their child's health may not be reversible once new info comes to light.

Look at it this way...

People used to think the earth was flat and then a lot of evidence came out that it was, in fact, round. I'd posit that most people - even if they really trusted that the astronomers doing the math had every intention to be honest - they wouldn't take off on a cross oceanic voyage with their children - because if the theory turned out to be wrong, there'd be no un-falling off the edge of the (flat) earth. Eventually the evidence becomes so overwhelming that the perceived danger is diminished to nonexistence. But that takes a lot of time.
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#43 Banty

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 04:19 PM

Well, you're not the only ex-anti-vaxxer out there. Those convinced of other alternative medicine methods tended to cluster as well.

Sure, it's your kid, but if he had been in a accident, and went into surgery, you would not jump on the gurney and yell "hey not my kid I don't trust you"! You'd be grateful something can be done.

I still maintain that if the disease were still circulating for people to see what happens, and to hear reports of complications in the news, they would get their kids jabbed. It's only that out-of-sight-out-of-mind aspect that allows this anti-vax viewpoint to be appealing. And it proliferates because there are plenty who are happy to provide rationales.

All around FB and other discussion sites, I see anti-vaxxers spouting their usual stuff, and getting educated. Especially this "what do you worry what we do if you're vaccinated" notion.

It's a full on popular mass pushback going on right now.
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It did happen here. - Banty 11/9/2016

#44 LFC

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 04:23 PM

View Postdrdredel, on 26 January 2015 - 03:03 PM, said:

LFC, as a (sort of) Jew I'm wildly offended by your inability to compare all negative things that ever befell Jews to all things across the board, irrespective of if they're things or not.

I think I need to be half baked to understand this sentence. And if that doesn't work, well at least I'm half baked!


View Postdrdredel, on 26 January 2015 - 03:03 PM, said:

This reminds me that I do indeed have a joke ready for every occasion.

That was awesome!
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

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#45 Progressive whisperer

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 04:27 PM

View Postdrdredel, on 26 January 2015 - 04:01 PM, said:



But Banty, you're talking to one - we don't need to speculate, I can tell you exactly what my mindset was at the time! I have never been opposed to "modern" western medicine and I've never believe in Homeopathy (and continue to be a very staunch defender of the notion that it's just base quackery). And yet I came to that very conclusion based on my fundamental lack of trust in government assertions. The problem with being hyper rational is that you quickly get paralyzed by the fact that it's EXTREMELY hard to trust any assertion and history has shown that a substantial percentage of assertions made by the scientific community turned out to be incorrect. Now, this isn't a dig at science, it's the way science works - we assert what we understand something to be at the time and we're prepared to revise as new evidence appears. But that's a REALLY unconvincing tack to take with someone who understands that mistakes made with their child's health may not be reversible once new info comes to light.

Look at it this way...

People used to think the earth was flat and then a lot of evidence came out that it was, in fact, round. I'd posit that most people - even if they really trusted that the astronomers doing the math had every intention to be honest - they wouldn't take off on a cross oceanic voyage with their children - because if the theory turned out to be wrong, there'd be no un-falling off the edge of the (flat) earth. Eventually the evidence becomes so overwhelming that the perceived danger is diminished to nonexistence. But that takes a lot of time.

Your analogy might work better if it were not based on the silly myth we tell school kids. Educated people new perfectly well the planet was round, and had done a pretty accurate calculation of the diameter. Columbus was a dummy , who mis-calculated and decided everyone else was wrong and the distance to Asia was much less. Had two continents he didn't know about not been in between, he and his crews would have perished of hunger and thirst long before they reached their destination - Columbus is more the anti-vaxer in this story.
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#46 LFC

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 04:28 PM

View PostBanty, on 26 January 2015 - 03:35 PM, said:

The anti-vaccs mostly came out the the same crowd that believes in things like homeopathy and other alternative medicines despite their nonexistance or limited value. They don't trust medicine, period.

And while it's true that the medical field has made some big mistakes over the years, they've gotten vastly more right. This behavior is just like any brand science denial; global warming, DDT, ozone hole, evolution... Instead of weighing the whole of the evidence and track record, they cherry pick things that were wrong, tout things they incorrectly perceive are wrong (usually through ignorance, repeating the claims of some charlatan without ever weighing how many times they were wrong), and cling to anecdotes to show that the scientists in the field can't be trusted at all.

There is a huge gulf between skepticism and denial.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#47 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 04:45 PM

View Postdrdredel, on 25 January 2015 - 01:49 PM, said:

But you understand that this is a choice being made based on an evaluation of perceived possible risk factors, right? Do I roll the dice on measles or do I roll the dice on mercury destroying my child's central nervous system?

And in testament to the depth of your (former) research: the MMR vaccine never contained mercury.
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#48 drdredel

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 04:46 PM

View PostProgressive whisperer, on 26 January 2015 - 04:27 PM, said:

Your analogy might work better if it were not based on the silly myth we tell school kids. Educated people new perfectly well the planet was round, and had done a pretty accurate calculation of the diameter. Columbus was a dummy , who mis-calculated and decided everyone else was wrong and the distance to Asia was much less. Had two continents he didn't know about not been in between, he and his crews would have perished of hunger and thirst long before they reached their destination - Columbus is more the anti-vaxer in this story.

My analogy works perfectly. I didn't mention Columbus or any specific time period. There was definitely *some period where the vast majority of the people on Earth believed that it was flat. As it turns out they were only off by 0.000126º! And when the first astronomers to first identify that error made their claims, it would have been reasonable to not trust them with our children's lives (even if we felt that they're probably correct).
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#49 drdredel

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 05:16 PM

View PostD. C. Sessions, on 26 January 2015 - 04:45 PM, said:

And in testament to the depth of your (former) research: the MMR vaccine never contained mercury.

Bah! foiled again!

D.C., I'm not arguing the science. I don't recall at this point what the specific arguments against various vaccines were. There were some that were deemed "safer" (or less potentially, or unknowably, hazardous than others). My point isn't that the MMR vaccine in particular was preserved with mercury. My point is that people armed with a little bit of knowledge and a LOT of doubt about the veracity of official organs of information are liable to make decisions based on a multitude of factors.

Banty, you're correct, in an emergency situation, people react differently, but that's true for all humans in any situation. Human beings are TERRIBLE at predicting and mitigating future risk and pretty excellent at solving immediate problems. This falls squarely in that paradigm.
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#50 Traveler

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 06:34 PM

drd, we love ya. But it is humorously painful watching you try to get out the knots you tie yourself into. Which is why we love this place.
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#51 drdredel

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 06:39 PM

View PostTraveler, on 26 January 2015 - 06:34 PM, said:

drd, we love ya. But it is humorously painful watching you try to get out the knots you tie yourself into. Which is why we love this place.

Well... as long as it's humorous... that's all that matters.

Honestly, though, I don't feel that I'm untying any knots. I'm simply explaining why people make these choices (as someone who had made them). D.C. and Banty are coming at this (totally reasonably) from the perspective of why my reasoning was wrong, but I'm not defending it as right, I'm just explaining how rational people can make bad decisions that aren't rooted in "I'm trying to bring back measles" or other nefarious motivations.

The bottom line is that that I don't trust the government or large self interested corporations. Everything else is ripples in that pond.
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#52 Traveler

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 06:43 PM

Actually, the humor is just a side benefit IMO. But you certainly have been trying to untie your knots, albeit not entirely successfully. I well remember the previous vaccination thread. Glad to see you coming around though. Like I say, this place is quite refreshing.

ETA: So you find some concordance with the Tea Party? They don't trust gubmint either. Nor do the 2A folks on Bundy's ranch. Not the best company. Chose your battles a little more wisely perhaps?
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"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#53 Bact PhD

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 06:45 PM

View PostLFC, on 25 January 2015 - 10:15 PM, said:


It's a lot more complicated than a normal run of antibiotics.
http://www.tbfacts.o...-treatment.html

True that, and let's not even get into the multidrug resistant strains!

And I believe we don't even vaccinate against TB in the US, except for maybe military personnel & travelers (just going off the top of my head here, my info may be out-of-date). I also know that for decades now, researchers have been trying to develop a superior alternative to the BCG strain used in Europe.

Quote

And yet six children under 12 months were just infected in the most recent localized outbreak. That tells me that the passage of those antibodies isn't always effective. Perhaps the mother didn't get the booster and never developed an immunity. Also there are studies that show the vaccines are likely more effective at 15 months.

Another possibility in those infant cases is that, since the antibodies are passively transmitted via breast milk, those antibodies are no longer present once the child is weaned (usually between 6 & 12 months, but some wean earlier, or don't breast-feed at all), meaning that those infants are susceptible if exposed before they're vaccinated.
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#54 LFC

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 06:50 PM

View Postdrdredel, on 26 January 2015 - 06:39 PM, said:

I'm just explaining how rational people can make bad decisions that aren't rooted in "I'm trying to bring back measles" or other nefarious motivations.

"I'm Bringing Measles Back" has got to be the worst slogan ever. Might be a good album name for a punk band, though.

On a serious side, I don't think the criticisms are saying people want measles to come back, just that the outcome of their decisions is in fact bringing measles back. The defensiveness from nuser and the National Vaccine "Information" Center is frustrating because the data clearly show that their views are bringing measles and other diseases back.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#55 Bact PhD

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 07:23 PM

View PostProgressive whisperer, on 26 January 2015 - 03:16 PM, said:

You mean they deliberately get their children together with contagious children to get them sick?

I hate nanny-state views on a lot of stuff - see the "free-range" parenting post last week - but I would definitly consider this a form of child abuse!

Nice to know we really aren't superior to those countries that have epidemics of Ebola and HIV because many use superstition instead if seeking medical attention when confronted with symptoms.

"Chicken pox parties," or other ways to deliberately expose children to chicken pox, were much more common in my childhood (late 1960s, long before Varivax was available). The thought was that it was better to get exposed, in childhood, under relatively controlled conditions - parents knew to expect the symptoms - deal with the disease, and then be done, rather than risk getting clear to adulthood before exposure, where the disease could be far worse. In short, the lesser of two evils.

Even at that, I don't recall such practices for anything else, but the vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough, diphtheria, & tetanus were already available (or about to be).
Politics these days is show business. Elections are Dancing with the Stars with consequences. ~Rue Bella

(About fame) Living for likes, shares and follows is a form of validation. The question is whether it is also the source of our self esteem. If it is, we’re screwed. And, culturally, it seems as if it’s become more and more our shared value. ... Meringue is no longer a sweet and pretty topping but the body itself. ~Charles Perez

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." --Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816. ME 14:384, via LFC, 12/1/2016

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#56 drdredel

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 08:32 PM

Ok, so, please consider...

for years and years I've been reading sentiment like this:
http://www.salon.com...u_vaccine_rant/
about the overwhelming need get the flu vaccine.

then in 2009 the Atlantic printed this:
http://www.theatlant...-matter/307723/

Which pretty definitively states that at BEST we have no clue if the flu vaccine does anything whatsoever and most likely it doesn't owing to the data from the years where they used entirely the wrong strains of flu and the numbers didn't budge in any direction.

More importantly the article notes that doing an ACTUAL study on the efficacy of the flu vaccine would be deemed somewhere between unethical and murderous and so no such study has ever been done.

However the CDC will staunchly go to bat for said efficacy and people are herded en masse to get this (as far as we know, useless) shot.

Now, I know this makes me a crackpot, tying myself into knots (along with Bill Maher who appears to share this opinion - even though he advocates for real vaccines that actually work - just like I do), but my larger point here is about trust of government institutions... and my position that as long as the CDC isn't forthright about the wholesale mystery as to what the flu shot does or doesn't do, and so long as they continue to lie about how certain they are about what it DOES do, I'll continue to treat all their assertions as highly dubious. Because that's the rational thing to do.
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#57 Traveler

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 08:42 PM

I sure remember getting chicken pox. Not that I needed a party to do so back then. Now I get to look forward to Shingles...Ugh.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#58 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 08:54 PM

View PostTraveler, on 26 January 2015 - 08:42 PM, said:

I sure remember getting chicken pox. Not that I needed a party to do so back then. Now I get to look forward to Shingles...Ugh.

Perhaps I shouldn't mention this but ...

Yes, there's a shingles vaccine. It's basically a booster version of the chickenpox shot.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#59 Banty

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 09:17 PM

View Postdrdredel, on 26 January 2015 - 06:39 PM, said:

Well... as long as it's humorous... that's all that matters.

Honestly, though, I don't feel that I'm untying any knots. I'm simply explaining why people make these choices (as someone who had made them). D.C. and Banty are coming at this (totally reasonably) from the perspective of why my reasoning was wrong, but I'm not defending it as right, I'm just explaining how rational people can make bad decisions that aren't rooted in "I'm trying to bring back measles" or other nefarious motivations.

The bottom line is that that I don't trust the government or large self interested corporations. Everything else is ripples in that pond.

Oh I don't think it's nefarious. It starts out as somewhat what you say, but it's self-deluding, but then it devolves into denialism and this awful sort of mother-bearism which says "leave me alone I'm doing the best I can for my child wouldn't you?"
"It can happen here. It is happening here. No election has been more important in my lifetime." - Andrew Sullivan, 7/21/2016
It did happen here. - Banty 11/9/2016

#60 Banty

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 09:19 PM

View PostD. C. Sessions, on 26 January 2015 - 08:54 PM, said:

Perhaps I shouldn't mention this but ...

Yes, there's a shingles vaccine. It's basically a booster version of the chickenpox shot.

Haven't looked into it yet - a colleague got a case and man it made him miserable.

From what I understand, having been exposed to chicken pox again later in life also provides a bolster against shingles, and my son did come down with it when he was 4 (I will have been 41).
"It can happen here. It is happening here. No election has been more important in my lifetime." - Andrew Sullivan, 7/21/2016
It did happen here. - Banty 11/9/2016





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