October 2019 ACIP public comments – anti-vaccine complaints, part 2

2019 ACIP public comments

This is part 2, the 2019 ACIP public comments, of Professor Dorit Rubinstein Reiss’ review of the recent Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) meeting. Part 1 can be found here.

There were 18 people slotted for the October 2019 ACIP public comments. Because more people signed up for comments than could fit in the hour allotted for it, they used a lottery to determine who will comment (note that in addition, the committee offered unlimited opportunity to comment in writing).

However, six of these people did not attend the meeting, so there were 12 commenters in all. Three of them were pro-vaccine, two members of the Immunization Action Coalition – LJ Tan and Julie Murphy – and one, a pediatrician from Oklahoma, Dr. Eve Switzer.

Nine of the 2019 ACIP public comments were from anti-vaccine individuals. Continue reading “October 2019 ACIP public comments – anti-vaccine complaints, part 2”

October 2019 ACIP meeting review – vaccine discussions, part 1

2019 ACIP meeting review

This article is my October 2019 ACIP meeting review. On October 23, 2019, I attended one out of two days of the meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). 

Unfortunately, I could not stay both days, because I had to get back to teach on Thursday. But that one day was instructive. Like last time, this meeting was data-heavy and intensive, and the process was thorough.

While a number of anti-vaccine activists attended, there was no real indication that they followed the committee’s deliberations, tried to understand what was discussed, or learned from the information presented.

Their comments during and after the meeting did not contribute substantively to the discussion or offered anything that could lead to meaningful policy changes.

Because of the length of this review, it will be divided into two parts:

  • Part I describes the content of the meeting.
  • Part II addresses the public comments.

Continue reading “October 2019 ACIP meeting review – vaccine discussions, part 1”

Vegan cat food – come on people, this is no way to treat your pets

vegan cat food

While writing an article about dog food myths, I ran across something that flabbergasted me – vegan cat food. I was literally going to scream at my computer screen, then I decided I’d redirect my thoughts to a post about it. 

The ridiculous thoughts about pet care has caused some pet owners are avoiding vaccines for their pets because they believe it may cause them to become autistic. Let me remind the world that there is no scientific evidence of any link between any vaccine and the autism spectrum disorder. 

I’m troubled by well-meaning, but scientifically illiterate, individuals trying to anthropomorphize their pets by pushing their beliefs about their own health (almost always wrong) onto their pets. This vegan cat food trend is just plain wrong for the health of their cats. Continue reading “Vegan cat food – come on people, this is no way to treat your pets”

Maternal flu vaccine – it protects the health of both mother and baby

maternal flu vaccine

I know that many people, even healthcare professionals, make lame excuses about a maternal flu vaccine. We have heard everything from “the vaccine gives me the flu” to “I never get the flu” to “the flu isn’t dangerous.” These anti-vaccine beliefs betray the overwhelming facts about the safety and effectiveness of the flu vaccine, especially for pregnant mothers.

A new study published in a real high-quality biomedical journal supports the claims that the maternal flu vaccine protects the health of the mother, the developing fetus, and the newborn child. Let’s take a look. Continue reading “Maternal flu vaccine – it protects the health of both mother and baby”

NVICP SIDS vaccine decision overturned on appeal – the facts

SIDS vaccine

On July 18, 2018, a Judge of the Court of Federal Claims overturned the NVICP SIDS vaccine decision that awarded compensation to Mr. and Mrs. Boatmon for the death of their baby, JB. The Court found that the Special Master’s decision was arbitrary and capricious because it ignored previous decisions and applied a too-low standard of proof to the case. Continue reading “NVICP SIDS vaccine decision overturned on appeal – the facts”

Measles immune suppression – Tetyana Obukhanych cherry-picking

Recently, I wrote an article about measles immune suppression, a serious complication of the disease, and one of the great reasons to get the measles vaccine. According to two peer-reviewed articles, one published in the prestigious journal Science and the other article in a sister journal Science Immunology, researchers described that measles infections destroyed some immune memory cells, causing the individual to lose protection to some diseases.

Of course, the anti-vaccine zealots’ favorite false authority, Tetyana Obukhanych, decided to deny the solid scientific articles that established one of the well-known complications of measles. It’s not like anyone should take her babbling pseudoscience seriously, but just in case someone does, it’s important that we point out that Obukhanych is wrong once again. Continue reading “Measles immune suppression – Tetyana Obukhanych cherry-picking”

Skeptical Raptor removes annoying Disqus comment system

disqus comment system

Sadly, the ancient dinosaur has decided to remove the poorly designed Disqus comment system that we have been using here for years. Although it is popular with users, it is bad for everything else.

  1. The underpinnings of Disqus uses Javascript which slows down this website. 
  2. Disqus captures IP addresses for everyone who posts. Although they make that clear somewhere on their website, it’s not clear to most users. It had to go.
  3. Managing Disqus comments took a bunch of work. We had to actually do it from within the Disqus website, not through my own website. Not cool.

So, we’ve moved to another commenting system that is easier for everyone. You can comment using Facebook, Twitter, or WordPress login credentials. Your login information is not captured by WordPress or by this website, it will redirect you to a login page from your preferred platform.

We won’t allow anonymous logins for now, but we will monitor the situation.

Unfortunately, over twenty thousand comments, including comments from many people who follow this blog closely, are not available. We’re still looking into methods to save those comments, but it could be tremendously complicated.

Anyway, that’s what we’re doing with the Disqus comment system. We know many users love it. And many website managers love it too. We don’t. 

So, go read an article on how measles harms the immune system and comment there. 

 

Science journal says Israeli immunologist Yehuda Shoenfeld is anti-vaccine

shoenfeld

We have been critical of Israeli immunologist Yehuda Shoenfeld for years. Recently, both Dorit Rubinstein Reiss and the old raptor have written critical articles about Shoenfeld’s anti-vaccine opinions that are being used as a false authority by the anti-vaccine zealots to push their harmful narrative.

Shoenfeld has invented and continued to push a medical condition he calls ASIA – autoimmune syndrome induced by adjuvants. He claims it is a risk for receiving the cancer-preventing HPV vaccine. However, there is simply no evidence that ASIA exists.

However, there isn’t one femtogram of evidence supporting the existence of ASIA, let alone any link to any vaccine.

ASIA is not accepted by the scientific and medical community (and see this published article), was rejected by the United States vaccine court as a claim for vaccine injury, and should not be accepted by parents deciding whether they should vaccinate their children.

Furthermore, the European Medicines Agency, which is the primary regulatory body in the EU for pharmaceuticals, has rejected any link between the HPV vaccine and various autoimmune disorders. They state that the science directly contradicts any autoimmune syndromes being caused by any vaccine.

Moreover, the respected World Health Organization (WHO)  has scientifically rejected the quackery of ASIA (if it even exists) is caused by vaccines, notably, the HPV vaccine.

A while ago, I reviewed another study, which was a properly designed case-control epidemiological study. According to the study published in the Journal of Autoimmunity, HPV vaccines do not increase the risk of developing autoimmune diseases (ADs). This adds to the body of research, based on a methodology that helps us establish correlation and causation, that rejects the hypothesis that the HPV vaccine is related to ASIA.

But if that’s not enough to convince you that Yehuda Shoenfeld is anything but an anti-vaccine pseudoscientist, let’s take a look at a new article published in the very prestigious journal Science.

Continue reading “Science journal says Israeli immunologist Yehuda Shoenfeld is anti-vaccine”

Vitamin D supplements – evidence for clinical effectiveness and safety

Vitamin D supplements

The claims about the usefulness of vitamin D supplements are all over the internet. And they seem trendy, as most pseudoscientific claims are these days.

The purpose of this article is to review some of the old and new information about vitamin D supplements. It’s about scientific articles that either support or refute a claim, that’s it. It’s not about what we believe or we do not believe, it’s about evidence.

I don’t think vitamin D is worthless. It is an important micronutrient for human health, and if there’s a chronic deficiency, supplementation may be medically necessary.

On the other hand, proponents of megadoses of vitamins, called megavitamin therapy or orthomolecular medicine (pseudoscientific terms to sound like they are based on real science), seems to work on the unscientific belief that if a little helps, a whole boatload will help a lot more. Most of these ideas have been debunked and are considered quackery and fads.

I wanted to take a look at the science of vitamin D supplements while examining its actual benefits to health compared to the possible dangers of excess supplementation.

Continue reading “Vitamin D supplements – evidence for clinical effectiveness and safety”

Measles damages the immune system – more reasons for MMR vaccine

measles damages the immune system

It’s been well known for years that measles damages the immune system, one of the many dangerous complications of the disease. That’s one of the many reasons why we are so strongly in favor of the MMR vaccine and so strongly against measles outbreaks.

Of course, the anti-vaccine zealots will continue to believe that “natural” measles infections will confer some super-immunity to their children. Many deliberately try to infect their kids with the disease.

However, this scientific research, published in one of the most prestigious peer-reviewed scientific journals on this planet, provides convincing evidence that measles damages the immune system. And we should make sure our children don’t contract this dangerous disease. Continue reading “Measles damages the immune system – more reasons for MMR vaccine”