Source: LA Times

Category: Really, really bad calls, Science

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

21 Responses to “The Toll of the Anti-vaccination Movement”

  1. spooz says:

    Looking for a key… not sure what the circles represent.

  2. Skriz says:

    Mr. Ritholtz – you always have great links and wonderfully interesting articles. I don’t know how you come up with so many so often. You seem like a really intelligent, progressive and thoughtful individual, judging from your appearances on TV. Thank you very much! Great blog.

  3. Doug says:

    Please provide a link to unlock the meaning of this infographic. Current image lacks an explanatory key.

  4. Eric Original says:

    Those seem like no-brainers, but the one that has been bugging me in recent years is the HPV vaccine, Gardasil. Seems like a money grab by big pharma. The stats appear to make it look like the odds of ever helping you are shockingly low. Like vaccinating your kids against lightning strikes or train crashes. And downside risks to boot. A big overreach by the vaccination crowd.

    As long as I’m on a roll, might as well talk about prescription drugs as well. Absolutely everyone in my extended family has sworn off ever going on any sort of statin drug. Ever. Even if we have to wrestle our doc over it. This is not just hearsay, but real life experience. Every one we know who has ever been on one has had horrible debilitating pain from them. Every. Single. One. Do you want to be in a wheelchair? Or would you rather take your chances with higher cholesterol (for which the risk data is now suspect)? Independence and quality of life count for a lot folks.

    The recently revised guidelines suggesting many millions might be put on statins soon had everyone I know saying “get ready for a fight”. Basically, they had to revise the guidelines because they finally had to admit that the old guidelines weren’t helping anyone. Still the same crappy drugs. New guidelines can’t save them.

    • Jim says:

      Eric O….i strongly agree on the statins, and it’s looking like you might be right on the gardasil too. Well stated.

    • nucemgd says:

      as counter point to this…myself, my mother, my father, my wifes’ mother and father, my boss…I could go on and on…have been on statins for years. No problems at all. Not. A. Single. One.

      I think you need to see another md.

      • DeDude says:

        Statin intolerance is a very well established phenomenon. It sounds like Eric’s family may have an inherited and severe form of that (presuming we are not talking placebo effect born out of the first case in the family). What should be noted is that anecdotal evidence cannot create the general rules. A good regulatory system will not ban an effective and needed drug just because a small % of people have severe side-effects. The public health consideration is whether the overall benefits of the drug for the population is outweighing the detrimental effects to those who experience side-effects. A good doctor will start you on a low dose of statin and take you off if you experience any severe side-effects.

  5. Maybe it would be useful to look into the decreased effectiveness of the vaccines themselves as a contributing factor

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/03/us-whoopingcough-idUSBRE8320TM20120403

    “Witt had expected to see the illnesses center around unvaccinated kids, knowing they are more vulnerable to the disease.

    “We started dissecting the data. What was very surprising was the majority of cases were in fully vaccinated children. That’s what started catching our attention,” said Witt.

    of the 132 patients under age 18, 81 percent were up to date on recommended whooping cough shots and eight percent had never been vaccinated. The other 11 percent had received at least one shot, but not the complete series.

    http://www.telegraphindia.com/1120116/jsp/frontpage/story_15011108.jsp#.UusHt_k7tWA
    Country needs to pencil strategy to fight infection triggered by vaccine itself, say experts

  6. theexpertisin says:

    I have read several articles over the years blaming the elimination of DDT as a prime cause for millions of debilitating lives and death from malaria in Africa and elsewhere through the equatorial world. I wonder if this claim is suitable for inclusion in the same conversation which highlights needless deaths per the anti-vaccination movement.

    There should be a special place in hell for those that cause others to be ill or die from preventable disease due to a morbid whimsy.

    • hankest says:

      Actually, it’s not banned in most countries in Africa, nor is it banned in most developing countries for vector control. India also uses it for pesticides.

      In fact, the Stockholm Convention specifically says DDT can be used for vector control (as opposed to agriculture).

      I wish someone would tell that to the WSJ editorial writers….

  7. ch says:

    Good catch from Wall Street Ranter above – 81% of the outbreak discussed in the articles WERE immunized. The happy scenario would be that these outbreaks have been caused by anti-immunizations…but it’s not. The diseases are mutating.

    Google “1st post-antibiotic man” and read how a man died last fall of an infection that was immune to all known types of antibiotics, the result of overuse of antibiotics by corporate agriculture…from the article:

    Witt had expected to see the illnesses center around unvaccinated kids, knowing they are more vulnerable to the disease.

    “We started dissecting the data. What was very surprising was the majority of cases were in fully vaccinated children. That’s what started catching our attention,” said Witt.

    To figure out just how well the vaccine was working, Witt and his colleagues collected information on every patient who had tested positive for pertussis between March and October, 2010.

    Of the 132 patients under age 18, 81 percent were up to date on recommended whooping cough shots and eight percent had never been vaccinated. The other 11 percent had received at least one shot, but not the complete series.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/03/us-whoopingcough-idUSBRE8320TM20120403

    • hankest says:

      Did you read the artcile. As far as i can tell here was nothing in it about whooping cough mutating. Also, nothing in the article indicated people should aviod vaccines. Rather the article seemed to point to the problem being children getting too few booster shots.

      Witt (who you’re quoting) says:

      “The longer you went from your last vaccine, the greater your risk of disease,”

      And

      “For pertussis, having even 24 percent helps (mitigate an epidemic), but you’d sure like it higher than that,”

    • hankest says:

      Lastly, do you know what the typical infection rate is to children exposed to the disease who aren’t immunized? Look it up my friend…

  8. pekoe says:

    Vaccine development and assessment is a complex business with dedicated professionals who devote their entire working lives to it constantly sweating the details. It is a conservative and cautious field, dominated by a “first do no harm mentality”. Efficacy has to be proven in trials. It is astonishing to me how people who would never even consider fixing their own car, let alone know anything at all about microbiology or immunology, are eager to weigh in with detailed and passionate arguments about vaccines. Seriously people, stick with what you know about.