Anti-vaccination Roundup Continues: Another whale.to Believer

"The decision to stop testing for H1N1 was followed by an announcement that all children between the ages of 6 months and 10 years - who had never gotten a flu shot before - should get 4 doses of influenza vaccine this year: two seasonal flu shots and two doses of H1N1 vaccine. Further, that the millions of chronically ill and disabled children and adults and also pregnant women should be the first in line to get two shots of influenza vaccine this year. 33

And then Americans, who were still very afraid, started asking questions because most of us, who got sick with flu-like symptoms this year, realized that it was no worse than the flu we got last year. And most of us didn’t know anyone who had died from the flu this year, which was true for most other years as well."
 --Barbara Loe Fisher, http://www.nvic.org/NVIC-Vaccine-News/November-2009/H1N1--Fact-or-Fiction--by-Barbara-Loe-Fisher.aspx

So much wrong with those two paragraphs.

 The first paragraph is bunk: the whole 6 months to 10 years old never getting a flu shot until this year? Frak. And the advisory for pregnant women and high risk persons to get vaccinated for the flu? That is not brand new. It's like she's implying the federal government is trying to hurt the most vulnerable with the vaccines. You know?

Ah well. Next paragaph of junk:

 Availability heuristic: she got over the flu fine and doesn't know anyone who died, so no biggie, because her experience is representative. Over to the right, click on the link and go read how Atilla the Mom's Big Kid is doing in his third week on a vent, all caused by H1N1. 3900 dead in the US since April. No, people are dying, and 98,000 have been hospitalized. But, it's no biggie and we should not avail ourselves of the vaccine because of the thimerosal (I love wading through some of her other stuff where she's all worried about the MMR, which has no thimerosal--damnit, don't we get that it's vaccines, period, that are responsible for all the chronic illnesses --keep reading; the whale.to piece I link to later argues just that).

"And then something unusual happened. Doctors started asking questions and privately some of them told their patients not to bother getting the H1N1 vaccine. 41"
"41 Reports to NVIC relating private conversations with physicians. No links to similar reports in the media will be included in these References to protect physicians and health care workers from being harassed for publicly stating professional concerns about the H1N1 vaccine campaign."

Okay, let's look at this. One thing of note is that the anti-vaxxers and the homeopathic altmed folks (thinking of Ullman over at Huff, and the hidden inflammation doc, as well) are making sure to give a long list of references. Doesn't make the conclusions or the information accurate, but it sure can be helpful, on a side note, to peruse the references and watch for the signal names to come up to alert you to an anti-vaxxer or otherwise person from wooville.

Now, what's wrong with this quote, what should be ringing some bells for you? These doctors' identities are being hidden so they won't be harassed. Let's say that's true. The anti-vaxxers harass Offit and others, calling them vile names, threatening them, but your anti-vaxxer docs are protected? Huh? Okay. Let's say that's the real reason, and not because you made that up. Because you wouldn't do that, and leaving it unsubstantiated lets the believers among you think it was a shitload of doctors, right? After all, you wrote doctors, like it was the majority. Wow, that majority concept without actually stating majority. Doctors. Gotcha.

Moving on.

"And I would urge those of you who want to get seasonal or H1N1 vaccines, to go to the homepage of the website of the National Vaccine Information Center at www.NVIC.org and look at the new Vaccine Ingredient Calculator, which will tell you how much mercury is in those vaccines."

It's all the mercury, isn't it? Oooooh mercury. Well, then stop eating the damn fish! We've got unstated informed consent the way the mercury militia is using it. If you are informed, you won't consent. I know exactly how much thimerosal went into my children: my daughters got none. My husband, son, and I: the regular amount contained in the multidose vials. And how scared was I? Oh, for Christ's sake. Because that is what it is about: fear. Fisher writes directly above that sentence:

"I am reminded of a famous quote from Abraham Lincoln: You can fool some of the people all of the time and you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time."

Uh-huh, see she just called anyone who isn't very scared and who receives an immunization a fool. Yes, she did it inferentially. I simply don't get these folks who make inferences and want you to draw a certain conclusion who get all hot and bothered when you draw the conclusion they wanted you to. Get over it. You were too chicken to bluntly say it, so you couched it in rhetoric for plausible deniability.

After all you're just scared.

"Once you have gathered all the information you can find about infectious diseases and vaccines and have spoken to one or more healthcare professionals, you will know what to do. Once you have made a vaccination decision for your child, don’t second-guess yourself. You have made an educated, conscious choice, and no matter what happens, you have been the best mother you can be. As mothers, it is all we can do."
                           "In the Wake of Vaccines"  http://www.whale.to/a/moth.html

In other words, if you know what I know, you won't vaccinate, but don't feel bad if your kid gets an infection and dies. Oh, harsh? Nope. Not when she argues at the beginning of the same article that:

"It wasn’t always like this. What is happening to the health of our nation? Could it have anything to do with exposing our children to more and more bacterial and live virus vaccines in the first five years of life, when the brain and immune system develop most rapidly? And could we be compromising the integrity of our immune systems by eliminating all experience of natural infection?"

Seriously, we're "eliminating all experience of natural infection?" She missing all the damn colds, sinus infections, strep throat, etc? Oh, and the fact that 6 months old to 10 year olds have never been vaccinated for the flu (remember that quote at the top?), which is complete bullshit, by the way? CDC recommendations have altered on the flu vaccine over the last decade regarding who absolutely should get it, but it has not meant that children between these ages have not been protected by the flu vaccine if their parents wanted it. My children, among many other children, routinely get their flu shots each year.

I, not being a beater around the bush, will say it clearly, bluntly: if you buy what Barbara Loe Fisher is selling, well, you've been hooked, lined, and sunk. How many hits does Fisher have at whale.to? Just how often is she selling her brand of vaccine fearmongering and misinformation? 219 times, folks, at the holocaust-denying and mind-control believing site. She has no credibility and should have none.

Oh, and my daughters were swabbed for the flu; it was type A, presumed H1N1. I was swabbed for the flu (didn't have it, had one of those "eliminated" infections, a sinus infection). But all swabbings for the flu have been stopped. Sure they have. Oh, I know, I just used my own experience to counter her blanket assertion that the medical establishment is no longer swabbing for the flu. Well, they are.

And while they've switched to estimates at the CDC, they are still using lab-confirmed cases for pediatric  deaths: 26 confirmed H1N1 pediatric deaths, 8 confirmed Influenza A untyped, 1 seasonal flu confirmed (total: 35) for November 1-7 (http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/updates/us/). Another 35 children died from the flu this past week. Do you get that?  179 CONFIRMED pediatric deaths from influenza since April 26th.


davidbrown said...

Lincoln? I thought that was PT Barnum.

Josh said...

It boggles my mind that someone would post on whale.to and expect it to be taken seriously by anybody.

If their goal is ever to "convert" someone who actually believes in science, it is most definitely not an effective tactic :)

It seems like well over 80% of woo claims originate from that site (in addition to all the other random nonsense).


davidbrown said...

I believe that web and printed anti-vaccine materials (which I consider "amateur media") don't have much influence on those not already committed or at least interested in the cause. I suspect that most "converts" are won through personal and local contacts.

Clay said...

@David - No, it was Lincoln. Barnum said "There's a fool born every minute."

(And it looks like many of them have found their way to AoA!) ;-)

Corina Becker said...

estimated 3900 of the US alone? Wow.

Canada is no longer required to report all the cases of H1N1, so the US may be not doing swabs for the same reason, I'm thinking.


Generalizations. wow. just wow.

Joseph said...

Experiences with the flu that people had a few months back don't really tell us much about what's to come. The peak of the season is in January, and 2008-2009 was not very different to prior years.

There are early indications that this flu season is considerably worse than prior seasons.

It's a good idea to follow the data. Unfortunately, most people are instinctively more prone to believing anecdotes.

kathleen said...

I have been home for the past week with two of my kids..both who have been incredibly ill..one who spent the afternoon in the hospital..all because of swine flu..We have had one school close because of it-I agree with Joseph, the real flu season doesn't usually hit until January..if this is a precursor as to what is to come, will she recant her article? The vaccine for swine flu is only now becoming available in the state of Maine. And although I am thankful that my two seemed to have pulled through this..I wish it had been available earlier-This really took its toll on my kids, and they are very healthy to begin with. What about the kids who are not?