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User talk:HeartOfGold/VaccineDebate

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Okay, I will debate anybody, and I mean anybody, on childhood vaccines. But since I am so outnumbered, I request that we keep it to one or two opponents.

Debate[edit]

First question[edit]

First Question: What's the deal with (mandatory childhood) chicken pox vaccine? Nobody dies from Chicken pox. Nobody. Children who do die from chicken pox, die as a result of complications, e.g., staphylococcus infections or complications due to suppressed immune symptoms (e.g., HIV/AIDS).

When I was a child, my mother took me to my cousin's because he had chicken pox. The chicken pox vaccine is not approved as a vaccine to prevent Shingles. (If it were, I would reconsider). Children who have been vaccinated against chicken pox may be far worse off if they get Chicken pox at the age of 25. Likewise, parents who refuse the chicken pox vaccine may be risking more severe complications when the vaccine effectiveness is attenuated, and their children get Chicken pox later on in life when it is more dangerous. This is how it works: The big drug companies come up with a vaccine. Without thinking about the consequences, they simply lobby the government to make the vaccine "mandatory." This is *the* classic case of why it is better to be conservative. What are the unintended consequences of "mandatory" chicken pox vaccines?

Response to question 1[edit]

These are all legitimate questions. One of the reasons to vaccinate is that, although the rate of serious complications from chickenpox is low (but, as you say, rises into adulthood), the number of cases is very high. About 4,000,000 people per year get chickenpox (pre 1995 when the vaccine was introduced). Of these, approximately 5000-10,000 were sick enough each year to require hospitalization, and approximately 100 per year died. This makes chickenpox the greatest vaccine-preventable killer of children in the U.S. This is far higher than the vaccine complication rate. Serious complications that may be related to the vaccine occur in about 1 in 50,000 vaccination events, so if 20 million people are vaccinated, 400 serious events might occur. Also, if you avoid chickenpox, then you avoid shingles, an illness which does have considerable morbidity, esp later in life. If enough people get vaccinated, then even if immunity wanes with time, there will be herd immunity and adults with fading immunity are less likely to be exposed. Same goes for adults who forgot to get pox as kids...if the population is vaccinated, they are protected.--PalMD-Talk 23:30, 25 May 2007 (CDT)

follow-up to Response to question 1[edit]

According to my research, it is on the order of 100 per year (50-100), and it is not due to chicken pox, but due to complications (e.g, staph infection, suppressed immune system, etc.) Yet the vaccine is being "required" for of all children, not just children who may have more serious complications. Also, staph infections are orthogonal to chicken pox. I got a staph infection in my elbow after a very minor scrap. This argues for a staph vaccine, not a chicken pox vaccine.

Also, regarding ~100/year, this is on the same order of the number of children who drown in buckets, toilets, and other containers each year.[1] In 1952, 3,145 children died from polio. But of course, education and chlorinated pools did as much, if not more, to stem the epidemic.

On a side note, is the "herd" terminology medical terminolgy, or a reflection of your view of human beings? (Not intended as an ad hominem, though it sounds like one.) HeartGold tx 03:05, 26 May 2007 (CDT)

Response to follow-up[edit]

Even if the severe reactions and death are not due directly to varicella, but due to complications thereof, then by vaccinating against varicella, you eliminate the possibility that those complications can occur. As far as a vaccination for staphylococcus, there are a number of reasons why vaccination isn't feasible, notably that staph is everywhere. Vaccination only works when a disease is confined to the human population, or when vector transmission from another host to the human population is rare. The UNO was able to eradicate smallpox (chicken pox's ugly cousin) because no animal outside of humans carries it. Chicken pox as a disease will never be eradicated, but since chickens are the only other source of infection, we can severely limit exposure and transmissability within humans. With regards to the prospect of vaccinating just those who are likely to suffer severe reaction, there's not a way to predetermine which children will suffer severe reaction or death. Additionally, if I vaccinate only one child out of 20, then that child will be surrounded by the infections of 19 other children which may break through the vaccination. And furthermore, an incomplete population vaccination invites the disease to evolve to overcome the vaccination (much like antibiotic resistance) and then we are back to square one. Vaccination is an all or nothing prospect which is designed not to protect individuals, but to protect the herd (more on that shortly).

To your second point regarding 100 deaths per year, and comparing this to the number of children that die in container drowning accidents: No one is suggesting that child death can be eliminated altogether, but we have a preventable cause of death and it would be unethical not to vaccinate to prevent the deaths of these children, not to mention the serious suffering of the 5-10 thousand others who would have to deal with severe reactions to varicella. If we look at just these two groups (container drowning, and varicella victims) we can decide to lose 100 children or lose 200 children.

Lastly, "herd immunity" is an epidemiological term, not a value judgment. Let me give you an example. You have a population A in which there is an endemic infection with a transmission rate Alpha. Depending on the Alpha value, some of population A (the health population) will become part of population B (the sick population). Depending on the Beta value (the mortality rate) some of population B will die (and end up in population C). A herd immunity will occur when enough of population A is vaccinated (which effectively removes them from population A, and puts them into population A*) so that when you take the remaining population A and multiply by the Alpha value, you end up with a number less than 1. Although you may not have vaccinated every single member of the population, you have vaccinated enough that the disease cannot continue to pass from person to person within the population, and future infections will be rare, and of those that do become infected, death will be incredibly rare. Stile4aly 12:43, 28 May 2007 (CDT)

Response to Stile4aly (Q1)[edit]

Thanks. I respond to some points.

If we look at just these two groups (container drowning, and varicella victims) we can decide to lose 100 children or lose 200 children.: You have to look at cost and unintended consequences. While this has obviously been done with regard to buckets (we still have buckets, because the unintended consequence of banning buckets is rationally worse than the problem.) With regard to chicken pox, big pharmaceuticals are not concerned with unintended consequences, just profit, regulatory approval, and lobbying to make their vaccine mandatory.HeartGold tx 12:57, 28 May 2007 (CDT)

I think you're being overly critical of big pharmaceutical companies. As MiddleMan says below, they're hardly charities, but vaccination isn't a lucrative business. The money's not in the cure, it's in those incurable diseases where you have to take ongoing treatments. Stile4aly 15:09, 28 May 2007 (CDT)

Even if the severe reactions and death are not due directly to varicella, but due to complications thereof, then by vaccinating against varicella, you eliminate the possibility that those complications can occur. But you do not prevent other complications from arising. E.g., a child exposed to staph might still be exposed to staph, as children often have scraps and bruises.HeartGold tx 12:57, 28 May 2007 (CDT)

We're talking about different things. In cases where people have severe reactions to chicken pox, the immune system goes into what's called a cytokine storm which is a form of immune shock. Because the immune system is severely depressed, other opportunistic infections can arise such as staph. If you're vaccinated against chicken pox then your immune system will not become depressed and those opportunistic infections will not arise. You may still contract staph from a non-opportunistic infection, but it won't be aided and abetted by chicken pox.Stile4aly 15:09, 28 May 2007 (CDT)

And furthermore, an incomplete population vaccination invites the disease to evolve to overcome the vaccination (much like antibiotic resistance) and then we are back to square one. Vaccination is an all or nothing prospect which is designed not to protect individuals, but to protect the herd (more on that shortly). This problem exists independent of rate of vaccination in the population. One might argue that by creating an environmental vacuum for chicken pox, you are inviting the evolution of other organisms to exploit this niche. Time will tell. Chairman Mao decided that the impact of birds was so great on crop yields that he had the Chinese masses kill birds for three days (during the Great Leap forward or Cultural revolution). The effort was quit successful. People killed birds, climbed trees, destroyed bird eggs, banged pots and pans allowing birds no Earthly refuge, until birds would literally fall from the sky exhausted. Of course, the birds had an unknown (to Chairman Mao) role in the ecosystem. Famine ensued when other crop pestilence had no natural enemy.HeartGold tx 12:57, 28 May 2007 (CDT)

I agree, we're creating an environmental vacuum into which other virus may eventually migrate, but in the mean time we may have 100 or more years of respite from the disease. Smallpox was eradicated 30 years ago, and there has been no new disease to take its place (though monkeypox may eventually fill this niche). Polio has been eradicated in the US for about the same period of time, and is about to be eradicated world wide. Nothing appears to be close to taking its place. Humanity will always have to deal with disease, but to say that we shouldn't deal with the ones we have because something else may happen in the future is to abdicate our responsibility to the many who will die while we sit on our hands. I personally hold that the eradication of smallpox is the greatest feat in human history. Over its history, smallpox killed more humans than anything else, and we eradicated it. Now,to compare varicella to the Great Sparrow Campaign is something of a false comparison. Varicella has no other role in the ecosystem except to replicate itself, it's a parasite. Mao was short sighted, in many ways, but the comparison doesn't work.Stile4aly 15:09, 28 May 2007 (CDT)

What are the consequences of the chicken pox vaccine? Time will tell. Nature abhors a vacuum. HeartGold tx 12:57, 28 May 2007 (CDT)

I agree pharmaceutical companies aren't charity institutions, luckily patents only last for 10 years, after that everyone can start producing the vaccine.
The United Nations have some rules regarding this subject, and some countries buy large quantities and distribute them among the population so the poor will also be vaccinated.
Niches aren't really an issue when it comes to viruses and harmful bacteria, since normally (not in a black death scenario) only a tiny fraction of the population gets that specific disease: another virus that is about to mutate to become effective against humans will not be hindered by the number of other viruses that are already affecting humans: there are always enough victims for everyone. MiddleMan

Additional follow-up, if any, to question 1[edit]

Second question[edit]

Second question: Adverse reactions are under-reported. Though a system is in place to track adverse reactions, doctors avoid reporting adverse reactions, in their misguided effort to not alarm parents. (This is thwarting the one of the fundamental purposes of the program, which is to detect bad batches of vaccinations). Case in point, my niece just had a severe adverse reaction to the MMRI vaccine. The doctor did not report it. He justified it by saying these things happen from time to time. However, this doctor is ignorantly thwarting the statistical analysis that is performed by the state department of health. Specifically, let's say that an acceptable severe adverse reaction is 1 in 1000 vaccinations. The pediatrician who thinks like this will be unable to detect using his own anecdotal experience a difference of 1 in 1000 and 8 in 1000. The state department of health, however, can detect this change. But by the pediatrician's arrogance, such problems go largely undetected. (In the case of my niece, I reported the problem, because in my state, the department of health allows anybody to report the problem.) HeartGold tx 23:20, 25 May 2007 (CDT)

Response to question 2[edit]

Complication rates, disease rates, etc are ALWAYS under-reported. That is the nature of a free society. Most randomized controlled trials, for instance, use an "intention to treat" analysis to account for the inherent fallibility of people. In other words, under reporting is usually taken into account in statistical analyses. That doesn't take away from the importance of reporting them. Also, the type of reaction is important. If a child develops encephalitis from an MMR, that is critically important to know. If they get feverish, nauseated, cranky, well, that is the price to keep them and those they come in contact with from developing these nasty diseases. With some vaccines, the risks of vaccination clearly outweigh the risk of developing or dying from the disease. Smallpox is the best example. The vaccine is not all that safe compared to most modern vaccines, and the chances of being exposed to the virus for the bulk of the population approaches zero. --PalMD-Talk 23:36, 25 May 2007 (CDT)

Counter response to question 2[edit]

Accurate information regarding recourse in the event of adverse reactions is necessary if a society is to be free. By thwarting procedures to report severe adverse reactions, medical professionals are changing their role as healer to propagandizer.

Also, to follow up on your small pox example, it is interesting to note that the CDC goes inot great detail on this vaccine. Coincidentally, it is not a required vaccine at present. For all required vaccines, however, it is very difficult (read: virtually impossible) to find similar information on the consequences of adverse reactions to "required" vaccines. Of course, this is, in my opinion, because the CDC's job is not to dissiminate accurate information, but to "control disease." Providing photographs of adverse reactions to required vaccines would work against this fundemental purpose. Also, CDC literature on required vaccines is written at about the 5th grade level, as far as I can tell. In a free society, the CDC would provide accurate assessments on the risk of the vaccine, as well as accurate assessments on the risk of not getting vaccinated, for each of the required vaccines. But they do not do this, because, in my opinion, micro-analysis (as opposed to the macro-analisys they do) would result in fewer people getting vaccinated. Hence, they propagandize to the simple minded, instead of taking the much more difficult task of making the case that a highly vaccinated society is necessary to control disease. HeartGold tx 02:53, 26 May 2007 (CDT)

Additional followup, if any, to question 2[edit]

The CDC actually keeps a great deal of information on smallpox vaccine. They also have a great deal of information of, for example, the MMR vaccine. All of these resources provide simple information for lay-people, and additional more detailed information for those who wish to read further. They also include links to information on possible links between vaccinations and other diseases. As to the statement:

" the CDC's job is not to dissiminate accurate information, but to control disease. " According to their mission statement:

To promote health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability. CDC seeks to accomplish its mission by working with partners throughout the nation and the world to monitor health, detect and investigate health problems, conduct research to enhance prevention, develop and advocate sound public health policies, implement prevention strategies, promote healthy behaviors, foster safe and healthful environments, provide leadership and training. Those functions are the backbone of CDC’s mission. Each of CDC’s component organizations undertakes these activities in conducting its specific programs. The steps needed to accomplish this mission are also based on scientific excellence, requiring well-trained public health practitioners and leaders dedicated to high standards of quality and ethical practice.

As a medical professional, I often count on the CDC to obtain accurate information, whether about what diseases are occurring in what regions, or rates of vaccination and complication, or just disease information in general.--PalMD-yada yada 09:25, 29 May 2007 (CDT)

I am not a medical professional, but "develop and advocate sound public health policies" sounds like a euphuism for propagandize, especially since their mission is a macro-mission, when individual parents want (at least I want) information that will allow me to make a micro or differential decision.
I have spoken with several pediatricians and department of health officials who agree with me that the CDC provides rather one sided information on vaccines (which hurts their credability) using lower grade vocabulary and reasoning than even our local liberal newspaper (whose readership is droping rapidly). I'll provide some examples to back up my statement...
I just looked, and the CDC sheets are getting better, compared to when I first began criticizing their information sheets. Whether or not I personally influenced, I don't know. As I said, aside from here on rationalwiki, I do not discourage in a public manner other parents from getting vaccines. But I have complained to the CDC (via email), Health department (phone and email) and pediatricians (in person)--these complaints, and the frequency from other concerned citizens, may or may not have affected the CDC.
The DTaP is getting better, in that it mentions in the sheet the National Vaccine Injury Compensation program, mentions the rates at which adverse reactions occur, informs the patient that more information can be found on vaccine information insertssee note 1. It still does not delve into the risk of actually catching any of these diseases, however. Without such information, it is not possible to make an informed decision to vaccinate. By presenting the risk of severe reaction without presenting the likelihood of infection, the information sheets are one sided, and hence, still qualify as propaganda.
The CDC's information sheet on MMR likewise does not disclose the actual risk of getting these diseases, or the success rate of treating these diseases, or what parents who choose not to vaccinate should be on the look out for in case an unvaccinated child gets one of these diseases, and when to bring an unvaccinated child to the doctor, or what steps a parent should take to quarantine a child in the case of his or her own infection, or that of other children with a small degree of seperation from an unvaccinated child.
The CDC also fails to disclose that the MMR vacine is a "fruit of the poisonous tree", developed using viri isolated from aborted fetuses. But the UK's NHS discloses this. (From what I understand, an MMRI vaccine may now be available that does not originate from virus isolated from aborted babies--I have to talk with my Pediatrician about this.)
Note 1: For the vaccines I have chosen to seek for my children, I have asked for vaccine information inserts from the administering nurses. Initially, they (probably inadvertantly) make me feel like I am asking for too much information, and invariably seek permission to provide the information insert from other more senior nurses or doctors first, as though the insert is confidential information not to be disclosed to paitents. It requires a rather strong personality to obtain vaccine information inserts in such circumstances. HeartGold tx 10:31, 29 May 2007 (CDT)
Um, I think you have been seriously misinformed. Fetuses have nothing to do with vaccines. For one thing, they don't even carry viruses. No vaccines use fetuses for anything as there is no need. You need to check the reliability of your sources. It makes not scientific sense. You could ask TimS to explain the biology of it further.--PalMD-yada yada 10:45, 29 May 2007 (CDT)
I don't think so. Many pediatricians know about this. The link I already provided, aborted fetuses, is an NHS.uk link, and states: "The rubella virus used in the vaccine was isolated from a different fetus terminated in the 1960s in the United States because the fetus had congenital rubella." I may be wrong about the details, but the fruit of the poisonous tree regarding fetuses is true. (It seems more likely to me that they used the fetal material as a culture, much like monkey livers and/or kidneys were used for Polio vaccine, or eggs for flu vaccine--but who am I to doubt the www.mmrthefacts.nhs.uk website.). HeartGold tx 11:26, 29 May 2007 (CDT)
Very interesting. Thank you for the link. It becomes a matter of conscience at that point. Given that a cell-line derived from a fetus decades ago does not encourage further abortions, and that, as stated in the NHS memo, almost all religious groups do not condemn the vaccine, it is widely accepted on moral grounds. If, however, you believe your moral objections, and your distrust of the data on safety and efficacy all combine to prevent you from vaccinating, well, that is between you, your God, and your children's health. With luck, few people around you will share your reasoning and your children will benefit from herd immunity.--PalMD-yada yada 14:34, 29 May 2007 (CDT)
Like I said, if a vaccine is mostly safe, I do not want others not to get vaccinated. But in all fairness, they should be provided the information it took me man months to research on my own. I am not at the CDC (nor credentialed), however, so I don't publically preach against vaccines.
Other information I would like from the CDC: In the absence of a widespread epidemic, what is the risk of getting these diseases? E.g., aren't many of them treatable to a much greater extent than when the vaccines were first available, espeically if diagnosed early. (Mind you, this is in the context of the U.S. with an advanced medical care system and parents who are not adverse to seeking medical attention to treat real symptoms.) I'm not talking about meningitus, but less apparently less serious diseases like chicken pocks and measles. HeartGold tx 15:20, 29 May 2007 (CDT)

Fetus Issue[edit]

I hope I can shed some light on this matter.
It is far more complex to manufacture biological medications (for example, vaccines, antibodies) than it is to produce chemical medications (for example, penicillin or aspirin). In addition, certain vaccines are more complex to make than others. The bacteria that go into bacterial vaccines can be grown in simple laboratory cultures. In contrast, the growth of viruses requires living cells, as cell cultures.
Viruses cannot reproduce on their own. They require a living host in which to grow, such as chicken embryos, and cells from animals that are grown in culture. Vaccine manufacturers currently have few options for viral culture, because of valid pharmaceutical reasons and because of human safety concerns. For example, varicella (chickenpox) virus does not grow well in most cells derived from species other than humans. Also, human cells are preferred because cells derived from animal organs sometimes may carry animal viruses that could harm people.
In the future it may be possible to prepare virus vaccines using molecular tools that do not require growing the virus in living cells. For example, today's hepatitis B vaccines are made using molecular tools that do not require animal cells at all. It is not possible to prepare most virus vaccines using these methods now, however.
Now the issue in question is based on Human Fetal Diploid Cells. Human diploid cells are batches of human cells that are grown in a laboratory. Unlike cancer cells, they have the same number of chromosomes as normal human cells. Certain diploid cell strains are valuable in vaccine manufacture because these cells can be used for a very long period of time in the laboratory and are a reliable means by which many viruses that infect humans can be successfully and easily grown. Vaccines prepared in human diploid cells have proven to be very safe over the past several decades.
Two different strains of human diploid cell cultures made from fetuses have been used extensively for vaccine production for decades. One was developed in the United States in 1961 (called WI-38) and the other in the United Kingdom in 1966 (called MRC-5).
WI-38 came from lung cells from a female fetus of 3-months gestation and MRC-5 was developed from lung cells from a 14-week-old male fetus. Both fetuses were intentionally aborted, but neither was aborted for the purpose of obtaining diploid cells. (6-8). The fetal tissues that eventually became WI-38 and the MRC-5 cell cultures were removed from fetuses that were dead. The cellular biologists who made the cell cultures did not induce the abortions.
These two cell strains have been growing under laboratory conditions for more than 35 years. The cells are merely the biological system in which the viruses are grown. These cell strains do not and cannot form a complete organism and do not constitute a potential human being. The cells reproduce themselves, so there is no need to abort additional fetuses to sustain the culture supply. Viruses are collected from the diploid cell cultures and then processed further to produce the vaccine itself.
The WI-38 and MRC-5 cell cultures have been used to prepare hundreds of millions of doses of vaccines, preventing millions of cases of rubella, hepatitis A, varicella and rabies. In the United States, only one of these diseases can be prevented with an FDA-licensed vaccine not grown in human diploid cells. This is the RabAvert brand of rabies vaccine manufactured by Chiron Corporation.
The Rubella virus causes a mild illness in most children, but may severely damage the developing fetus when a pregnant woman becomes infected. The virus that led to the only rubella vaccine available in the United States and that is widely used overseas (Meruvax II, Merck) came from tissues obtained at the time of an abortion performed on a rubella virus-infected mother. The abortion was not conducted in order to isolate the virus, but rather because the mother and the fetus were infected with wild rubella virus that posed a risk of major birth defects. Since that wild strain of rubella virus (known as RA27/3) was isolated, it has been grown in human fetal diploid cells. There is no need to obtain additional cells from aborted fetuses to sustain the supply of attenuated rubella viruses used to manufacture additional batches of rubella vaccine for the future. During the development of the present rubella vaccine, cells from animals other than humans were also studied for vaccine manufacture but these proved to be less safe and/or less effective than the RA27/3 vaccine grown in WI-38 cells. Before widespread use of the rubella vaccine, there were hundreds of thousands of cases of rubella in the United States and more than 800 cases of congenital rubella per year. As a consequence of the rubella epidemic of 1963-1964 it is estimated that there were 20,000 infants born with congenital defects, 6,250 spontaneous abortions and 5,000 induced abortions. In 2001, CDC reported just 3 babies born with congenital rubella syndrome. Thus, the RA27/3 rubella vaccine has prevented many thousands of spontaneous and induced abortions by protecting pregnant women from infection.
Some vaccine components have been derived from human fetuses. The abortions were not conducted for the purpose of vaccine discovery or vaccine production. Additional abortions are not needed for the production of these vaccines. In the case of rubella vaccine, abortions are prevented by the use of the vaccine.
Hope this helped clear up some questions.--TimS 14:37, 29 May 2007 (CDT)
Yes, thanks. The information part of your post is in line with what I remembered, having researched this a few years ago, though the technical aspects of your explaination are very well put. If you have the time, could you elaborate on the use of Monkey cells to grow Polio vaccine (and the problems and consequences of that). HeartGold tx 15:13, 29 May 2007 (CDT)
Sure, I need to do some specific research for the species of monkey used.--TimS 15:17, 29 May 2007 (CDT)

Third question[edit]

I would like HeartOfGold to explain this comment:

"That being said, I generally do not try to make what I know too public because, well, part of the reason I skip some vaccines is the marginal benefit decreases in a highly vaccinated society while the risk is pretty much constant".

I may be mistaken, but isn't that a somewhat selfish attitude? --Horace 00:14, 26 May 2007 (CDT)

I commented on that elsewhere. It's the desire to benefit from herd immunity without actually contributing.--PalMD-Talk 00:16, 26 May 2007 (CDT)

Response to question 3[edit]

Yes it is selfish. Do you not think I should act in my (or my own child's) self interest? HeartGold tx 02:11, 26 May 2007 (CDT)

Counter response to question 3[edit]

You are deriving a benefit from the fact that other people's children suffer the small risk associated with vaccinations while refusing to take on any of the risk yourself. Because the majority of the population are vaccinated, the diseases that they are protected against are less prevalent and your children are less likely to catch them. You, on the other hand, are not prepared to shoulder any of the burden and merely seek to garner the reward. That is anti-social behaviour. --Horace 17:52, 27 May 2007 (CDT)

Moreover, God help your child if they decide to travel out of the country, particularly to Africa, subcontinental Asia, or South America. There are plenty of places in the world where the diseases that are practically eradicated in the US still thrive, and if your child isn't vaccinated, then they stand to come down with adult infections of things like measles or rubella which can be more severe as an adult. Chicken pox might seem like a childhood annoyance when your 7, but when you're 47 and come down with a bad case of the shingles, you end up wishing you'd been vaccinated. Stile4aly 12:48, 28 May 2007 (CDT)
Actually, they will travel outside the country, at which point, I will re-evaluate the risk versus reward, and likely choose to seek additional vaccinations. (They have received some vaccinations). Chicken pox vaccine is not approved as a safe or effective method of preventing shingles. As I said earlier, if it were, I would reconsider. Claiming that it prevents shingles is pseudoscientific speculation not backed up by FDA approval, as far as I know. Correct me if I am wrong on this (because it would be a big plus to the vaccine). HeartGold tx 13:03, 28 May 2007 (CDT)
It's a bit like saying I will not pay for motor insurance because if someone hits me then I'll claim against their insurance and if I hit someone then they can claim against their own insurance. In the meantime I can save all that money for myself. ɱɑδ ɱ¡ɳblow in my ear/I did this! 12:55, 28 May 2007 (CDT)
I'd argue that it is more like me enjoying the improvements to the state park system paid for by the state lottery while choosing myself not to purchas lottery tickets. Sadly (for people who think my children should be subject to medical experimentation via "forced" vaccinations), the Supreme court has ruled that, with exceptions related to criminal cases or mental health, the U.S. constitution protects the right of an individual to refuse invasive procedures. HeartGold tx 13:03, 28 May 2007 (CDT)
Except in the case of military personel. We don't have a whole lot of choice in the matter either. By the way, say hypothetically you or your child is diagnosed with some disease that you did not get vaccinated for but could/should have been. Would you use any kind of government funded treatment, or pay any treatment costs out of pocket or through insurance?Prof0705 13:14, 28 May 2007 (CDT)
By the way, say hypothetically you or your child is diagnosed with some disease that you did not get vaccinated for but could/should have been. Would you use any kind of government funded treatment, or pay any treatment costs out of pocket or through insurance? I will pay for my own doctor, as I do for my children now when they have other problems like ear aches and soar throats. I have a very high deductable insurance plan, and God has blessed me with an ability to earn my own medical treatment and insuracne. Furthermore, many of the vaccines are for disease that are more treatable today than when the vaccines were first produced. But fearmongering is not the way to encourage those who refuse to vaccinate into vaccinate (though it is the method most used by the CDC and pediatricians). Let's see an analysis of marginal risk/reward as a function of vaccination rate, and also an analysis of which of these diseases are more treatable now. This is more rational. Fearmongering works on most, but this is rational wiki. HeartGold tx 21:36, 28 May 2007 (CDT)

Fourth question[edit]

Conspiracy theory: The reason we need thimerosal, and now thimerosal substitutes that do not contain mercury, is the same reason large meat processing plants want to irradiate meat: high volume production with cost pressures make it economically unviable to keep sanitary conditions in the manufacturing process. Furthermore, a few years ago, when I first postponed getting my children vaccinations, the FDA and CDC were claiming the amount of mercury in vaccines was safe, yet, the same amount was way over what the EPA recommended (since then, the CDC and FDA have come out arguing that the EPA was concerned with one form of mercury, while the vaccines contained another form of mercury--methylmercury versus Ethylmercury. The CDC and FDA have now removed thimerosal from most childhood vaccines, though they intimate that this was more to allay parents' concerns than because there was ever any danger. However, the studies that the FDA cites to show that thimerosal is safe are suspect. One of them deals with thimerosal in contact lens cleaner, another in a nasal spray. But vaccines are injected into the body of a child, most of whom are too young to were contact lenses. Granted, I am not qualified to determine that if thimerosal is safe in contact lens solution that it must also be safe in vaccines, but I am very skeptical. Fortunately, except for the flu vaccine, thimerosal is no longer used in many (or most or all other) childhood vaccines. Ultimately, however, while there is an outcry from some on the left regarding irradiated beef, the necessity of using thimerosal or thimerosal replacements in vaccines is not widely questioned. HeartGold tx 21:46, 28 May 2007 (CDT)

Response to question 4[edit]

Fifth question[edit]

Response to question 5[edit]

With apologies[edit]

I know this is your user space, and you don't want to debate twenty-seven people, which I think is a fair request. But I must say, I am so glad I have some weird scars on my left shoulder. Smallpox, anyone? Polio? Yuck is too weak a word. Leap forward to the HPV vaccine. The strongest argument I have hear against it is that we will inoculate "twelve year olds", like it makes them sexual, or something. As a male, and obviously potential carrier, wouldn't I have loved to have been inoculated against it 40 years go? Yes! But that's my .02; back to your "real" debate with medical professionals. Wait. I am "just a guy". Aren't you "just a person" too? You have limited your "discussion compadres" to medical professionals (or those about to become so). Why? Are you one? Or, are you just "someone" who has been "inoculated" (in the abstract sense) against the idea of inoculations?

To finish up, I literally worship the little scars on my left arm as signs of the worst of the worst that never happened to me.

A better debate topic would be (in my mind): Should we make smallpox extinct? (By killing off the last of the lab cultures) Thank you for your time and space. humanbe in 00:05, 26 May 2007 (CDT)

Education is the best way to keep the vaccine rate up, and parents have legitimate fears that must be discussed. Parents today don't remember the horrors of the pre-vaccine era, so it's hard for them to "just trust me". --PalMD-Talk 00:08, 26 May 2007 (CDT)
Agreed totally, Doc. I just wanted to make "passionate" footnote, as it were, from my point of view. You do your thing. But, as noted above: you are invited due to your professional credentials, and yet the inviter has none? Tha tmakes me an equal expert to him in this game. Anyway! I sign off, having said my piece. And, I agree, um, edumacation is the key. Keep in mind that some of these people choose to edumacate their kids at home. Eh, sorry, gettin' all issue-ated on ya. Hiya HG! humanbe in 00:19, 26 May 2007 (CDT)
If you want to debate me, take question 4 or 5, and I will do my best. Others often say that my opinion of myself is greater than it should be:) HeartGold tx 03:16, 26 May 2007 (CDT)
Human, while the idea of making smallpox extinct is an interesting ethical question, the sad truth is that it's now a practical and political impossibility. We know from scientists that defected from the former Soviet Union that smallpox was manufactured by the ton for the purposes of biowarfare. It isn't in just one freezer in Russia anymore, it could be in many different places. For that reason, the US will never destroy its seed stocks because we'll need them to work on improved vaccines and anti-virals. I would suggest reading "Demon in the Freezer" by Richard Preston which gives a good summation of smallpox eradication, biowarfare, and bioterrorism. Stile4aly 12:53, 28 May 2007 (CDT)

I would suggest storing it on Antarctica, in orbit, or better yet, on the Moon. MiddleMan

It would be nice to kill off the last strains of Smallpox, but I doubt it will ever happen. I can tell you that when we were driving over the Kuwait/Iraq border wearing chem-bio gear I was very glad to have my fairly new smallpox scar. On a small aside, it is kinda odd to be sitting in class and have some other people my age look at that scar and ask what it is. One day down the road the only people sporting a scar will be military.Prof0705 13:09, 28 May 2007 (CDT)