John Oliver on Vaccines: Brilliant!!

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23 Responses to John Oliver on Vaccines: Brilliant!!

  1. Rachel says:

    Anti-vaxxers drive me crazy.

    On another note, thanks for your blog, @skeptvet. I consult it frequently to help me keep my eye on the ball when it comes to the care of my digestively challenged, highly allergic white boxer/staffie angel. There are actually vets in my neighborhood who pressure their clients to use homeopathy on their dogs! (Not mine, or I would find a new one.) But that kind of raw diet/unproven natural remedy noise is very strong where I live.

  2. Howard says:

    Wow, but to polarize anti-vaccines and pro-vaccines is dangerous.

  3. Howard says:

    WHAT WE ALL SHOULD DO is put pressure on the CDC to study the vaccinated versus the unvaccinated. There is no reason to avoid such a simple study if the CDC has nothing to hide and feels they can stand behind the claim that ALL vaccines are safe and effective!

  4. Howard says:

    This was not really that brilliant either, more or less unscientific and fallacious. I like John Oliver and I support safe and effective vaccines but as we all know the media likes to promote dichotomies that merely polarize the discussion of vaccines.

    I see a lot of people telling others who question the scheduling of vaccines to ‘kill themselves,’ for they are promoting a future generation of sick children. This rhetoric is scary and does not help pro-vaccination campaigns. Instead, we ALL should be skeptical and ask questions without using ad hominems.

    I might post a 200 page paper on the Historical Obfuscation of Vaccines, if people are willing to have an open mind. Yes, vaccines are necessary and work but there’s a small population that have been severely impacted by the testing of inadequate vaccines. These happenings are quickly swifted under the rug.

  5. skeptvet says:

    Sorry, but anti-vaccine ideology is what is dangerous, and to ridicule it is justified and appropriate.

  6. skeptvet says:

    Lots and lots of studies show vaccines are effective and safe, and the calls for more studies is not a valid desire for better evidence but simply a way of denying the overwhelming evidence that already exists. Just a few of the many, many examples:

  7. skeptvet says:

    The polarization is a result of irrational and extremist voices ignoring the evidence to generate unjustified fear of vaccines, which is having direct results in terms of injuring and killing children who are denies appropriate vaccination. No one denies that a small number of people are harmed by some vaccines, but the number and overall burden caused by this is minuscule compared to the overwhelming amount of suffering and death prevented by vaccination. Polarization is inevitable when irrational an ideological nonsense reaches a level that causes real and unnecessary suffering and “skepticism” is used disingenuously to cats unwarranted doubt and ignore reality.

  8. Howard says:

    Here’s another as well;

    Vaccinations have prevented millions of infectious illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths among U.S. children, yet the long-term health outcomes of the vaccination schedule remain uncertain. Studies have been recommended by the U.S. Institute of Medicine to address this question. This study aimed 1) to compare vaccinated and unvaccinated children on a broad range of health outcomes, and 2) to determine whether an association found between vaccination and neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD), if any, remained significant after adjustment for other measured factors. A cross-sectional study of mothers of children educated at home was carried out in collaboration with homeschool organizations in four U.S. states: Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Oregon. Mothers were asked to complete an anonymous online questionnaire on their 6- to 12-year-old biological children with respect to pregnancy-related factors, birth history, vaccinations, physician-diagnosed illnesses, medications used, and health services. NDD, a derived diagnostic measure, was defined as having one or more of the following three closely-related diagnoses: a learning disability, Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. A convenience sample of 666 children was obtained, of which 261 (39%) were unvaccinated. The vaccinated were less likely than the unvaccinated to have been diagnosed with chickenpox and pertussis, but more likely to have been diagnosed with pneumonia, otitis media, allergies and NDD. After adjustment, vaccination, male gender, and preterm birth remained significantly associated with NDD. However, in a final adjusted model with interaction, vaccination but not preterm birth remained associated with NDD, while the interaction of preterm birth and vaccination was associated with a 6.6-fold increased odds of NDD (95% CI: 2.8, 15.5). In conclusion, vaccinated homeschool children were found to have a higher rate of allergies and NDD than unvaccinated homeschool children. While vaccination remained significantly associated with NDD after controlling for other factors, preterm birth coupled with vaccination was associated with an apparent synergistic increase in the odds of NDD. Further research involving larger, independent samples and stronger research designs is needed to verify and understand these unexpected findings in order to optimize the impact of vaccines on children’s health.

  9. Howard says:

    A lot of that is based on case studies though, so I should question its legitamacy, even if it doesn’t fall under the status quo. See, I admit my bias but I’m open to understanding your point of view. It would be awesome if you’d read a 200 page research report on the historical obfuscation of vaccines that I’d send to you.

  10. Howard says:

    May I also ask because I find your point of view interesting, why do you think there’s been a staggering climb in Autism? Especially among boys. If this trend continues 1 and 3 boys would be autistic by 2040 or so.

    One particular thing I find interesting is contaminants in our food.

    The herbicides (glyphosate) in particular are much more effective (read: disabling) when coupled with polysorbate-80:

    The BBB, like cell membranes in general, is subject to solvent-mediated disruption with chemicals such as ethanol, dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), or detergents such as SDS, or Tween 80 also known as polysorbate-80.27-30

    …and injected (in <1 yr old children) instead of just ingested. As a known carcinogen and neurotoxin, I see the presence of glyphosate in vaccines as a concern.

    Also, too, the sv40 virus DNA virus infected millions of people in the 1950s and 60s because of the polio vaccine. It suppresses our p53 gene which is responsible for stoping tumors. Wonder why cancer rates skyrocketed since then? I'm just ranting though.

    And, I'd go through some of these studies,

    Though, I doubt vaccines cause autism.

  11. Howard says:

    I’ll play devils advocate here, because I don’t really think vaccines are a causative agent of Autism.

    A study published in the journal Annals of Epidemiology has shown that giving the Hepatitis B vaccine to newborn baby boys could triple the risk of developing an autism spectrum disorder compared to boys who were not vaccinated as neonates. The research was conducted at Stony Brook University Medical Center, NY.

    A study published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry by researchers at the Neural Dynamics Group, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of British Columbia determined that Aluminum, a highly neurotoxic metal and the most commonly used vaccine adjuvant may be a significant contributing factor to the rising prevalence of ASD in the Western World. They showed that the correlation between ASD prevalence and the Aluminum adjuvant exposure appears to be the highest at 3-4 months of age. The studies also show that children from countries with the highest ASD appear to have a much higher exposure to Aluminum from vaccines. The study points out that several prominent milestones of brain development coincide with major vaccination periods for infants. These include the onset of synaptogenesis (birth), maximal growth velocity of the hippocampus and the onset of amygdala maturation. Furthermore, major developmental transition in many bio-behavioural symptoms such as sleep, temperature regulation, respiration and brain wave patterns, all of which are regulated by the neuroendocrine network. Many of these aspects of brain function are known to be impaired in autism, such as sleeping and brain wave patterns.

    According to the FDA, vaccines represent a special category of drugs as they are generally given to healthy individuals. Further according to the FDA, “this places significant emphasis on their vaccine safety”. While the FDA does set an upper limit for Aluminum in vaccines at no more that 850/mg/dose, it is important to note that this amount was selected empirically from data showing that Aluminum in such amounts enhanced the antigenicity of the vaccine, rather than from existing safety. Given that the scientific evidence appears to indicate that vaccine safety is not as firmly established as often believed, it would seem ill advised to exclude paediatric vaccinations as a possible cause of adverse long-term neurodevelopment outcomes , including those associated with autism.

  12. Howard says:

    Also, I would like to post the entire essay which features dozens of more studies but your spam filter won’t let me. I like a good discussion and your point of view on these studies which I can not post would be refreshing.

  13. skeptvet says:

    Multiple studies have proven no link between autism and vaccines.

    There is some debate about whether autism rates are rising or detection of autism has simply become more sensitive (I am old enough to remember when people were just considered odd who would now be placed on the Autism spectrum). In any case, giving up on the myth that vaccines are responsible will eliminate wasted time and resources and improve our ability to understand the true causes of autism.

    The claim of glyphosphate in vaccines is almost certainly false (

    As for SV40 and polio vaccines, extensive review of the evidence has been inconclusive, and even if vaccination from 1955-1963 did cause some cases of SV40 infection, this likely would contribute to only a small increase in the incidence of a few types of cancer, not the “cancer rates skyrocketing” that you claim. ( It is worth nting that some cancers are decliing (e.g. lung cancer, caused primarily by smoking), and that some cancers are likely to be reduced or eliminated by vaccination (e.g. cervical cancer and others caused by HPV and some liver cancers caused by hepatitis virus). Not to mention, polio vaccine saved millions of lives by preventing polio. The fact that you exaggerate the risks by relying on weak or misinterpreted evidence and ignore all the benefits reveals your ideological blindness.

  14. skeptvet says:

    Already cited several sources of the numerous studies proving autism is not linked to vaccines. You’re cherry picking and misconstruing data to support a case that is already disproven, which makes your claim not to believe in a link between vaccines and autism hard to believe.

  15. Howard says:

    I could post a multitude of studies given creedence to vaccinations and autism correlation. I posted two that couter your point. I’ve read your studies but there’s many that provide evidence to the contrary. It isn’t proven and it isn’t set in stone. The book is still being written. So, stop with the 100% proof. I already said, vaccines in general probably do not cause autism but they do have sometimes terrible side effects and have caused debilitating, life changing symptoms in many young children.

  16. Howard says:

    Lastly, vaccine safety is not as firmly established as we are lead to believe. Many studies are coming out and proving this, even CDC studies. What we all have to understand is that vaccines work but sometimes they can and do cause serious problems. Instead, of writing these problems off, we need to accept them and understand why this happens. Could it be the hefty regimin of vaccination as a child. Would it be better extending the time period, so as to build a healthy immunity. Like I said, John Oliver’s video was beyond biased. The comments underneath are even more appauling, suggesting “the murder of families who refuse to get all the vaccines, etc.” This is a scary, draconian mindset and merely fuels the anti-vax movement.

  17. Howard says:

    Until there is further testing, nothing has been debunked. Sorry. Those glyphosate figures weren’t pulled out of thin air. The ELISA testing was always meant to be a first step, a prelude to a more in-depth examination of an issue. Why do you act like everything is set in stone?

    “Did you realize that this author is the owner of a marketing company that works for bio-tech clients? Conflict of interest?”

    “It’s interesting that the author goes to such obvious lengths to posit anti-glyphosate activists as fringe extremists with biased, scientifically un-grounded opinions. Yet, if you look at the scientific research that has been done (see Shikimate pathway and gut flora) on explaining how glyphosate works in our system – it’s extremely unsettling. It’s even more unsettling when you couple this with empirical evidence on the drastic rise in disease rates in the US that mirrors the drastic rise in glyphosate usage. I noticed that the author carefully avoids this kind of science and empirical evidence in this article.”

    “He does point out the fact there is a great need for more research to be done on the potential for glyphosate to be in vaccines. Preliminary studies obviously have found glyphosate in vaccines. Even if these studies are “quack” science, which they may be, it should none the less be a major red flag for more widespread academic testing. This seems to be the only real nugget worth taking from this article.”


  18. Howard says:

    SV40 is a catalyst for many types of cancer:

    Innis, MD. “Oncogenesis and poliomyelitis vaccine.” Nature 1968;219:972-3.
    Soriano, F., et al. “Simian virus 40 in a human cancer.” Nature 1974;249:421-4.
    Scherneck, S., et al. “Isolation of a SV-40-like papovavirus from a human glioblastoma.” Internat J Cancer 1979;24:523-31.
    Stoian, M., et al. “Possible relation between viruses and oromaxillofacial tumors. II. Research on the presence of the SV40 antigen and specific antibodies in patients with oromaxillofacial tumors.” Virologie 1987;38:35-40.
    Bravo, MP., et al. “Association between the occurrence of antibodies to simian vacuolating virus 40 and bladder cancer in male smokers.” Neoplasma 1988;35:285-8.
    O’Connell, K., et al. “Endothelial cells transformed by SV40 T-antigen cause Kaposi’s sarcoma-like tumors in nude mice.” American Journal of Pathology 1991;139(4):743-9.
    Weiner, LP., et al. “Isolation of virus related to SV40 from patients with progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. New England Journal of Medicine 1972;286:385-90.
    Tabuchi, K. “Screening of human brain tumors for SV-40-related T-antigen.” International J of Cancer 1978;21:12-7.
    Meinke, W., et al. “Simian virus 40-related DNA sequences in a human brain tumor.” Neurology 1979;29:1590-4.
    Krieg, P., et al. “Episomal simian virus 40 genomes in human brain tumors.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 1981;78:6446-50.
    Geissler, E. “SV40 and human brain tumors.” Progress in Medical Virology 1990;37:211-22.
    Martini, M., et al. “Human brain tumors and simian virus 40.” J of the National Cancer Institute, 1995;87(17):1331
    Lednicky, JA., et al. “Natural simian virus 40 strains are present in human choroid plexus and ependymoma tumors.” Virology 1995;212(2):710-7
    Vilchez, RA., et al. “Association between simian virus 40 and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.” Lancet (Mar 9, 2002):817-23.

  19. skeptvet says:

    Sorry, but you just don’t understand the evidence. Nothing is set in stone in science, but that doesn’t mean we can never have confidence in anything. The evidence against the autism/vaccine link is overwhelming, and the evidence put forward in support of it is either falsified (e.g. Andrew Wakefield, who lost his medical license for his unethical and bogus research on the subject) of simply not reliable. There is no reasonable doubt here, and the consensus among legitimate scientists is overwhelming. If you still want to leave the door open to the possibility that vaccines cause autism (and your comments are ambivalent on this point), then you are simply unable or unwilling to see the facts for what they are.

    As for potentially serious side effects from vaccines, of course these can occur. The issue is not whether vaccines are perfect, since nothing in medicine ever is, only that they prevent far, far more suffering than they cause, which is the best any medical intervention can ever do.

  20. skeptvet says:

    No one is ignoring the potential for vaccine injury, only putting it in perspective as a rare consequence of an overwhelmingly beneficial and successful tool for preventing disease.

    The idea of “too many too soon” or that vaccines schedules may overload or harm the immune system is also unscientific and not supported by the evidence (e.g. 1, 2, 3). This is not a reasonable concern about vaccines but yet another tired and already disproven anti-vaxxer talking point.

    Finally, the anti-vax movement is fueled by fear and ignorance, not by strong, science-based arguments in favor of vaccines. There are not to equal sides here with the reasonable ground in the middle but the truth, which is overwhelmingly evidence in the evidence of science and history, and an ideology base din fear and misinformation.= that ultimately harms children and society.

  21. skeptvet says:

    Your usual strategy of using outdated or equivocal research to support a case that is not nearly as simple as you seem to think. Your citations stop in 2002, which is likely because this allows you to ignore this conclusion from the National Cancer Institute in 2004:

    “Two upcoming studies by scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), one of the National Institutes of Health, provide further evidence that exposure to simian virus 40 (SV40) is not associated with cancer in humans.”

    “Although SV40 causes cancer in laboratory animals, substantial epidemiological evidence has accumulated to indicate that SV40 likely does not cause cancer in humans”

    There is also evidence that cancer rates are no different in people exposed to SV40 vial polio vaccines and those not exposed. It is not even clear that SV40 is truly associated with human tumors, and even if it is in some cases it is not necessarily a causal agent. You are dredging up outdated and dubious or already overturned concerns from evens 50 years ago to support doubt about vaccine safety, which illustrates the weakness of your case.

  22. skeptvet says:

    Complete pseudoscience and quackery. The polio vaccine was unequivocally successful at preventing disease and death, and it represents one of the most successful efforts to combat disease in human history. You are really scraping the bottom of the anti-vax faux science barrel here.

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