News Briefs 19-05-2004

So, if vaccines are harmless then why shouldn’t the proponents of them take doses equivalent in potency to those given to children. If your own Doctor or local politician advises that you take your children for vaccination, ask if he or she will take the vaccine first. After all, if they are safe then nothing tragic should happen to them. Post your thoughts.

  • Black Death blamed on man. I’ll bet the rats are relieved.
  • Prostitution law used to prosecute Greenpeace. I’ve always considered joining Greenpeace.
  • Heat death: Blair spins climate change.
  • A remedy that’s all in the mind? Either way, it is a real effect.
  • UFOs, implants and aliens.
  • Is Earth getting darker? Metaphorically.
  • Universe seems to be older than expected.
  • Microwave mismatch proves our cosmos is a whopper. Would that not depend on where the radiation comes from, and if there’s no big bang…
  • AIDS treatment a human right. But what if this group is right?
  • Atrocities in Iraq: “I killed innocent people for our government.”
  • War is a racket.
  • Utah microbes may have Martian mirror.
  • Scientist seeks reason as to why the Earth wobbles. Perhaps it is scared of Venus and Mars?
  • Bacteria will produce electricity from Spacecrap.
  • Hoaxing the UK Mirror – MI6 Disinformation Plot.
  • Magnetic fields may be visible to birds.
  • Dark Energy: The Great Divide?
  • Halley’s comet portrayed on ancient coin.
  • Early man had mining in mind.
  • On eve of surgery, child’s deadly tumor vanishes.
  • 25 Years After Three Mile Island, Is Another Nuclear Power Plant Disaster Inevitable?
  • The Real Trojan War: Digging up clues to the truth behind the myth. In the wrong place, of course.
  • Join the experiment.
  • The turbulent life of dolphins.
  • Rumour-mongers bow to vaccination campaign. The rumour is that the vaccine can seriously damage your health.

Quote of the Day:

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.

Mark Twain

  1. Atrocities In Iraq
    The terribly scarred Marine in this report who is lamenting ‘lighting up’ all those civilians doesn’t seem to know his ordinance!

    ICBMs are multi-purpose cluster bombs, are they?

    Silly me, I thought they were Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles…
    You’d lose slightly more than a leg if one of those bad boys went off next to you!

    Sounds like this guy is full of rubbish. We don’t need this kind of junk muddying the waters! This just obscures the true atrocities that are occuring.

      1. The ones that happen in any conflict!
        Whatever’s happening in camp X-Ray for one!

        I think, though, it would be very naive to think there weren’t some terrible, terrible things happening on a daily basis in Iraq.

        I any war (hostile occupation?) there are despicable acts commited by both sides. There needs to be real visibility of what’s going on so there can be accountability (now I’m being naive).
        Uncorroborated reports from disillusioned soldiers with an axe to grind don’t help.

    1. ICM or ICBM?
      The only thing I can think of is the reporter needs to know his terms better. An ICM is an Improved Conventional Munition – a cluster bomb. The whole article seems to be a bit shaky though. The provenance that the reprter is “a writer living in Oakland”. My kid’s a writer too…for his school newsletter.

      To sit in silence when we should protest makes cowards out of men

  2. Vaccines?
    Friends, I not only have taken the available vaccines (MMR, Polio, Diptheria/Tetanus/Pertussis) as a 50 year old adult, I routinely give them to infants and children. In over 20,000 kiddos vaccinated on my unit, we have had NO (repeat, NO) adverse effects. Fevers, yes — that’s normal, as the body’s inflammatory response kicks in. Autism? Not a single post-vaccine case. Nada.

    Guess what else we haven’t had? Not a single case of tetanus (horrible, deadly killer disease), not a single case of polio (which permanently crippled my brother’s best friend when I was a child), not a single case of whooping cough, or blindness from measles, or a baby deformed from rubella.

    In our highly cosetted failsafe world, it’s really important to remember that EVERYTHING has risks. Perhaps those of us who remember the absolute horror of polio or measles sweeping through a neighborhood, taking children away forever, have a different perspective on the importance of vaccines. I only hope that we never have to relearn that basic fact the hard way.

    1. Amounts
      Just out of interest, as a 50 year old adult, did you have the dosage adjusted for size and metabolism? That is, did you get an equivalent dose or set of treatments that would be equivalent to what a child would get? Or are you referring to you receiving your own vaccinations as a child?

      Also, how many of those 20000 kids are still alive?


      1. vaccines

        Hi Jameske:

        I sure appreciate this wonderful website, especially now that the format is so familiar.

        The dose of vaccine is not based on total amount to body size. Here’s an example that helps clarify: When we get hit by the germs in somebody’s sneeze our bodies react to the type of bacteria, not the number of bacteria. That is, it’s not by weight or volume, but by type. Whether the sneezer hits us with a single droplet or a whole noseful, the physiological effect is the same (although the grossness factor is different).

        The typical newborn baby is bombarded by antigens, substances that generate an immune response, at the rate of roughly 2,500 per day (give or take several thousands). In a vaccination, the child receives 1 (ex: polio) or several (ex: MMR of measles, mumps, whooping cough) at one time. The body’s immune response, which often includes an “inflammatory reaction” such as fever, occurs in exactly the same way the inflammatory response would occur following wild or natural exposure — with one exception. The antigen delivered in a vaccination has been killed or modified in such a way that it cannot cause disease. All it can do is trigger the body to “look” for something similar and fight it off.

        Basically, a vaccine could be compared to sending manniquin models of enemy soldiers into a village. The villagers (cells that fight invading bacteria) get a “look” at what the enemy is like, without actually having to face an attack. Then, when a stranger who “looks” like that manniquin shows up, the villagers are primed to do away with him or her.

        So, a vaccination is like dropping a carload of manniquins (I hope I’m spelling that right) on Dunkirk. It doesn’t matter if it’s one manniquin or 50, the effect is exactly the same. The defensive system is primed to respond if the real thing comes around. Considering the huge number of antigens that infants are exposed to, the single or even multiple doses coming from a vaccine is actually quite minute.

        So, back to your question. I’ve been vaccinated several times for each of the listed items — as a child, a teen, an adult, and during middle age. My last vaccination was about 2 weeks ago, for tetanus. I had an MMR about 3 years ago, because I lacked immunity to rubella, although I had both measles and mumps as a child.

        The 20,000+ kids are our clinic’s clientelle. Unless somebody’s been run over by a car since yesterday, they’re all still alive. We have never had an adverse response.

        I’d really like to discuss the vaccination issue in greater detail — in part because there are some common misconceptions about the process and how it works, and in part because I’m very familiar, comfortable, and aware of where you’re coming from on your concerns. I, too, had those concerns when my own children were little, and actually made the decision to move my fledgeling family from a west coast city to a VERY rural location so that we could avoid vaccinations, public schooling, and an intrusive governmental structure.

        I still feel very strongly that children should not receive the varicella (chicken pox) vaccine — for reasons that will be demonstrated in about 20-30 years. Here’s why: when kids get the pox, it is most often a benign disease. Most kids recover (a few do still get sick and die, though, and that’s why we are mandated to vaccinate for it). Having the wild disease confers lifetime immunity. However, the vaccine doesn’t — so, if someone gets vaccinated, they miss the time period when getting the pox won’t actually be serious. Then, the risk is that they can get the pox as an adolescent or adult — and THEN, they can get deathly ill, really and truly hospital-intensive-care-unit-sick. So, I always tell my patients that if they receive the varicella vaccine, they MUST be revaccinated AT LEAST every 10 years for the rest of their lives.

        By the way, if you haven’t had polio, measles, or mumps, it’s critically important to remember you didn’t get these terrible diseases because the majority of kids in our culture (and probably you, too) DID get vaccinated. Most primary care providers today have never seen a case of polio, measles, mumps, diptheria, smallpox, or rubella — and if these terrible killers returned, the medical establishment would be VERY slow to respond.

        As I said earlier, it’s a balance of risks. For almost all children and adults, vaccines are safe and protective. For perhaps 1 out of 3 million, an adverse reaction can occur. Medical ethicists try to balance the value of lives potentially saved by vaccination against the lives potentially lost by vaccination. There are more potential lives saved than lives lost — small consolation, if you child is the one who suffers an adverse effect. Thankfully, that number is very very small indeed.

        The problem is, we don’t see the lives saved…so we don’t realize how important vaccination still is.

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