Annual Mark Crislip rant about healthcare worker flu vaccine deniers

healthcare worker flu vaccine

We’re entering the 2022-2023 flu season in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s time for the annual epic Mark Crislip rant about healthcare worker flu vaccine deniers. For the past ten years at the start of the flu season, I reprint Dr. Mark Crislip‘s hysterical and outstanding rant about knucklehead healthcare workers who invent flu vaccine fallacies, tropes, and myths in an effort to justify their belief that the flu vaccine is dangerous, useless, or whatever else that hits their brain.

Dr. Crislip’s humorous compilation of these flu vaccine myths, which were originally published in A Budget of Dumb Asses 2011, describes the different types of vaccine-refusing healthcare workers. I resurrect this list every year at the beginning of the flu season not only for humor (because it is funny) but also to point the finger at flu vaccine deniers who also happen to be healthcare workers.

Any nurse, pharmacist, therapist, physician, or surgeon that refuses the flu vaccine by relying upon pseudoscientific nonsense about the vaccine rather than protecting their patients and themselves is appalling. I may be harsh, but maybe their employment ought to be terminated for their lack of concern about patients.

But the true adherents to the flu vaccine beliefs aren’t just healthcare workers. You know neighbors, friends, family, and even fellow vaccine supporters who refuse to get the flu vaccine. And they rely on the same ridiculous myths as healthcare workers.

These vaccine deniers believe that the flu vaccine is not necessary because the disease is not dangerous. Nothing could be further from the truth.

One last thing. You may be asking why I write “knucklehead,” instead of “dumbass” as Dr. Crislip writes, see Note 1.

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New XBB variant of COVID-19 — bivalent booster vaccine works

XBB variant

Here we go with a new, kind of scary version of COVID-19 — the XBB variant, which is just one of several variants that are spreading across the world. I think we’ve heard and read about so many variants over the past two and a half years that it might appear to be background noise.

But the new XBB variant probably shouldn’t be ignored — it spreads faster and seems to evade the immune system. These two issues alone can become problematic as we enter the winter months.

This article will look at this variant (though I’m just picking on one out of dozens that appear to be circulating) because XBB seems to be a bit more virulent than others. But there’s good news too — the new bivalent COVID-19 vaccine boosters from Pfizer and Moderna appear to protect against the new variant.

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Bob Sears gets third probation for fake medical exemption

Bob Sears

This article, about Dr. Bob Sears’ third probation, 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 about vaccination’s social and legal policies in law journals. 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 August 30, 2022, the Medical Board of California adopted as its decision a settlement agreement with Dr. Robert Sears (Dr. Bob Sears) under which he would be under probation until June 2023 and required to undergo a couple of medical courses. The grounds, as set out in the accusation attached to the settlement, were writing a fake medical exemption for a girl of 13. 

This seems like a very, very light penalty for someone for whom this is the third case in a row of giving a baseless medical exemption. I am not sure if the Board was concerned that it may not be able to fully prove the allegation or is especially solicitous to Dr. Bob Sears (and why), or whether something else was going on. 

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HPV vaccine not linked to encephalitis — but, here comes a lawsuit

HPV vaccine encephalitis

I was pointed to a lawsuit where the plaintiffs contend that their son died from a form of encephalitis caused by the HPV vaccine. Despite the lack of scientific evidence, the family wants to blame the tragic death of their son on something — and the HPV vaccine is the most convenient target.

This article isn’t going to get into the weeds of the lawsuit, that’s best left to others. I just want to dismiss any link between the HPV vaccine and a form of encephalitis called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, which the parents claimed was caused by the vaccine.

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ICAN misuses v-safe data to mislead about COVID-19 vaccines

ICAN V-Safe

This article, about how ICAN misuses v-safe data, 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 vaccination’s social and legal policies. 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.

The Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN), an anti-vaccine organization, has claimed that V-Safe data that it obtained access to shows COVID-19 vaccines are unsafe. ICAN misrepresented CDC’s obligations about v-safe data and its treatment of it and is making claims that, at best, overstate what v-safe shows – while ignoring the extensive evidence from all around the world on COVID-19 vaccines.

This post may come across as a bit cranky, and it likely is. This is Yom Kippur, I am fasting, and this is not how I wanted to spend my fast evening. But countering anti-vaccine misinformation that can harm and kill people is important, I already did the groundwork – I was thinking of writing about the earlier press release from ICAN – so here goes.

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Non-polio enterovirus linked to respiratory disease, not vaccines

non-polio enterovirus

With the appearance of a polio outbreak recently, I wanted to clear up some misinformation (from anti-vaxxers) regarding non-polio enterovirus linked to an outbreak of children’s respiratory disease. There is no relationship between the polio outbreak and the outbreak of non-polio enterovirus, and there is certainly no relationship between either and vaccines.

For this article, I’ll focus on the non-polio enterovirus. There is a lot to this situation, so stay tuned for some science.

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Anti-vaxxer blames COVID-19 vaccines for death of Queen Elizabeth II

queen elizabeth vaccines

Yes, an anti-vax MD, Peter McCullough, in a crass and disgusting Twitter post tried to blame COVID-19 vaccines for the death of Queen Elizabeth. Anti-vaxxers will take any opportunity, without regard to morality and civility, to produce propaganda about vaccines. They have no shame. They have nothing supporting their claims, so they use this type of repulsive post to lie about vaccines.

Dr. Peter McCullough, who has a history of promoting misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines, should not be considered a source of anything related to vaccines. And he has no clue about the cause of Queen Elizabeth’s death.

Because the Royal Family is always tight-lipped with news, we may never know the actual cause of death. But Queen Elizabeth II was 96 years old, which has nothing to COVID-19 vaccines, mandated or otherwise. She lived an incredibly full life, devoted to service to her country.

At 96 years old, her life expectancy is around three years, so there’s nothing mysterious about her death. What does Peter McCullough think? That Queen Elizabeth’s next 50 years were cut short by COVID-19 vaccines? His ridiculous, unfounded, and unsupported statement would be laughable under normal circumstances, but this is a repulsive disrespect for someone who has just died.

Furthermore, there is a huge volume of evidence that COVID-19 vaccines do nothing that he claims. They are demonstrably safe. And there is NO evidence that the vaccines did what he claims they did to anyone on the planet, let alone Queen Elizabeth.

Oncogenesis? No.

Autoimmunity? No.

Senescence? I don’t even know what that means with regard to vaccines.

Subclinical myocarditis? What?

Thrombosis? Extremely rare with the JNJ vaccine, which she probably didn’t receive since it’s not approved in the UK.

I thought I couldn’t get any more disgusted by the anti-vaccine world. But they do things that bring it to the next level. The anti-vaxxers jumped on the death of Queen Elizabeth to pass along lies about vaccines. Just how low can they get?

New Oxford malaria vaccine shows strong safety and effectiveness

Oxford malaria vaccine

Although it may seem like all we talk about are the COVID-19 vaccines, there is a new malaria vaccine developed by Oxford University that has shown a strong effectiveness and safety profile in phase 1/2b clinical trials. Control of malaria has been a goal of scientists for a long time, a potential malaria vaccine is something that should be celebrated widely.

If all goes well, the Oxford malaria vaccine could be approved by late 2023, saving children in many parts of the world from this scourge.

A new paper has been published that provides details of the clinical trial, which I will review below.

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The misleading claims of anti-vaccine Steve Kirsch — a review

Steve Kirsch

This article about misleading claims from anti-vaccine activist Steve Kirsch 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 vaccination’s social and legal policies. 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.

I have not previously discussed posts by Mr. Steve Kirsch, of the new generation of antivaccine activists, because they are not generally related to law or regulation, and they have been well debunked by those that are in the field, such are Dr. Jeffrey Morris, Dr. David Gorski, and others more suited to address his statistical errors. 

But his recent post, “Silenced healthcare workers speak out publicly for the first time,” is sufficiently jarring that I would like to address it. Mr. Kirsch’s claims have been getting increasingly more extreme, and this post is a good example of some of the problems with his views that you do not need an extensive background in statistics to address. (I do not link to anti-vaccine posts, but with the title and author they should be easy to find, should anyone wish to). 

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Safety and effectiveness of the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine

Monkeypox vaccine safety effectiveness

I’m probably going to have to write about the safety and effectiveness of the monkeypox vaccine several times in the future. But I’ve been reading a lot of misinformation about the new vaccine (I’m shocked, are you?), so I thought I would write about what we know as of today.

Believe it or not, we know a lot about the vaccine. It has been through clinical trials, so we have as much information about the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness as we knew at the launch of every other vaccine. Despite the claims of vaccine deniers all over the world, clinical trials provide us with a lot of good information about vaccines.

Let’s take a look at what we know today about the safety and effectiveness of the monkeypox vaccine.

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