Skeptical Raptor's Blog hunting pseudoscience in the internet jungle

Hey vaccine deniers–it’s just simple math

Updated 19 November 2014.

When dealing with those pushing pseudoscience, like the antivaccination cult, the most frustrating thing is that they tend to ignore and deny the most basic tenets of science. If denying the fact of gravity would further their goals of “proving” vaccines are neither effective nor safe, they would do so. For all I know, they have.

Sam Harris, who has a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA (which is ironic), and is one of leading science philosophers of our generation, says this about those who cling to pseudoscience:

Water is two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. What if someone says, “Well, that’s not how I choose to think about water.”? All we can do is appeal to scientific values. And if he doesn’t share those values, the conversation is over. If someone doesn’t value evidence, what evidence are you going to provide to prove they should value it? If someone doesn’t value logic, what logical argument could you provide to show the importance of logic?

If the antivaccination movement didn’t lead to epidemics of long-gone diseases, which can harm and kill children, the conversation would be over. I would just put the vaccine deniers in the same group as evolution deniers (creationists) or gravity deniers (there has to be some, somewhere). I would mock their pseudoscience, and move on. Of course, their denialism does lead to deaths of children, so we have to do what is right, and stop their lies, misinformation and ignorance in every forum we can.

We have to appeal to scientific values, and despite the fact that antivaccination pushers don’t share those values, we must continue to try. I have gotten enough emails and comments from people that they have started to vaccinate because of what I have written, so maybe some child’s life is better because all of us who support vaccines are heard.

For some, mathematics is the foundation of all science. Biology is dependent upon chemistry which is dependent upon physics which is dependent upon mathematics. Of course, I’m oversimplifying the relationships between the various branches of basic science, but my own scientific education moved in roughly the direction of advanced mathematics through basic physics to organic and physical chemistry to biology, cell biology, biochemistry and physiology.

Without mathematics, the scientific method might not make sense, because it requires statistical analysis to find small changes or differences. Though it is long lost from my brain, advanced statistics was necessary in every analysis I performed in my science life. It allowed me to find biological changes with tiny amounts of a hormone or growth factor. I didn’t observe the changes directly, only through mathematical analysis did it become apparent.

All of those scary ingredients in the flu vaccine. Except, they're really not scary.

All of those scary ingredients in the flu vaccine. Except, they’re really not scary.

Above is a photo circulating around social networks that attempt to point out all of the scary ingredients in vaccines. Of course, if one has an understanding of A) basic human physiology, and B) basic mathematics, including how small numbers are really small, this photo with the scary ingredients highlighted would be laughable. Well, I do have and understanding of both, and this is laughable. I mean so laughable, it’s possible I pulled a muscle.


Let’s start with with first highlighted ingredient, formaldehyde. This simple bio-organic molecule is used in the purification of the vaccine (the last thing we want is contamination from viruses or bacteria)– 99.9% of which is removed during the final steps of manufacturing.

The package labeling does not include the amount of formaldehyde in the vaccines because it is so tiny, so minuscule, so veritably invisible, that the amount actually cannot be measured. It’s possible that there is actually no formaldehyde in solution, because it cannot be measured, but the chances are good there is some because the manufacturing process can’t dilute out the vaccine sufficiently to guarantee that every picogram (that’s one trillionth of a gram) is removed, because it would dilute the vaccine’s antigen too.

But I can tell you where formaldehyde can be measure. The normal blood level of formaldehyde is 2.74 +/- 0.14 mg/L. A normal child has a blood volume of 2-3 L, so a normal child has 5-9 mg of formaldehyde floating in her blood, about 1,000,000X more than found in a dose of vaccine. Is that math clear? It would take probably 10-20 million doses of vaccines to just slightly increase the formaldehyde level in your child.

Now you might think “how did that evil formaldehyde get into my sweet child whom I feed organic foods, and don’t let them touch vaccines.” Well, not only do your math skills suck (let me remind the reader, 10 million doses of vaccines to measurably move the formaldehyde level–all at once), but so does your physiology knowledge. The body produces formaldehyde as a byproduct of metabolizing alcohols (not necessarily just from a beer, but the alcohol that is produced in the body and in other foods). And lots of foods contain formaldehyde, including fruits, nuts, and other yummy things.

In addition, formaldehyde is filtered from the blood rather quickly (since it is toxic), and its half-life, that is the average time one-half of the molecules of formaldehyde stay in the blood, is around 1 minute. It does not accumulate, so even if you got that 10-20 million doses of vaccines, the tiny amount of formaldehyde injected would be gone in 1-2 minutes. It is simple math.

Yes, formaldehyde is a carcinogen, it can cause cancer. However, the reference dose (that is the maximum daily dose over a lifetime that would be considered safe) for formaldehyde is around 0.2 mg/kg weight/day. In other words, an average child, let’s say 20 kg (about 48 lbs), could consume 4 mg of formaldehyde a day safely. Again, about 1 million times more formaldehyde than in a single dose of vaccines. And as far as I know, even amongst the most enthusiastic and ardent vaccine supporters, not one of them is demanding that we give children 1 million vaccinations. Every day. For the rest of their lives.

Once again, it is just the math.

Are we clear on this? The math doesn’t support the ludicrous claims that formaldehyde in vaccines is poisoning our children.


So let’s move on to the other highlighted ingredients, and that’s the old canard, dangerous thiomersal (or thimerosal in the USA–my education is 100% US based, but for some reason I’ve used the non-USA spelling for 30 years). Let’s make some points clear right now. This is NOT mercury in its elemental form, which you might remember from old-style medical thermometers. So there isn’t a pool of mercury in the vaccine vial. Moreover, thiomersal is ONLY used, at least in vaccines, in multi-use vials, these days, only the flu vaccine.

Thiomersal is a toxic compound, there is no denying that. But let’s get back to math. The toxicity of compounds is measured through an analysis called the dose-response relationship, which describes the change in effect on an organism caused by differing doses of a compound after a certain exposure time. Table salt is tasty and safe in small amounts, but could kill you if taken in huge amounts. The dose-response relationship provides a graph that mathematically establishes what amounts of a compound causes what effects. This would seem to be a logical, and easily understood concept, but for many individuals, a bad substance is always bad.

First of all, the half-life of thiomersal in blood is around 2.2 days. That might seem long, but it means half is gone in a couple of days, cleared out by the kidneys. It does not accumulate.

But the math is even more telling. This flu vaccine, given once a year, has a maximum dose of 25 micrograms of mercury (but not elemental mercury). According to the thiomersal Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), the LD50, that is, the approximate dose at which 50% of organisms will die (in this case a mouse), is 5011 mg/kg body weight.

So, a 20 kg child would get 25 micrograms of non-elemental mercury in one injection once a year. The theoretical LD50 dose for that same child would be around 100 grams of thiomersal, or about 4 million times higher than the amount of thiomersal in one vaccine dose–if vaccines used in children actually had thiomersal, which it doesn’t.

So, you would have to inject your child 4 million times a day, every day, to make it potentially toxic. And no, dose-response relationships are not linear. That doesn’t mean that there’s some tiny risk of death from even a small dose of thiomersal–there is actually NO risk. And again, since there’s no thiomersal in pediatric vaccines this argument is ridiculous.

But more than all that, we have solid scientific data that show us that thiomersal is totally unrelated to autism, and is completely safe in vaccines. This illogical removal of thiomersal from vaccines makes it nearly impossible to have multi-use vials, so every vaccine has to be in a single-use prefilled syringe, which has rapidly driven up the costs of vaccines. Wait. That’s more evidence that antivaccination lunatics are in the pockets of Big Pharma. They pushed to get rid of thiomersal to make more profits for Big Pharma. That was an awesome move on their part.

So there it is. Simple math shows us that these are not dangerous toxins being injected into our kids. Sadly, simple math may not be in the list of skills of vaccine deniers.

More simple math problems for vaccine deniers in my follow up article.


Visit the Science-based Vaccine Search Engine.


Key citations:

Comments (116)
  • Mike Blyth

    I completely support your conclusions, but I think there a couple of errors in the math. First, if the LD50 of thimersol is 5011 mg/kg as you say, then the LD50 for a for a 20 kg child would be 100 g, not 10 g. That represents 4 million doses of vaccine (not 400,000), but as a single dose, not 4 million doses a day for a year.

    A second problem with your argument is that you are using the LD50 and extrapolating to any kind of harm. There is no necessary connection between LD50 and harm in general. The LD50 describes the dose required to kill half the subjects with an acute dose, but there may be substantial risks with smaller doses through mechanisms that are unrelated to the those causing acute, fatal injury. For example, the LD50 of asbestos or plutonium might be fairly high, but that does not mean that much smaller doses are devoid of risk.

    As I said, I completely support the main point of your argument, which is that the minuscule amounts of these substances in vaccines are known to be safe. I just think that in making that point we need to make our analysis as denial-proof as possible.

  • Dave

    Here’s another interesting piece of mathematical information. If you look at disease rates over a longer period of time, you’ll notice that they were steadily falling long before vaccines were introduced. Could better sanitation perhaps be a contributing factor to the decline of disease in developed countries? Here’s a great chart that sheds some interesting light.

    • Mike Blyth

      I don’t think anyone is claiming that the mass reduction in death rates in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was due to immunization. You are correct to suggest that sanitation (as well as improved nutrition) played a major role. The impact of immunization was a kind of second wave. If you study the kinds of diseases prevented by sanitation and by immunization, you will see that they are largely different, so both approaches were important in improving world health. For example, typhoid and cholera are diseases of poor sanitation, while measles and pertussis are unrelated to sanitation and can’t be reduced simply by improving the environment.

  • John Robertson
    • Dave


      We included 90 reports containing 116 data sets; among these 69 were clinical trials of over 70,000 people, 27 were comparative cohort studies (about eight million people) and 20 were case-control studies (nearly 25,000 people).

      Key results

      The preventive effect of parenteral inactivated influenza vaccine on healthy adults is small: at least 40 people would need vaccination to avoid one ILI case (95% confidence interval (CI) 26 to 128) and 71 people would need vaccination to prevent one case of influenza (95% CI 64 to 80). Vaccination shows no appreciable effect on working days lost or hospitalisation.

      • John Robertson

        Yes, here is something else of interest from the Cochrane Database:

        Quality of the evidence

        The real impact
        of biases could not be determined for about 70% of the included studies
        (e.g. insufficient reporting details, very different scores among the
        items evaluated). About 20% of the included studies (mainly cohorts) had
        a high risk of bias. Just under 10% had good methodological quality.

  • Dave

    Just one more thing…. and I know it’s a 30 minute audio file, but if you’re patient enough and are truly looking for an open minded argument, it’s a great listen. The key though is to listen to the whole thing….. and not just dismiss what is being said because it goes against what your GP tells you. There is ALWAYS two sides to every story. Please listen.

  • Dave

    Google “Vaccine Court” and you’ll find that there has actually been millions of dollars awarded to children who have suffered severe adverse effects due to vaccines in the U.S. alone. Most articles refer to side effects showing Autism like symptoms. I’d imagine the Drs and Judges that come to the conclusion of fault on behalf of the vaccine and its manufacturers would probably disagree with what is written in this article, and the oversimplified way it’s written. If you do some research into vaccines you will find that there is a very serious difference between having something floating in your blood stream, and injecting it directly into muscle (which is where most vaccines are administered). Direct injection into the muscle creates a much different response by your body then say eating a banana and obtaining said element orally. I think to sit here and compare apples to oranges and then say “See, told you so” is exactly the bad science that you are aiming to refute.

  • Dave

    If your kids are vaccinated, then why all the fear that an unvaccinated child is a threat? Are vaccines not effective, and if they are, is your child not protected? I’m a little confused by some of the outright fear and malice projected on this thread. Maybe we should let people have their own opinions and do what they feel right for their families?

  • karen
    I find this post funny and arrogant. Major nail polish companies have removed formaldehyde from their products and yet you are trying to convince us through mathematics it’s safe. A FACT remains it’s not good for us. Fact…Autism has increased over the years. Unless you know for 100 percent certainty the cause. Your math skills will not convince me that we benefit from the vaccinations.

    • Skeptical Raptor

      Quit eating pears and apples. Shut down your liver after drinking. All of those things produce more formaldehyde than you could ever get from a vaccine.

      Do you really enjoy being an ignorant individual? Sad really.

  • Ben Lawson

    Maybe it’s like homeopathy – the less there is the greater the effect!?!?!?!?!?!

  • Joseph Kerr

    Some of these comments make me wish we had a minimum IQ requirement in order to use the internet. Knee-jerk populist anti-intellectualism is taking over.

  • John Treadwell

    I actually sympathize with the anti-vaxxers to a point, since being a bunch of stupid social animals that can’t do anything for themselves, and have to band together just to survive, and being forced to exist in this world through birth and an instinctive fear of death that can only be removed through severe mental illness, being born unable to be given an informed decision on the subject of vaccines, being born an ignorant helpless creature, bossed around by people three times your size just because “it’s just the way it is.” And “we’ve been around longer therefore we’re allowed.” That all sucks, and ultimately they’re making a ill reasoned decision to try and give more freedom to choose to their kids. But the choices here are between forcing your kid to have a shot, and potentially forcing someone else’s kid to have some horrific disease. It’s shitty, but that’s because the world is big giant parasite that constantly feeds on itself as numerous lives suffer and die only to create the next generation of lives to suffer and die. Vaccines are almost always harmless so they clearly seem like the lesser evil here.

  • Sarah

    You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. No matter how educated, how thoughtful, how undeniably correct any information is, if someone chooses not to believe it, they won’t. I’m convinced at this point that anti-vaxxers will remain blinded by their own ignorance no matter what evidence is presented to them.

  • lovingmom3

    Why is it the pro vaxxers are so often rude and say such hateful things to the people who disagree with them? I’m not anti vaccination but I find it disgusting how you people treat other parents who are just trying their best to research and make informed decisions in regards to their children’s healthcare. Calling people names and attacking them online simply makes you a bully and does nothing to help them see your point of view.

    • William Richardson

      It’s stated in the first part of the article. If you spoke to someone who confided in you that they routinely drove drunk through school zones, would you be upset with them, or would you respect their opinion that driving drunk was in fact beneficial to children? I’m inclined to think you’d probably have a few harsh words for them, and perhaps report them to the authorities. Again, it’s pretty simple: people who understand vaccination don’t behave that way because they are bullies who don’t respect others’ right to have a different opinion. They respond that way because anti-vaxxers’ ignorance is actually killing an increasing number of children every year. It’s dangerous, irresponsible, and it kills children. Pretty simple really. Nobody gets to have their opinion respected whose opinion is harming others. It’s just not a thing.

      • Skeptical Raptor

        I should be nicer. But anti-vaxxers are intentionally trying to harm children, more than just their own, but the whole community. They are narcissistic and lack an intellect that I think rational people have.

        I love the metaphor about drunk driving. I don’t particularly like drunk drivers either. :)

    • valerie

      because they are clearly idiots and need to be spoken to like that. they need to be bullied.

    • Dee

      Name calling and rudeness? Last I checked, pointing out solid facts is not being a big bad meanie. Maybe its not considered polite, but fact trumps opinion and even the “sensitive emotions” some people may have behind those opinions. Also, this is a lot nicer than some other reports, including those from the anti-vaccine side. They too have no problem insulting science proving their views wrong, slandering people on the autism spectrum (like me) and using us as pathetic dehumanized entities to support their idea that being “afflicted” with our brain type is worse than a completely preventable death (even though vaccines do not create our brain type). Plus, unlike this side of the argument, the anti-vaccine movement endangers the lives of innocent children. Personally, I think the life and well-being of a child out weighs an adult’s “sensitivity” about being called out on their ignorance.

    • Skeptical Raptor

      YOU, as an antivaccine parent, are intentionally causing harm of your own children and others. Shall I treat such narcissism and abuse with civility?

      No. Maybe if you came here and said “I’m confused about the lies the anti-vaxxers are saying, can someone help me?”

      But instead, you buy into their lies and ignorance. You’re not even putting an effort into opening your mind, and just whine about how you and your cult are treated.

      Please, go troll someplace else. You’re not a “loving mom”. You want to harm children.

  • Calgary Mom

    Could you anti-vaxxers PLEASE stop using “Big Pharma” as an argument? Why is it that pharmaceutical companies are made out to be villains if they make money? EVERY business is in business to make money. Why is making money okay, say, in the case of growing organic vegetables, but not in making medications and vaccines that save lives, every day? If you actually look at the revenue that pharmaceutical companies make (and you can, if they are public companies – they have to produce annual reports with financials) and understand what a small part of their revenue that vaccine production makes up, you’d realize that argument is bunk.

    • notation

      Exactly. What these anti-vax zealots don’t seem to grasp is that if there were NO profit in vaccines, then the US pharmaceutical companies would stop manufacturing them, and we’d be forced to buy vaccines from China or India.

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  • Chardelle Penman

    This article is admitting to there being toxins in these vaccinations..
    Yeah, let’s ignore the fact we are injecting ourselves with things we shouldn’t, no problem, it’s all in the math…

    How does a mercury derivative make me healthy, and benefit our bodies?? How does formaldehyde benefit me if I inject myself or my child?? Sure, you can say it’s not harmful, but can you prove that we NEED it? Most people get more sick after being vaccinated…and enough people have grown up perfectly healthy, without vaccinations. My son wasn’t vaccinated as a baby, and he was never sick, compared to other kids who were sick all the time. He is smarter than any kid I know, and shows no signs of autism, or any other social/cognitive abnormality that I tend to see in other kids. There’s my proof first hand.

    We are stuck in a cycle of needing toxic chemicals to fight off unnatural viruses that are caused by OUR unnatural lifestyles. There has got to be a better way to prevent disease, and a better way to treat disease, than pumping people full of random harmful shit that may or may not work, and will most likely have adverse affects before being effective. I’d like to see the evidence that all these chemicals in our vaccinations are necessary and beneficial, before you start telling us not to worry about them due to your so called “math”.

    We all have a right to know and understand exactly everything in these vaccinations, and yet hardly anybody understands them at all.

    • thinkitover

      Have you ever bought bread at the grocery store and fed it
      to your child? It contains formaldehyde.
      The vegetables you feed your child are coated in poison and altered in
      their very genes. Have you ever taken your child to Subway? You have fed your
      child the same ingredients that are in the yoga mat you exercise on. Has your child ever had a pop? A piece of
      gum? Every day we feed our kids poison, years ago we didn’t know that, now
      every trip to the grocery store we stock up on food we know is modified past what
      our grandmothers would recognize as food. We bring that crud home and feed it
      to our families. Why? Because to avoid that we must either grow all our own
      food, mill our own flour, make our own bread and cheese and raise meat animals
      to slaughter ourselves or get up early on Saturday to go to the farmers market
      and take the time to get to know the folks who do all of that. We would have to
      spend our time and our money backing our position. Most people don’t. By
      contrast refusing to vaccinate a child requires no extra effort. In fact it
      means not having to go to the effort of keeping on top of the vaccine schedule
      or driving to the doctor to get the vaccination. I am not surprised that so
      many people choose to make a stand in the way that inconveniences them the
      least while blithely ignoring doing anything about the issues that require them
      to actually do something. What angers me is that while changing your shopping/eating
      habits has repercussions mostly for you and yours, refusing to vaccinate your
      child affects us all. We are seeing the effects of vaccine denial in the re-emergence
      of illness we thought we had beaten. So
      thank you to all those who take easy route to the high road, congratulating
      themselves the whole way. Thank you for your hypocrisy in endangering everyone
      else so you could feed your own image of yourself as a parent who cares without
      actually having to do anything positive.

    • notation

      Well, you surely don’t.

    • Dan

      Do you have selective reading or are you just really dumb? How can you possibly read that article and walk away with “HA! THEY ADMITTED VACCINES ARE DANGEROUS!”. You already know exactly what is in the vaccines. What the fuck do you think the ingredients label is for?

      I legitimately feel sorry for your children.

      • notation


    • TheSA-X

      “We all have a right to know and understand exactly everything in these
      vaccinations, and yet hardly anybody understands them at all.”

      Really? REALLY? You think nobody understands them at all? I understand everything in these vaccinations *because I actually read the article.* Apparently you didn’t.

      Just because you don’t understand doesn’t mean no one else understands.

    • notation

      You are a moron. I just re-read your idiotic screed, and I’m embarrassed for you. And I’m embarrassed OF you. That you are THAT stupid and ignorant is a sad commentary on our educational system.

      You’re disgusting.

    • Vlad

      Instead of calling you an idiot, let’s look at each point you make individually.

      “How does a mercury derivative make me healthy, and benefit our bodies?” —>That’s a bit of a straw man, especially if you read the article (perhaps you did not). No one and especially not the author is suggesting that thimerosal is inherently going to make you healthy. Its purpose is to maintain the intended antigen in isolation without risking exposure to real pathogens. You know that but try to frame the argument in a way that supports your pre-formed views. The point of the article is that the dose is quite small and has been shown to be non-toxic in humans.

      “How does formaldehyde benefit me if I inject myself or my child?” —>Another straw man, and a moot one at that. Have you eaten an apple in your life? A banana? Almost any fruit, meat or dairy product? Then you’ve consumed or fed to your child a detectable amount of formaldehyde. This is naturally occurring, and would be present at the same levels in organic produce. You don’t complain about this because you would never know. However you want to discredit vaccination so you bring it up, but ignore the fact that there is many times less formaldehyde (practically none!) in a vaccine that you take once than in common everyday foods.

      “Most people get more sick after being vaccinated”–> You are pretty veritably wrong here. You wouldn’t cite anything for the first statement because you are making it up. Unless you mean sick as in the literal intended mechanism of vaccination, where the immune system adapts to an antigen incapable of true infection. The purpose of a vaccine is to prevent someone from getting truly sick- so where are you getting that information?

      “..and enough people have grown up perfectly healthy, without vaccinations.” –> Millions, perhaps billions of people died from preventable illness while those people you talk about just got lucky. This statement is insensitive to anyone who died of an illness that could have been prevented by a vaccine. Just because some people avoided being infected doesn’t mean that everyone doesn’t deserve to be protected.

      “My son wasn’t vaccinated as a baby, and he was never sick, compared to other kids who were sick all the time. He is smarter than any kid I know, and shows no signs of autism, or any other social/cognitive abnormality that I tend to see in other kids. There’s my proof first hand.” —> So you’re using one subjective and personal case to refute statistics dealing with millions of people. Face it- you just don’t want to believe it. Your son not getting sick is not evidence that vaccines are somehow bad. Guess what, I’ll never get polio. But your son could right now if vaccines had never existed. Boom. Proof they’re good. Next, are you seriously insinuating that every child other than yours is showing autistic signs? You nor I are qualified to make that diagnosis, and even if you were you’ll find the same proportion of autistic children in the non-vaccinated population as in the normal. Your sample size is tiny and your conclusions aren’t really valid.

      “We are stuck in a cycle of needing toxic chemicals to fight off unnatural viruses that are caused by OUR unnatural lifestyles.”—> Viruses are natural forms of life just like us. They’ve existed for longer than humans and are no affected by our lifestyles- unless you mean when we eradicate them with modern medicine. You pretty much just assume that anything “unnatural” – the definition of which you don’t even understand- is automatically bad. Did you know that part of the human genome is made up of the remnants of viruses that infected us? Viruses are anything but unnatural.

      “There has got to be a better way to prevent disease, and a better way to treat disease, than pumping people full of random harmful shit that may or may not work, and will most likely have adverse affects before being effective.” –> Again acting like we are gambling with modern medicine. The first thing you must to do even test a drug or vaccine on humans is to show that it is absolutely safe. It is not likely that a vaccine will have adverse effects and it is very likely that it will be effective. As a scientist, I hate to burst your bubble but there is not a better way to treat disease. I wish we could just eat an herb to prevent disease but the truth is if you want to go natural, you might die of tuberculosis. I’m pretty satisfied with the fact that again, I don’t have polio. And neither does anyone else. Seriously if you had your way people would be stricken with polio right now.

      “I’d like to see the evidence that all these chemicals in our vaccinations are necessary and beneficial, before you start telling us not to worry about them due to your so called “math”.” –> No you wouldn’t. You just read exactly what you asked for. Millions of doses of vaccines have been administered for many years and these chemicals have been very neccesary for them to work. Many people have been saved from illness due to these chemicals. You need to admit that you are just going to ignore proof from here on out because you have it. It just doesn’t fit the narrative that you already believe in. Also, the only people that put quotations around math are those that are afraid of it. No math here is questionable and it does not deserve to be treated like its some illegitimate rationale when you just don’t agree with it.

      And finally: “We all have a right to know and understand exactly everything in these vaccinations, and yet hardly anybody understands them at all.” –> You’re right that we have this right, but you’re wrong that nobody understands it. What you mean is you don’t understand it. And therefore you’re afraid. Just because you or your friends have never taken the time to educate yourselves does not mean that no one else has. I understand them. Doctors understand them.

      My final point, one more time. Without vaccines, people would still have polio and other terrible diseases. Without them, your child would have a great chance of being crippled or dead, because they’d still be around. Instead of being frightened of things you don’t understand, I encourage you to try to learn more. Please don’t erase the positive strides we’ve made towards eradicating human disease.

      • Calgary Mom

        What a wonderful, thoughtful response to someone who obviously doesn’t get it. Bravo!

      • Skeptical Raptor

        Excellent Vlad.

    • Rudi

      You are an idiot. Stop using words.

    • LongJohns454

      How long have vaccines been used? Cause it would seem to me that we have survived despite your ‘warnings of doom and gloom and the world will come to an end”. In fact the worlds population has only increased – how is this possible if we are injected with poison and killing ourselves. History is also full of VERY smart people who have been vaccinated yet you are still arguing the fact?

      There has also never been verifiable proof that vaccines cause autism – please post this verified scientific proof that shows this.

    • LNursey

      you are insane, go to a third world country and say that to someone who has no access to vaccines and people are dying of preventable diseases, they would ask for that vaccine in a heartbeat. And by not vaccinating your child you are putting other immune compromised children and pregnant women, etc at risk. Your child gets one of these diseases and then you need the cure which HELLO is probably fully of big names you can’t understand. When your child gets one of these diseases and you have to take them into emerge the nurse is going to look at you like you are from space and say ‘um didn’t you know you could prevent this’ Do some research, and keep your kids away from mine

      • Dee

        Some of these diseases don’t even have cures which would put her in an even more precarious situation should her son contract one.

    • joeymom

      I can prove you need it. Without these vaccines, thousands of kids died every year from these diseases. Now, only a few hundred do- and that is up dramatically from before the anti-vax tide.

    • valerie

      LMAO you are just too much. is this the generation that will be running the world. god help us all.

      • Skeptical Raptor

        95% of children are vaccinated. Darwinian Evolution would lead me to conclude that those unvaccinated kids will not be ruling the world. At least I hope.

    • Dee

      Did you even read the article. These ingredients can be toxic in high (extremely high) doses. They are harmless in tiny doses. So is salt, so is water which is something our bodies need but too much in one setting and you can die(look up dilutional hyponatremia). A mercury dirivitive is not the same as mercury (of which their are different types not all of them threatening to us in small doses) in fact mercury is a naturally occurring compound in our bodies, as is formaldehyde, in much higher levels than the thimersol used in vaccine (now only found in flu shots, which are not required for most of the population and there is a thimersol free version, it cost more, if that’s really such a big deal to you) and the trace amounts of formaldehyde which may still be in the vaccines after their purification. It is used to sanitize the vaccine so you don’t inject live viruses and/or bacteria into the patient thus making them sick. So yeah, its safe because of math. Mathematics isn’t some scary voodoo curse, I don’t particularly enjoy the subject, but it is important and does in fact have relevance here. Yes, we have the right to understand whats in vaccines and why. And this article even explains some of that. Thimersol is a preservative so that multiple doses can be manufactured at once and distributed as they can be held for longer periods. Because people hear the word mercury and assume its poison, doesn’t mean it is. There are different types of mercury and not all of them are inherently harmful, some are relitively benign. A dirivitive of mercury, thus is not neccessarily harmful. And, since its no longer used (except in one vaccine which has an alternative that doesn’t use it and you don’t have to get it) should not be an issue anymore. At least not if facts actually matter to you. Just because YOU are not capable of understanding these facts or about vaccination in general doesn’t mean others don’t know it. Where is your “proof” that “hardly anyone” understands vaccines? I know a lot of people who understand vaccination. If “hardly anyone” understand, logically shouldn’t that mean I wouldn’t be able to know very many people who do understand it? And as for your claims that “most people get sick” after vaccination, or that most kids who are vaccinated are sick a lot? Do you know most people on the planet who are vaccinated and personally survey them? Where are you getting this information from? I know its not from actual statistics because every actual report on adverse side effects from vaccines indicated that such side effects are rare, less than 1%. And, where are you getting these stats proving most kids are sickly. Most children I know and know of are actually quiet healthy and resilient. Your experience with your son isn’t “proof” of anything, at most it would be one case study if it weren’t your son (the emotional ties between families creates a bias so your report alone wouldn’t count toward any kind of study). Also, since hundreds of studies on thousands of children (and I’m actually under-playing the numbers) have already proven that vaccine do NOT cause autism, your son’s lack of autism has absolutly no bearing on this topic. It literally proves nothing. My 2 siblings don’t have autism, display any autistic symptoms nor have any cognitive nor social abnormality; they are neurotypicals, perfectly healthy, social, and with no cognitive deficits. They were vaccinated. Vaccines did them absolutly no harm. I am autistic, like everyone else on the spectrum, I was born autistic. I vaccinated too, and like my siblings suffered no harm from it. My immune system is strong, I heal fast, and was rarely sick as a child. As for my cognitive abilities, I’m highly intelligent. Further, I feel no shame about my brain type, so metaphorically speaking, you can take your faulty opinions about my brain type (autism) and shove them up your pretentious @$$. Lastly, the diseases vaccines prevent are natural. We didn’t create them, and they have existed long before humans even had a full understanding of the germs, much less the ability to manipulate them. Vaccines were created to prevent these diseases and are the most effective way to do so. Those are verifiable facts, unlike the nonsense you’re spouting. Why don’t you actually do some research? Maybe then you wouldn’t have a problem understanding vaccines.

      • Skeptical Raptor

        I love what you wrote. But I’d love it more if you could use paragraphs. Puhlease!!!

        • Dee

          Sorry about that. I’ve been having trouble typing comments with paragraph breaks; I end up accidentally deleting the post or submitting the unfinished one instead of inserting a black space. So, I tend to just type them as one long stream, especially if I’m typing fast (motor coordination issues) since that increases these incidents.

    • Jeff Utz, M.D.

      THere’s toxins in fruit too. But it is the dose that is important. The amount of formaldehyde in a vaccine is 1000x less than the amount of formaldehyde normally found in the blood.

      Mercury derivatives don’t make us healthy; they are a tiny part of a few vaccines. However, the dose is so small to be almost none-existent, and below any value that has been shown to be harmful.

      People do grow up perfectly healthy without getting vaccines; they are also more lilely to die from vaccine-preventable diseases. The hypothesis that vaccines cause autism has been ruled out.

      Our bodies respond to millions of different antigens (molecules that cause an immune response) every day. We normally get exposed to different bacteria. The number of antigens that we get from vaccines is extremely small than the number we get from bacteria and visuses elsewhere, like from cuts and scrapes and in our food.

      The ingredients of the vaccines are listed on the labels and available not he web. From your argument, it seems clear that you don’t understand much, however.

      • Skeptical Raptor

        Like lesson number one in Toxicology 101 is “dose matters.” Sigh.

    • MissM

      “Your so called “math”.”??!! No. Math is not fictional. It does not require quotations or the words ‘so called’ in front of it.

      If you would like to see evidence regarding vaccines, I suggest you do some research (from reputable websites and actual doctors, not whackjob conspiracy sites and anecdotes from your friendly neighbourhood anti-vaccine mommy group).

      I sincerely hope by your comments about “unnatural lifestyles” that you aren’t suggesting “eating clean” or whatever as a preventative measure against polio, rubella, measles, pertussis, etc. These, and a host of other diseases, had been completely eradicated in first world countries before the completely discredited Dr. Wakefield published his highly falsified findings about the correlation between vaccines and autism. Not eating processed foods isn’t going to prevent you from contracting whooping cough. Sorry.

      It is absolutely beyond shameful in this day and age that there are children dying from diseases that scientists spent their lives creating a cure for. Absolutely shameful. I firmly believe that this little bit of history is going to be looked back on with disdain and embarrassment by future generations.

  • dbb555

    The flu vaccine will only work on the flu strain it was designed for. The producers GUESS which strain they THINK might show up and as yet after 28 years they have FAILED to guess correctly which means the millions upon millions of flu vaccine doses given out had absolutely no power to protect but incidentally did kill a million people due to fatal side effects..
    Why would I take an injection of a vaccine that could kill me but can’t prevent flu unless someone guessed the strain correctly?

    • watwat

      You’re a fucking idiot.

    • Susan Peck Knueven

      Please tell me where your got your statistic that 1 million people died as a result of getting the flu shot? And you need to do more research on how often the flu shot actually did cover the flu it was designed for~~The scientists have not been wrong often~~H1N1 is one of the few things not covered and they came out with that vaccine very quickly. If I am correct, and I know I am, more died from the flu itself than ever from the vaccine~~You need to do a lot more research before making the statements you have.

      • Skeptical Raptor

        Susan, you do realize that anti-vaxxers are also known as “lying liars who lie.” dbb555 invented numbers just to create a story.

        Good reply.

      • notation

        dbb got that from pulledoutofddbb’ Similar sources are available on request from “nut-jobs and wackaloons anonymous.”

      • blueberre

        I’m not taking a stand either way but, FYI, my son in the military received a flu shot with H1N1 a few years ago. The shot was given in October, he was diagnosed (through a lab) with H1N1 the following January. He pulled through, but said he had never felt so sick in his life.

    • notation

      Yer a dolt.

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  • delicate white.

    Fuck anti-vaxxers for driving up vaccine costs. Damn them.

    • Kevin Donnelly

      You’re not only blind, but illiterate too.

    • thinkitover

      Or maybe their child was damaged by watching tv before the age of one, or playing games on mom or dad’s i phone before the age of 3. There are excellent scientific studies about the effect those things have on the brain yet I have yet to see parents getting hot under the collar about those issues.

    • Dan

      That’s not how burden of proof works.

    • LongJohns454

      that’s some funny shit right there – please post a link to a publish scientific paper/study that shows vaccines cause autism.

    • Dee

      Actually there are a few that are available at 6 weeks. These have been proven to safe at that age. The next set is at 3-5 months, then about 18 months and then 3-5 years. Most vaccines are given in the 18months to 5 year range (because these ones wouldn’t be as safe earlier) which is also when symptoms of autism tend to manifest, hence the co-relation that some ignorant people try to say is a causative relationship when its not.

    • Chardelle Penman

      good point, but why should you dole out the punishment? Are you God? Maybe there is no God to you, but the universe is intelligent enough to serve everyone their own Karma. It’s not all up to you, champ. Could you live with yourself after harming another child’s parent? What if that parent were you? Would you deserve a second chance? The spread of disease through our kids is out of ignorance, as I don’t think any sane person would intentionally want to infect your kid, or theirs! Intention is what matters. Punishment is petty, gives people a false sense of entitlement, when you yourself are already guilty of something else. “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” said Jesus.
      I am not a Christian, I have just seen people get what they deserve, without having to lift a finger on my behalf, because the energy you send out is exactly what comes back to you, 100%. Let’s educate (+), not punish (-).

      • Dan

        What about those 14,000 kids who starve to death every year? Did they get what they deserved? Your entire outlook is dependent on you living in a bubble.

      • notation

        Oh, FUCK you and your idea of “karma.” Get a god-damn education, you moron. You’re a disgusting dolt who is inexcusably ignorant.

    • Jeff Utz, M.D.

      If you want to go completely organic, please don’t forget to move outside. Living in houses or apartments is not natural. Stop pooping in toilet. Not natural. Get your own food by hunting or growing your own food. No guns. They’re not natural, either. Stop using the computer and cell phones. Not natural.

    • thinkitover

      Ever take Tylenol for anything? Go online sometime and read the possible side effects. Ever take a cold capsule or give your child children’s motrin? Ever read the 2 pages of information that comes in the box about that? Most of the medications we take come with lists of possible side effects. The litigious world we live in means every side effect must be noted no matter how unlikely. We accept these risks to get rid of a headache or the symptoms of a cold, why balk at seeing similar warnings on a vaccine? In the world we live in it is not hard to get juries to award judgment for perceived injuries from taking medication (this is exactly why every medicine has those long lists of effects.) In the case of vaccination the court cases were helped by studies undertaken by a doctor who now freely admits he wangled data to get the conclusions he wanted, conclusions that said vaccines were dangerous. This is the shaky science vaccine denial is based on.

    • watwat

      What the fuck do you think vaccines are, you moron?

    • LNursey

      vial fragments? Get a grip! medications are drawn up from a vial with a rubber lid and if not there are needles with filters you MORON! ugh people like you just make me soooo angry

    • watwat

      That is not propaganda – that is truth.

      That’s what you idiots do. You ignore scientific facts and logic. GTFO.

    • thinkitover

      She is telling the simple truth.

    • LNursey

      wow now you are just spreading some absolute bullshit, there has been one doctor in the world who published that vaccines cause autism and he lost his license and was labeled a QUACK! stop spreading this you are actually going to do real harm here

    • Dan

      You can’t even spell her name, so I’m not sure why anybody would take advice from you regarding research..

    • thinkitover

      They admit to side effects for the same reason Tylenol, Motrin, Ex Lax or any other medication posts their side effects. If you want to read evil intent into the listing of side effects can I take it that you wish to exclude all health remedies (even the homeopathic stuff has possible side effects.) I can’t say for certain if that excise tax is a real thing or a vaccine denial pseudo fact but to give you the benefit of the doubt, I there have been judgments rendered against many companies including some of the herbal and natural supplements. We live in a litigious world and it is not hard to find a person or a company involved in health care that has not settled a case against themselves. Maybe we should go back to the days when no one went to the doctor unless they were dying but then to hear the vaccine denials, no one was ill then and everything was sunshine and roses compared to today.

    • watwat

      That’s LSD, you dipshit. Apples and oranges.

      The blogger posted LD50 values. Do you understand what that even means?

    • watwat

      Gobbligupe? If you were educated, you would have no problem understanding this article.

      Get the fuck out of here, you uneducated piece of garbage.

    • thinkitover

      I think you misunderstand vaccines. They don’t protect against the common cold. I also think you are romanticizing the past. In your day people could and did die of measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough and many other childhood diseases. The way that vaccines are working is that until recently when more and more parents stopped allowing their children to be vaccinated, fewer people died of those things. But hey let’s take your point a bit further, in your day there was no antibiotic and by your own post no one died of illness so let’s just get rid of antibiotics and anything else they didn’t have then. No doubt that would make you very comfortable.

    • thinkitover

      If you listened to the scientists instead of the mathematicians you would know that the equation you went to the trouble to make up is not indicative of causation. To give you an example; for the last 2 weeks I have changed my routine and had a cup of coffee in the morning, also for the last 2 weeks the price of oil has gotten lower. Did my coffee mornings cause the price of oil to lower or did the lower price of oil cause me to drink coffee? I think we both know the answer to that but it is possible to draw what science calls a correlation effect. In other words those things happened at the same time but may or may not have anything to do with each other. If we did the studies I am sure we would prove that neither thing caused the other. In the case of vaccine’s there is a small correlation effect observed and studies have proved no causality. The other factors that could also cause or contribute to the rise in autism and LDs are vast and include things for which there are studies showing possible causal effects (thinks like earlier ages of watching TV and more time watching TV for children or the earlier ages children are exposed to online or video game playing and the amount of time spent doing so.) There are things that have been changing the brain chemistry of our babies and toddlers but we have been ignoring them in large part because paying attention to them doesn’t fit our cultural norms. Vaccinations have been proven not to cause autism and LDs.

    • thinkitover

      Giving your child antibiotics for a raging pneumonia can have serious side effects too perhaps even lead to death. Most of us would risk it recognizing that the possibility of death from the illness was far greater than the risk of an adverse side effect from the medication. The problem with parents who make a choice for “my child” is that they are not just making that choice for their child, they are making a choice that impacts everyone. As these illness return they are adapting and becoming harder to treat effectively. The vast majority of parents making this choice aren’t doing so because of family histories of auto immune disease, they are doing it because someone told them vaccine equals autism. That is a stance that is not proven by science and yet many parents are acting as though it were and making a huge life decision based on that belief. The folks who claim that science proves vaccination cause autism and LDs are perpetrating a hoax and the parents that fall for it are increasing the likelihood of a return to 19th century standards of illness and medicine.

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