AmyTuteurMD

AmyTuteurMD
Bio
Dr. Amy Tuteur is an obstetrician-gynecologist. She received her undergraduate degree from Harvard College and her medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Tuteur is a former clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School.

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OCTOBER 5, 2009 11:27PM

What would you do if you were the CDC?

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H1N1 vaccine

I’ve been writing about the H1N1 flu for the past few days, and have been asked repeatedly if the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reacted precipitously by ordering the production of millions of doses of vaccine and strongly recommending that individuals at highest risk get vaccinated as soon as possible.

To understand why the CDC has taken the aforementioned actions, you need a little background in history, epidemiology and virology. No one including the CDC knows what is going to happen, but they are using experience as a guide. Let me share (in a simplified form) what is known, then you can decide what you would do if you were the CDC.

History shows that the influenza virus, while typically mild, can mutate to forms that are deadly. The great influenza outbreak of 1918 (the Spanish flu) killed tens of millions of people. Curiously, the hardest hit were those who were young and healthy. They would come down with the flu, develop lung complications, and quickly drown in the fluid that filled their lungs. So although such outbreaks are uncommon, recent history shows that a flu outbreak can easily and quickly kill millions.

Epidemiology has shown us that two important factors are necessary for influenza to kill millions. The first factor is that the specific influenza virus must trigger severe disease. The second factor is that the specific influenza virus must be able to spread person to person.

Influenza also occurs in bird, and pigs, among other animals, and it probably jumped to humans thousands of years ago when they domesticated animals. Various influenza viruses can still jump easily from animals to people. However, when that happens, the disease, which may be quite severe, is self limited. In our increasingly urbanized world, very few people have direct contact with animals. Those who do may pick up dangerous strains of influenza and may die of them, but they won’t pass them on to other people, and no epidemic will develop.

Virology holds the third, and perhaps most important clue. When we think of genetics, we think of offspring inheriting genetic material from parents. Viruses (and bacteria) can exchange genetic material with each other. If both your parents have blue eyes, you might have blue eyes, too. Imagine, though, if you could acquire blue eyes simply by standing next to someone who has blue eyes. Viruses can acquire new traits that way.

The “perfect storm” in the world of influenza viruses is when a virus that is particularly deadly in animals comes in contact with a virus that can easily be transmitted from one human being to another. When that happens, the result can be a new virus that is particularly deadly and is now contagious.

Fortunately, that “perfect storm” does not occur very often, but the possibility always exists that it will happen. The CDC is greatly concerned that the new H1N1 variant of influenza is a “perfect storm” virus. It has the three deadly characteristics that we would expect in such a virus: it is new, so people are not immune to it; it can cause severe illness and death; and it is contagious from person to person.

Viruses can mutate very rapidly. For that reason they can become more dangerous, but they can also become less dangerous. No one knows what is going to happen with H1N1.

So we know the virus is here and the virus is lethal. What should we do about it?

We could do nothing and wait to see what happens. The virus could become less deadly and the danger will be over. Of course, the virus could remain lethal or even become more lethal as it is transmitted from person to person.

You can think about it as if it were a house fire. The fire could burn out of its own accord. It could burn down only the house involved. Or it could jump to neighboring houses and burn them down, too. In fact, fire, like viruses, tends to expand exponentially. It doesn’t jump from one house to the one next door. It jumps to all the houses nearby and then jumps to the all the houses near those. Pretty soon, the entire town is on fire. So waiting to see what happens makes as much sense as waiting to see if a house fire goes out on its own. It means taking a terrible risk.

In the case of viruses, as in the case of fire, prevention is the best strategy. Obviously it’s better if the fire never gets started in the first place. Similarly it is better if no one else gets the H1N1 strain of influenza. Vaccination is the only way to protect people from getting the disease. So vaccination is the first and best line of prevention.

In large fires, firefighters don’t simply attempt to save the houses already on fire. They try to set up firebreaks to prevent the spread of fire before it happens. Vaccination, in addition to preventing individuals from getting sick, also acts like a firebreak. If everyone around an infected person is has been vaccinated, no one can catch the virus. The spread of the virus is stopped cold. Vaccination protects not only those who are vaccinated, but everyone else in the population.

So imagine you are the head of the CDC. You know that H1N1 is here, and it is a particularly deadly form of influenza. You know that it can be passed person to person. And you know from history that similar viruses have killed 10 of millions of people in one epidemic. What would you do? Would you wait to see what happened? Or would you vaccinate against the disease and hope to save lives and halt the spread of the virus?

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Probably hire more people. I don't think they should let one person be a government agency, much less someone with no medical training.
Amy, how does the reaction to (and comfort with the vaccine for) this potential pandemic compare to the similar situation that occurred in 1976?
I've read that the currently available vaccine is the cause of more deathes than than the current strain itself. Could you please address this?
I believe I would be more concerned about the flu virus. The H1N1 reminds me of the SARS outbreak, which although terrible, was contained (by good firemen). The chance that a regular flu virus could become more lethal seems to me a bigger risk.
Amy:
Excellent post, per usual.
What would I do if I were the CDC? Not much differently than what they're doing now, with one exception. The pubic health information campaign about what they know about the virus so far, and helping people know how it is (and is not) spread has been great, as have the reminders to keep sick kids and workers home, sneeze into your elbow, frequent hand washing, etc. So far, so good.
I'd even encourage people to get vaccinated, but with one significant difference - I'd inform people better about the risks and unknowns about the vaccine and try to be more transparent and upfront about it. Looking through the info that the CDC and others have put out, the risks of the vaccine are either not mentioned at all, or referenced in a tone that says in effect 'the risks are so small, don't worry you're pretty little head about it, just shut up and get the shot.'
That's a dangerous approach. The danger is not so much that the public will be exposed to an exceptionally vaccine, as you say, it's probably no more risky than the current flu jab. But there are risks to it. People will get sick and a small percentage will die from the vaccine. The media will then take these stories and further whip up the hysteria. The credibility of our public health officials will take a hit, as it did in 1976. If they were upfront about the cost/benefit associated with the vaccine, more people would trust that they were getting the whole story and feel empowered to make a decision, rather than feel the government and medical establishment thinks we can't handle the whole truth. That's what I'd do, and I wish the CDC and others would do the same.
Great conversation you've started. thanks!
Douglas Moran:

"how does the reaction to (and comfort with the vaccine for) this potential pandemic compare to the similar situation that occurred in 1976?"

The CDC was worried about the exact same situation back in 1976, but a number of factors were very different.

The 1976 strain broke out in the training camp at Fort Dix. It spread within the camp, and, to a small extent, nearby the camp. Then the virus disappeared.

It appears that the 1976 strain began and ended in the camp. The speculation is that an animal virus was introduced into the camp, interacted with a human virus and briefly obtained the ability to pass from person to person. The virus caused serious complications in 4 soldiers, one of whom died.

Second, the military flu vaccine used from 1955-1969 had contained a swine flu component similar to the Fort Dix virus. Many soldiers were found to have partial immunity to the new virus. That would have made it much harder for the virus to spread within the community where it arose.

You could argue that the primary mistake in the 1976 episode was that the government reacted too early, when the outbreak was tiny and still confined to a small population. The virus was never really able to break out of the area around Fort Dix. Of course, the CDC had no way of knowing that beforehand.

In this case, the outbreak is already world-wide, and there have been thousands of fatalities. The virus did not stay isolated geographically but spread everywhere.

It is still entirely possible that the virus will mutate to become less deadly. In fact, it could already be in the process of doing so. However, it is just as likely that it will continue infecting people, and killing those who are young, pregnant or have pre-existing medical conditions.

The CDC is operating with imperfect knowledge. They know the possibilities for what could happen, but there is no way to know what will happen. Given the uncertainty, it seems reasonable to act aggressively.
Ginny Rose:

"I've read that the currently available vaccine is the cause of more deaths than than the current strain itself."

The new strain of H1N1 has already killed thousands of people world wide. To my knowledge, the vaccine has killed no one.
madcelt:

"The chance that a regular flu virus could become more lethal seems to me a bigger risk."

This is a regular flu virus that has become more lethal. That's why the CDC is worried.
Shank:

"The media will then take these stories and further whip up the hysteria. "

First, thanks for your questions, which inspired this post.

It is not the media that is whipping up anti-vaccine hysteria; it is the vaccine rejectionists.

The vaccine rejectionists have injected pseudoscience, conspiracy theories and all around ignorance into the issue of any vaccinations.

It is important to understand that the vaccine rejectionists have NEVER been right about anything. They are wrong about vaccines and autism, wrong about thimerosol, wrong about vaccine complications. They are batting a bit fat zero.

Vaccine rejectionists have existed since the discovery of vaccines more than 200 years ago. Over the intervening centuries they have concocted countless theories about the harms of vaccines. In the past 200+ years, they have NEVER been correct about a single one. That's an extremely bad track record.

Vaccine rejectionists are resistant to any and all evidence. They lack basic understanding of science, immunology and virology. They are simply making it up as they go along. It is hardly surprising that their leader is an actress and her boyfriend.

Any one who does understand science, immunology and virology knows that vaccines are one of the great public health victories of all time. Countless millions of lives are saved each and every year by vaccines.
Thanks for clearing that up, Amy. In that view - H1N1 please. But the CDC is not making this clear at all. There is a mish mash of information and I have recieved more 'intelligence' from reading your posts.
Sorry, I think I misread your response. Are you a proponent of the flu vaccine over H1N1 as the flu vaccine could protect against more virulent epidemics? Sorry to be stupid.
madcelt:

"Are you a proponent of the flu vaccine over H1N1 as the flu vaccine could protect against more virulent epidemics?"

The more virulent epidemic has arrived. It is caused by H1N1. This is precisely what scientists have been fearing for decades.

All influenza viruses are related. Even though they are related, each specific viruses poses its own level of threat and each virus "looks" different to the bodies immune system.

Influenza viruses mutate (change) very rapidly. The strains that are causing flu now are different than the strains that caused the flu last year.

H1N1 is a variant of the common influenza virus. It differs from common influenza viruses in two ways. It is more deadly, and it "looks" different enough from other influenza viruses that people who are already immune to common influenza viruses are not immune to H1N1.

The standard flu shot will provide immunity only to the standard influenza viruses. A special vaccine against H1N1 is needed in order to become immune to H1N1. The standard flu poses the greatest risk to the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions. The H1N1 flu poses the greatest risk to the young, to pregnant women, and also to those with pre-existing medical conditions. Some people, because of their risk status, should get both vaccines.
Thank you for clarifying that, doc. I suffer from diabetes (although my diet controls it) and in Canada that puts me on the list for free flu shots. I appreciate your extensive knowledge and clear explanations.
@Amy I'd vaccinate.
At about the time we were leaving New York City for the Midwest in 2001 -- my daughter was two at the time -- a local shock jock launched what seemed to be a hysterical crusade against childhood vaccinations, MMR in particular, because he believed they caused autism. The first time I heard him speculating on the connection between autism and vaccines, I was angered by the thought that he could do real damage to the community. Vaccines aimed at eliminating childhood diseases are safe and effective, I thought. What if this kind of crusade, based on pseudo-science and anecdotal evidence, actually stopped NYC parents from vaccinating their children? I knew of no real evidence of a connection between vaccinations and autism. And I still don't. But it turns out there may be a connection between autism and cats. Toxoplasma is a parasite, typically carried by cats. People who catch it may develop toxoplasmosis; which is usually a minor illness, although it can be serious when it is passed on by pregnant women to their unborn baby, and it can cause problems in people with impaired immune systems when it infects the brain. The parasite that causes toxoplasmosis has been linked to schizophrenia, and biologists in the UK may have discovered why. It seems the parasite produces an enzyme that increases the production of the brain chemical dopamine, which appears to be involved in schizophrenia. And dopamine may also be involved in? Yes. Autism. By making not only a statistical link between cats and a mental disorder, but also coming up with a physical explanation for the connection, these UK scientists have already linked cats to disorders like autism far more convincingly than anyone has been able to link autism and childhood vaccinations. For my cat's sake, I hope some shock jock doesn't hear about it.
I'm one of a rare segment of the population... I have a compromised immune system AND *every* flu vaccine I have ever gotten has put me in the hospital within 24 hours.

I'll take my chances...
Thanks for the details, Amy; I've been wondering about that since H1N1 broke out earlier this year.

How do the vaccines themselves compare? I assume that with 30 more years of research behind them, the current vaccine is superior to the 1976 version, nu?
Douglas Moran:

"How do the vaccines themselves compare? I assume that with 30 more years of research behind them, the current vaccine is superior to the 1976 version, nu?"

There was nothing wrong with the 1976 vaccine besides the fact that it was unnecessary. Since the Fort Dix influenza did not spread, the vaccine probably did not prevent a single case of the flu. Like all flu vaccines, it has a risk of Guillain Barre Syndrome (just like the flu itself has a risk of Guillain-Barre Syndrome, even the common flu).

Therefore, many people were vaccinated, much money was spent, no flu was prevented and people who were vaccinated had side effects. Had the Fort Dix flu spread, of course, the vaccination effort might have saved thousands of lives.
Billy Glad,

People have been pursuing lots of theories, but I suspect that it is going to turn out that autism has a genetic basis.
MrsRaptor:

"I have a compromised immune system AND *every* flu vaccine I have ever gotten has put me in the hospital within 24 hours. "

That's an entirely different issue. You may be allergic to one of the components of the vaccine (for example egg proteins). Of course if you have a compromised immune system, you face serious danger from the flu.

If you develop flu-like symptoms, you should see a doctor right away and get tested for H1N1. You may need to be treated with anti-viral medication.
Dr. Tuteur--Everything I've been reading says the H1N1 virus is not (at least at present) any more lethal than seasonal flu. Is this not your understanding?

Also, I have a purportedly autoimmune condition, IBD (Crohn's), although I've been in remission for nine years on Asacol. Am I at higher risk for H1N1? I'm 67 years old.

Thanks.
I would do exactly what the CDC is doing. I trust their judgement, even if they aren't always right. I got the "regular" flu shot last week and will get the H1N1 when it's available. Am I correct to assume that since I have asthma I might be able to get mine as soon as they are available? (Rated)
SwiftLoris:

"Everything I've been reading says the H1N1 virus is not (at least at present) any more lethal than seasonal flu. Is this not your understanding?"

The most remarkable thing about H1N1 is that, in contrast to the seasonal flu, it kills young otherwise healthy people. This is an unusual trait and was seen in the 1918 epidemic that killed tens of millions of people.

Why do older people appear to be protected? It may be that this virus shares properties that were found in previous serious flu outbreaks, like those in the 1950s. If so, anyone who was exposed at that time may have partial or complete immunity, while anyone born afterward may have no immunity at all.

No one knows what is going to happen. We just know that H1N1 has all the characteristics that are necessary to cause a devastating flu epidemic. That does not mean that it will cause a devastating epidemic, but waiting to find out will mean that we waited too long.

That's why it is worth considering what you might do if you were the CDC. They're looking at what is essentially a few houses on fire, with the potential that many more could catch fire in the near future. Should they wait and see what happens, or should they try to prevent future fires?

"Am I at higher risk for H1N1?"

In general, people who are older face much higher risk from the flu, but this flu does not seem to have that additional risk.

Asacol is an anti-inflammatory agent. I'm not sure if that would impact your risk from H1N1. You'd need to talk to your gastroenterologist or internist about that.
Roger Fallihee:

"Am I correct to assume that since I have asthma I might be able to get mine as soon as they are available?"

Yes, you are in a high risk group, but not one of the highest risk groups.

Here are the recommendations:

"Priorities established by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) have identified the following populations as primary targets to receive the vaccine. These priority groups encompass approximately 159 million people in the United States or about half of the US population: (CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). ACIP recommends H1N1 flu vaccination priorities. July 29, 2009.)

1. Pregnant women;
2. Household contacts of babies younger than 6 months of age;
3. Healthcare workers and emergency medical workers;
4. Children and young adults aged 6 months to 24 years; and
5. Persons 25-64 years with chronic medical conditions: chronic pulmonary or cardiovascular disease; high blood pressure; renal, liver, neurologic, hematologic, and metabolic conditions; patients with diabetes; and those with immunosuppression.

In the event of an inadequate supply or other need to prioritize, the following high-priority list supersedes the list above and includes about 41 million Americans:

1-3. Risk categories identified above;
4. Children (aged 6 months to 4 years); and
5. Children and adolescents from 5 to 18 years with the risks defined above."
Amy, "There was nothing wrong with the 1976 vaccine besides the fact that it was unnecessary."

I was just wondering what the changes are in the state of flu vaccine art since 1976. One example is the lack of thimerasol. I'm sure testing procedures are different these days. Stuff like that. It's just curiosity, though, honestly.
Douglas Moran:

"I was just wondering what the changes are in the state of flu vaccine art since 1976. One example is the lack of thimerasol."

I'm not sure what the changes have been.

The removal of thimerosal is not a change of art. It's merely pandering to the irrational fears of the vaccine rejectionists. They made up the claim that thimerosal causes autism and they aren't backing down despite the fact that there is no evidence for their claims.
First of all thank you for your post. Personally, I think the NIH has been handling the swine flu about as well as any organiztion. They have kept the public informed and have calmed down the panic stricken White House estimates of up to 90,000 people possibly dying from this virus.
As you said, no one knows for sure how this virus is going to act in the population. The initial spurt of kids at college or university was disturbing but seems to have quited.
In the interim, everyone should have taken the first seasonal flu shot and when the swine flu vaccine becomes available that should be taken as well. Next year it will probably be incorporated into the season flu shot.
People should try to keep themselves healthy would be my opinion, and otherwise there really isn't much one can do other than wait.

Well..there is one other thing. I would ignore any comments from the United Nations. They have done little to help the situation other than trying to spread fear around the world.
How is it that a discussion in paragraph 3 of the Spanish Flu of 1918 gets followed by a concluding sentence that says "Recent History shows." 91 Years ago does not seem to me to be recent history. Has not medical knowledge and sanitation improved since 1918? Hell, throw in the black plague while you are at it. Small Pox really kicked our ass, to boot.
Gwool:

"Has not medical knowledge and sanitation improved since 1918?"

Of course. We know know how to prevent a deadly flu. That's the point of vaccination.

The massive number of deaths from the 1918 flu had nothing to do with sanitation.
The CDC committe probably bought stock in the makers of the vacine, then ordered a million doses. What luck.
I think I will trust the opinions of actually infectious disease experts over an obgyn dr.

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/10/06/Why-You-Should-NOT-Vaccinate-Your-Children-Against-the-Flu-This-Season.aspx
Amy: "The removal of thimerosal is not a change of art. It's merely pandering to the irrational fears of the vaccine rejectionists."

I didn't bring up thimerosal to start a fight; it was just the only difference between the 1976 vaccine and the current vaccine that I happened to know about, that's all.

If you don't know what the differences are, no problem; I was just curious.
Qoute "The new strain of H1N1 has already killed thousands of people world wide. To my knowledge, the vaccine has killed no one."

Really?? Please reference your source for the "thousands" that have died. Also, the vaccine has just now started to be given out so DUH, no one has died from it.....yet!! But, they will!!
The ONLY time I get the flu is when I get the shot. I haven't had one in over 10 years and don't plan to get one now. A year from now they will come out and say "there might be some adverse long term effects due to certain elements within the vaccine." That's when the panic will really set in.
Wes Rogers,

Mercola is a quack.
Wes Rogers,

I guess you didn't read the Dr. Mercola's disclaimer:

"THE WEB SITE AND THE MATERIAL ARE PROVIDED ON AN "AS IS" BASIS WITHOUT ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND. TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, MERCOLA.COM DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, INCLUDING THE WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY, NON-INFRINGEMENT OF THIRD PARTIES RIGHTS AND THE WARRANTY OF FITNESS FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSE. ALTHOUGH AMF DESIRES TO PROVIDE COMPLETE AND ACCURATE INFORMATION AND MATERIALS ON ITS WEB SITE, AMF MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, ABOUT THE ACCURACY, RELIABILITY, COMPLETENESS OR TIMELINESS OF THE INFORMATION, MATERIAL, SERVICES, SOFTWARE, TEXT, GRAPHICS AND LINKS FOUND AT THE WEB SITE.

IN NO EVENT SHALL MERCOLA.COM OR ITS SUPPLIERS BE LIABLE UNDER CONTRACT, TORT, STRICT LIABILITY, NEGLIGENCE OR OTHER LEGAL THEORY: (A) WITH RESPECT TO THE SITE, THE SERVICE OR ANY CONTENT FOR ANY LOST PROFITS OR SPECIAL, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, PUNITIVE, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ANY KIND WHATSOEVER, SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES (HOWEVER ARISING), OR (B) FOR ANY DIRECT DAMAGES IN EXCESS OF (IN THE AGGREGATE) $100. SOME STATES DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION OF INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, SO THE ABOVE LIMITATIONS AND EXCLUSIONS MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU."

I call your attention specifically to this phrase:

"AMF MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, ABOUT THE ACCURACY, RELIABILITY, COMPLETENESS OR TIMELINESS OF THE INFORMATION"

In other words, Dr. Mercola wants you to know that he writes all sorts of garbage and you should not assume that any of it is accurate, reliable, complete or timely.
Douglas Moran:

"I didn't bring up thimerosal to start a fight; it was just the only difference between the 1976 vaccine and the current vaccine that I happened to know about, that's all."

Sorry. Thimerosal is a source of great frustration to health care providers, and public health officials. The claims of harm are nothing more than a scam, but it is keeping people from getting adequate protection.
Without trying to seem over simplistic, I view the answer as easy to decide. Inoculate.
No problem. If I want to debate something like that, I will come at it much more directly, believe me. Shy, I'm not.
DJohn"

"don't plan to get one now"

That's fine. It's entirely up to you, and you are probably not in a high risk group anyway.

The best healthcare decision is an informed decision, and hopefully the information I have provided helps you make an informed decision.
Jesus, that Kent Holtorf/Fox News segment was hilarious! I thought Fox News didn't do satire
Amy,

You did exactly what I expected you to do. I asked you for a source of reliable information on your "claim" that "thousands" have already died from H1N1. You did not provide anything but went straight to the oldest trick in the book, name calling (he’s a quack). First off, I would bet any amount of money that Dr. Mercola has far more people who trust his expertise as a doctor then you will ever dream of. Second, the reason for this is because he does give credible information for people to go look at for themselves, which you have failed to do. Third, the link, if you would have looked at it, provided a video of a Dr. Kent Holtorf, who happens to be an infectious disease expert. Tell me again what YOUR expertise is? Oh yea...ObGyn. Folks, if you care to believe Amy here, by all means, do so. I for one look to people who have actual knowledge and that are willing to let me access that knowledge so I can look at if for myself. Amy, you might want to try that instead of all this drivel you’re pushing on here. My guess is you must have a lot of Pharma stock to be pushing this stuff like you do.
Kent Holtorf is an endocrinologist who specializes in the medical fringe therapy of bioidentical hormone therapy. He identifies himself as an endocrinologist. Nowhere even on his own website does he identify himself as an infectious disease expert. In fact, the only links identifying him as an ID expert are those from Fox and your original link. Dr Holtorf can no more be described an infectious disease expert than your local internist. ID expertise is usually acquired through fellowship training, not by Fox News proclamation.

Now, the CDC and NIH are both full of real ID experts. And here's a fellow who's the chair of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases, and chief of pediatric infectious diseases at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Dr Joseph Bocchini:

http://www.cispimmunize.org/pro/pro_main.html?http&&&www.cispimmunize.org/fam/soundadvice.html

Generally speaking, I'll take the advice of fellowship trained actual experts on infectious disease over the advice of Fox News endocrinologists any day. But that's just me. I also don't go to the electrician to fix my plumbing. You may be different.
Wow, this gets even better.

The Fox News proclaimed 'infectious disease expert' Kent Hortorf, was trained as an anesthesiologist, but now fancies himself an endocrinologist, but yet is called an ID doc by Fox and Friends.

So not only does he not have any formal fellowship training in infectious disease, as claimed by others, but he also doesn't have formal fellowship training in endocrinology.

http://www.drscore.com/California/Anesthesiology/search/Kent-Holtorf_10384040.html
"AMF MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, ABOUT THE ACCURACY, RELIABILITY, COMPLETENESS OR TIMELINESS OF THE INFORMATION"

"In other words, Dr. Mercola wants you to know that he writes all sorts of garbage and you should not assume that any of it is accurate, reliable, complete or timely".

Yea, I guess no other company, website etc. has any kind of verbiage on it that gives itself legal protection either right, nobody needs that kind of stuff in this day and age right? This is standard stuff, everybody knows there is "small print". I don't think Dr. Mercola or anyone else can verify every single thing they reference to. However you are right about one thing. You should not assume anything, you should go do some research and verify things for yourself. So where is all your "proof"? You make a lot of claims on here but you seem to be short on evidence.

"Vaccine rejectionists are resistant to any and all evidence".

I asked you for some evidence, you didn't provide any. Although I do understand why you take these positions. You've been taught based on flawed theory, The Germ Theory, which was disproved back in the 1800's by great scientist like Antoine Bechamp and Gunther Enderline just to name 2.
http://www.laleva.org/eng/2004/05/louis_pasteur_vs_antoine_bchamp_and_the_germ_theory_of_disease_causation_1.html

"People have been pursuing lots of theories, but I suspect that it is going to turn out that autism has a genetic basis".

Oh Amy, if that statement were anywhere close to being true, the Amish would also suffer from autism, but they don't. You know, I wish I were Amish, they seem to be blessed with fantastic genetics....oh wait, maybe its because they don't vaccinate that they don't have autism? No, that can't be it, they are just super lucky that all of them are blessed with good genes right? That makes more sense doesn't it Amy.
http://www.whale.to/vaccine/olmsted.html

My advice to you Amy is to go back to being an ObGyn and leave stuff like vaccines and infectious diseases to those that know far more then you, you are sorely lacking.
KENT HOLTORF, M.D.

Kent Holtorf, M.D. is an expert in natural bioidentical hormone replacement and optimization for women and men, endocrinology, thyroid dysfunction (difficult thyroid cases), fatigue syndromes, adrenal insufficiency, growth hormone replacement, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic infections and multiple endocrine dysfunction.

Dr. Holtorf is diplomate and a board examiner for American Board of Anti-Aging Medicine (ABAAM). As a board examiner, Dr. Holtorf is responsible for administering the oral portion of the board exam and evaluating the physicians’ responses to determine if their knowledge base in endocrinology and natural hormones is high enough to receive board certification in this field. Dr. Holtorf received his doctorate of medicine from St. Louis University with residency training at UCLA. He has personally trained physicians across the country in the use of bioidentical hormones, hypothyroidism, complex endocrine dysfunction and innovative treatments of chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and chronic infectious diseases, including Lyme disease. He was the founding medical director and developed the protocols for Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers and other centers across the country.
Dr Holtorf completed his residency in anesthesiology. He never completed fellowships in either endocrinology or infectious disease. Therefore, he's not recognized by the medical community as either an endocrinologist or an infectious disease expert. Now he may call himself both, or neither, but simply saying it doesn't make it so. He has no more reason to call himself an expert on these subjects than Dr Amy does - the difference is that Dr Amy doesn't call herself an expert; she simply points out the consensus of the experts in ID.
"He has no more reason to call himself an expert on these subjects than Dr Amy does- the difference is that Dr Amy doesn't call herself an expert"

So, you can throw out anything you want as long as you don't call yourself an expert. Makes perfect sense to me. Good one Ris!
Wes,

No one is twisting your arm to vaccinate yourself or your children. No one can force you to have a vaccination, and you can refuse to vaccinate your kids for religious (or other) reasons. It's all up to you.

As for those of us who choose to vaccinate ourselves and our children, we're all dying more quickly from excrutiating chronic diseases, mercury poisoning, increased infectious disease rates, and our kids are all somewhere on the autism spectrum.

You're going to inherit the earth, dude! Relax and gloat as the rest of us suffer horrific illnesses foisted upon us by the medical-industrial big pharma establishment.

Just stay away from the pertussis. You'll have to trust me on that one.
"So, you can throw out anything you want as long as you don't call yourself an expert."

No, but it's often best to listen to those who are experts. Neither Dr Amy nor Dr Holtorf are experts on infectious disease, so it's interesting that you take Holtorf's non-expert opinion as scripture, and dismiss entirely Dr Amy's non-expert opinion.

Why not just listen to people who have fellowship training in ID? Wouldn't that be easier?
Ris,

I would be very happy if it was left up to me to vaccinate or not. You said no one is twisting my arm, this is not true. Laws have been passed that take away my choice, State Model Emergency Health Powers Act for one, have you read that? How about that states of Massachusetts and Oklahoma trying to pass a mandatory vaccine bill with a fine of 1k a day and 30 days in prison? http://wireofinformation.wordpress.com/2009/08/30/massachusetts-mandatory-vaccine-bill-leads-the-way-to-medical-fascism/

I would be very happy to be left alone. Mind you, I have been in the military and have traveled all over the world. I have had far more then my share of jabs and i consider myself one of the luckier ones. However, I watch a nephew of mine's kidney shut down within a week of getting vaccinated. I know some that say, that's just coincidence but it's happening way to often to be just that. I'm not buying that at all.
Also, I'm not relying on either one of them to make a decision, there's much more information out there available to us all and vaccines aren't nearly as effective as they are made out to be.

The medical literature has a surprising number of studies documenting vaccine failure. Measles, mumps, small pox, pertussis, polio and Hib outbreaks have all occurred in vaccinated populations. , , , , In 1989 the CDC reported: "Among school-aged children, [measles] outbreaks have occurred in schools with vaccination levels of greater than 98 percent. [They] have occurred in all parts of the country, including areas that had not reported measles for years."

The CDC even reported a measles outbreak in a documented 100% vaccinated population. A study examining this phenomenon concluded, "The apparent paradox is that as measles immunization rates rise to high levels in a population, measles becomes a disease of immunized persons."

A more recent study found that measles vaccination "produces immune suppression which contributes to an increased susceptibility to other infections." These studies suggest that the goal of complete "immunization" may actually be counter-productive, a notion underscored by instances in which epidemics followed complete immunization of entire countries.

Japan experienced yearly increases in small pox following the introduction of compulsory vaccines in 1872. By 1892, there were 29,979 deaths, and all had been vaccinated.

In the early 1900's, the Philippines experienced their worst smallpox epidemic ever after 8 million people received 24.5 million vaccine doses (achieving a vaccination rate of 95%); the death rate quadrupled as a result.

Before England's first compulsory vaccination law in 1853, the largest two-year smallpox death rate was about 2,000; in 1870-71, England and Wales had over 23,000 smallpox deaths. In 1989, the country of Oman experienced a widespread polio outbreak six months after achieving complete vaccination.

In the US in 1986, 90% of 1300 pertussis cases in Kansas were "adequately vaccinated." 72% of pertussis cases in the 1993 Chicago outbreak were fully up to date with their vaccinations.
The major difference between 1918 and now is the emergence of antibiotics. Millions died from secondary respiratory infections brought on by the flu. We now have antibiotics to deal with pneumonia, etc. It will not be as deadly for this reason.

It's like talking about 1918 travel across the country compared to now without mention commercial jet service.
Wes Smith:

"Yea, I guess no other company, website etc. has any kind of verbiage on it that gives itself legal protection either right"

That's right. Legitimate medical websites do not have disclaimers announcing that their information should not be accepted as accurate, reliable, or complete.

The standard disclaimer for legitimate medical websites is that the information is not a substitute for medical advice by a professional. In other words, legitimate sites offer accurate information and explanations, but only you physician can give advice that is specific to you.
Jeffrey Marks:

"The major difference between 1918 and now is the emergence of antibiotics. Millions died from secondary respiratory infections brought on by the flu. We now have antibiotics to deal with pneumonia, etc. It will not be as deadly for this reason."

I guess those 28 pregnant women did not get the memo that they weren't supposed to die.

The fact that they died DESPITE antibiotics, ventilators and intensive care unit measures suggests that this flu is potentially MORE deadly than the 1918 flu.
What makes you think this is a particularly deadly strain? So far, only children with pre-existing immune or neurological problems seem to be more at risk of dying than with "normal" flu. Otherwise, stats from the CDC say the death rate is pretty typical for flu.

Scaremonger much?
I caught the flu a few times in my college years and it is really the most awful illness. Since then I've always tried to get the vaccinations. I typically get a headache for a few days afterward, but even if there's only a 20% chance of deflecting the flu, it's worth it.
good post. good retorts to the antivax crowd as well.
JenniferC:

"good retorts to the antivax crowd"

Thanks. It's really frustrating to healthcare providers and public health officials that the one of the greatest health advances of all time is being undermined by people who don't have any understanding of immunology or virology.
What makes you think this is a particularly deadly strain? So far, only children with pre-existing immune or neurological problems seem to be more at risk of dying than with "normal" flu. Otherwise, stats from the CDC say the death rate is pretty typical for flu.

One big difference between swine flu and seasonal flu is that swine flu is hitting younger people harder than older people, which is very unusual. From the NY Times:

Only 13 percent of the 247 people hospitalized because of the new flu are over 50 years old, Dr. Jernigan said. Many have other medical conditions like pregnancy, asthma, heart disease, lung disease or obesity. In a typical flu season, more than 90 percent of those hospitalized are older than 50.
Amy,

You should read your own websites disclaimer before you try to use someone else's.

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No advice or information, oral or written, obtained by you from Salon, shall create any warranty not expressly stated in these TOS.

So, according to your TOS, we shouldn't give much stock into any information you put out on here. Or I should say, any of your opinions, you seem to be way short on actual information.

As for the "tort's", your joking right? You have done no such thing. I have given you plenty of info, even from your beloved CDC, and you have done nothing to refute it. All you have done is resort to a very childish act of "IT WORKS BECAUSE I SAY SO" tactic. Tell me again why the Amish don't have autistic children? Oh, you couldn't address that. Ok, then tell me about all these heavily vaccinated groups that still have outbreaks. Oh, got nothing there either I see. I'm not sure why your website has it's disclaimer, you are void of any real medical information to back up what you say so I don't see how you could get into any trouble for spouting off the drivel you do.
Greatest advancement in the world huh. You should be real proud of yourself after reading this Amy.

TradingMarkets.com, at least a dozen babies have died in a pneumonia vaccine trial conducted by GlaxoSmithKline in Argentina. The Argentina Federation of Health Professionals (Fesprosa) asserts that children of poor families are being used for the trials, and parents are bullied into signing consent forms. The trials are still continuing, even though at least 12 infants have already died.

Fesprosa maintains that there is no state control and that there are no ethical requirements. This doesn't come as any surprise to those who know how these kinds of human trials usually occur. Generally speaking, vaccine trials are conducted in Third World countries on poor people who often feel trapped into participating in human health experiments in order to receive medical care or other necessities.

One doesn't find these kinds of experiments going on in places like the United States or Europe, where names and faces of victims would surely get out into the media and cause a big stir. Instead, the infants of impoverished people, who often can't even read or write, are used in the trials. Apparently, the lead investigator of the trial didn't think it was any big concern that over 12 babies have already died since deaths from respiratory illnesses caused by the pneumococcal bacteria kill even more people. Of course, this is no comfort to the poor mothers whose babies are sacrificed for the monetary gains of a pharmaceutical giant.

The great aunt of one of the victims alleges that once children begin to participate in these trials, there is no way out. Mothers who try to remove their children from the trials are browbeaten into submission, being told that their children will never receive any other vaccines if removed before a trial is completed. Imagine being a poor, uneducated mother and having to make such a choice. (Remember, too, that some can't even read the consent forms they are signing!)

Anyone who hasn't seen The Constant Gardener, a film starring Ralph Fiennes, truly needs to do so. While the story is fictional, the viewer is able to get a better feel for how drug and vaccine trials are conducted. Some particularly touching words are spoken in the movie by the character "Ham," who is discussing the deaths that happen in trials sponsored by pharmaceutical companies when he states: "And from those deaths we derive the benefits of civilization, benefits we can afford so easily... because those lives were bought so cheaply." Unfortunately, all consumers of drugs and vaccines share some of the responsibility for the deaths and injuries of these drug trial victims. While it isn't always easy to do the right thing, sometimes one just has to make the moral choice to stand up for these innocent children and say "no" to Big Pharma.
Wes Rogers:

"why the Amish don't have autistic children? "

But they do have autistic children. That's yet another claim that vaccine rejectionists have made up it sounded good to them.

Vaccine rejectionism is nothing more than quackery fabricated by people who don't have even the most basic understanding of immunology and virology and believed by people who don't have even the most basic understanding of immunology and virology.
The only autistic child found in an Amish community was one that was adopted, and that child WAS VACCINATED.

"Unfortunately our autistic daughter -- who's doing very well, she's been diagnosed with very, very severe autism -- is adopted from China, and so she would have had all her vaccines in China before we got her, and then she had most of her vaccines given to her in the United States before we got her.

http://www.communicationagents.com/chris/2005/04/22/only_vaccinated_amish_children_are_autistic.htm

I'll give ya an "E" for effort though.
Amy: "Vaccine rejectionism is nothing more than quackery fabricated by people who don't have even the most basic understanding of immunology and virology and believed by people who don't have even the most basic understanding of immunology and virology."

This is painting with too broad a brush. It seems highly unlikely that everyone who refuses a vaccine is influenced by "vaccine rejectionists," and that they all lack "even the most basic understanding of immunology and virology." All I would have to do would be to find one doctor who who has questions about vaccines, and your statement would then be demonstrably false.

Unless you have scientific proof that all "vaccine rejectionists" are ignorant of "the most basic understanding of immunology and virology," I would suggest you avoid such sweeping statements, as well as inflammatory terms like "quackery."
I'm sure all these doctors are uneducated vaccine rejectionist who have no training in virology or infectious diseases. They clearly must have gotten their degrees from some online mail order university. Again Amy, what is YOUR training in this field? Do you recieve any compensation from the drug companies that have been given legal immunity from any damage that might cause? You didn't answer those qustions before and I rather doubt you will this time either.

Cases of autism amongst children have doubled since 2003 according to a government survey out today, highlighting once again the direct link between vaccines containing mercury and the brain disorder, as millions more parents give the green light for their kids to be injected with the thimerosal-containing H1N1 shot over the coming weeks.

“While research has suggested that the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders in American children was about 1 of every 150 children, a new government study estimates that the prevalence is more likely about 1 in every 91 children,” reports U.S. News & World Report.

“The study, which is published in the October issue of Pediatrics, estimated that 110 of every 10,000 U.S. youngsters will be diagnosed at some point in their lives with an autism spectrum disorder. That currently translates to about 673,000 American children with some form of autism, according to the study.”

Claims by the CDC and the Institute of Medicine, following a whitewash study that ignored previously verified evidence, that thimerosal, a mercury based preservative, has no causal relationship to skyrocketing cases of autism have been soundly rejected by top doctors and scientists ever since.

Epidemiologist Tom Verstraeten and Dr. Richard Johnston, an immunologist and pediatrician from the University of Colorado, both concluded that thimerosal was responsible for the dramatic rise in cases of autism but their findings were dismissed by the CDC.

Cases of autism in the U.S. have now increased by over 2700 per cent since 1991, which is when vaccines for children doubled, and the number of immunizations is only increasing. Just one in 2,500 children were diagnosed with autism before 1991, whereas one in 91 children now have the disease, up from one in 150 just six years ago.

A peer reviewed study by Dr. Mark Geier which appeared in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons showed that the IOM research was flawed because it was largely based on a Danish study by Anders Peter Hviid, which did not account for the fact that American children have a much higher mercury burden than children in Denmark.

“At the high levels (of thimerosal exposure), it is undeniable there is a causal relationship, and we have gone to high levels. Their studies, therefore are not relevant, I am not saying they are wrong, although there are many criticisms of it. It is just not relative to the US situation,” said Geier.

Geier’s study concludes that there is an increase of neurodevelopment disorders following the use of thimerosal containing vaccines.

Dr. Rashid Buttar, who has pioneered a new treatment for autistic children that removes mercury from their bodies, said the Institute of Medicine’s conclusion that mercury does not cause autism demonstrates the “complete absence of any desire to discover scientific truth at the supposed highest levels of medical academia.”

“When 31 children recover from a devastating disease by a simple transdermal treatment that detoxifies metals, then common sense dictates that perhaps metals are involved,” states Dr. Bob Nash the chairman of the American Board of Clinical Metal Toxicology (ABCMT) in regard to Dr. Buttar’s treatment.

“In 1977, a Russian study found that adults exposed to ethylmercury, the form of mercury in thimerosal, suffered brain damage years later. Studies on thimerosal poisoning also describe tubular necrosis and nervous system injury, including obtundation, coma and death. As a result of these findings, Russia banned thimerosal from children’s vaccines in 1980. Denmark, Austria, Japan, Great Britain and all the Scandinavian countries have also banned the preservative,” writes Dawn Prate.

Mercury is classified by The Department of Defense as a hazardous material that could cause death if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin, and the EPA is now limiting mercury emissions from factories because the toxin “can damage the brain and nervous system and is especially dangerous to fetuses and small children,” but according to the CDC it’s perfectly safe to inject into your child’s bloodstream.

Despite concerns about thimerosal and mercury, thimerosal is an ingredient of the swine flu vaccine which is currently being rolled out for children all over the country.

“Some of the vaccine will be stored in multi-dose vials containing thimerosal, an antibacterial additive that contains mercury,” reported the Washington Postin an article about which groups will receive the swine flu vaccine first.

Indeed, the swine flu vaccine contains no less than 25,000 per cent the amount of mercury considered safe.

Around 12,000 U.S. children were used as guinea pigs for the experimental swine flu vaccine also known to contain the dangerous ingredient squalene, which has been directly linked with cases of Gulf War Syndrome and a host of other debilitating diseases.

Squalene “contributed to the cascade of reactions called “Gulf War syndrome. (GIs developed) arthritis, fibromyalgia, lymphadenopathy, rashes, photosensitive rashes, malar rashes, chronic fatigue, chronic headaches, abnormal body hair loss, non-healing skin lesions, aphthous ulcers, dizziness, weakness, memory loss, seizures, mood changes, neuropsychiatric problems, anti-thyroid effects, anaemia, elevated ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate), systemic lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, ALS, Raynaud’s phenomenon, Sjorgren’s syndrome, chronic diarrhea, night sweats and low-grade fever,” according to Micropaleontologist Dr. Viera Scheibner.

Pharmaceutical companies can be assured that they won’t face reprisals for the many thousands of injuries and deaths that will inevitably occur as a result of exposing millions to mercury and squalene during a mass vaccination program, because the government has already acted to provide them with blanket immunity from lawsuits.

“Vaccine makers and federal officials will be immune from lawsuits that result from any new swine flu vaccine, under a document signed by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius,”reported the Associated Press in July.
Can't we all get along?

Amy suggests that the vaccine is valuable and people should at least consider discussing this issue with their health care provider. Others seem to be questioning the risk/benefit of the vaccination and are seemingly making a choice not to be vaccinated. Either way it is a personal decision.

The issue that concerns me is that the evaluation of one's position would hopefully consider the potential implications of a pandemic and how that has potential widespread implications, at least temporarily, on our collective well-being. Examples I have in mind are stores being able to remain open, as well as the availability of other goods and services such as schools.

The fact that the government is taking this seriously is, to me, reason to be concerned. Whether it is being too concerned or not is a question we can answer once we get past any widespread outbreak, or if sufficient time passes and the threat diminishes and/or passes.

I would hope that everyone is at least periodically checking http://flu.gov/ .
A R: Being deadly to a different group does not equate to being more deadly (a greater number of deaths qua deaths).

I'd prefer to get my advice from the CDC. Their physicians have actual medical licenses.
Wes Rogers:

"I'll give ya an "E" for effort though."

And an A for accuracy.

You couldn't be more wrong about the Amish and autism. You can't believe what you read on the vaccine rejectionist websites because they just make it up as they go along.

First, the rate of vaccination among the Amish, while lower than the rest of the population, is still quite high. A study of vaccine usage in the largest Amish group in Illinois (Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2006 Dec;25(12):1182-3) revealed that 84% of Amish families vaccinated all their children.

Second, the incidence of autism among the Amish population is no different than in the rest of the population.

Third, study of Amish children with autism has yielded valuable insights into the possible genetic basis of autism. The CNTNPAP2 mutation on chromosome 7 was initially found in 4 autistic Amish children. More recent studies have show that the mutation occurs outside the Amish population and appears to dramatically increase the risk of autism.
Douglas Moran:

"It seems highly unlikely that everyone who refuses a vaccine is influenced by "vaccine rejectionists," and that they all lack "even the most basic understanding of immunology and virology."

I stand by my statement, but I would be happy to review any evidence you have of immunologists or virologists who are vaccine rejectionists.
GregorMendel:

"I'd prefer to get my advice from the CDC."

You mean the people leading the aggressive effort to promote H1N1 vaccination?
Okay, here's what the CDC says about it: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/update.htm

# Total influenza hospitalization rates for laboratory-confirmed influenza are higher than expected for this time of year for adults and children. And for children 5-17 and adults 18-49 years of age, hospitalization rates from April – September 2009 exceed average flu season rates (for October through April).

# The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) based on the 122 Cities Report was low and within the bounds of what is expected at this time of year. However, 60 pediatric deaths related to 2009 H1N1 flu have been reported to CDC since April 2009, including 11 deaths reported this week.

Also http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/background.htm:

Given ongoing novel H1N1 activity to date, CDC anticipates that there will be more cases, more hospitalizations and more deaths associated with this pandemic in the United States over the summer and into the fall and winter. The novel H1N1 virus, in conjunction with regular seasonal influenza viruses, poses the potential to cause significant illness with associated hospitalizations and deaths during the U.S. influenza season.

And http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/acip.htm:

Every flu season has the potential to cause a lot of illness, doctor’s visits, hospitalizations and deaths. CDC is concerned that the new H1N1 flu virus could result in a particularly severe 2009-2010 flu season. Vaccines are the best tool we have to prevent influenza. CDC hopes that people will start to go out and get vaccinated against seasonal influenza as soon as vaccines become available at their doctor’s offices and in their communities.
http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/158007275731/m/907002005831/p/3

Ok folks, here is a link to the info Amy is quoyting from as best as I can tell. Go do some reading for yourself and you will quickly find a very hot debate about the safety of vaccines. It would be nice if you would ad a link yourself Amy but I guess they may be a little to much effort on your part. So, as you have admitted, the amish you referenced did recieve vaccines (If that indeed is true, I can't find any ref to confirm your claim here), and guess what, they became autistic. The Amish groups THAT DON'T vaccinate don't have that problem. I call that a clue Amy, maybe you should get one.
"here is a link to the info Amy is quoyting from as best as I can tell"

No, Wes, I am not quoting from a website, I am quoting from the actual scientific research papers.

You may desperately wish to pretend that vaccination causes autism, but the scientific evidence suggests that it is a genetic mutation present in the Amish community as well as the general population.
Amy: "I stand by my statement, but I would be happy to review any evidence you have of immunologists or virologists who are vaccine rejectionists."

You made the sweeping statement; you should present the evidence to support it. That is the standard to which you hold others who comment; you should abide by the same standard.
Douglas Moran:

"You made the sweeping statement; you should present the evidence to support it."

Feel free to remain unconvinced. This so tangential to the main issue as to be irrelevant. The issue under discussion is the rationale for vaccination. The fact that one immunologist or virologist might theoretically be a vaccine rejectionist is meaningless.

Vaccine rejectionists are quacks, just like flat earthers are quacks. If you found a geologist who claimed that the world was flat that would make no difference; flat earthers would still be quacks. The same principle applies here.
Amy: "This so tangential to the main issue as to be irrelevant. The issue under discussion is the rationale for vaccination. "

I won't argue the tangentiality issue. I'm just following up on a point I was trying to make in a previous thread regarding your tone and word choice, and using this as a convenient example. So it's pertinent in that sense. You yourself asked for suggestions; I'm attempting to provide them as i deem appropriate.

Amy: "The fact that one immunologist or virologist might theoretically be a vaccine rejectionist is meaningless."

Except in that it would disprove your previous sweeping statement, i.e., "Vaccine rejectionism is nothing more than quackery fabricated by people who don't have even the most basic understanding of immunology and virology and believed by people who don't have even the most basic understanding of immunology and virology." If even a single doctor questions the efficacy, safety, or scheduling of vaccinations, then your sweeping statement is demonstrably false. Your tendency to make such statements is one of the things that undermines the strength--or lack thereof--of your arguments (as does using words like "quack").
Amy, your ignorance is stunning. Anyone with the same amount of comman sense God gave a goose would realize that after giving a child a shot which resulted in a major reaction requiring hospitaliztion that it was the SHOT that caused it! (The case I am refering to resulted in the child becoming autistic as well) The mere FACT that these corporations who make these vaccines have been given legal immunity from harming people with their product says it all. There would be no need for that if their "product" was such the wonderful life saving marvel that you claim them to be. Find me one other product on this plant that enjoys that kind of protection that is perfectly safe. There is no desperation on my part Amy, the truth doesn't need desperation.

Anyway, as a wise man once said, "you can't fix stupid". So....I will bid you a fond farewell and let you go back to this fantasy land you live in.

2 Timothy 3:7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth
I've researched mycomedicinals and Paul Stamets manufactures them. His lectures and products demonstrate a different way to combat influenza. What do you think of natural immune system boosters and things of that nature versus a new virus?
I'm sorry to say that they don't work and are a waste of money.
Thanks Amy, for wading into this topic, knowing that there was likely to be a good deal of upset.

Your information mirrors what doctors and public health officials are telling me. One thing that might be helpful to clarify-- there is, is there not, some risk with every vaccination program? Its just that vaccination risks pale in comparison with illnesses.

And, could you comment on "dead virus" versus "live virus." Some of this is the difference between old vaccinations and new, correct?
And also between flu mist and flu shots. Hence the different recommendations. At least in our state, pregnant or compromised persons cannot be given flu mist.
I'd place the CDC under the Defense Dept. and then cut their budget
Thank you Amy for your well informed and well spoken information. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion & I'm on your side. Thanks for taking the flack and sticking to your guns.
You are, of course, totally wrong. No one who is vaccinated will be helped. We all know the vaccine is just saline. This is all a very transparent plot to scare people into being prepared to take whatever injection the CDC offers up so that when the nanomachine engineered miroRNA strands are given to us we won't question them. Then we'll be perfectly compliant, mindless drones for the shadow government. Duh!
"This is all a very transparent plot to scare people into being prepared to take whatever injection the CDC offers up so that when the nanomachine engineered miroRNA strands are given to us we won't question them. Then we'll be perfectly compliant, mindless drones for the shadow government."

Oooh. You're right, but let's not forget about the jack booted thugs in the black helicopters who want to embed microchips into our backsides to follow our every move.
Two "cases" of h1n1 were reported at Miami University in Ohio. In both cases, the actual cause of death was some other cause, which was learned after the media had reported it. The truth is that without an autopsy and testing, there's no way to know if a case is h1n1 or another disease. Hence, the "thousands" claimed is likely overstated. All cases of flu-like symptoms are being assumed to be h1n1.

My doctor does not recommend flu shots. He gives them if requested, but his nurse developed GBS, a known (and potentially lethal) side effect of the flu shot. Another patient nearly died from a flu shot. Turns out that the Patriot Act includes a provision for Vaccine Victims Compensation Fund. Since the armed services require vaccines to ensure safety in the case of biological warfare, they've found that a number of personnel come down with crippling and sometimes fatal illnesses from those vaccines. The government freely admits that the h1n1 vaccine might have less common side effects including death, but they won't know that until they do a mass vaccination on our armed forces. Thanks for protecting our country, now take a shot and be a guinea pig. So we won't know if it's lethal until they start shooting up everyone.

As for Amy herself, go out and Google her. Most people feel that she's likely a shill for some pharma co or another. She has one no-questions-tolerated opinion on every subject (always in favor of more, insurance spending health care) and insults those who disagree with her. Get her started on home birth if you want to hear her go even more ballistic. She's been banned from some blogs for her comments on special needs children among others.
Jeffrey Marks:

"She's been banned from some blogs for her comments on special needs children among others."

That's a lie.

That's the problem with antivaccine rejectionists. They don't feel bound by the truth because a lie sounds so much better.

You can be angry with me, disgusted with me or whine about me all you want. But don't lie about me.
I'm not an anti-vaccine rejectionist. I've had plenty of vaccines; however, I do suggest doing your own research, just as I would do for any prescription given to me. Drugs have side effects.

I've read the comments on special education blogs where you called DS children a "burden" and the dressing down you received there. You were asked not to post any more. You're cross posting the same blogs on here that have appeared elsewhere.

Since I'm not a rejectionist, don't lie about me, either...Plus I can say that I am speaking as a private citizen and do not receive any money from any company to post these messages.. Wanna try to match that one?
Jeffrey Marks:

"I've read the comments on special education blogs"

You're lying again. I never commented on any special education blogs. Please stop writing the first thing that comes into your mind, and make sure that what you are saying is true.
Then you didn't call Down Syndrome children "a major burden"?
If I may add my 2 cents on Dr. Kent Holtrof, the "endocrinologist infectious disease expert board certified" doctor of FOXnews:

1. He is NOT certified in Internal Medicine by the widely acceptable American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), let alone certified in the Endocrinology subspecialty.

2. What he calls "board certification" is from the American Board of Anti-Aging Medicine (ABAAM), a private "board" that charges upwards of $7000 for physicians and others to be "certified" -- that board was created by two physicians trained in Belize and who have had problems with the law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Academy_of_Anti-Aging_Medicine)

3. Dr. Holtorf also works for that board, conducting part of the exams, most likely for a fee

4. He has the cure for ageing...

PLEASE vaccinate all people that need to be vaccinated and follow your Pediatrician's or Family doctor's advice.

Thanks for your attention.
Jeffery,

The vagina doctor will not speak to her credentials in virology or infectious diseases nor will she tell you if she has stock in these companies that push vaccines, if she was truly qualified in these areas, she would have done so by now. It does not matter what factual information you or anyone else brings here, she will not address it and just goes straight ahead with the same old drivel. She is a vaccine injury rejectionist, in her deluded mind, it is not possible for her to comprehend the connections. Also, I just read earlier that someone did a little research on her and found out that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine say's her license expired in 2003. You might want to check that out for yourself. Anyway, I guess since then she has figured out that poking people with shots was more profitable then poking vagina's. So my good buddy Jeffery, don't waste your time on her, she has proven without a doubt to be a shill for big pharma.
Wes:

"she has proven without a doubt to be a shill for big pharma."

Prove it or withdraw the falsehood.

I have said it before, you can be angry with me, disagree with me, whine at me, but don't lie about me. You are lying.
Every statement you make is further evidence of who it is your beholden to.
"Every statement you make is further evidence of who it is your beholden to."

It's so much more fun to lie than to stick to the facts! Not surprising, though, is it? Making up insults is a good tactic when you have no scientific evidence to back up your absurd beliefs.

Vaccine rejectionism is one of the biggest scams of all times. It depends entirely on lacking any understanding of immunology or virology, with a big dollop of conspiracy paranoia thrown in for good measure. It is amazing to me that anyone is so gullible as to believe it.
shill
2 entries found.

1shill (intransitive verb)

2shill (noun)

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Main Entry: 1shill
Pronunciation: \ˈshil\
Function: intransitive verb
Etymology: 2shill
Date: circa 1914
1 : to act as a shill
2 : to act as a spokesperson or promoter

If the shoe fits......
Better get a new dictionary. That's not the definition, and that's not the way you used it. You specifically accused me of shilling for industry, and implied that I am paid for that.

That is nothing more than a lie that you made up rather than discuss the actual scientific evidence. I'm not surprised; you clearly don't have a clue what the actual scientific evidence is.
I've had my differences with Dr. Amy's posting style, but this is getting ridiculous. To the people, wes rogers this means you, making unsubstantiated claims about Dr. Amy's links with big pharma/insurance companies: put up the proof or shut up. You are losing credibility by the second.

FYI, I read the post where Dr. Amy made the comment about disabled children being a "burden" and you are taking it out of context. She made it clear that not everyone feels this way.

If you want to have disabled children, your choice. If you choose not to be vaccinated, your choice, although it does affect more than just you and your children. Absolutely no one with a working brain can dispute the fact that vaccines have saved far more lives than they have taken.

I am not an expert on drug testing in the Third World, but I have read on the subject and do not support some of the unethical practices that go on. But be very careful about confusing coincidence with cause and effect.
Dictionary.com:
shill  /ʃɪl/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [shil] Show IPA Slang.
Use shill in a Sentence
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–noun 1. a person who poses as a customer in order to decoy others into participating, as at a gambling house, auction, confidence game, etc.
2. a person who publicizes or praises something or someone for reasons of self-interest, personal profit, or friendship or loyalty.

–verb (used without object) 3. to work as a shill: He shills for a large casino.

–verb (used with object) 4. to advertise or promote (a product) as or in the manner of a huckster; hustle: He was hired to shill a new TV show.

yourdictionary.com:
shill definition
shill (s̸hil)

noun

the confederate of a gambler, pitchman, auctioneer, etc. who pretends to buy, bet, or bid so as to lure onlookers into participating
a person who works energetically to sell or promote something
Etymology: contr.
You have been asked what YOUR credentials are to speak on virology and infectious diseases. YOU HAVE GIVEN NONE.

You have been asked to revel any connection to any pharam company that you might have any stock in or have represented. YOU HAVE AVIOIDED ANSWERING.

You have been asked to quote your resources to back up the claims you have made. YOU HAVE NOT DONE SO.

Do you even have a license to practice medicine? It seems that is in question to, but you refuse to address that as well.

To Mrs. Peel, I have never said I was a doctor or claim to be an expert. I have my own personal experience. I would bet after traveling all over the world as a child and spending time in the military that I have had far more shots then you have. I have some how managed to come through all that ok to this point. But, I have also seen a family members kidney shut down within days of receiving vaccines and also had a step son who is autistic. So, my "expertise" comes from a personal experience and research over the past 7 years. I could choke this thread with tons of data and have posted some up above if you care to take a look. You could start by looking up the Simpsonwood Memo. http://www.autismhelpforyou.com/Simpsonwood_And_Puerto%20%20Rico.htm

I'll just end with this Mrs. Peel. I asked Amy this but she didn’t have the guts to address it. If vaccines are such the miracle saving break through that some claim, then why are the manufacturers be given legal immunity if you are injured or killed by them? Name one other "safe" product on this plant that enjoys that kind of legal protection? Now, as you said, put up or shut up!
http://henrynorthlondon.blogspot.com/2009/08/legal-immunity-for-swine-flu-vaccine.html
"YOU HAVE AVIOIDED ANSWERING."

No, I haven't. I'm not connected with any pharmaceutical company, any medical organization, anything. No one pays me.
Wes, anecdotal cases (life experience) aren't proof of any kind, as Amy would say it. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!

Amy, what does the allopathic field have to offer as a CURE for severe allergies ( I said a CURE... not something to mask the symptoms to make severe allergies more bearable to live with)... over-the-counter FDA-approved shit called meds... vaccines... script meds... unnecessary surgery????