Monday, May 20, 2013

The Benefits of Vaccinations: History Continues To Frustrate Antivaxxers

When it comes to vaccines, do the benefits really outweigh the risks, or is there a chance you are simply
gambling your health each and every time you opt for vaccinations?

If you are an anti-vaccinationist (antivaxxer) the answer is clear -  there is no such thing as a safe vaccine, and vaccines are clearly not worth the risk. On the other hand, if you look at history, or if you study the actual impact of vaccines you soon realize that not only are vaccines incredibly safe and effective, but they are responsible for saving millions of lives that otherwise would have been lost to various diseases.

Needless to say, some argue about these benefits, and some like to act as if the jury is still out.  Antivaxxers are continually attempting to suggest that society would be better off without vaccines, and I felt it was well past time they offer some evidence to show us why they feel that is the case.

Enter the Challenger

For those of you following along at home, Lowell Hubbs is a narcissistic anti-vaccinationist who not only has served as inspiration for many of the posts on this blog, but someone who comments (or attempts to comment) on a very regular basis.  In fact Mr. Hubbs has added hundreds of comments to this blog just as he has contributed thousands upon thousands of comments to practically every other vaccine-related blog, forum or website that he can find.

Now it should be noted that although Mr. Hubbs doesn't actually hold a degree in a science related field, and although he doesn't hold a degree at all, and even though he has never spent a single day in any form of post-secondary education - he does consider himself an expert in subjects like vaccinations, medical conditions, the source of disease, the history of medicine, and pretty much any topic which is even remotely connected to modern medicine.  Whether this expertise was gained during his time in the State Penitentiary serving time for one of his four felony DUI offenses, or whether this knowledge was gained from his time working at a meat-processing facility as a day laborer I cannot say, but rest assured Mr. Hubbs claims he is a trusted expert, and therefore you are expected to take his word for it... credentials be damned.

The reason this is important is because Mr. Hubbs is one of the antivaxxers who routinely claims that vaccines cause more harm than good, and in his view (and in the opinion of most antivaxxers) vaccines should never be used - EVER.  Therefore, as I know this is a commonly held belief with antivaxxers, I've asked Mr. Hubbs to provide me the evidence to support this viewpoint.

If you are really interested in the details, you may wish to read the comments from a prior blog post here.  However I will do my best to summarize below.

This all began when Mr. Hubbs submitted a comment which read in part:
"I have put in front of you multiple times the long list of studies that prove in any honest and rational mind, that the claims of vaccine doing more harm than good, are indeed true."
Of course I countered this with a response that Mr. Hubbs clearly doesn't understand what the terms "scientific study" actually mean and how to date there hasn't been a single study which shows vaccines cause more harm than good.  One might think if this were actually the case, one of the more well known anti-vaccine organizations would have performed some level of study comparing the risks of vaccines against the benefits - or perhaps even a summary study of existing data... but alas it doesn't appear it has happened.  Of course Mr. Hubbs claimed there were "numerous studies in Pubmed" and accused me of hiding the truth and twisting the facts and lying to deceive the public yada, yada, yada.

It was about this time that I decided it was time to put this little issue to rest once and for all since Mr. Hubbs, and other anti-vaxxers like him, continue to make these claims on a near daily basis. Therefore I proposed the following solution to Mr. Hubbs:
"Please post a comment with ONE SINGLE peer-reviewed AND published study that shows vaccines cause more harm than good or that vaccines cause autism and we can discuss it."

I then added some ground rules in a silly attempt to limit this discussion and prevent it from wandering away into some unrelated anti-mainstream medicine rant or a discussion about metal tooth fillings or chemtrails as so often happens when you attempt to engage an antivaxxer.  Those rules were listed as follows:

  • Do not attempt to link me to your personal website and call it "proof" as I won't publish it.
  • Do not attempt to cut and paste a laundry list of dozens upon dozens of links to various articles, blog pages, or anti-vaxxer websites and claim they are scientific because I won't publish it.
  • Do not attempt to change the subject and rant about me, this blog, or any other unrelated issues as I won't publish it.
  • Do not attempt to post a link to an anti-vaxxer website and claim it is a published study.
  • Do not attempt to link to a summary document or an abstract or a partial summary report because I won't publish it.
  • Do not attempt to post a transcript of a speech or interview as you attempt to pass it off as a published study because I won't publish it.
  • Do not attempt to link to a non-recognized 'journal' like Medical Hypotheses or Medical Veritas or anything which isn't listed in MEDLINE because I won't publish it.
  • In short - stick to legitimate peer-reviewed studies rather than opinion pieces, blog posts, interviews, or unpublished nonsense.

Ok - so that seems straightforward enough right?  So if our antivaxxer friend can post a study proving how vaccines are actually causing more harm than the benefits of said vaccine, this should be a slam dunk.  Honestly I wouldn't even be as picky as I make it seem, so if he could provide me with a summary study that even attempts to compare the risks of vaccination against the benefits I would be happy to discuss it.  Surely if you make such a claim you should have the supporting evidence to back it up, so I might think it someone is so adamant about their statement they might actually have some level of evidence at the ready just in case someone challenges them.

I fully understand it is silly to ask for a study that proves vaccines cause autism or a study that proves vaccines cause more harm than good, because we all know these studies don't actually exist.  Of course I also know antivaxxers refuse to look at the entire body of evidence and they refuse to acknowledge all of the good that has come from vaccinations, thus asking them to provide a study seems only fair.  After all - if you make a claim, it is your duty to support that claim with evidence, and therefore it shouldn't be difficult for Mr. Hubbs to support his wild statements with a study or two.

The Response:

So how does Mr. Hubbs respond to this challenge?  Do you think he is able to follow a few simple rules and provide a study in support of his beliefs?

Not exactly.

The initial volley from Mr. Hubbs should have contained perhaps three or four sentences and a URL pointing to this mythical study of his... but that just won't do for an antivaxxer.  Therefore I present to you the two part response that Mr. Hubbs felt was a logical reaction to a very simple question:

Part 1 of 2:
"This reply will be in two parts.

I am getting more than a little tired of that kind of persistent hypocrisy in your claims, in regard to your own personal attack on me throughout the pages of this blog, and as well in your allowing all the as a fact, slanderous reply comments to be published, that you have. Your continual and false self elevation to some sort of expert here and on these issues, is beyond laughable. A self proclaimed blogging expert with as well absolutely and intentionally, no personal identity. As far as statements of opinion; why is it that you claim to and believe that yours are the only ones that correct; no matter what the subject matter, and no matter how well founded your oppositions claims are.
Look at what you are doing here. All you had to do was publish my original and first reply, and be done with it. But oh no, you refused to do that, and here you are weeks later still avoiding the content of that reply and its reference material. Here you are still making pathetic and repeat false excuses, one after another, for why you could not publish that reply as it was. Here you are as well making reply posting rule after rule, that actually has and had nothing to do with the dis-allowance of that said reply. You simply refuse to allow the truth information and all that unbiased science to be promoted; it is to much truth. Your agenda is NOT truth' and it all to clearly never has been nor ever will be. Your agenda is one of self selective denial.
And don't even go there in any attempt to claim you have not been to my website, as you know exactly what is there, and that is why you refuse to link to any of its pages. You quite clearly used to as well scour the original site in an attempt to find some dirt, and you were never successful. You as well simply refuse to allow any readers know that I have a counter blog to this one, and/or to ever reference to it. What should that tell the readers, when you go on blogging and creating more and more titled blog pages, having never answered to the truth information that exists on that blog? A blog that contains many repeat copies of the rebuttal and correct information replies, you refused to publish on this blog."

Ok so let's go ahead and dissect part one of this comment.  First of all you will note Mr. Hubbs was unable to provide a link to the study that was requested.  This is obviously not unexpected and as I've dealt with more than a few antivaxxers in my time, I fully expected this type of response.

What Mr. Hubbs does offer us is a list of complaints.  He complains about my 'hypocrisy', my identity, the  comments I've published on the blog, the comments I haven't published on the blog, my 'agenda', the rules I've set forth in this discussion, or why I won't link to his many blogs or websites.

Did you catch the part where he actually provided the evidence or the study showing how vaccines are so harmful?  Yes I guess I missed it too... because of course instead of offering some level of evidence, Mr. Hubbs feels his laundry list of complaints are worthy of multiple paragraphs and are more important.

Rest assured however, that Mr. Hubbs wasn't done yet.  Thus he posted the following comment some time later (perhaps after he opted to clam himself down via some Earl Grey tea and yoga).

Part 2 of 2:

"Part 2 of your reply.
You see what you are avoiding here again is any realization as well of the fact that it is not just one study that is the total of the evidence. It is multiple studies and data all showing the same or similar findings. It is when you put that all together, that you have the total package of realization and understanding. So, what are you doing? You are again censoring the reply information you have been given. I do not find it acceptable, nor do I have any desire whatsoever to play along with your twisted censorship games, Editor.

However, even though I have explained to you the situation, and I could give you dozens of good vaccine harm and ASD related studies, I am going to give you a single study, to see what you come up with. Actually I am going to give you two studies, because they are somewhat interlinked as a basic info package. These studies are obviously quite self explanatory. The first one deals with the spectrum of ASIA: ‘Autoimmune (Auto-inflammatory) Syndrome.
The spectrum of ASIA: ‘Autoimmune (Auto-inflammatory) Syndrome induced by Adjuvants
PLoS One. 2009; 4(12): e8382. Published online 2009 December 31.Self-Organized Criticality Theory of Autoimmunity
Systemic autoimmunity appears to be the inevitable consequence of over-stimulating the host's immune ‘system’ by repeated immunization with antigen, to the levels that surpass system's self-organized criticality. (Full study)
By the way; when we get done with this, we can move on to the issue of aluminum vaccine adjuvants, combined with vaccine contamination. Be sure that you as well provide any counter studies in any arguments you make, and just your opinions, are of course, not acceptable. Claims as well from Paul Offit and the CDC, that dietary consumption of mercury and/or aluminum is the same thing as injected forms of it, and claimed to be handled by the human body and detoxed the same way, are as well and of course not acceptable, as it is not backed by any real physiological data nor science."

So again Mr. Hubbs begins his comment with excuses.  Excuses on why such a study (showing vaccines cause more harm than good) doesn't exist.  Excuses on why he can't comply with a simple set of rules.  Excuses on the format of his response.  We've seen this before and such excuses are fully expected.  However then Mr. Hubbs goes on to say he will provide a single study - and then changes that to say he will provide "two studies".

Great - I can work with two studies... two studies isn't a big deal, and if either of them - or both of them combined lead me to believe his statement about vaccines causing more harm than good may have some validity then by all means I'm willing to hear him out.

The problem is, Mr. Hubbs cannot count, and apparently he has no idea what a 'study' is.  He doesn't provide links to just one or even two studies, but instead his comment includes no fewer than nine different links to various documents, summaries, and a few studies.  This isn't to say the studies he references aren't interesting because they are, but the issue is they don't even attempt to claim vaccines cause more harm than good.  So much for following simple rules.

Alas, let's humor our antivaxxer compatriot as we delve down into the fractured mind of a man who has been known to claim 9/11 was an inside job or how you can cure cancer with baking soda.  Surely it will be a fun ride.

The Analysis:

Link Cited:

First, it is probably worth noting the very first link Mr. Hubbs provided isn't even a study.  This begs the question on whether or not Mr. Hubbs really knows what a study actually is, but we will ignore that point for now and discuss the actual content.  What he actually has provided is an article which begins by explaining how a Saudi Sheikh was diagnosed with probable systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and how the disease re-presented itself after a flu vaccine.

Great - so even if we assume the flu vaccine triggered the re-emergence of his auto-immune disease and was 100% responsible this still does not in any way prove that vaccines cause more harm than good.  In fact, the article discloses the fact that he had the condition prior to the vaccine, and it also states the condition was treated with steroids.  This is an example of one person having a reaction to a vaccine, so is the premise here that because one person had a reaction that vaccines on the whole are simply harmful?  Nonsense - that is the logical equivalent of claiming because someone drown in a swimming pool we should ban water.

The article does cite several other articles, summaries, and even a few studies that discuss this same subject matter, and of course Mr. Hubbs actually links to some of them separately later (which I'll discuss below).  There are few interesting statements within this article however. Number one, the article states "[...] although immunization with the flu vaccine is considered safe for most SLE patients, for this particular patient, re-immunization should be considered with caution".  Also, earlier in the same article they authors state "[...]vaccines are beneficial for the vast majority of subjects [...]".  Those statements don't really seem to be very harmful for vaccines but rather they seem to suggest that side effects are rare and that the benefits outweigh the risks.  If this is the best Mr. Hubbs can do, it isn't looking good for him.

Link Cited:

For his second link, Mr. Hubbs shows us an abstract for a proposal entitled 'ASIA' - autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants.  This isn't a study, but rather a review of other data which result in the authors suggesting four conditions (siliconosis, Gulf war syndrome (GWS), macrophagic myofasciitis syndrome (MMF) and post-vaccination phenomena) should be classified as ASIA.

Great - that's helpful I suppose, but there is nothing withing the proposal that provides actual data and it isn't even pretending to be a study so I'm unsure why Mr. Hubbs felt this should be included (other than the fact he most likely copied and pasted this entire series of URLs from a different antivaxxer website).

Link Cited:

Moving on to the third link, it appears Mr. Hubbs finally gets to the point where he has actually provided a link to a study.  This is a supposed study of 114 people (of which 93 are used within the study) diagnosed with immune-mediated diseases following immunization with hepatitis-B vaccine.  There is value to summarizing this data, unfortunately there are some serious flaws with this methodology.  Now I know this will upset antivaxxers, but the fact is this 'study' only looked at people who consulted with legal representation as they blamed their symptoms upon vaccines. Needless to say this isn't exactly the way to perform unbiased research.

Where are the confidence intervals linking the hepatitis B vaccine with the auto immune conditions?  Why didn't they bother to use a control group?  Where is the 'meat' of how they performed their research?  How many of these patients had histories of existing auto-immune diseases?  I wish I could answer these questions, but the information isn't present, so we are left to guess.  What we do know is the authors indicated there were common clinical characteristics which in their view suggests a common denominator in the diseases. Fair enough... but this is far below the burden of proof to suggest vaccines cause more harm than good.

So if we ignore the lack of detail in the study for a moment and simply assume that all 93 of those people had some form of a reaction to the hepatitis B vaccine and that there was no other possible cause of their illnesses, does that therefore mean the vaccine itself is harmful and that it should be eliminated?  Unfortunately the authors don't extrapolate their data to the population as a whole, and we aren't provided with details on how their selected their subjects or what methodology was employed to find them, therefore we can't really know how these numbers would apply to a large population.

We do know however that hepatitis B can lead to liver failure, cirrhosis, and cancer - so it is a serious condition. The American Medical Association (AMA) has indicated that in the US 11,000 people a year are hospitalized as a result of hepatitis B, and according to an article found in the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, around 5,000 people in the US die each year from the disease.  That same article indicates that each year as many as 1,000,000 people worldwide (that is 1 million!) die of hepatitis B-related cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma (cancer).  The article also states the following:
"The incidence of acute hepatitis B in the United States has declined from 8.5 per 100,000 population in 1990 to 2.1 per 100,000 population in 2004, with the greatest declines (94%) in children and adolescents, coincident with an increase in hepatitis B vaccination in these age groups."
So we have a vaccine which has been showing to reduce hepatitis B by over 75% and up to 94% in children and adolescents... yet antivaxxers try to suggest because the vaccine may trigger a re-occurrence of an auto-immune disease this is sufficient reason to eliminate it from the marketplace?

Per the AMA, the hepatitis B vaccines have been administered to more than 20 million people in the US and more than 500 million people in the world, and oddly enough we aren't hearing about thousands upon thousands of vaccine-related deaths or injuries... so doesn't that suggest the vaccine is far more beneficial than harmful?

The truth is, the evidence against the vaccine which suggests it can lead to auto-immune diseases is anecdotal, but even if we assume such a link exists and is certain there still isn't sufficient evidence to suggest the vaccine isn't beneficial.  We know it can prevent people from contracting hepatitis B, we know it will prevent hospitalizations for tens of thousands, and we know it saves thousands of lives each year in the US alone.  Is that not enough evidence to show the vaccine is worthwhile?

Link Cited:

This is an abstract speaking of Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) and how it may be part of the ASIA.  It isn't a study, and the article does not try to claim the aetiology (cause of the disease) of GWS is even known. The article readily admits that GWS could be due to exposure to environmental factors or chemical drugs, vaccinations or the adjuvants in them - but they make no claims, and offer no evidence to support these statements. What this article is attempting to communicate is nothing other than that fact that they feel GWS should be part of the ASIA classification. That may be interesting, but it is not at all useful in this discussion - it appears Mr. Hubbs most likely pasted this link as it was included in a list of ASIA related URLs he found elsewhere. Color me surprised he didn't bother to review the material he was attempting to base his case upon.

Link Cited:

This is yet another article about ASIA. This one specifically relates to "illegal injections of foreign substances for cosmetic purposes" such as silicone, mineral oil, collagen, and other substances. It in no way relates to vaccines, and in no way relates to this discussion.

Once again it is not only clear Mr. Hubbs didn't bother to read beyond the first link or two in this list before pasting it into his message, but it is clear he is unable to follow even the most simple of rules.  Apparently asking for actual medical studies is far too difficult.

Link Cited:

Oh look yet another article about ASIA.  If there was any doubt Mr. Hubbs copied a list of ASIA related links from another website, it seems to have pretty much been confirmed as yet again it appears the material doesn't actually support the statements he is attempting to make.

We have already been shown several articles that discuss what ASIA is... so what is the benefit of offering this one?  Once again this isn't a study, it offers no comparison between risk and reward, it doesn't even attempt to suggest vaccines should be eliminated or reduced, and it speaks in very general terms rather than attempting to blame vaccines for ASIA.  For example, it explains that autoimmune disease may be caused by both genetic and environmental factors, and that those environmental factors can include infections, toxins, drugs, and other agents.  We can't deny that vaccines would fall into this list here, but what conclusion should be drawn from this?  Sadly - Mr. Hubbs doesn't seem to know.

What we do know is the article Mr. Hubbs tries to use as evidence to support his position that vaccines cause more harm than good actually states the following:
"Vaccines have been safely and effectively administered to humans and animals worldwide for 200 years, thereby enabling the elimination of many serious and life-threatening infectious diseases."

It seems to me that the article actually helps promote the idea that vaccines are beneficial.  They do explain there are risks and yes they offer examples, but clearly based upon the body of evidence, even the authors felt it was worth noting that there are significant benefits to vaccines.

Science: Ten Billion.... Antivaxxers: 0.

Link Cited:

This is getting rather repetitive.  This is yet another article (or rather an abstract of an article) that discusses ASIA, and although it doesn't delve into the benefits vs. risks of vaccines, the very first sentence does state that "adjuvants may induce autoimmune diseases in susceptible individuals". (emphasis mine)  So essentially they aren't even claiming adjuvants actually are the root cause of ASIA, but rather they may be in certain cases, when people just happen to have other genetic traits that make them susceptible.

Awesome - isn't that helpful!  Actually, sarcasm aside, it is an interesting article provided you acknowledge the research involved measuring post-vaccination levels of pathogenic antiphospholipid antibodies in genetically prone mice.  Does this help Mr. Hubbs with his case that the risks of vaccinations outweigh the benefits?  Not in the slightest... but at this point it is abundantly clear Mr. Hubbs not only has no idea how to actually read and comprehend this information, he also has no idea how to offer supporting evidence that works for his position rather than directly against it.

Link Cited:

Well I'll give credit to Mr. Hubbs for one thing... at least this one is an actual study. It doesn't do much to suggest the risk of vaccines outweigh the benefits, but it does do a great job at explaining how if you repeatedly inject massive amounts of antigens into mice it may lead to systemic autoimmunity.
The authors of this study admit the levels of antigens they are introducing are beyond the system's "self-organized criticality", and frankly that is what research generally does.  They test to extremes to determine the outcome which would never occur in normal daily life, thus injecting various substances into mice every five days may be the equivalent of injecting 5ml of the exact same antigen into a human every week for several decades.  It isn't that anyone is suggesting we do this of course, and such a test would be unethical, but the researchers are knowingly and willfully going far beyond a level which is considered "normal" in the mice in order to test a theory.

The real problem here isn't with the study at all... but rather Mr. Hubbs interpretation to the study.  In fact the study is testing exposure to massive amounts of antigens, but they are not suggesting this is linked to exposure from vaccines, and they even openly state that "[l]iving organisms are constantly exposed to a broad range of environmental antigens, as exemplified by the recent re-emergence of measles virus infection among a subpopulation of Japanese young adults who were not vaccinated against the virus."

So as you can see, the researchers are actually focused more upon environmental antigens impact those who aren't vaccinated rather than those who are.  That isn't to say someone couldn't be overstimulated via vaccinations, but it appears it would require exponentially more vaccinations than any human being is ever exposed to in multiple lifetimes, because in terms of vaccinations a human wouldn't be exposed to the same antigens dozens, or perhaps even hundreds of times.

Now I fully realize why antivaxxers like these types of studies, because they draw their own conclusions from them which typically result in phrases like "this proves vaccines will cause autoimmune diseases" or "vaccinations will inevitably lead to autoimmune diseases".  The problem here is that these same antivaxxers clearly do not understand how these studies are performed, and they are improperly interpreting the results without understanding the testing methods.

This is sort of like claiming eating tuna will lead to heavy metal poisoning, or that drinking alcohol will lead to liver failure and therefore tuna and alcohol should be outlawed.  Of course we all know eating tuna or drinking alcohol is perfectly healthy in moderation.  The problem is when you consume too much of either - and then there can be side effects.  There can be medical complications, and if you continue down this path long enough it can even lead to death.

The point is, if antivaxxers are so insistent that we eliminate anything that can harm us if exposed to it long enough, they would have to ban everything on the planet including water, oxygen, and sunlight.  Good luck with that.

Link Cited:

This is yet another example of why we know Mr. Hubbs doesn't actually read the content he links to and instead just copies and pastes lists of URLs from antivaxxer websites and blogs.  How do we know this?  Well, if you actually visit the link above you will find it is the exact same study posted previously... but hosted on a different website.  It is as if Mr. Hubbs bragged that he saw both a Mountain Lion AND a Cougar during a recent camping trip and therefore we should be doubly impressed.

Note to Mr. Hubbs:  A Mountain Lion and a Cougar are the same animal.

The Results:

So there you have it.  A list of nine links, not a single one of which actually even attempts to suggest (much less prove) that vaccines cause more harm than good.  Out of the nine we saw several repeated themes, duplicated information, and a general misunderstanding of what constitutes a study, and although the link dump is impressive in terms of the number of websites included, it falls short of actually reinforcing the argument that vaccines cause more harm than good.

The thing is, I won't deny that vaccines have some side effects.  Nobody will deny that.  Nobody will pretend anything consumed by or injected into the human body may not have side effects in some small number of people, because the reality is anything that comes into contact with humans will have side effects to someone.  Some vaccines have contained egg byproducts would be harmful to those with egg allergies - but do we pull all vaccines off the market because of the potential it might cause an allergic reaction?  No.

We understand that with every product on the planet, there are potential risks.  Peanut butter has been known to kill many people, but you won't see anyone protesting in front of the JIF factory claiming it should be banned.  There are even people who are allergic to sunlight (photodermatitis) - so does that mean we should only allow people out at night?  Obviously not.

In short Mr. Hubbs, you didn't show me a study that backs up your previous statements.  At all.  You failed - and to make matters worse you couldn't even come up with this list yourself.  Instead you had to copy and paste it from one of the many lists that originated as part of an antivaxxer movie like this one:

I must ask myself, why is this so hard for antivaxxers?  Why are they unable to provide the evidence that they claim exists, and instead they simply cut and paste various links that not only don't relate to the issue under discussion, but actually include data that specifically counters their arguments?  How incredibly sad.  I'm not sure if I should be saddened that they obviously are unable to understand the material, or simply disgusted that they have these concepts explained to them time and time again yet refuse to acknowledge the facts.

Trying to suggest vaccines cause more harm than good is one thing, but you need to be able to provide evidence to support that view.  I can find a study that shows there are side effects of vaccines, but out of context that is meaningless.  What is required is for someone making such a claim to include information about the benefits of the vaccine as well - and then there can be a comparison.

For example I might claim aspirin is harmful and then link to a study like this one.  I can now prove that aspirin can be a major risk factor and contributor to bleeding events and can even lead to death... but does that tell the whole story?

Not exactly.

Therefore if I wish to be honest, I would also need to factor in the benefits of aspirin.  I could link to an article like this one which details the benefits of aspirin when used for cardiovascular prevention.  Some compare and contrast is required - and ultimately the full picture becomes clear and we soon realize that the risks of taking aspirin are minor, while the benefits many.  This helps explain why you can run down to practically any corner store in the nation and buy a bottle without a prescription, and why millions of doses are taken daily with very few issues.

Thus when it comes to vaccines, we need to be honest about not only the risks, but also the benefits.  Merely listing all of the potential side effects or negative consequences of a vaccine is not being truthful about the issue, thus we need to also consider what benefits may exist.  After all... isn't that the entire point?  If you want to know if the risk outweigh the benefits you can't simply ignore the benefits - you need to address them head on.

Benefits of Vaccines:

Let's look at just one vaccine - the smallpox vaccine.  I've discussed this before, but it bears repeating.

Towards the end of the 18th century, approximately 400,000 Europeans died annually from smallpox. Around that same time, approximately 10% of all children born in Sweden died from smallpox, and even worse one out of every seven Russian children died from the disease.

In the early 1800s, the United States passed a law (aptly named the Vaccine Act of 1813) to ensure the safe and legitimate smallpox vaccine would be available to the public. By the late 1800s, smallpox was effectively eliminated within the US due to the vaccine.  This wasn't just a coincidence, and contrary to what anitvaxxers have tried to suggest, smallpox did not get renamed to something like chickenpox (if you have ever seen images of someone infected with smallpox, you wouldn't even try to suggest such insanity).

Smallpox was responsible for an estimated 300–500 million deaths during the 20th century, and killed approximately 25% of those who were infected (obviously more serious than chickenpox).  Smallpox was killing up to two million people a year as recently as the late 1960s and yet due to a large-scale vaccination initiative, we actually eradicated smallpox in 1979.  It not longer exists in the wild and there hasn't been a case reported since.  Even though many nations on the planet still suffer from a lack of clean drinking water and there are still many diseases spread via a lack of sanitation - we were still able to eliminate smallpox.

So what is the end result?  Well for starters even if we don't factor in the population growth we know the vaccine has saved approximately two million lives a year.  Since 1979 that is 68,000,000 lives saved... all from a single vaccine.  Therefore I must ask the question... are those 68,000,000 lives less important than a small chance that someone, somewhere might suffer a side effect from a vaccine?

When we look at the benefits of other vaccines we see the same picture.  In some developing nations, measles used to kill as many as 34% of those infected by the disease, yet due to a vaccine it is a disease which for the most part can be prevented and in areas where vaccination rates are highest the mortality rate of measles is near zero.  This is yet another example where a vaccine has saved hundreds of thousands or perhaps even millions of lives - so if one wishes to debate the risks vs. benefits, it seems the benefits are many.

Look at the polio vaccine, the pertussis vaccine, the rabies vaccine, or vaccines for diseases like diphtheria, rotovirus, or hepatitis B and you will find much of the same.  Vaccines prevent disease, vaccines prevent suffering, and vaccines prevent death.

In Summary:

I knew asking for evidence from an antivaxxer was an exercise in futility.  The overwhelming evidence that concludes vaccines save lives is irrefutable, and vaccines are commonly held as one of mankind's greatest triumphs.  To suggest the risks of vaccines somehow outweigh the benefits requires one to revise history, to ignore decades upon decades of existing research, and to close their eyes, minds, and hearts to the facts surrounding them.

However let it never be said that I didn't give an antivaxxer a chance.  Mr. Hubbs has obviously failed, and although I know he will twist the facts and distort these words in some vain attempt to pretend he knows more than generations of scientists, doctors, and researchers - the point remains that vaccines save lives.  Vaccines aren't perfect... they likely never will be, but when we let the evidence and facts guide us we can come to no other conclusion that to equivocally state that the benefits of vaccines far, far, far outweigh the risks.

And  this ladies and gentlemen is why you can't bother to argue with an antivaxxer, because they ignore science and facts as they spew nonsense.  They can't support their views even when given the opportunity to do so, and when presented with a detailed analysis of their incoherent ramblings, the only thing they can do is respond with more insults, more denials, and more lies.

I've given then the opportunity to present their case and they failed... the discussion is over and now you can see with your own eyes why I don't bother to engage these people on a regular basis.  Sorry antivaxxers - if you aren't going to bother to read materials before you actually cite them as evidence I see no reason to waste my time engaging you further.

You've had your chance... you blew it.


  1. I've taken to being specific about the question I ask, often sticking to one vaccine. Something like "Provide the PubMed indexed study by a qualified researcher that the DTaP is more dangerous than diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. By qualified researcher I do not mean by anyone whose medical credentials have been legally removed, nor someone with an inappropriate education like law, business, geology, computer science and journalism."

    I get lots of excuses for why they cannot answer the question. Lately the theme is that Big Pharma controls PubMed! There is stuff on the public health people all have a conflict of interest with vaccine makers. Yet they blithely site a paper funded by the Dwoskin Family Foundation (which is associated with NVIC). See the fun here:

    Have fun, Chris
    (I have no idea which identity to use, and Google has decided to add my last name for some unknown reason)

  2. I hear you Chris. It seems every time I challenge an antivaxxer, the response is either some type of an excuse or they simply respond with some random complaint that had nothing to do with the original issue. (Moving the goalposts)

    I'll be checking out that link... thanks!

  3. I'm sorry Mr. Hubbs, but I am not about to publish your list of excuses. Did you really need six comments full of excuses on why you weren't able to provide one single study to prove the original premise?

    I gave you every opportunity to prove that vaccines cause more harm than good, and you provided a list of links many of which actually opined about the benefits of vaccines. One of them even stated vaccines have been "safely and effectively" used for 200 years and that they enable "the elimination of many serious and life-threatening infectious diseases"! Your very own sources work against your original statement!

    Now you are attempting to link to your own personal website, or well known anti-vaccination websites like gaia "health" to show there are issues with vaccines. (Newsflash Mr. Hubbs - you still haven't even bothered to compare benefits of vaccines to risks... and until you start acknowledging benefits of vaccines, it is impossible for you to debate the issue of risk vs. benefit).

    I know it has been stated before but it bears repeating - I'm not going to waste time linking to your personal websites or blogs as they are not legitimate sources. You are not a qualified researcher nor a credible source. I'm sure your mother thinks you're incredibly bright and entirely trustworthy... but I'm not convinced.

    The only reason I engaged you in this discussion was to show how instead of supporting your views with studies you instead rely upon excuses. True to form... you reaffirmed that belief. Now that we have shown the futility in attempting to engage antivaxxers, I'm asking you to refrain from visiting or posting comments here in the future. You have proven you are nothing but a troll, you aren't capable of having an honest discussion about vaccines, you refuse to believe accepted science, you fail to differentiate between a medical study and an opinion, and you have proven you have no desire to allow the data to guide your viewpoint, but rather you let your views determine which sources you wish to speak about versus which you flat out pretend do not exist.

    We are done here Mr. Hubbs. Please move on.

  4. This was such a funny but thoroughly predictable read. I know exactly the frustration of trying to "debate" with these people, unfortunately there are several different "types" of anti-vaccers, some more elaborate than others at attempting to string together a coherent argument and thus more influential over the masses of people they manage to scare and convince.

    Ultimately however, there is usually a common denominator, and that is what I call their ace in the hole, used when cornered. It is what is mentioned above, about pubmed being "controlled" and any credible journal being "owned" or "controlled" (Of course it's perfectly legitimate for them to post a link to one if they are of the belief it backs up their point, it's not controlled then... even though it never does actually back up their point. What you usually get is an article written by some quack on an anti-vax website extrapolating wildly from a study and posting the link at the bottom because most readers will be too lazy to click the link, they will just see "" and think "omg science i win, this guy has evidence").

    Once a debate has regressed to your official sources, WHO statistics, peer-reviewed journals etcetera being a product of the illuminati there really is nothing you can do but walk away from the "debate". Anyway I admire your enthusiasm and I really like your blog, keep up the good work.


    1. Funny you mention it Matt... I actually had an antivaxxer just post asking for unbiased studies proving vaccines are safe and effective, but he claimed there could be no "big vaccine or HHS involvement".

      So yes - it seems you are correct about the tactics used when they are cornered and unable to support their views with any form of legitimate evidence. I can't even begin to count the number of times these people have asked me to prove a negative (such as proving vaccines DON'T cause autism) when they have been unable to provide proof in support of their claims.

      And so it goes.

  5. Nice job with limiting the amount of studies. We need to keep that information down to a minimum. I work for Sanford. I have looked at his information top to bottom and it is extremely damaging. If that were to be general public knowledge there would be no children and no one getting vaccines and everyone would be looking for the alternative health solutions. This guy is unreal and where did that come from? Who knew when they went to medical school, any of that information. None of us did. I would be a bit concerned with Hubbs though and he apparently has some connections that involve a situation that in which you definitely do not want your identity ever to be known, and as that could be extremely dangerous if that were to happen. They are big gun mafia connections and they have some major hacking abilities so I was told. Just a heads up on that.

    1. You crack me up Hubbs. You might not be very bright, but at least you are entertaining.

      Now take your "big gun mafia connections" and "major hacking abilities" back to your sandbox. This blog is for adults and you've proven you don't qualify.

  6. Lowell is only able to cut/paste a pile of studies in the futile hope that it's enough to be convincing that he understands vaccines and the science behind them.

    For anyone that's actually had a science class, we can see right through him.

  7. That was not my reply post, and again you have made another false accusation accusing of a reply being made by me, that was not; and again just as you have been clearly seen and proven to do before.

    1. Sure thing Hubbs. I'm sure there are two people who frequent this blog that both have such a severe misunderstanding of grammar and sentence structure, who enjoy referencing Sanford, "mafia connections", and "major hacking abilities", who use the same browser and who also happen to live in the same geographic area.

      Makes sense.

      Sorry about missing this wonderful comment earlier. It was found in the spam folder.

  8. You will still be lying about it all and slandering anyone in your path when we cut your head off and mail it to Sanford in a box, with a note "this is the blogging editor Costner .....the sick and twisted vaccine truth denialist". You will as as fact need to hide the rest of your life.

    1. Yes - this is the class level that Lowell Hubbs has to sink to. Making threats about cutting people's heads off... is there any wonder why nobody will 'debate' this tool? Is there any wonder why I haven't bothered to give him my real name and address? Is there any wonder why he cannot be taken seriously? Is there any wonder why this guy has spent so much time behind bars?

      Not only is Lowell Hubbs a mentally unstable anti-vaccinationist who can't actually argue a point without resorting to logical fallacies, but he is also a wannabe online bully who makes idle threats that he thinks are 'anonymous' on the Internet.

      Nice try Hubbs - if I was actually concerned about you I'd contact law enforcement, but considering you are about as scary as a six year old girl selling lemonade on the street corner... I'm not too worried.

      Stay classy buddy.

      Oh and before you deny this was you Mr. Hubbs - you should probably know a few things. First of all, you continually confused slander with libel even though it has been pointed out to you several times.

      Second, you reference Sanford - and aside from a few local individuals here, the bulk of the visits to this blog come from outside the area, and thus most of these individuals would have no idea who or what Sanford even is.

      Third, you continually refer to me as "blogging editor Costner", a "blogging editor", or variations of the those names. Nobody else who has ever posted a comment has referred to me by anything other than Editor as that is the name associated with the blog.

      Fourth, you use the phrase "sick and twisted" which is a signature line used in many of your comments. It is almost as common as you writing "to much truth" (including the incorrect version of 'too').

      Fifth, you use the phrase "vaccine truth denialist" which is a phrase I have never heard or read that originated anywhere other than your mind. You have a blog with that phrase and any search of that phrase returns back to you. I suppose you think you're clever by using it as a retort to vaccine conspiracy theorist, but in truth it just shows your level of ignorance as you aren't even intelligent enough to know how grammatically incorrect it even is.

      Sixth, your sentence structure and word choice - even including your grammatical errors - is much like a fingerprint, and you find yourself using the same cliche phrases time and time again. Thus when you say "you will as as (sic) fact" what you really mean is "you will as a fact" which is a phrase you commonly use in comments, on your blog, and elsewhere as you attempt to sound more intelligent than you actually are.

      So yes Mr. Hubbs, I know this is your comment even before digging beyond the surface. You are a sad, sad excuse for a human being, and I take personal enjoyment from showing the world your true colors.

      We haven't had a post outlining your mental instability lately... maybe this comment should become a post of its own?

    2. Physical threats of violence from an ex-felon?

      Hrmm.. that should be reported to Mr. Hubbs' local authorities.

    3. He is harmless. He suffers from Internet Toughguy Syndrome... but in the real world he is a sad, pathetic man who blames everyone else for his failures.

  9. I find it entirely ridiculous that you refused to publish my reply stating that the first or previous reply post was not mine, and then again publish another reply post that as well is NOT mine. You just again and again as you go, and make stuff up and whatever will fit your twisted needs and means. How many times have you previously accused another reply commenter on this blog, of being me? And even after that person told you it wasn't, and it becomes all to obvious that you were wrong, you still continue with your charade. You simply can't be wrong. You see, in your mind you are so delusional that it is and becomes impossible for anyone on the planet earth to ever or have ever sent you a reply on this blog that is anything other than singling praises to vaccines and so called modern medicine, and your twisted titled pages. If anyone opposed your rantings, then you assume it had to be me; and you call me the unstable one. How ridiculous.

    You take a two sentence reply and then turn it into a 13 paragraph response that only again shows the depth of your twisted, ranting and and very angry mind. Now that is all to classic of your endlessly in denial and always attempting to invent the means in your twisted mind, to personally attack me. Over 100 pages right here, of what you know has been from day one intended as a personal attack against one man, me. That is some major some major obsession you have going on there, the editor. One man conducting that attack with absolutely no identity of his own. And you don't think there was anyone reading this blog in the first 50 or more titled pages, when you were referred to by your old character name used on the Argus online, and the one one blogged with at its earliest date in 2007, as Costner Matthews; another obviously fictitious name that you were using for no known reason, before you ever even knew who I was? That is is some pretty strange stuff you have had going on for a long time. You want to talk about mental instability, look at your own rambling writings and then take a look in the mirror. Wow, you as the editor, couldn't get more unstable and objectionable as person anyone would ever want to and desire to go to for the correct, honest, and truthful information, if you tried. The brainwashed denialist's probably like your work, because they need to stay in denial, and as well keep everyone else in denial. One thing you seem to have confused here, is that those people do not even matter. The only people who do matter are those looking for honest and correct truth, and those that are willing to accept the unbiased information. For your highly hypocritical anonymous blogging plan to have actually worked, and for you to believe it did, is to assume that the whole world is just as mindless and brainwashed as you and your followers are. In your delusional world, that all obviously is and would need to be complete reality, in your mind. Such is not reality at all, and perhaps it is long past time that you faced it.

    1. Hey it wasn't a 13 paragraph response... it was only 12! At least give me some credit.

      Besides Mr. Hubbs, you post a comment with two paragraphs which should have been 10. Sure seems like a long way to go to claim the original comment wasn't you (when we both know it was regardless of how much you wish to pretend it wasn't).

      It's fine Mr. Hubbs - it doesn't really change anything. I knew you were mentally unstable before your comment, and I know you are still mentally unstable after it. Nothing much has changed here.

      As far as an obsession goes, if you would stop adding idiotic comments to this blog I wouldn't have to write about you. I've told you more than a few times to just go away as I have many other vaccine related topics to discuss, but you are like a comment addict. You just can't seem to give it up, and you don't appear satisfied until you have added five or ten comments to each and every post we publish.

      Let me be clear Mr. Hubbs - you do not seem to find this blog valuable nor do you feel it matters. So I must ask... why do you keep coming here? Why have you added hundreds upon hundreds comments to it? Why do you keep the link in your Google Chrome bookmarks bar and why do you not only spend an incredible amount of time visiting here, but you actually have taken the time to invent clever stories about hacking and child predators and secret video cameras and payoffs and hitmen and whatever else.

      Why not just drink a cup of tea and relax a bit? It surely seems you get no value from this blog, and aside from you offering some comedic value and the occasional comment which becomes fodder for yet another post showing how insane vaccine conspiracy theorists are, we don't get much value from you either.

      My advice? Move on. Go for a bike ride. Read a book. Reflect on your life, and maybe contribute to society rather than remaining a drain upon it. Food for thought my friend.

    2. I second the 'go for a bike ride'.

      I don't want him behind the wheel of a car ever again.

  10. Sadly Mr. Hubbs can't seem to stay away from this blog for very long. His latest comment was nothing more than a link to one of his favorite YouTube videos coupled with a high-level of profanity and more direct insults towards me. Of course the actual video had nothing to do with vaccines nor did any of his comments, but even if they did I wouldn't have been able to publish it due to his potty mouth.

    I suppose it should be of no surprise when someone can't debate facts and can't rely upon legitimate evidence to support a point they revert to childlike behavior such as calling names, resorting to profanity, and trying to post comments using sockpuppet accounts. As always, Hubbs is a classy guy.

  11. Hm interesting article. Sure it fails to mention that vaccines are not studied for infertility, carcinogenic factors or genetic mutations. Your asking for something that doesnt exist on a high level factor. So when you say vaccines are safe- are you saying they dont cause immediate death and complications? Clearly the author of this article hasnt done their research. For most diseases that we have vaccines for- there was a steady decline PRIOR to vaccination. Any disease not in that category was not recognized or didnt exist as a disease in the 1700's, 1800's or early mid 1900's. I find it hilarious that you expect Mr. Hubbs to require paid education- like that is the only way to get education is to pay for it and recieve a degree. One can freely educate themselves. Did you know that Albert Claude was a high school drop out? He didnt even complete a full year of medical school.And yet your foundation of many bio-celluar concepts depends on his theory. The only thing that vaccines do is create artifical disease by injecting healthy subjects with products of disease- that may or may not create manifestations. The concept of vaccines is not immunity based. Its tolerance based. Educate yourself to understand the difference.

    1. "So when you say vaccines are safe- are you saying they dont cause immediate death and complications?"

      Vaccines are studied in many different ways, but all complications that arise after a vaccination are considered. Whether it be something such as a rash at the injection site, to a separate medical issue that arises a year later, everything is researched. That is why we have systems like VAERS and why the body of knowledge continues to grow.

      Of course we can never say anything is 100% without risk or 100% safe, but we know the impacts of vaccines and we know the impacts without. We know the incidence of Vaccine Preventable Disease (VPD) is far less within the vaccinated population, and since many of these diseases lead to serious medical complications up to and including death, we also are able to determine that yes... vaccines save lives.

      There are literally thousands of studies on the subject - but it is not fair to say the only aspect of vaccines being studied is whether or not people actually die after receiving them.

      "For most diseases that we have vaccines for- there was a steady decline PRIOR to vaccination."

      Sorry Simon, but that is an anti-vaxxer talking point which has no evidence to support it. I've addressed that in the past with Measles and Polio and shown it to be incorrect, but more importantly antivaxxers are unable to show it to be factual.

      Until you have some solid evidence to support that theory (not the cherry picked numbers some of you like to use where you only look at numbers every five or ten years but ignore the higher rates of infection in the remaining years), there really isn't anything left to discuss on the issue.

      "I find it hilarious that you expect Mr. Hubbs to require paid education- like that is the only way to get education is to pay for it and recieve (sic) a degree."

      On the contrary, I believe people can educate themselves in a variety of ways. Independent research is fine, but one must allow the data to lead them to conclusions, and they must be able to demonstrate their proficiency and knowledge of subject matter. Mr. Hubbs has shown he is incapable of doing any of these things, and he firmly believes copying statements from third party anti-vaccine blogs or websites (no matter how unsubstantiated the claims are) and in turn pasting them into his own blog or website somehow equates to 'research'.

      So do I require someone to have a degree before I will accept they are educated on an issue? No... but one must admit it is an easy way to determine how well versed they might be on the subject matter.

      "The only thing that vaccines do is create artifical (sic) disease by injecting healthy subjects with products of disease"

      Great... then you should have no problem proving this with some evidence and peer-reviewed research right?

      What's that... you mean you aren't able to and you would rather just run around spewing unsupported claims like the typical anti-vaxxer? Color me shocked.

    2. You lose all credibility with your condescending tone.......
      Secondly, none of this is a joking matter
      Thirdly, my daughter died after her DTaP and four years later my younger daughter was on her death bed after her MMR shot.
      How many more chances (or children) should I sacrifice for the great cause !

    3. First, if you determine credibility based upon tone rather than content, it wouldn't surprise me to learn you believe the information spewed from anti-vax websites.

      Second, I don't believe anyone ever said vaccines and the diseases they prevent are a joking matter. However some of the people who are so clearly anti-vax but pretend to be unbiased most certainly are, and those who are ignorant to the scientific method are nothing short of pathetic.

      Third, I'm sympathetic to anyone who has ever lost a child or had to sit by while their child lay in a hospital suffering. If you actually have lost a child then my sympathies go out to you. However, I'm sure you will understand that I'm skeptical about what someone claims on the Internet, and I'm even more skeptical when they seem to confuse correlation with causation.

      Of course a parent is free to believe whatever they wish, but that doesn't mean it is the truth. This may seem cold, but I've dealth with enough anti-vaxxers to know they have zero problem making up stories as they appeal to emotion. They all seem to have a story about some random child who was 'injured' by a vaccine, but anecdotes and third party accounts are never enough to dictate public policy.

      Finally, for those parents who really do lose children due to reactions from vaccines... are their children any more precious than those of parents who lost children from vaccine preventable disease? If you really wish to ban vaccines or reduce their usage, how do you plan to console a mother who loses her child to the measles? How can you console parents who lose three of their four children to an outbreak of pertussis?

      If we have any sense of humanity we acknowledge that there is no difference between a child who dies from disease vs. a child who dies from a reaction to a vaccine. However what we do know is there is exponentially more risk to not being vaccinated than there is by being vaccinated, and the number of children who are stricken with vaccine preventable diseases far, far outweighs the fraction of a percent which suffer a side effect from vaccines.

      So if we put emotion aside, and if we based our decisions upon the greater good... then there is no alternative than to promote and recommend vaccination whenever and wherever possible.

  12. So Im writing you before my class starts- I only read up to paragraph 4. In regards to my statement that says: "diseases were in decline prior to vaccines"
    are based on the official death numbers as recorded in the Official Year Books of the Commonwealth of Australia a book thats in my library, (Note: Graphical evidence on the decline in death rates from infectious disease for USA, England, New Zealand and many other countries shows the exact same scenario as above. Also can be found in the death rate statisics per country. Death rate statistics dont require peer reviewed research.

    1. Well I hope in your studies you choose better sources than well known biased websites with obvious agendas that have previously been debunked numerous times.

      For example, if you are going to site Vaccination Liberation and rely upon their graphs, you should probably read this:

      SBM: Intellectual Dishonesty

      The first thing you need to understand is you are confusing the incident rate of the disease with the death rate. All of the graphs you have shown here are for death rates... which have nothing to do with the rate at which the diseases were spreading.

      We know fewer people were dying from diseases such as polio and whooping cough because medicine was advancing and doing a much better job of keeping people alive. There was a point where a disease such as diphtheria would have been almost a death sentence, but with the advance of medicine and treatments more and more people survived the disease.

      Now go out and view charts that show the INCIDENCE rate rather than the death rate... they look very, very different:

      Measles Incidence Rate

      You might also be interested to know that prior to a smallpox vaccine, up to 25% of those infected would actually die from the disease. Yes... 25%! That was happening as recently as the 1950s - so are you going to suggest smallpox was on the decline on its own and that the vaccine had nothing to do with it?

      Rather than me repeating what I have written elsewhere, you might wish to review this prior post:

      Whats the Harm in Avoiding Vaccines

      So in summary, if you are going to attempt to show that diseases were on a sharp decline prior to vaccinations, then you need to focus upon incidence rate... not just death rate. Your desire to focus upon death rate is either due to an ignorance about the diseases, an ignorance about treatment methods, an ignorance about history, or a deliberate attempt to mislead (aka intellectual dishonesty).

      I'm not sure what types of classes you are taking, but I hope they teach critical thinking and that they help teach you how to allow the evidence to lead you to conclusions rather than relying upon confirmation bias.

      Edit: Added URL tags

  13. The fact that all you could produce "the editor" was and to show the so called infectious disease incidence rates, was to produce a single and obviously biased graph, put forth by the CDC, showing simply the measles rates to drop off into the dirt right after the introduction of measles vaccine; would you not call that straight and smooth line, immediately suspicious? One set of rules for you and the acceptable data, and one set of rules for them, right?

    Your only other reference was an article by the most infamous denialist of all, David Gorski, (aka, Orac), that as well used the same CDC graph. All of the phony CDC graphs have always shown the same thing; and what real evidence are they based on? They are based on nothing but their own incorrect and unwitting and intentionally incorrect and unwittingly fake numbers. Same thing with the WHO, and where is their actual evidence; there is none. See diseases, now we do not see them, its vaccine smoke and mirrors, magic. It is certainly not science, nor even actual historical record; as the original records in the relevant time period, show entirely a different and opposite story than vaccine success. The articles as well written in those relevant time periods of small pox and polio, and recorded with the true numbers by persons living at the time; also show an opposite story than vaccine success. Your only other evidence, the editor; was only a reference to your own previous blog page. I am wondering if you could create any response at all to any of this, the editor; if not for the availability of going and copying what the gone mad denialist Gorski has written?

    So, to recap this for you, "the editor"; all you could site was a single graph put forth by the CDC, and when you check their references for that graph, they come from nothing but a link to Paul Offits site, which as well has no historical reference, and a link to Stanley A. Plotkin, MD and Walter A. Orenstein, MD, which also have no actual historical reference. So, all that amounts to is the CDC citing themselves as a historical perspective authority. But yet even at that you are jumping at it ready to swipe off the table any and all information that does have a true historical reference background to it, often as well recorded by those that were there at the day and time of such as small pox and polio. Nothing would be enough.

    After all the pro-vaccine sides insistance that vaccines have saved millions of lives, thus meaning preventing death; when the time to prove your case comes, all you can do is claim to that the death rates prior to vaccines and after, thus mean absolutely nothing, and begin claiming to that all of it can be explained away by a hodge podge of twisted in denial rhetoric. You the editor, nor anyone else can produce the evidence that vaccines ever caused eradication of any of the so called diseases, such as polio, small pox, nor measles. Your evidence claimed to is all anecdotal, and it is NOT science, nor does it follow any sceintific method, and more than any of your vaccine safety and effectivness claims. Yet when it comes to the vaccine harm done producing more harm than good, you reject both the parental anecdotal evidence, the VAERS evidence, the scientific study evidence, and any evidence of the facts at all, that do not come from the CDC, Offit, and the provaccine side.

    1. Mr. Hubbs - why do you continue to frequent this site when you claim this blog doesn't matter and that it is worthless and that it has no value?

      Since you seem to have missed the point of the graph I cited, let me try again. Even if you disagree with the numbers that graph shows, you cannot disagree that there is a vast difference between INCIDENCE rates and DEATH rates. When people claim diseases were in sharp decline prior to vaccinations being developed, they need to show us the incidence rates.

      Simon fell into that all-too-common antivaxxer trap of purposefully trying to confuse death rates with incidence rates. I personally don't care if you trust the CDC numbers, but if not then by all means show me another study that displays incidence rates before you claim diseases were on the decline prior to the widespread availability of vaccines.

      I wish I could say I'm surprised this rather simple concept went over your head, but sadly I'm not. You also seem to have a misunderstanding of what anecdotal evidence is. Anecdotal evidence would be saying "I know of a man who received a flu vaccine and a month later came down with the flu". You cannot research this claim, you cannot use the scientific method to verify it, and this claim isn't representative of a larger group of people who have received a flu vaccine.

      Empirical evidence on the other hand can rely upon the scientific method. It is based upon observation of a group and includes tests, comparisons, and in many cases even requires peer review. This would be like saying "these 300 people received a flu shot, and as of 12 months later the rate of infection in the sample group was x% lower than the control group".

      These are basic scientific concepts Mr. Hubbs. I'm not sure why you claim I'm relying upon anecdotal evidence, because it is in fact the opposite. I won't claim there is no value in anecdotes because they may trigger research into a specific subject... but they surely are not something I would use to draft public policy.

      So the next time you read where someone claims "they knew a person..." or "they heard about a guy..." try to put on your critical thinking cap for a moment and realize that such anecdote are hardly on the same plane as a legitimate peer-reviewed study which may contain thousands of test subjects.

      Now again you have wasted even more of my time. You continually complain about this blog, you continually complain about me, and when I don't post your comments you resort to insults, profanity, sockpuppet accounts, and most recently even (more) threats of violence. I honestly see no reason why you continue to appear here, nor do I feel you add any value to the discussion.

      Since you have made it very clear you do not have an open mind and you are not willing to even listen to the opposing viewpoint I am still confused as to why you continue to believe you should be given equal time.

      I'm sure you have other interests more worthy of your time such as watching videos of your favorite band "Five Finger Death Punch" on YouTube or taking a bike ride on Prairie Avenue while contemplating where your life has gone wrong. I'd encourage you to do either of the above rather than posting further.

      Good day.

  14. As far as those of us in the know, "the editor", in regard to the decline in diseases, we don't use the Obomsawin graphs due to the reasons of obvious controversy as to it and some claimed to incomplete years of data. We have enough other evidence for our claims, and without it.

    The fact is that the Vaclib graphs and data that Simon Flexcrit, in their reply gave you; are NOT even from the Obomsawin graphs. Review it again and check the actual data sources. So why, "the editor", have you yet to this point failed to address those real graphs and the data, and only replaced it with an obviously biased and highly questionable and as said, CDC graph? You only thing you did here was replaced that real data and information, with a single CDC graph that has no historical resource at all, but a claimed to all knowing CDC. This is the best you can do, even by going and quoting the infamous denialist, Gorski?

    These below are and were the said sources:

    Vaccines Did Not Save Us – 2 Centuries Of Official Statistics

    1. Your first link (which is the same link Simon used and the same link I discussed previously) shows DEATH rates. This has nothing to do with INCIDENCE rates.

      Your second link is from the same source as the first, and again every graph is using DEATH rates... not incidence rates.

      Your third link once again shows charts that discuss DEATH rates... not incidence rates. I think we see a trend here.

      Your fourth link (again - as if we are surprised here) shows DEATH rates... not incidence rates.

      Is now a good time to explain to you that mortality rate is the same thing as death rate? Either way it has nothing to do with incidence rates.

      It is painfully obvious you aren't capable of even discussing the issue at hand here since you most certainly do not understand it. You cannot claim vaccines were on the decline if your only evidence to support this theory are multiple websites that rely upon the same charts that are all focused upon death rates.

      Posting the same information time and time again adds no value here. You have shown you don't understand the issue at the heart of this discussion and until you do there is nothing further to discuss.

      I know you enjoy dumping multiple links to the same information Mr. Hubbs... trust me, I've seen you do it many times. However perhaps one day you will realize citing the same information multiple times does not give you more credibility - in fact it has the exact opposite effect.

      I've given you ample opportunity both now and many times in the past. You refuse to understand the issues and instead you leap ahead as if you have a smoking gun. I'm sorry Mr. Hubbs, but this is why you cannot be taken seriously and why nobody bothers to 'debate' you... because you are incapable of actually following the guidelines of an actual debate.

      I'm a patient person - but I am not patient enough to have to explain the same concepts to you time and time again when you won't even take time to understand the subject we are actually discussing. If you haven't discerned the difference between incidence rates and death rates by now, and if you actually believe you can prove diseases were on the decline prior to the implementation of vaccination programs by citing graphs which are centered on death rates... then you are either incredibly obtuse or the world's greatest troll.

      Either way I'm done with you. Please move on.

  15. Mr. Hubbs - I said I'm done and I meant it. I am not going to post any more of your comments since you still are too ignorant to understand you cannot claim diseases were on the decline by referring only to death rates.

    Read this again... slowly. The incidence rate of a disease (rate of infection and/or rate of transmission) is not the same thing as a death rate. Let's use a simple example with small numbers that may not confuse you. For instance let's say 100 people had polio in a single year and 25 of them died. The next year 100 people had polio, but only 10 of them died. The year after that a polio vaccine is released and only 50 people are infected with polio and only 5 die.

    Based upon your logic since mortality was already falling, then the vaccine did no good. Yet looking at the actual number of people INFECTED by the disease (rather than focusing only on those who actually died) we can see there is a bigger story.

    Let me be frank here - people who focus upon mortality rates to suggest vaccines don't work are being dishonest about the real facts. They are deliberately lying about history in an attempt to confuse the issue. In the past I would have said perhaps they are simply ignorant to the difference between mortality and incidence, but in this case it has been explained numerous times and you refuse to acknoledge such a difference exists... thus it is clear you are being intellectually dishonest on purpose, and I haven't the time nor desire to engage you further.

    You're done Mr. Hubbs. I will not post any more of your comments on the matter because you show displayed a complete misrepresentation of the issue. Now please go away as you have been promising to do for months.

  16. Ah, things are making a lot more sense now! I had some dialogue with this Hubbs guy in the comments of another blog, and I finally just had to Google him because I had to find out whether he was really as delusional as he seemed. And it appears that he is quite the nutter, from many sources :)


  17. Ben Goldacre of The Guardian, of "Bad Science", fame.. speaks clearly in his book about peer-reviewed and Journal Reporting in his 2012 book, "Bad Pharma."
    Wish we could believe what the medical industry tells us.. we just can't.
    He's also published a TedMed..

    1. Is the peer-review process perfect? Clearly not - it originally allowed the now-entirely-discredited Dr. Andy Wakefield to get his fraud published in a respected Journal. However, the process is far, far better than some random lone individual publishing material and then quoting himself as so many anti-vaxxers do.

      Real science stands up under scrutiny, and the system allows for effective challenge of published conclusions. That is how things are supposed to work and why even antivaxxers have a habit of bragging when they see something is peer-reviewed and suggests vaccines aren't perfect (even when the journal itself is something like Medical Veritas).


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