The CDC now recommends the Tdap, RSV, COVID-19, and flu vaccines for pregnant women. These vaccines protect the mother and child.
A long time ago, Australian evolution denier Ken Ham attacked me for an article about a growing whooping cough epidemic in Australia. The epidemic brought out one of the worst anti-vaccine activists in the form of Meryl Dorey, who is the leading mouthpiece for the anti-vaccination lunacy in Australia.
Dorey is no different than any other pseudoscience propagandist, such as the ones found in the anti-evolution crowd (Ken Ham again), climate change denialists, and sasquatch/alien abduction/Loch Ness Monster/crop circle conspiracists. That’s right, there is no difference between creationism, sasquatch, and homeopathy — no science, and many beliefs based on…nothing.
I guess Ken Ham decided that he had to support Meryl Dorey by attacking me. So, let’s take a look at creationism, anti-vaxxers, Australia, and everything else that brought this story together. It’s funRead More »I once got into a public row with Australian creationist Ken Ham
I don’t usually do this, but I wanted to post the transcript from the outstanding Brandy Zadrozny podcast about how the anti-vaccine movement treated Tiffany Dover who fainted after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine 18 months ago. Dorit Rubinstein Reiss wrote an in-depth article about Dover soon after it happened, and we have updated it as we have gotten more information. Not to give away a spoiler, but she’s still alive.
I have posted the full transcript of episode 4 because it gives you a history of the anti-vaccine movement and the various “truthers” who pass fall information about it. I’m not going to edit the transcript, but I will add in my commentary here and there (it’ll be in bold type) and links for more information, something you can’t get from a podcast. This is very long, but it’s filled with great information. I have made minor edits to spelling and punctuation to make it more readable.
I’m someone who prefers reading content to listening to podcasts or watching YouTube because I like clicking on links or researching more. If you’re like me, then you’ll love this.Read More »Examining the anti-vaccine movement — a podcast from Brandy Zadrozny
This article about the Andrew Wakefield movie, 1986: The Act, 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.
In 1986: The Act, Andrew Wakefield has created a very long parade of anti-vaccine claims from the past forty years or longer. The movie combines half-truths, facts taken out of context, and blatant misrepresentations to try and mislead people into refusing to vaccinate and protect their children.
In his post on the topic, my friend and colleague Dr. Vince Ilannelli addressed the potential motivations behind 1986: The Act from Andrew Wakefield, the problems with the credibility of the director and many of the main actors, the problematic nature of the sources in the movie, and some of the inaccuracies surrounding DTP.
In this post, I will cover some of the same ground, but my main focus will be to show why the film is unreliable. Obviously, I cannot cover every detail of the long film and keep this manageable, but I can cover many of the highlights, and I hope to make it clear why I think it’s unreliable.
Before starting on those, however, readers deserve a reminder that Andrew Wakefield, the creator of the film, has a well-earned reputation as a dishonest scientist. Wakefield misrepresented information about MMR and hid conflicts of interests, and as a result, outbreaks of measles in Europe and the United States harmed and killed children.
1986: The Act is no different.
The movie is framed as a discovery journey of a couple from the point where the woman discovers she’s pregnant to the point where she gives birth, during which they go through a lot of anti-vaccine sources and become thoroughly and extremely anti-vaccine, ending the movie as participants in an anti-vaccine event. It is, as I mentioned, a parade of greatest hits of the anti-vaccine movement – mostly claims that have been addressed again and again over the years, some twenty years old, some almost forty years old, some older still. There is little new in 1986: The Act.Read More »Latest “act” from Andrew Wakefield – recycling 1986 anti-vaccine tropes
It’s that time of year when we should think about the grandparents’ vaccines before they meet and hold newborns. And also these vaccines protect them against their anti-vaccine relatives and friends!
In a recent press briefing, Dr. Anne Schuchat, the Principle Deputy Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stated that “there are two vaccines grandparents need prior to contacting the newest family member.” Those grandparent’s vaccines are for whooping cough (pertussis) and seasonal flu.
This article will review Dr. Schuchat’s recommendations for grandparents before they meet the new baby during this holiday season. And remember, these vaccines protect both your grandmother and your baby.Read More »Grandparents’ vaccines – what’s recommended before they hold newborns
“Natural immunity” is the trope du jour of the anti-vaccine world – they want us to believe that contracting a dangerous pathogen is somehow better than preventing that disease with a vaccine. Their pseudoscientific beliefs rely upon logical fallacies, a complete misunderstanding of how the immune system works, and a healthy dose of bad math.
In other words, the same old same old from our anti-vaxxer “friends.”
The purpose of this article is to discuss why natural immunity is a bogus concept when it comes to vaccines. I need to make one warning upfront – immunology is complicated and cannot be described in 1000 words or less. So, I’m going to do a lot of linking to good articles that describe various things about the immune system.
But here we go – hang on for some science.Read More »Natural immunity – more vaccine denier pseudoscience with no merit
On 26 December 2018, Sanofi and Merck jointly announced (pdf) FDA approval for a new hexavalent vaccine called Vaxelis. The new vaccine was developed to vaccinate children aged 6 weeks to 4 years old to protect them against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis… Read More »New hexavalent vaccine protects children against 6 diseases
One of the concerns about DTaP vaccine (for protection against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis or whooping cough) is that it is given at 2 months, and during that time, the infant is susceptible to whooping cough. A new clinical trial provides evidence that giving the monovalent pertussis vaccine at birth is both safe and can protect the infant until the first DTaP vaccination.
Let’s take a look at this new study.Read More »Pertussis vaccine at birth is safe and effective – Australian study results
I have written extensively about several whooping cough (Bordetella pertussis) outbreaks which had reached epidemic levels in areas like the Washington state, which had been considered one of the worst outbreaks in the USA during the past several decades. This whooping cough outbreak has lead to several deaths here in the USA and in other countries such as the UK.
Of course, these outbreaks and epidemics have lead to the “blame game” from the antivaccination cult, because they have claimed that since A) most kids are vaccinated, and B) we’re having this outbreak, then C) either the vaccines are useless or are actually the cause of the outbreak. Seriously. They blame the vaccines.
There have been numerous reports about a whooping cough outbreak in the Reno County, KS area, with about 70 cases of the disease being reported. The report indicates that most of the kids who have the disease were vaccinated. It is unclear who said this, and what are the actual statistics. But for now, we’ll take this at face value.
Since this outbreak will undoubtedly lead to the typical antivaccine rhetoric about the whooping cough vaccines, DTaP or Tdap (which also protect against tetanus and diphtheria), I decided to search the internet to find the most popular vaccine denialist arguments regarding pertussis vaccinations–then debunk them. Hopefully, this will be useful for those who are observing what’s going on in Reno.
Yesterday, Dorit Rubinstein Reiss explained why most experienced journalists ignore Robert F. Kennedy Jr’s views on vaccines. He gets simple facts about vaccines completely wrong again and again. She was referencing an interview Kennedy had given on Fox News – as a part of that interview, Kennedy misused a small study about the DTaP vaccine (for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, or whooping cough). Unfortunately, RFK Jr and vaccine safety of DTaP has continued – he has doubled down on misusing this study in an article by him published today.
I thought we would take a look at the issues specific to this new version of RFK Jr and vaccine safety – we’ll analyze his comments and then take a detailed look at the published article that forms the basis of Kennedy’s comments.Read More »RFK Jr and vaccine safety – using a bad study to come to bad conclusions