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Vaxelis: The first hexavalent vaccine is approved in the US, and antivaxers don’t like it

Over the holidays, on the day after Christmas, Merck and Sanofi announced FDA approval of Vaxelis, a new hexavalent vaccine. It’s great news for children. Unsurprisingly, antivaxers hate it.

I’ve been away from the blog nearly two weeks (other than a brief Christmas message and a bit of a retread of a post yesterday); so it always interests me what’s been going on in my absence. It turns out that on the day after Christmas there was actually a news story that, had I not been on vacation from the blog, I most definitely would have done a post about. Of course, one advantage of not writing about a story right away is that sometimes waiting gives the cranks a chance to do what it is they do best and attack science. So on December 26, FDA approval of a new vaccine was announced, Vaxelis. It’s a hexavalent vaccine. To put it simply (or perhaps simplistically, but close enough for purposes of this discussion) the valence of a vaccine tells you the number of diseases it protects against; so a hexavalent vaccine like Vaxelis protects against six diseases, specifically diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, hepatitis B, and Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib). The vaccine will be available in the US in 2020

Interestingly, this vaccine was the product of a collaboration between two pharmaceutical companies, Sanofi and Merck, who issued a joint press release. Of course, although this is the first hexavalent vaccine approved for marketing in the US, it’s not the first hexavalent vaccine. Indeed, Vaxelis was approved in the European Union in December 2015 and was marketed there beginning in 2016. Indeed, as our feathery scaly friend has recounted, Sanofi, Merck, and GlaxoSmithKline have produced various formulations of this particular hexavalent vaccine and marketed them outside of the US for quite a few years now. Merck and Sanofi submitted an application for FDA approval in the US after a phase III trial with over 1,400 infants that demonstrated that the new vaccine was not inferior in terms of safety and effectiveness to the older series. I don’t know enough history to know why hexavalent vaccines haven’t been approved in the US before.

In any event, Vaxelis is intended as a three-dose series, at 2, 4, and 6 months, although the first dose can be administered as early as at 6 weeks. While these three doses of Vaxelis do constitute a primary immunization course against diphtheria, tetanus, Hib, and polio, and the vaccine can be used to complete the immunization series against hepatitis B. However, this three-dose series does not constitute a primary immunization series against pertussis. An additional dose of a pertussis-containing vaccine is required to complete the primary series. As you can see, the advantage of hexavalent vaccines is, of course, fewer shots to achieve the same protection, which is, of course, beneficial to the child. No child likes getting multiple shots in one visit. Those of us who advocate for children’s health are, of course, happy to see a new vaccine that has the potential to decrease the number of sticks babies have to endure while providing the same immunity.

Antivaxers, on the other hand, are not so happy. For instance, over at Vaxxter, the antivaxers are not happy that this is a hexavalent vaccine:

The warnings and precautions page details numerous warnings and risk that could possibly be associated with Vaxelis.

The news immediately prompted concern from groups that aim to improve vaccine safety. Many believe that a 6 in 1 shot is too heavy for a small baby. Additionally, when things go wrong, it is difficult to determine what caused the issue.

Whenever you see an antivaxer write that “vaccine safety” groups “believe” that a shot is “too heavy” or “too much” for a small baby, a good rule of thumb is to substitute “antivaccine” for “vaccine safety” (because these groups are antivaccine, not vaccine safety advocates, no matter what they claim). Hilariously, Vaxxter uses one of the laziest antivaccine tropes of all, the appeal to the package insert. Here’s a hint. Package inserts are legal, not scientific, documents. They list every bad thing that’s happened associated with the vaccine, regardless of whether the vaccine is likely to have caused it or contributed to it or not. Add to that the “too many too soon” antivax trope (which is not supported by science), and it’s almost as though Vaxxter isn’t even trying.

I was curious what the wandering band of antivax propagandists over at my longtime chew toy for skepticism, that wretched hive of scum and quackery, Age of Autism. Sure enough, Teresa Conrick is not at all happy that Vaxelis was approved by the FDA. Just get a load of how she frames it:

It was a Friday, four days before Christmas, when the FDA sent out an approval letter to Sanofi about their VAXELIS, a SIX-in-ONE vaccine. It is the brainchild of a joint-partnership between Sanofi and Merck. The letter was totally ignored until the day after Christmas when Sanofi sent out a press release .That is probably the most obscure day to post a news item with the hope it will be buried, just like the wrapping paper and yucky fruit cakes in the piles of garbage across the USA. VAXELIS is the first vaccine with multiple (6!) vaccinations wrapped up in one product. The targeted USA commercial supply will be for infants, from 6 weeks up to their 5th birthday.

Yes, to antivaxers, it’s all a conspiracy. It’s always a conspiracy and always about vaccines. Notice how Conrick assumes that the FDA, Merck, and Sanofi “know” that vaccines are dodgy, so that they all apparently conspired, the FDA to issue its approval and the pharmaceutical companies to publish their press release, around the holidays in order to “bury” the story. Either that, or these three organizations fear antivaxers so much that they tried to downplay the story by releasing the information around the holidays. That’s how antivaxers think. And, of course, anyone who is happy about this news and approval must be a “pharma lapdog”:

This news is slowly being pushed, first by the lap dogs like Forbes. You would think they were talking about popsicles for a sunny, summer day instead of a heavy duty, injectable recipe of viral, bacterial, and chemical pharmaceuticals. Adverse reactions were only really recorded for five to maybe thirty days and there is a tortuous court process if any serious reactions do occur and forget about this even being listed in the famous “TABLE” as it is so new.

Of course, that’s not how it works. Notice the inflammatory “scare language” about the vaccine. “Heavy duty, injectable recipe of viral bacterial, and chemical pharmaceuticals”! Oooh! Scary! Of course, this isn’t how it works, either. If you read the actual package insert for Vaxelis, you’ll see that the FDA evaluated six clinical trials of Vaxelis to assess its safety. Two of these studies encompassed nearly 4,000 children and ere carried out in the US. They showed the usual low rate of injection site pain, swelling, or erythema, as well as fever, decreased appetite, crying, irritability, somnolence, and vomiting. As far as more serious adverse reactions, the two trials reported them in 0.1% (four infants), including pyrexia and, in one of the four, vomiting followed by pallor
and lethargy on the day of the first study vaccinations and again 2 days later. There were also six deaths, none of which were assessed as being vaccine-related, with causes ranging from asphyxia, hydrocephalus, unknown cause, sepsis and two cases of sudden infant death Syndrome. Across all six studies there were no deaths judged to be potentially due to the vaccine. Not that that stops antivaxers in the comments from doing what antivaxers do and trying to cast aspersions on studies as a conspiracy to cover up deaths from SIDS as due to Vaxelis.

The next order of business is to try to point out some scary-sounding ingredients. For instance:

  • raw materials including of animal- human origin…..a substance of human hair origin…. poultry feathers…. a soy source for routine manufacture….below, you will also see bovine serum albumin listed. This can include both milk or beef extracts, so more allergen concerns, as well as asthma
  • BSA is used as a component of many vaccines [16,17], such as MMR, MMRV, Varicella, and Zoster
  • Cow’s milk allergy is one of the most common food allergies,,,,, majority of patients with persistent milk allergy are also allergic to bovine serum albumin [21]…..These patients have a greatly increased risk of developing rhinoconjunctivitis or asthma due to animal epithelia.

BSA is bovine serum albumin, a serum protein found in cows. (Humans have their own version of albumin in their serum.) Interestingly, one of the references linked to comments on how unusual an allergy to serum albumins are, noting that, although “serum albumins are not considered to be major allergens, they are unusual ones.” Of course, Conrick is trying to link the very tiny amount of BSA that might be in some vaccines to milk allergies, thus bolstering the frequent antivax claim that vaccines cause food allergies. It is an incredibly tenuous connection, particularly given that BSA is a much more potent respiratory allergen than by other routes of administration. (Serum albumin is also found in animal hair and thought to be part of what makes dander and hair allergens to some people, particularly for cat hair.)

Then, of course, Conrick invokes more “toxins”:

  • Other ingredients per 0.5 mL dose include <0.0056% polysorbate 80 and the following residuals from the manufacturing process: ≤14 mcg formaldehyde, ≤50 ng glutaraldehyde, ≤50 ng bovine serum albumin, <5 ng of neomycin, <200 ng streptomycin sulfate, <25 ng polymyxin B sulfate, ≤0.125 μg ammonium thiocyanate and ≤0.1 mcg yeast protein (maximum 1% relative to HBsAg protein).
  • A related phenomenon regarding the polysorbate 80 and aluminum: “The HPV vaccine formula contains aluminum (225 e 500 μg/each dose in Gardasil® and Cervarix®, respectively) but also high polysorbate 80 (50 mcg) concentration that might also induce a greater meningeal permeability leading to a facilitated entrance of many substances to the CNS.

Note the units used. ng = nanograms, as in 10-9 grams of BSA, which is an incredibly small amount. Ditto all the other horrible sounding things like glutaraldehyde. Does Conrick even know how small these amounts are? As for the polysorbate 80, that’s basically an emulsifier, and, contrary to the claim, 50 micrograms is not a large amount. It’s used to stabilize aqueous formulations of medications and has a number of applications in soaps, cosmetics, and foods. (It’s used in many ice creams as a smoother and to increase resistance to melting.) It’s quite an innocuous chemical, the efforts of antivaxers to show that in Gardasil it causes premature ovarian failure notwithstanding. Basically, it takes large doses in rats to injure the ovaries, and antivaxers, being antivaxers, extrapolate such animal studies to humans.

Now here’s the amazing thing. Conrick’s objection seems to be this:

Parents are going to be skeptical of this vaccine. Imagine using the excuse of “parental laziness” to not want to make additional trips to the doctor versus a 6 in 1 cocktail of pharmaceutical ingredients to inject in their babies at one time? Today’s moms and dads are way too smart for this bad marketing scheme. Vaccine safety concerns will continue into the new year and onward.

It’s not an “excuse.” It really is better, both for children and parents, to need fewer needlesticks in order to receive the same immunity. It almost makes me want to cite The Science Post’s satirical piece, FDA approves new 18 in 1 childhood vaccine:

While the vaccine has not been thoroughly tested, Merck (the manufacturers of the vaccine) donated $35 million to the FDA and assured them it will be fine.

The only side effect known at this point is that it will most likely cause autism. In the one study which was actually done, over 80% of the children given the vaccine developed autism, which is much higher than the standard 50-60% autism rate of most vaccines.

“We’re very excited about this new vaccine and are very happy that children will only need one shot instead of several throughout their young life,” said Merck spokesman Mark Shillington. “Of course they will almost all get autism or maybe even die, but at the end of he day our shareholders will be happy.”

The new vaccine is expected to cost around $1250 per dose.

This really is the way antivaxers think. It’s virtually impossible to parody, at least in a way that isn’t a poe, where it’s hard to distinguish what antivaxers really say from parody or satire like that of the Science Post. Just look at Teresa Conrick’s post if you don’t believe me. After all, she’s the same antivaxer at AoA who’s blamed mass shootings on psychiatric drugs. As I say, it’s hard to parody these graduates from the Dunning-Kruger College at Google University.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

125 replies on “Vaxelis: The first hexavalent vaccine is approved in the US, and antivaxers don’t like it”

Vaxelis was approved in the European Union in December 2015 and was marketed there beginning in 2016.

Perhaps someone with detailed knowledge can answer this for me: if a drug.vaccine/medication is approved in one area, can that be used to expedite approvals in other areas?

Two additional clarifications:

Only a handful of authorities offer expedited reviews for vaccines; there are very specific criteria (such as the FDA’s, for example
To emphasize Science Mom’s point, being approved in one country/region doesn’t necessarily get expedited review in another. Also, due to differing regulatory compliance issues, similar vaccines may be approved in US and not in EU or vice versa (e.g. Synflorix is approved in EU while not approved in the US, but rival Prevnar is approved in both US and EU).

Hmm: “…<0.0056% polysorbate 80… ≤14 mcg formaldehyde, ≤50 ng glutaraldehyde… ” etc.:

Sounds like a weak homeopathic remedy. Anyone here care to work out the “C” numbers for those dilutions?

Worst of all, Sanofi & Merck didn’t perform the succussions to potentiate the potency of the remedy!

And they didn’t conduct proper provings to determine whether Sanofi & Merck’s half-arsed homeopathic formaldehyde really does eat up tumors or cure forgetfulness, like the real homeopathic “Formalinum” described here:

Much less whether the rest of those ingredients will promote biotransformational balance, enhance dynamic bodymind integration, or permanently arrest the aging process and promote eternal youthful vigor.

The National Center for Homeopathy should sue, sue, sue!

(Seriously now, we should go floating the “homeopathic remedy” meme around anti-vax circles and see if they take the bait. Fun & games should rapidly follow!)

Anyone here care to work out the “C” numbers for those dilutions?

Sure, no problem although it’s not really interesting, as anything in the microgram range boils down to 2C-3C, and anything in the nanogram range is 3C-4C. Really weak stuff, from the topsy-turvy homeopathic point of view.

It’s much more informative to compare these amounts to pharmaceutical and/or toxic dosages of several substances.For instance, almost all pharmaceuticals are administered in dosages ranging from a few milligrams to several grams. There are only very few substances that have any effect at all in sub-milligram amounts — LSD is a notable example, with an effective dose of a few dozen micrograms, and only a handful of bacterial toxins (botulin toxin, tetanospasmin) are even more active, with a few dozen nanograms already being lethal.
Traces of potentially allergenic animal proteins are usually present in such small amounts that even people with an existing allergy don’t show any reaction (I recall a flu shot containing mere picograms of egg protein max. — yet antivaccine people maintain that there’s a substantial risk of an allergic reaction. Which of course never materializes.)
And oh, about antibiotics such as neomycin: a vaccine may contain up to 5 nanograms of the stuff — whereas it is prescribed therapeutically in dosages up to several grams per day. Yup, that’s the equivalent of the amount in a billion vaccines.

All this of course has a simple explanation: most of those vaccine ingredients are not meant to do anything in the body, hence the minute amounts. There’s just enough to prevent the 0.5 ml of vaccine from contamination and spoiling, and all the rest are harmless left-over traces from the production process.

The only ingredient that really does something in the body is the payload: the actual (bits of) microbes that are meant to trigger and immune response. And in all (few and far between) incidents with vaccines so far, this was the ingredient that somehow caused the problem, not any of the other ingredients.

“Seriously now, we should go floating the ‘homeopathic remedy’ meme around anti-vax circles and see if they take the bait.”

You are evil. I like the cut of your jib!

Uh, it isn’t “laziness” to be thrilled–THRILLED–at the prospect of fewer needlesticks. I hate holding down crying babies to be stabbed with a needle, and one of my kids got a fever every time she got a shot–fewer fevers?! Fewer unpleasant pokes? Why would anyone but a sadist object?

(Obviously, much as I dislike the process of vaccination, I dislike the prospect of my kids contracting potentially serious and certainly miserable diseases far more.)

One of my friends said “Watching my child get her vaccines and having her cry and fuss was the worst moment in my life as a parent. Thank god. Can you imagine having to deal with your child getting something actually serious?”

Oh bollocks, that reminds me of a sappy reality show where they had a toddler being drawn for bone marrow samples. Her doctor left the room and an “evil doctor” came in to take the actual sample and then they all took turns saying horrible things about the guy. It was so sad.

Serious? Like this do you mean? B0683335A (Netherlands): Meningitis viral, Convulsion, Yellow skin, Cyanosis,
Dehydration, Diarrhoea, Somnolence, Crying, Vomiting
This case was reported by a regulatory authority (NL-College ter Beoordeling van Geneesmiddelen # NL-LRB-111158) and described the occurrence of meningitis in a 2-month-old male subject who was vaccinated with combined diphtheria, tetanusacellular pertussis, hepatitis B, inactivated poliomyelitis and Haemophilus influenza type b vaccine (Infanrix hexa, GlaxoSmithKline), pneumococcal vaccines (non-gsk)(Prevenar) for prophylaxis. The subject had no medical history ! and no concomitant medication. On 13 September 2010, the subject received 1st dose of Infanrix hexa(unknown route, unknown injection site), 1st dose of Prevenar (unknown route,unknown injection site). 3 minutes after vaccination, the subject experienced crying and sleepiness on the SAME DAY. On 18 September 2010, 5 days after vaccination, the subject was found in bed with eyes half-opened and a blue mouth. His skin was yellow/pale. He vomited pink, foaming milk. No fever was observed (37 degrees C).
The boy was hospitalized, diarrhea aggravated and dehydration was diagnosed.
Blood test and spinal tap were performed. The boy had several afebrile convulsions and a MRI showed severe damage of the brain. No further treatment was given. On 25 September 2010, 12 days after vaccination, the subject DIED from viral meningitis.

Company comment: Case of death due to viral meningitis in a 2-month-old male
subject 12 days after 1st combined vaccination with Infanrix hexa and Prevenar.
There was severe brain damage on MRI. It is unknown whether an autopsy was performed.

You’re not suggesting that a vaccine that has no live viruses could cause viral meningitis (which, to clarify, is caused by a viral infection with a live virus)?

My children really did not fuss about shots and as babies, they barely noticed. I certainly never had to hold anyone down! I hear this a lot lately and am wondering where all this fear and trepidation is coming from

They did tend to get fevers for a couple of days, one in particular, but I never worried about it. Having grown up in the years just after polio vaccine was available, I was more than happy to have vaccines. Also, my mother had diptheria as a child and always stressed how awful it was and lucky she was to have survived. Ditto pertussis.

Mileage varies with the kiddo. My first is great about needles. The second is terrified of them, and this has only been getting worse with age. Heck, my mother is barely able to hold still for her annual flu shot. She wants to get the shot every year and goes through with it like clockwork, don’t get me wrong, she’s just got a needle phobia.

It varies so much! Shameful truth: I had to be held down for shots/blood draws beyond age 12. The first time I did not pitch a fit getting a vaccination I was in 7th or 8th grade, and that was only because a cute classmate of mine was in the waiting room and I didn’t want him to hear. I burst into tears as soon as we got in the car to go home.

My autistic teenager had to be held onto for shots up until his last set of vaccinations — at age 3 he grabbed the needle and nearly broke it off in his arm. My younger one needed full-body hugs (for comfort rather than restraint) until age 8 or so. Now they both just watch the needle and say “ow.”

The first time I did not pitch a fit getting a vaccination I was in 7th or 8th grade

For some reason, my parents were led to believe that I had Huntington’s chorea (as it were) when I was a young child. The phlebotomist was a black dude with an African accent. I still remember a bit of the patter: “We are looking for blue blood. Can we see if you have blue blood?” I was old enough to get the reference.

That was probably my second medical memory, the first being a nasal cauterization at age two.

Nonehtheless, I still grimace during blood draws (and apologize in advance) and request extra tape for IVs so that I can’t feel the thing move around. I’ll leave out the details on the part that I took a 19 ga. needle to, aside from noting that the dermatologist was rather complimentary about the job. And that I should have worn eye protection.

Heidi: Caring about both the health and comfort of babies! You’ll never earn the respect of the antivax crowd with that kind of wishy-washy thinking.

Excellent point Heidi.
I really didn’t understand Teresa Conrick’s point of view for that comment. An antivaxer wouldn’t care if there was a decrease in the number of jabs required for vaccinations. You can’t go below zero jabs, which is their vaccine regimen.

I’m sure the antivaxers’ “lazy parent” shaming thing will go over well – about as well as their attempts to portray staying home from work for a couple of weeks with a child miserably ill with measles as a wonderful opportunity for “bonding”.

One source of confusion: with this new hexavalent vaccine and kids not needing to come in to the pediatrician for as many visits to get their shots, won’t that put a damper of pediatrician income? How does that square with the fervent antivax belief that physicians push vaccines for the money?

I’m sure antivaxers will find a way to contort their arguments to fit this paradigm, much as Mary Holland et al are able to ignore the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology’s endorsement of HPV vaccines, even though greatly diminishing HPV incidence will mean far fewer patient visits for pelvic exams and HPV/Pap tests (and less income for gynecologists).

Looking at the CDC schedule, I think the only visit that might be affected is the 1 month visit for a Hep B shot. The other 5 are already recommended together at the 2 and 4 month visits. So it would reduce the injections from 4 or 5 to just 2 plus rotavirus.

That also negates thevside effect tracking issue.

I think the craziest part of her screed is the autism percentages. Does the really think over half the population have already developed autism from vaccines?

Actually, if the newborn gets the first Hep B dose at birth, the second dose would be at 1-2 months, so it wouldn’t throw the schedule off at all.

That’s a satire. They do have that thing where 50% of all children will be autistic in 2025, which actually is pretty soon.

Fewer shots should also mean fewer exposures to “toxic” additives, so you think they’d be all for it. But consistency is not their strong point.

I’ve seen “hexa” vaccines for over a decade on the immunization cards of kids coming from other countries, but it’s nice to see one finally here in the US. It will still take probably 3-12 months for doctors to get Vaxelis integrated into their practices (most of that ironically is often spent waiting for insurance companies to start paying for the vaccine), which unfortunately gives the anti-vax propaganda machine time to ratchet up their lies ahead of us giving it.

Sure. and since the Vaxelis won’t be available until 2020, it probably won’t be until late 2020 or even 2021 before you can start administering it to your patients.

“The body normally produces and metabolizes (detoxifies and uses) 50,000 mg of endogenous formaldehyde daily. It has been calculates that an adult human liver will metabolize 22 mg of formaldehyde per minute (or 1,320 mg per hour).

“The levels of formaldehyde in our blood are over 1,000 times less than the levels shown to have damaging effects when taken chronically, so increasing the normal blood levels by 10% (the sort of fluctuation you would see day to day anyway) for less than a day will not do any harm.” (From: Thoughtscapism (2015 Sep 16). Should You Worry About Formaldehyde in Vaccines? at: )

Note that the quotes above and much more in the article link to other articles with even more information.

“Formaldehyde plays an essential role in our metabolism. As part of the metabolic process, formaldehyde, whether from an external source or produced by our bodies, is converted into formate (PDF) by the enzyme formaldehyde dehydrogenase. The resulting formate can then be eliminated in the urine, further broken down into CO2 and exhaled, or USED BY OUR CELL MACHINERY TO SYNTHESIZE NUCLEOTIDES AND NUCLEOBASES, such as purines and thymidine.” (From:
Harpocrates Speaks (2012 Apr 5). Demystifying Vaccine Ingredients – Formaldehyde at: )

Keep in mind that many substances found in our bodies, waste products, beneficial/even necessary ones, for example vitamins and minerals can be toxic at high levels, e.g., iron, vitamin D, etc. And though aspirin can be a blessing, try swallowing even a small bottle of aspirin and one will experience a painful death. The antivaccinationist world of black and white, all or none, literally ignores how our bodies actually work.

Though Conrick’s article didn’t mention it, I’ve also seen included among “toxic” ingredients in the rantings of antivaccinationists “albumen.” Apparently, they are not aware that albumen is what egg whites are made of.

And in other comments I’ve mentioned that even a nanogram of plutonium, one of the deadliest substances known to man, would more than likely NOT even register in our bodies.

A while back Age of Autism played up an Italian study that found nanogram of various substances in vaccines. Besides the probability of their tests being contaminated, I would bet that taking skin samples and samples from inside my body would find nanoparticles of lots of things with frightening names. Oh well, Conrick is Age of Autism Science Editor, so what does that say about Age of Autism???

i can report that Finns eat black sausage. Its main ingredient is blood. They get lots of bovine serum albumin with it. Nobody have been died yet.

Yes because eating something and having it injected into a muscle are equivalent delivery systems…

Yes because eating something and having it injected into a muscle are equivalent delivery systems…

So if I’m allergic to IM Penicillin, you’re going to tell me that oral Penicillin is A-OK?


This is one of the things I am finding fascinating about the anti-vaxxer mentality. There has been billions of electrons wasted over adjuvants in vaccines being the real problem. So Big Pharma gets together and comes up with a way to vaccinate children with fewer adjuvants and the anti-vaxxers go all ape-sht over it.

Because it is all about the vaccines and everything else is just a distraction. Deal with one argument and the goalposts are picked up and put somewhere else. It tells you everything about the intellectual honesty of anti-vaxxers.

Sounds wonderful to me. Fewer needle sticks and more protection all at once? No wonder the pro disease people are against it.

No, it doesn’t reduce the number of visits just the number of needles at each visit.

Orac won’ t you let me in to PLAAYyy — again?!

I am most interested in this…

“The toxins gambit is moot since infants will actually receive less ingredients with a hexavalent jab.”

Can someone here please provide a breakdown of the reduced preservatives and adjuvants in this vaccine over separate shots. Pls and Thx — Greg! Your friendly antivaxxer.

The needle is the same size, moron….what the real difference is in the number of antigens provided (which is more, to cover all six), but minuscule compared to what a child’s immune system would be challenge with for a single infection.

I guess Gerg finally got an Internet pass at the asylum.

Greg, these people aren’t here to help anyone but themselves as you can see. They aren’t helping children and they aren’t helping parents with questions. Its a vile, vile bunch here. The nastiest our society has to offer.

Wow, look at the hypocrite.

I don’t see commenters here posting death threats, unlike the folks over at AoA & anti-vax Facebook groups.

You really need to look in a mirror.

I’m the “nastiest our society has to offer” for not wanting anyone to get tetanus? looks around room walks over to coworker

Nope! My coworkers (who were not vaccinated according to the US schedule) say I am not a nasty person at all. They said that, at worst, I am annoyingly lab-safety oriented.

Come now, David, you can’t really be such a cruel person that you would want a child to have tetanus, right? No one could possibly want that.

Nasty I might be, but at least I’m not advocating child suffering and or death as the AV cult does.

Not sure I’d want that hat I see on your head, David, that reads ‘Making Measles Great again’

No one is nasty. We just think you are wrong. We think you are trying to hurt children. We can’t tell why you ignore all the evidence. Do you on some level actually want to hurt children? That would make you nasty. Did you decide to ignore the evidence at some point for some other reason? Does a willful choice to be ignorant excuse you from the consequence of your actions?

Do please explain why it is better to let a baby get chicken pox, rather than protecting them by maintaining community immunity with a varicella vaccine. What is “good” about an infant suffering from dozens of itchy open wounds that are susceptible to bacterial infections, or the possibility of stroke:

Just support your answer with PMID authored by reputable qualified researchers.

Fact is Christene we love evidence, the more the better, and every piece of credible evidence obtained from robust studies, peer reviewed and authenticated using the most stringent scientific method tell us vaccines are safe, effective and the single most important public health tool of the modern age.

The ones hurting children are those who choose to not protect them from unnecessarily contracting diseases that are preventable.

The nastiest our society has to offer.

Oh go step on a rusty nail.
That nasty enough for you?

Let’s use a coffee analogy, Greg. Let’s imagine that you like a peppermint latte. Let’s also imagine that you like a mocha (a chocolate latte, for clarity). When you order a peppermint mocha, is it twice the size of the plain mocha or the peppermint latte? No, of course not. It’s the same size, it just has both peppermint syrup and chocolate syrup.
A hexavalent vaccine is going to be the same thing: the carrier volume isn’t 6 times as big, they’ve just put 6 sets of antigens in one shot.

Does that help?

Every vaccine shots has preservatives. If you have six in one vaccine, you reduce needed preservatives to one ixth.

( Because I like to be able to point readers to specific posts I mention, I just scrolled through and lightly skimmed Conrick’s articles at AoA- ALL of them back to 2011)

Teresa Conrick supplies AoA with a seemingly endless stream of speculation about how vaccines stoke the biological causation of autism based upon her observations of her daughter with a focus upon the microbiome and autoimmunity with a little sprinkle of PANDAS, PANS and estrogen thrown in for good measure. She has advocated for faecal transplants and played detective seeking out Kanner’s “first autistic people” for Olmsted. I was however trying to find her ( to me) greatest attempt at theory building: people with red hair are especially susceptible to vaccine damage – it’s having less melanin! I swear she wrote this.
The article is from January 2011 ( which means I had to go through 8 years of articles to find it)

people with red hair are especially susceptible to vaccine damage – it’s having less melanin! I swear she wrote this.

But . . . but . . . Hooker proved that African-American boys were more susceptible to the autistic ravages of vaccines!

First I would like to thank the blinking box and the many great commentators around here. All of you are really a force for good in this world we all live in. I mostly lurk around here and I’ve been doing that since Orac first put put to paper. Or fingers to keyboard…

I posted this once before a few years ago, but thought I would throw it out there again as it is on topic. As an example of the good you guys do.

My son turns 31 on Monday and my daughter will be 28 next month. A few years ago they both hooked up with anti-vaxers. My son first. He hooked up with a young lady whose sister had an autistic daughter. And the sister blamed it on vaccines. This young lady had never really looked into the subject, she just excepted her sister’s word for it. I can rember my son begging me not to argue with her. He really liked her!

And then a few months later my daughter hooked up with a guy I like to call the Idiot. I don’t think there is a conspiricy theory under the sun that he didn’t believe. I realized later that the first time I met him he was trying to hone a new conspiricy theory he had come up with (i think). It was pretty stupid.

There are a couple of friends of mine that the word “friend” really doesn’t describe. They are closer to me than my own brothers and sister. And we have had Sunday dinner with them almost every Sunday they are in town for the entirety of my kids lives. The Idiot figured out pretty quick that nobody liked him and he only came to a few of those Sunday dinners. My son’s girlfriend was well liked and she tried not to miss any dinners. Smart girl! I mean both of these friends are gourmet cooks. It’s a good meal NOT to miss!

So every Sunday we would gather for dinner and some family time. And my daughter would occasionlly interject one of the Idiots talking points. And for a while they were anti-vax talking points. And I would patiently explain to her why that talking point was wrong. And after a few months of this, one Sunday my son’s girlfriend took me aside and admitted to me that she had been anti-vax. And why. And that listening to me and actually looking into it a bit she had come to the conclusion that vaccines were not something to be feared. And any kids she might have in the future would be vaccinated. BIG HUG!

I learned all of those rebuttals here. You Guys Rock! Never forget that. You guys are influencing people. And in a very good way.

My son married that young lady. Now I have two beautiful daughters. And the Idiot has been out of our lives for a couple of years now.

So Happy New Year and Thank All of You from the bottom of my heart!

Thanks for the feel good story, JinB. Glad that it all worked out in the end. Still, lots of stories going the other way: Parents who were in loved with vaccines, but after crap happened started having second thoughts. Actually, would say the tide is more flowing in this direction. Go figure!

Greg the world is stupid. Measles outbreaks worldwide. Deaths and disease a-plenty.

Care to cite any valid evidence to substantiate your “crap happened” comment?

@ Greg

I suggest you look up “post hoc ergo prompter hoc fallacy.”

Greg, folks here think you and the other 99% are too stupid to know how to handle their own health and have made it their job to inject you with substances either by trickery, then by force. That’s how they work.

So, Mr. Ball, what is you sure fire way to prevent obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy? Do provide the PMIDs on how this genetic heart disorder can be prevented.

Still, lots of stories going the other way: Parents who were in loved with vaccines, but after crap happened started having second thoughts. Actually, would say the tide is more flowing in this direction. Go figure!

And Donald Trump is still popular with about a third of US voters.
Your point?

Still, lots of stories going the other way: Parents who were in loved with vaccines, but after crap happened started having second thoughts. Actually, would say the tide is more flowing in this direction. Go figure!

…and Donald Trump is still popular with about a third of US voters.
Your point?

Guys, as much as I am enjoying this second time visiting the ‘Office’… Whoa! — that’s new. That’s a gigantic mural of Offit that you have on the ceiling. Look at Dorit over there typing so fast as usual. Must be a million autism pages she has opened. Hey Lawrence — remember the last time I came in on ‘ take your antivaxxer to work day’ that I helped you copy your kids’ vaccine exemption forms…

Any guys, as I was saying, as enticing as it is, I don’t plan to stick around. Waiting on Vaccine Papers’ take on this new vaccine, I was just wondering if you would provide the toxrc comparrison with separate shots.

Any guys, as I was saying, as enticing as it is, I don’t plan to stick around. Waiting on Vaccine Papers’ take on this new vaccine, I was just wondering if you would provide the toxrc comparrison with separate shots.

Listening to a non-scientist, non-medical professional over the entire scientific community. Thank you Greg for stating so unequivocally what a putz you are.

Waiting on Vaccine Papers’ take on this new vaccine

Jesus Christ, all this shit has already been beaten to death. Are you familiar with the Atlantic Ocean?

P.S. You recently tried to play the slobber blues on my skin flute for not calling you an antivaxxer. You are an antivaxxer.

Thanks, MJD!

The are no toxins in vaccines. Every shot have, however, additional stuff, in addition of antigens. If you have six in one vaccine, you would get only sixth of these.

Multivalent vaccines are logical:

Q. What’s the rate limiting step for the formation of a pentavalent vaccine.

A.The ladder experiment scenario demands a sequential progression to verify efficacy and safety.

One thing is clear, in my opinion, Vaxelix (hexavalent vaccine) has well thought out packaging materials to reduce allergen contamination. 🙂

Among the strangest creatures that roam the abyssal deeps is one whose appearance has only become common in recent years of scientific exploration. It has been only tentatively described in the literature due to the immense difficulty of accurate measurements due to its habit of only surfacing at night and then only irregularly and after long lapses, as if it were shy of the daylight realm above.

In spite of this shyness, or perhaps because of it, when it surfaces it is curiously attracted to travelers along the dominant currents. It does this in a spectacular breaching that, in addition to the streams of briny water sluicing off its oily bulk, it coats onlookers with traces of the odoriferous sediments from the turgid depths of its customary habitat.

Whether these events are for food or an occasional need for oxygen is as yet unknown. It has been speculated that it is to be counted among the rare ocean creatures that are anaerobes, not requiring even the oxygen poor waters of the middle depths.

It has been further speculated that it is blind as well, a sense cast off by evolution due to the absolute darkness at the ocean bottom. In any case eyes have not been observed on what is speculated to be its head, though that may only be due to its eyes being closed to avoid irritation to sensitive membranes not accustomed to our life giving atmospheric gases. It is not only eyes it lacks, but also teeth.

Will we one day know what there is to know about this rare and elusive creature? We can only speculate. For the present we must be satisfied with the little we do know and put forward theories to be experimentally tested when they do visit us. We are unlikely to encounter a more alien creature were we to explore the oceans of a distant world. Nature is forever confounding our expectations.

What a shocker, another post on vaccines…you have to wonder why so many when everyone already knows how safe and effective they are. Ever heard of the term “overselling”?

The reason Orac keeps writing about vaccines is because new anti-vaccine propaganda keeps appearing and needs to be countered in order to inform people about how they are being misled by entrenched interests. Most people don’t study enough medicine/ statistics to be able to understand research like this- Orac, without being paid, instructs adults so that they can make informed decisions for themselves and their children.
Most of the well known websites cited here about vaccines are misinformation mills.

Because vaccines are interesting? I’m sure we’d all like to talk shop about vaccines and not just be frustrated with anti-vaxxers. C’mon, I’ll start. My favorite vaccine is … vaccinia because even though we don’t use it much now it has a lot of promise as a vehicle for antigens against other diseases.

What’s your favorite vaccine? Or antigen? Or what infectious disease do you want to see an effective vaccine for?

JT, not sure I have a single favorite they are all better for being invented, though I have a soft spot for the HPV vaccine, a big chunk of my practice has been in palliative care and the thought there will be far less cervical, head and neck cancers in the future makes me a happy chap.

As an aside, I’ve long lost count of the amount of vaccines I’ve administered over my years in the game and apart from one mild case of hives I’ve never seen a serious adverse reaction.

Although I agree with Vor that the HPV vax is a good one, I really like the HepB vax. HepB is a crazy ol’ virus that lives way too long outside of the body. And as someone who likes tattoos and piercings, it’s an added layer of safety.

What a shocker – another attack on vaccines. You have to wonder, since everyone knows that vaccines cause instant death to everyone who receives one. Did you ever hear of the phrase “We can see right through you”?

The “it’s a conspiracy to hide the vaccine” claim is especially strange because there were many, many headlines about it. A day before Forbes:

Also on, Romper, and a little later on ABC and inquistr. And that’s just a quick search based on the coverage I remember.

jIf there was a conspiracy to avoid coevrage, it didn’t do very well.

I suppose it’s a bit like football (American or Proper :)). It’s only a bit of ball shuffling by a bunch of people on a bit of flat ground. Why are there so many people talking about it? Ever heard the term “overselling”?

@NumberWang: if you’re not interested in this vaccine, go read about something else. Football or celebrity weddings or the latest lies from the White House, all of which get far more attention than a new vaccine. I don’t go to football fans and tell them they should be watching birds or studying number theory instead of what they care about.

I was using sarcasm to subtly explain to to Chordyalis why his ‘overselling’ comment was bol$#cks. A bit too subtle?

Shill alert: I worked on this back in ’99. If I remember correctly, formulation was pretty tricky. Actually PR5I (Vaxelis) was scrapped for HR5I,, and then they went back to PR5I. The line about not being tested in the parody piece is quite apropos as this venture was on-going when I involved in ’99.

You can find papers Orac mentioned by doing Google Scholar search with “Dtap5 IPV Hib HepB”.

In other anti-vax news…

It’s 2019 and I am informed ( AoA, today) that there will be a VAXXED II film

( affecting that movie trailer ” In a world” voice)
“Be very, very afraid”.

Or disgusted. Bored, maybe.

It’s 2019 and I am informed ( AoA, today) that there will be a VAXXED II film

This will be the rare case where a sequel will not be worse than the original.

…because nothing could be worse than the original.

because nothing could be worse than the original.

That sounds very like a “here, hold my beer” challenge, although this case might be better described as a “here, hold my brain” challenge.

I’m sorry, Rene – this has been bugging me and I’ve been debating where or not to reply.

Your comment is incredibly disrespectful. “After HIs [House] Burned Down, or Something.

It wasn’t just his house.

For those of you who are tempted to think Yeah, yeah, Hollywood people who cares? – Take a look at the satellite imagery (yes, the contrast between colors are accentuated for emphasis)

And think about the last lines from this earlier summary (emphasis added):

Pono Barnes, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department, said firefighters are working on encouraging residents to prepare for winter rainstorms that could move over the burn area.

The whole landscape in the area has changed,” Barnes said. “The vegetation that was there to hold the ground together was burned off.”

Please don’t joke about it

I didn’t joke about the entirety of the situation, about the other people who lost their homes in the fire. If anything, I’m more joking about how he and Wakefield and friends get money for non-vaccine non-autism related things.
But go ahead and expand one simple comment into a commentary about my character, and then, as if I were not an adult, order me what to do, “Box of Salt.”
Let’s take it as far as it can go — as you did — and say that I give Orac permission to give you, “Box of Salt,” a totally random person on the internet, my email address. (Or you can contact me in other ways, since I’m not hiding my identity.) Then I will be able to run all my comments by you and make sure that if I write something like “Vaxxed II: Son of Vaxxed” I’m not making fun of people without children or orphan boys without dads. Deal, “Box of Salt”?
Finally, a word of advice, since we’re throwing it around like candy at a birthday party… (Am I making fun of diabetics?) Don’t be bugged by what random people on the internet write. Either reply right away, instinctually. Or let it go. Don’t carry it with you while you do whatever a box of salt does on a daily basis.

Whoops, that was supposed to be Morton Salt. Don’t blame me, I’m Canadian.

Oh? Is it as tone-trolling as “Box of Salt” above?

If so, It’s Canadian, so it would be even more apologetic.

They are crowd funding it, part of a definitive study to show just how easily a fool and his money can be parted.

On the subject of weekend entertainment, there was an early ’50s episode of “Dragnet” on classic radio yesterday that RI readers might’ve found interesting.

In “The Big Cliff”, Sgt. Friday and his sidekick investigate the death of an elderly woman whose husband claims he found her dead in bed when he got up in the morning. Suspicions are aroused when bruises are discovered on the woman’s neck, and her husband admits to remote spousal abuse, as well as resenting time she was spending with a male family friend. An autopsy attributes the death to suffocation. The husband is arrested on suspicion of murder.

The case against him unravels when a relative reveals that the dead woman had a history of epilepsy she was concealing from her husband, and it turns out that she had been experiencing headaches for which she had a chiropractor give her a cervical “adjustment”, resulting in the neck bruises.

The police decide that the woman’s death was from natural causes, due to an epileptic seizure.

One wonders how hard the autopsy looked for a cause of death related to the “adjustment” (i.e stroke brought on by damage to a neck artery), or if the episode was sanitized to avoid giving offense to chiropractors and their allies.

That would have to be one hell of an adjustment to result in neck bruises. There shouldn’t be any evidence of injury at all.

I wonder if the connection between neck adjustment and stroke had even been made at that time. The episode hints so. But back then people had a much higher opinion of science so I doubt offending chiropractors or avoiding offense, was on anyone’s radar.

Great responses concerning a film subtitle, everyone! **
I had a initial reaction myself but VICE was already taken.

** we so fucking clever

More breaking news: Betcha didn’t know that the upcoming rollout of 5G is actually a forced vaccination conspiracy!

Courageously, Erin Elizabeth at HealthNutNews is airing a video that explains the whole sinister plot.

For those child-like sheeple who don’t want to wade through the entire video, the meat of the matter is encountered starting at the 12:19 mark.

(in case you’re so lazy and engrossed in your video games and cellphone conversations that you can’t watch even part of a vitally important video, the gist of the matter is that 5G is going to make us sick, simulating a polio-like virus, and the government will use that as an excuse to force us all to get vaccinated against the nonexistent virus, and you know what that will mean).

New to me, so thanks for that – particularly like the concept of being “in the pocket of Big Herd Immunity”, apart from its appeal to the surreal, it’s a rather lovely way of describing a sense of social responsibility and community service.

AS I write, Kim ( Age of Autism) and Gary ( PRN) are banging on about the Golden Globes broadcast stunt involving flu vaccinations ( the hosts offered guests flu shots on air – “Anti-vaxxers could cover their heads with a napkin”).

I hope they did cover their heads with a napkin – nothing like a little public shaming.

<a href=”>Oh, brother. Why are these people watching the freaking Golden Globes in the first place? Shouldn’t they be busy studying Vapor Papers?

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