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aluminum exley

Christopher Aluminum Exley is still around after leaving academia

Christopher Aluminum Exley, who thinks that the aluminum in vaccines causes everything from autism to Alzheimer’s disease and is a favorite target of my snark, disappeared after he left his academic appointment at Keele University in the UK.

In case you were wondering, Christopher Exley is still pushing false information about aluminum and vaccines. Of course, when does an anti-vaxxer ever really disappear from the world of pushing their nonsense?

Let’s catch up on Christopher Aluminum Exley, just so you know he’s alive and well. And still inventing claims about vaccines.

Read More »Christopher Aluminum Exley is still around after leaving academia
COVID-19 vaccine liability

Vaccine court myths – instead, here are facts about the NVICP

The anti-vaccine world loves its myths, because, lacking any real scientific evidence supporting their outlandish claims, fairy tales are all they have. Not that I like picking and choosing the worst of the anti-vaccine urban legends, but the vaccine court myths are among the most egregious and ridiculous.

Although there are a lot of vaccine court myths, I wanted this article will focus on just three critical points:

  1. The vaccine court vs. civil courts for plaintiffs.
  2. Vaccine manufacturers are immune to lawsuits.
  3. Billions of dollars have been paid out to “victims.”
  4. The vaccine court said that vaccines cause autism.

Let’s get to the article.

Read More »Vaccine court myths – instead, here are facts about the NVICP
acetaminophen pregnancy autism

Acetaminophen during pregnancy linked to autism? Maybe.

I’ve been asked several times about the veracity of the claims that taking acetaminophen during pregnancy was linked to autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. I do get tired of all the claims about what causes autism, especially when it comes to vaccines.

However, in this case, there seems to be some quality evidence that consuming analgesics, like acetaminophen, may be linked to an increased risk of autism.

Let’s look at some of the best data which may support this claim.

Read More »Acetaminophen during pregnancy linked to autism? Maybe.
science belief

Science is not a belief, not a religion — please get this straight

I get so tired of people who science is nothing more than a belief, rather than a method to understand facts about the natural universe. I don’t believe in vaccines. I don’t believe in evolution. I don’t believe in climate change.

In each of those cases, and much more, I review and accept the scientific evidence that supports a scientific claim, whether it is that evolution is real, that climate change is caused by humans, or that vaccines don’t cause autism. No, I am not an evolutionary biologist (though it’s kind of hard to be a biologist without accepting evolution), a meteorologist, or a vaccine scientist. But I do know how to follow the science in an unbiased manner and I know who are the experts in fields which means science is not a belief to me, but facts supported by evidence.

I like to say that I don’t believe in anything. Not one thing. My statement is always “the evidence supports” any claim that I make. Now, I don’t apply this many other areas of my life. I don’t like Brussels sprouts, and the only evidence I have is that they taste like little pieces of poison. It’s an opinion, one that will not be changed, especially once I found out that Brussels sprouts are frequently cut in half to determine if there is a brood of disgusting worms in the middle. But I have zero scientific evidence supporting my claim that Brussels sprouts were created to destroy human civilization.

Let me get a bit into science and belief so that you understand what I’m trying to say. Because if one more anti-vaxxer claims that “vaccines are a religion based on belief,” I’m going to scream. Or when a creationist tries to claim I am an “evolutionist” trying to make it seem like evolution is merely another set of beliefs.

I am mostly writing this article because I get tired of replying to people that I “believe” in something in science. I keep repeating myself, so I can just drop a link to refute their nonsense. Of course, I’m assuming that they can read what’s in the link.

Read More »Science is not a belief, not a religion — please get this straight
jenny mccarthy vaccines

Jenny McCarthy, with help from Oprah, misinforms about vaccines

Jenny McCarthy was once the MTV drunk college dating game hostess and former “journalist” on The View. I remember when she joined The View – there was widespread condemnation of her hiring from scientists, journalists, and yours truly because of her annoying anti-vaccine rhetoric. Clearly, no one of any note supported her being hired on the View, except for websites like the Age of Pushing Nonsense To Harm Children.

Read More »Jenny McCarthy, with help from Oprah, misinforms about vaccines
autism and vaccines

Science of autism and vaccines – 163 peer-reviewed articles say no link

Autism and vaccines are not linked or associated according to real science. This has been published in real scientific journals written by real scientists and physicians. Even though the science is clear to almost everyone, the false claim about vaccines and autism is constantly repeated by anti-vaxxers.

Let’s be clear – the lack of a link between vaccines and autism is settled science. There is overwhelming evidence, as listed in this article, that there is no link. Outside of anecdotes, internet memes, misinformation, and VAERS dumpster-diving, there is no evidence that there is a link. 

Ever since MrAndrew Wakefield published his fraudulent study, which was subsequently retracted, that actually did not show a link between the MMR vaccine and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the anti-vaccine crowd has embraced it as if it were a scientific fact. 

This Wakefield chicanery has spawned a cottage industry of other anti-vaccine zealots like Del Bigtree and his fraudumentary Vaxxed, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Christopher Exley, Christopher Shaw, James Lyons-Weiler, Tetyana Obukhanych, and many others. 

This article presents 163 scientific articles, published in high-quality, peer-reviewed journals. Almost all of them are either primary studies that include large clinical trials or case-control or cohort studies. They also include numerous systematic reviews, which represent the pinnacle of biomedical research.

All of these articles, from some of the top vaccine scientists in the world, show that there are no links between autism and vaccines. None. 

Read More »Science of autism and vaccines – 163 peer-reviewed articles say no link
baby food autism

Baby food and autism — do the lawsuits and internet claims have merit?

For Facebook users, “targeted ads” are a way of life. I ignore them until I saw one from lawyers who were suing baby food manufacturers for causing autism. I guess that they weren’t getting anywhere with the trope that vaccines cause autism (they absolutely don’t), although the quack Del Bigtree continues to push the myth.

As I did for vaccines, I’m going to show you that baby food may or may not be linked to autism. There seem to be some problematic issues with baby food manufacturing, but that does not show a direct link to autism.

Oh yeah, one basic principle you need to understand — lawyers and judges do NOT establish science.

Read More »Baby food and autism — do the lawsuits and internet claims have merit?
vaccines autism

ICAN lawsuit against CDC statement that vaccines do not cause autism

This article about another ICAN lawsuit disputing the CDC statement that vaccines do not cause autism was written by Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law (San Francisco, CA), who is a frequent contributor to this and many other blogs, providing in-depth, and intellectually stimulating, articles about vaccines, medical issues, social policy, and the law.

Professor Reiss writes extensively in law journals about the social and legal policies of vaccination. Additionally, Reiss is also a member of the Parent Advisory Board of Voices for Vaccines, a parent-led organization that supports and advocates for on-time vaccination and the reduction of vaccine-preventable diseases. She is also a member of the Vaccines Working Group on Ethics and Policy.

On March 31, 2022, a federal district judge dismissed the Informed Consent Action Network‘s (ICAN) lawsuit demanding that CDC remove the statement that vaccines do not cause autism. The judge dismissed the lawsuit because ICAN failed to show that the alleged harms it claimed were caused by anything CDC did, or that removing the statement would fix the problem that they claim they identified. 

The claim never got to be examined on the merits, and for the purpose of dismissal at this early stage, the judge is required to treat ICAN’s claims as true. But it’s worth reminding readers that extensive data shows that vaccines do not cause autism.

Read More »ICAN lawsuit against CDC statement that vaccines do not cause autism
malpractice vaccine

Jury rejects malpractice claim that a vaccine caused child’s autism

This article about a Tennesse jury rejecting a malpractice claim that a physician who gave a vaccine caused autism was written by Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law (San Francisco, CA), who is a frequent contributor to this and many other blogs, providing in-depth, and intellectually stimulating, articles about vaccines, medical issues, social policy, and the law.

Professor Reiss writes extensively in law journals about the social and legal policies of vaccination. Additionally, Reiss is also a member of the Parent Advisory Board of Voices for Vaccines, a parent-led organization that supports and advocates for on-time vaccination and the reduction of vaccine-preventable disease. She is also a member of the Vaccines Working Group on Ethics and Policy.

On February 18, 2022, a jury in Tennessee rejected a malpractice case filed by Rolf Hazlehurst for his son Yates, in which he claimed that the child’s doctors, by giving him a vaccine, caused the child’s autism. The case was rejected because the doctors did not violate the standard of care, did not commit malpractice in giving the child a vaccine. The case never got to assessing the causation question – did the vaccines cause Yates’ autism – but the chances of prevailing on that were also low. 

Read More »Jury rejects malpractice claim that a vaccine caused child’s autism
correlation causation

When does correlation equal causation in the research of vaccines?

One of the frustrating things when discussing the science of vaccines is the misuse of correlation and causation. Too many people accept that correlation implies or is even equivalent to causation.

One of the foundations of biomedical science is whether correlation implies causation. Anti-vaccine activists often conflate or misunderstand the two, rejecting or accepting correlation as long as it fits its narrative.  The “correlation implies causation” story is often abused, misused, and confused by many people who are examining studies that involve vaccines..

One thing we do know about correlation is that if you can’t establish correlation, despite numerous attempts, it is nearly impossible to claim causation. If you have a correlation between X and Y, you need a lot more data to establish causation between X and Y. Dumpster diving into VAERS, the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System may show a correlation between an adverse event and a vaccine (and I would contend you can’t even really do that), you are a long ways from showing causation.

But there are powerful scientific methods to establish causation from observations of correlation. Correlation can imply causation if hard scientific work was done to establish that the correlation equals causation. This article will try to walk the reader through the methods to determine causation between an adverse event and a vaccine. But again, it’s not going to be easy.

Read More »When does correlation equal causation in the research of vaccines?