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Andrew Wakefield predicts a “mass extinction” due to vaccines in the pages of—where else?—JPANDS

In a new article in JPANDS, the official journal of the crank medical organization Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), Andrew Wakefield argues that vaccines are leading to a mass extinction. Wakefield’s argument is so full of misinformation and pseudoscience that I can only marvel at how much Wakefield and AAPS belong together.

It’s been a while since I’ve written about the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) and its journal, the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (JPANDS). The last time the AAPS was much of a thing on this blog was shortly after the election of Donald Trump, when President-Elect Trump announced that his nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services would be Tom Price, who, it turned out, was a member of AAPS. Naturally, I took it upon myself to educate the world about just how much of a crank organization AAPS is and just how antivaccine it is. My words have been justified a thousandfold by the actions of the AAPS, this time around, it’s giving Andrew Wakefield the Featured Article position in its latest issue of JPANDS. The article? It’s called The Sixth Extinction: Vaccine Immunity and Measles Mutants in a Virgin Soil, and in it Wakefield argues that we’re heading for a sixth extinction because of—you guessed it!—vaccines.

AAPS and JPANDS: Crankery galore!

Before I get to Wakefield’s magnum opus of antivaccine fear mongering, let’s review a bit of background for those not familiar with AAPS and its official journal JPANDS. The first time I wrote about AAPS and JPANDS was over 13 years ago. In that post, I described AAPS as the John Birch Society for physicians, given its far right-wing tilt. More recently, I like to refer to AAPS as a right wing crank organization disguised as a medical professional society, given how assiduously AAPS likes to don the trappings of a society like the American Medical Association, the better to use the medical profession to give the appearance of scientific legitimacy to its views. In essence, though, the AAPS world view rejects all restrictions on physicians autonomy in the practice of medicine, purportedly for the good of the patient; supports private practice as the One True Practice Model, rejecting being employed or accepting government or third party insurance; violently hates government involvement in medicine, either financially or regulatory; and embraces an Ayn Rand-style view of doctors as supermen and women whose unfettered judgment results in what’s best for patients and medicine. Basically, the AAPS view of a great doctor appears to be epitomized by the character Dr. Thomas Hendricks in the Ayn Rand novel Atlas Shrugged. In that ideological screed disguised as a novel, Dr. Hendricks was a surgeon who left society to join John Galt’s capitalist utopia of “makers” because there was too much government red tape and he “would not let them dictate the purpose for which my years of study had been spent, or the conditions of my work, or my choice of patients, or the amount of my reward.” He had also supposedly discovered a cure for all strokes but wouldn’t share his discovery with humanity because ordinary peons weren’t worthy of benefiting from his work and he wasn’t getting paid enough. He was a really swell guy.

If you read JPANDS for a few issues, you’ll rapidly find that AAPS views doctors as special and “outside of the herd” to the point that it not only tolerates quackery and antivaccine pseudoscience within its ranks, but embraces them. Indeed, I have found many forms of quackery and medical pseudoscience published in JPANDS over the years, including antivaccine pseudoscience blaming vaccines for autism, including a view that is extreme even among antivaccine activists, namely that the “shaken baby syndrome” is a “misdiagnosis” for vaccine injury; its HIV/AIDS denialism; blaming immigrants for crime and disease; promotion of the pseudoscience claiming that abortion causes breast cancer using some of the most execrable “science” ever; rejection of evidence-based guidelines as an unacceptable affront on the godlike autonomy of physicians; or the way the AAPS rejects even the concept of a scientific consensus about anything. Let’s just put it this way. The AAPS has featured publications by antivaccine mercury militia “scientists” Mark and David Geier and many others. No form of quackery and pseudoscience is too ridiculous for JPANDS.

This brings us back to Andrew Wakefield. In many ways, Wakefield is a perfect fit for AAPS and for the lead article in JPANDS. He “doesn’t follow the herd” (unless it’s a herd of antivaxers) but does bucks the system (albeit in a horrible way). He rejects evidence- and science-based medicine if they don’t conclude what he believes and thereby reinforce his beliefs. He possesses an ego as inflated as that of the fictional Dr. Hendricks, feels completely unappreciated because the medical profession rejects his pseudoscience and scientific fraud. He doesn’t believe that he as a physician—a no longer licensed physician, I hasten to add, his having had his license stripped from him by the UK—should have to bow to any medical authority or science- and evidence-based guidelines, and his narcissism is knows no bounds. You get the idea. So naturally, AAPS would see Wakefield as a perfect contributor to its house organ JPANDS. I’m only surprised that it hasn’t happened before, as far as I can remember. (I’m not going through JPANDS back issues to see if he’s contributed before.)

I also can’t help but be surprised at what Wakefield has written in JPANDS for AAPS. Wakefield has always assiduously tried to deny and avoid the label of “antivax.” Yet, here, he goes further off the deep end of antivaccine pseudoscience, general medical pseudoscience, and conspiracy mongering than I’ve ever seen him go before. In this article, Wakefield manages to be a denialist not only of vaccines, but he also flirts with evolution denial (or at least an incredibly poor understanding of evolution), and even sidles up to germ theory denialism. To set the stage, he starts with Louis Pasteur (of course!), proceeds to evolution, where he misrepresents a lot of science. Naturally, AAPS and JPANDS, being AAPS and JPANDS, the editors and ludicrous “peer reviewers” let it all pass without questioning.

Andrew Wakefield in JPANDS: Pasteur and Sir Alexander Fleming got it wrong!

Wakefield begins by decrying how Pasteur framed his germ theory, which is not entirely unreasonable, given how much of our microbiological flora are either beneficial or neutral, something that wasn’t understood in the late 19th century. It doesn’t take long for Wakefield’s complaint to go from semi-reasonable to ludicrous as he abuses science more and more in the article. Predictably Wakefield can’t resist invoking the microbiome, which is a recent understanding of how our very own bacterial and other microbial flora affect our biology and health. Quacks and cranks love the microbiome, because its existence allows them to make all sorts of dubious claims extrapolating from our current limited understanding of the relationship between the microbiome and our health. As you might imagine, antivaxers like the microbiome because they like to claim that if your microbiome is “healthy,” you don’t need vaccines and that you can manipulate your health by manipulating the microbiome. That latter contention might have some truth to it, but inevitably antivaxers wildly extrapolate far beyond what science shows. From here Wakefield proceeds to the Sir Alexander Fleming, penicillin, and the antibiotic era, making the observation that bacterial resistance has evolved as a result of overuse of antibiotics. At this point, it becomes quite obvious where Wakefield is going with this:

Antibiotic use has selected out multiply resistant, more dangerous, and more pathogenic strains of bacteria. This growing threat has led what many senior public health officials in the UK and the U.S. to describe as the “post-antibiotic apocalypse” and the “end of modern medicine.” It is estimated that 50,000 annual deaths occur in Europe and the U.S. from infections that “antibiotics have lost the power to treat.” So in fewer than 80 years, we have reached the point at which, for example, with prosthetic surgery, wards are being closed down, patients are being sent home, and operations are no longer possible, because once the prosthesis becomes infected with such bacteria, it is virtually impossible to get rid of them.

Are vaccines destined for a similar fate? It’s a very interesting question. One answer is, why not? For vaccines, resistance equates to strains of the microbe, the virus, or the bacteria that can elude the imperfect immunity created by the vaccine.

Yes, it’s an interesting question, but it’s not anywhere near the slam dunk analogy that Wakefield clearly thinks it is. First, let’s let Wakefield blather on a bit. Not surprisingly, the first example to support his thesis for which Wakefield reaches is pertussis. It’s a common argument among antivaxers that the reason we’re seeing more cases of pertussis in people who have been vaccinated against it is because pertussis is either “evolving resistance,” or because it is shifting to a different strain not covered by the vaccine. I’ve written about this (at least twice), as has Skeptical Raptor. You can read the links if you want to know more, but the short version is that the acellular pertussis vaccine works, but that its immunity wanes; this can be corrected with additional booster shots. Also, as I said at the time, while it is possible that the B. pertussis bacteria is developing “resistance” to the vaccine through natural selection, the evidence that it is doing so struck me as weak and preliminary. Even if it were evolving resistance, the answer would be to change the vaccine in order to include the altered antigens. Others agree, and I’ll discuss this more after considering Wakefield’s other “examples.”

Next up is Marek’s disease, a highly contagious viral disease of chickens that is a major problem in the poultry industry and for which a vaccine exists. Citing an article by Melinda Wenner Moyer claiming claiming that the vaccine was causing the virus to evolve more virulence and a single study that inspired it, Wakefield claims:

The idea that vaccines are pushing pathogens to evolve follows from the notion that natural selection removes pathogenic strains that are so “hot” that they kill their hosts and, therefore, themselves. Vaccines that “leak,” which let the hosts survive but do not prevent the spread of the pathogen, relax this selection and allow the onward transmission of strains otherwise too lethal to persist. Andrew Read et al. demonstrated this effect in experiments with chickens immunized against Marek’s disease.18 Authors concluded that “the future challenge is to identify whether there are other types of vaccines used in animals and humans that might also generate these evolutionary risks.”

As is frequently the case in a denialist screed published in JPANDS, Wakefield conveniently leaves out a very important bit of information about this vaccine. Unlike the vast majority of vaccines, particularly vaccines used to prevent disease in humans, the Marek disease vaccine does not prevent transmission of the virus. It only prevents symptoms of the disease, namely the tumors caused by the virus. That’s why it’s called a “leaky vaccine.” Vaccinated chickens can still spread disease. Under normal conditions, a highly virulent strain would kill the host before the virus could spread too far, thus selecting for strains that are not too virulent. However, a leaky vaccine changes the selective pressure and permits the evolution of highly virulent strains because the virus retains the ability to continue to spread among vaccinated populations, leading to the vaccine selecting for the most virulent mutations. Basically, Wakefield is citing the single example of this phenomenon that has been suggested by experimental evidence, and Read himself has written that, even if this phenomenon occurs with a human vaccine—it doesn’t, as far as we know—that’s an even more compelling reason to be vaccinated. After all, if a human vaccine lets deadlier versions of a disease flourish, that is all the more reason to be protected from those deadly strains.

Wakefield then moves on to HPV (of course):

Markowitz et al. examined this issue in the setting of widespread use of human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine. As shown in Figure 1, after the introduction of the HPV vaccine, the prevalence of vaccine-targeted HPV strains went down, and concomitantly the prevalence of other strains went up.2 The overall prevalence of HPV in sexually active women aged 14 to 25 years was 54.4% in the pre-vaccine era (2003-2008) and 58.1% in the post-vaccine era (2009-2012). In the pre-vaccine era, the prevalence of strains in the quadrivalent vaccine (4vHPV) was 18.6% overall or about 34% of all HPV, decreasing to 10.8% overall or about 20% of all HPV in the post-vaccine era.

This is brain dead, even by Wakefield (or even JPANDS) standards. The HPV vaccines target only the cancer-causing strains of HPV. Their purpose is not to eliminate all HPV infection, just infection by the HPV strains that cause cancer, mainly cervical but also head and neck cancers. So it’s a good thing that vaccinating with HPV vaccine causes the cancer-causing strains to decline in prevalence, and it doesn’t so much matter that the other strains increased in prevalence to make up the difference. The answer, of course, was (and is) to cover more strains, in order to cover all the cancer-causing strains if possible. That’s why there is now a nonavalent (covering nine strains) version of Gardasil.

Measles and “natural herd immunity”

Wakefield eventually moves on to measles. Apparently he had been on Del Bigtree’s video podcast claiming that measles is mutating in response to the MMR vaccine. He starts out with the intellectually dishonest “vaccines didn’t save us” gambit, which tries to suggest that vaccines aren’t that useful because mortality from a given vaccine-preventable disease was declining before the vaccine was introduced. I call it intellectually dishonest, because the reason more people survived, for instance polio, before the vaccine was introduced was because of the introduction of better supportive care, such as mechanical ventilation with the iron lung, which allowed patients whose respiratory muscles had been paralyzed by the virus to survive until their paralysis resolved or even if their paralysis was permanent. The implication that antivaccinationists want people to draw is that hygiene, sanitation, and the like were the “real” causes of the decrease, but disease incidence does not equal mortality and disease incidence has always plummeted after the introduction and widespread use of a vaccine against it.

Another antivaccine trope invoked by Wakefield is the “natural immunity” trope:

For measles, let us separate herd immunity into natural herd Immunity that operated before the vaccine era and vaccine-associated “herd immunity” in the vaccine era. What is natural herd immunity and what has it achieved? Natural herd immunity was the presence within a population of a level of immunity against measles adequate to protect those at high risk of serious infection, and by minimizing serious infection, consequently reduce serious morbidity and mortality. Natural herd immunity did not operate to prevent the infection. It did not prevent measles, but rather operated passively to permit measles in childhood at a time and in a way that it is least harmful, thus leading to improved survival, good health, and most importantly the benefit of lifelong immunity.

I see what you did here, Wakefield. Basically, Wakefield’s combining a common antivaccine argument that measles isn’t a harmful disease with the claim that “natural herd immunity” led to a predominance of a less harmful measles strain. This is utter and complete bullshit, given that measles has always been a serious disease, the invocation by antivaxers of a 50-year-old episode of The Brady Bunch that played the measles for laughs as evidence that people didn’t think measles to be a big deal before the vaccine notwithstanding. Wakefield bases this “permissive infection constraint” on the observation that one infection with measles provides lifelong immunity and that infants were protected by passive transplacental and breast milk immunity from mothers who had themselves experienced natural measles. One problem with Wakefield’s handwaving should be obvious. Even if maternal antibodies in breast milk were as protective against measles as Wakefield thinks they are, even back then women didn’t breastfeed their children until they reached school age, that time when, Wakefield claims, measles is “least harmful.” (“Least harmful”? What drugs is Wakefield on?)

Also, unfortunately for Wakefield’s line of “reasoning,” the past and present rebuke antivaxers like Wakefield who claim that measles was a “benign” disease. It is not. Indeed, measles produces immunosuppression that lasts years after infection. Also, the whole point of vaccination is so that there can be immunity, both individual and herd, without the necessity of thousands upon thousands of children suffering from measles and its potential complications, such as pneumonia, encephalitis, and deadly SSPE.

Wakefield mangles evolution for AAPS in service of antivax pseudoscience

Next up in his JPANDS article, Wakefield decides that he’s the second coming of Richard Dawkins and invokes evolution…badly…while repeating the intellectually dishonest “vaccines didn’t save us” gambit:

Measles was a major killer of children in the UK until 1920, with a mortality of 1,200 per million children during biannual epidemics. Then there was a precipitous fall in case fatality rate, with at least a 95% reduction rate before the introduction of the vaccine. This decrease in case fatality rate occurred well before the introduction of antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial pneumonias, to which patients often succumbed. This trend had nothing to do with medicine or public health but was largely the result of natural herd immunity operating over 100 years as measles had rapidly become a progressively milder disease. Why measles is milder in children than at other ages, while not the subject of this paper, is due in part to the interrelatedness of factors such as age, dose of exposure, immune system maturation, and nutritional status. The fact is, that natural herd immunity achieved a dramatic improvement in the outcome from measles infection in a short space of time, and left to its own devices, may well have reduced mortality and morbidity to rarities by now. This is the benchmark against which the benefits of measles vaccines must be measured.

Notice how Wakefield presents no evidence to support his claim that “natural herd immunity” had somehow resulted in a massive decrease in the virulence of the measles virus. There’s an obvious question here, too, that Wakefield doesn’t address: Why did the case fatality rate fall after 1920? You can’t just magically wave your hands and say that “natural herd immunity” did it without showing evidence, but that’s just what Wakefield did. How did “natural herd immunity” achieve this miracle? Why did “natural herd immunity” only apparently arise after 1920? Didn’t nearly all children catch the measles sometime during their childhood before 1920, as they did after 1920 until the 1960s, when the vaccine was deployed? What changed around 1920 that led to this “natural herd immunity” arising? Wakefield sure doesn’t tell us. He just expects you to believe his narrative, even though it’s full of obvious massive holes. It’s classic bullshit from a master bullshitter: Trot out something that sounds superficially plausible, safe in the expectation that the vast majority of people reading it won’t see the massive holes in the story. More AAPS and JPANDS “peer review” at its finest. Sadly, Wakefield’s fans (like Del Bigtree) are eating this nonsense up and asking for seconds.

Here’s where Wakefield starts flirting with germ theory denial:

When measles vaccination started, President John F. Kennedy wrote a letter to a November 1961 meeting of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), describing measles as a “formidable and widespread threat.”This was not a view shared by other invited experts including Sir Graham Wilson, at that time one of the world’s authorities on microbial pathology. At a time when mortality from measles was one in 100,000, he described measles as one of the inevitable but rarely important maladies of childhood. This was in 1960. He suggested that the more important question was, “What is different about the child who dies?” Before rushing into universal vaccinations for every child, should we not be asking what is unique, what is different about that one child in the million, about what Claude Bernard described as the “terrain,” which makes a child susceptible to this infection?

First, where did Wakefield get this ludicrously low estimate for the case fatality rate of measles in 1960? Tellingly, he didn’t cite his source. Similarly, whenever I searched for Sir Graham Wilson’s having supposedly warned about not having a vaccine that conferred lifelong immunity, the only sites that come up are antivaccine websites. It is true that Wilson wrote a book called The Hazards of Immunization. It’s not what antivaxers think. For one thing, there are relatively few mentions of issues with the measles vaccine. Most of the book, as reading the table of contents and skimming som chapters revealed to me, deals with problems with contamination, faulty manufacture, faulty administration, and adverse reactions. Interestingly, he even mentions the antivaccine movement early in the book. He does say this about measles, though:

Measles presents an interesting example of a disease in which the mortality in relation to morbidity in Great Britain is extremely low but in which respiratory and neurological complications leaving behind them permanent damage are not infrequent. We know, as yet, little of the possible dangers of measles vaccines, but when we do learn about these we shall be in a better position to judge how far vaccination should be applied in practice.

So much for the idea that scientists in the 1960s believed measles to be a “benign” disease. Wakefield, of course, harps on the relatively low mortality of measles, but ignores, as Sir Wilson did not, the serious pulmonary and neurological complications that result from measles, which Sir Wilson described as “not infrequent.” It should be noted that Sir Wilson’s book was published in 1966 and was based on lectures from a couple of years before, when the measles vaccine was truly a new vaccine and the MMR was a decade off. We now know, as Sir Wilson did not know yet then, that the MMR vaccine is extremely safe. As usual, Wakefield conveniently leaves out a lot of information.

Measles “mutants”

From here on out, Wakefield goes pretty much whole crank, totally off the deep end, listing the “greatest hits” of antivaccine conspiracy theories, including the Simpsonwood conference, thimerosal, and the like, and then, in a feat of projection that only an antivaxer could pull off, accuses scientists of being “too certain”:

The book Crusade to Immunize the World’s Children by William Muraskin concerns the Gates Foundation. Muraskin used to attend all of the meetings of the Gates Foundation, which put tens of billions of dollars into vaccination campaigns worldwide. I interviewed him and asked: “At those meetings where all of the people from the industry, and the people from the World Health Organization (WHO), and UNICEF, and you are all around a table discussing vaccination policy for the developing world, did you ever discuss safety?” He said, “Not once.” That is certainty in the real world.

There is no place for certainty in biological sciences. Stephen J. Gould, American evolutionary biologist wrote: “Organisms… must remain imperfect in their form and function, and to that extent unpredictable since they are not optimal machines. We cannot know their future with certainty.”

I call BS here again, BS and confirmation bias. Just because Muraskin doesn’t remember ever hearing discussions of safety doesn’t mean they didn’t occur. Then Wakefield invokes physics…badly again:

In physics, if you have two related phenomena such as the momentum and the position in space of a particle, Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle states that the closer you come to knowing one variable, the further you get from knowing the other. With vaccination, we have multiple variables, each of which, when changed, could change another in ways we can’t even predict, with inherent uncertainty. With a large number of variables, each of which can influence others, there is virtually infinite uncertainty. Uncertainty is the only certainty. Perhaps one certainty is that, as with antibiotics, nature will find a way; she will defy us and haunt the high ceilings of our ambition

I can just hear my physicist readers facepalming out there. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle doesn’t apply here and isn’t even a good analogy to a situation like this. Yes, it’s true that as you add variables it’s harder to control for them all. However, we have large epidemiological studies that demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the current vaccination schedule. This is nothing more than an appeal to uncertainty tarted up with quantum mechanics, the way that Deepak Chopra likes to do.

This brings us to the central claim Wakefield is making in his JPANDS article, that “natural herd immunity” is being subverted, both because of vaccination itself and because measles is “mutating” in response to vaccination into forms that are less effectively prevented by vaccination. He cherry picks an example:

Muñoz-Alía et al. have recently identified a variant of measles virus that escapes neutralization by monoclonal antibodies targeting the neutralizing epitope antigenic site, the main target of protective neutralizing antibodies.13 Two measles virus genotypes emerged in their study: those with (D4.2) and those without (D4.1), the genetic variant that allowed escape from neutralization. The former had emerged in countries that have vaccinated intensively and for prolonged periods against measles (UK and France). The latter was present in isolates from East Africa. The D4.2 subgenotype viruses showed a trend toward diminished susceptibility to neutralization by human sera pooled from North American donors. In other words, a mutant has emerged against which vaccine immunity is reduced in the face of intensive, imperfect vaccination, a situation that deserves our urgent attention.

Naturally, I went straight to the source study. (It’s Wakefield. I’d be a fool to accept his description about any study.) Yes, this is what the authors observed, more or less. They identified two strains of measles virus less susceptible to neutralization by pooled human sera. Wakefield, however, took the significance of this observation beyond what the data support, because of course he did, and he left out something very important, but that’s more because the study authors pulled a trick that I hate. Here’s what I mean. What this study did not show is that these strains of measles identified by the authors are any more virulent or any more likely to cause disease in vaccinated children. Tellingly, Wakefield failed to mention that the difference between the strains in their susceptibility to neutralization by immune sera was not statistically significant—not even close. The p-value was 0.21. (The term “trend towards” is always a red flag that could indicate that an experiment’s results were not statistically significant. I’m shocked that peer reviewers allowed it. The correct interpretation is that the researchers did not observe a difference in neutralization between the strains, not that there was a “trend” towards resistance to neutralization. You might get away with that for p-values between 0.05 and 0.10, but certainly not for 0.21.) In other words, the experiment Wakefield cited is a negative experiment, at least as far as sera from vaccinated individuals being less able to neutralize these measles variants. I hate when researchers try to make a non-significant result sound real by saying there was a “trend,” and this was a particularly egregious example.

Another issue that Wakefield doesn’t mention is that, compared to the influenza virus, for instance, the measles virus is known to be slower to evolve than the average RNA virus. An interesting study from 2015 showed that the surface proteins that the measles virus uses to enter the cell are rendered ineffective if they undergo any mutation, meaning that changes to the virus come at a high cost. The authors suggested that the “inelasticity of these proteins prevents the sequence variation required to escape antibody neutralization in the host, allowing for long-lived immunity after infection with the virus.”

And Andrew Read himself, whom Wakefield cited as having shown that Marek disease evolved more virulence in response to vaccination, has written:

Drugs and vaccines both impose substantial pressure on pathogen populations to evolve resistance and indeed, drug resistance typically emerges soon after the introduction of a drug. But vaccine resistance has only rarely emerged. Using well-established principles of population genetics and evolutionary ecology, we argue that two key differences between vaccines and drugs explain why vaccines have so far proved more robust against evolution than drugs. First, vaccines tend to work prophylactically while drugs tend to work therapeutically. Second, vaccines tend to induce immune responses against multiple targets on a pathogen while drugs tend to target very few. Consequently, pathogen populations generate less variation for vaccine resistance than they do for drug resistance, and selection has fewer opportunities to act on that variation. When vaccine resistance has evolved, these generalities have been violated. With careful forethought, it may be possible to identify vaccines at risk of failure even before they are introduced.

He even discussed why measles virus appears not to evolve much in response to vaccination, summarizing some of the evidence about measles evolution. Bottom line: invoking evolution of the measles virus in response to mass vaccination doesn’t explain our current measles outbreaks any more than Wakefield’s totally made-up idea about “permissive infection constraint” and “natural herd immunity” do.

Basically, evolution of resistance to vaccination is very uncommon, far less common than evolution of resistance to drugs, so much so that it’s even been proposed that vaccination is the answer to the development of antimicrobial resistance.

Andrew Wakefield and AAPS: The final “extinction”

As he wraps up his ridiculous tangle of bogus arguments, Wakefield invokes a famous germ theory denialist conspiracy theory:

There is an apocryphal story that Pasteur recanted his germ theory on his deathbed, stating that “[Claude] Bernard was correct. I was wrong. The microbe (germ) is nothing. The terrain (milieu) is everything.”24 Whether the story is true or not, we would do well to ask, as did Sir Graham Wilson, “What is it about that child, that terrain, that makes him vulnerable?”, rather than pushing universal vaccinations.

The story about Pasteur recanting and renouncing germ theory in favor of the competing idea at the time, is a lie. It’s one that I first wrote about a very long time ago. Basically, it’s nonsense. There is no evidence that Pasteur ever said anything like what he is claimed to have said on his deathbed. Before me, Peter Bowditch actually read the earliest existing biography of Pasteur and showed that there was no evidence that Pasteur ever renounced germ theory on his deathbed or at any other time. Just for reference, the competing idea about the “terrain” being all was promoted by Antoine Béchamp, a rival scientist, as well as Claude Bernard. Béchamp’s hypothesis was known as the pleomorphic theory of disease and stated that bacteria change form (i.e., demonstrate pleomorphism) in response to disease. In other words, they arise from tissues during disease states. Béchamp further postulated that bacteria arose from structures that he called microzymas, which to him referred to a class of enzymes. Béchamp postulated that microzymas are normally present in tissues and that their effects depended upon the cellular terrain. Ultimately, Pasteur’s theory won out over that of Béchamp, based on evidence, but Béchamp was influential at the time, and, given the science and technology in those days, his hypothesis was not entirely unreasonable. It was, however, superseded by Pasteur’s germ theory of disease and Koch’s later work that resulted in Koch’s postulates. Besides not fitting with the scientific evidence, Béchamp’s idea had nowhere near the explanatory and predictive power that Pasteur’s theory did.

On the other hand, there is a grain of truth in Béchamp’s ideas. Specifically, it is true that the condition of the “terrain” (the body) does matter when it comes to infectious disease. Debilitated people do not resist the invasion of microorganisms as well as strong, healthy people. Of course, another thing to remember is that the “terrain” can facilitate the harmful effect of microorganisms in unexpected ways. For example, certain strains of the flu (as in 1918 and H1N1) are more virulent in the young because the young mount a more vigorous immune response.

Yes, by implication, Wakefield is invoking germ theory denialist ideas.

Of course, Wakefield buys into the “autism epidemic” distortion, including ridiculous claims that autism prevalence will be 100% before too long, even saying that we are “approaching a situation in which everyone either has autism or is caring for someone with autism.” To him, this is a potential extinction-level event:

And perhaps there is another player waiting in the wings while center stage these battles between Germ and Terrain, Caution and Certainty, Profit and Loss, Truth and Propaganda play out. In the wings we have an old adversary in the guise of an ambitious understudy—measles.

I am not the first to contemplate the idea of the final outcome, if current trends continue, not just with severe neurodevelopmental disorders, but with declining fertility worldwide. There have been five major extinction events in the history of planet Earth, and I believe that if something does not change, we face a sixth extinction event as surely as eggs are eggs.

No, vaccines are not causing so much severe autism that people will stop reproducing, nor are they, as Wakefield implies but doesn’t explicitly state, causing decreasing fertility. If they are, they’re doing a poor job of it, because the earth’s population is, as Wakefield fails to mention, continuing to increase, and even the source he cites states that this will continue until the end of the century, at which point there will be nearly 10.9 billion. Let’s just put it this way. We’re in far more danger of a major extinction event from human-caused climate change than from vaccines, declining fertility, the evolution of superbugs due to vaccines, or any of the other things Wakefield handwaves about in his article.

Wakefield’s gone even further off the deep end than he usually does. Unfortunately, antivaxers will eat it up, and I’m sure even some who aren’t antivax will find his wild speculations plausible, even though they are neither plausible nor supported by evidence. He, AAPS, and JPANDS are made for each other. I wonder if Wakefield’s a member. Whether he is or not, I predict more abominations against science by Wakefield in JPANDS in the future.

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]

175 replies on “Andrew Wakefield predicts a “mass extinction” due to vaccines in the pages of—where else?—JPANDS”

In related news, Conservative politician Jacob Rees-Mogg apologized for comparing a respectable doctor with Wakefield.

He did it in Parliament, meaning it was privileged speech and he couldn’t be sued for libel. But even so, it drew rebukes from the British Medical Association. And the doctor himself, Dr David Nicholl, borrowed a megaphone from an anti-Brexit campaigner and invited Rees-Mogg to repeat his comments outside of Parliament so that he could sue. Thus the apology.

So there you go. Being compared to Andrew Wakefield is grounds enough for a libel suit that he apologized.

The smug, pretentious self-important Rees-Mogg subsequently apologized to the doctor.

I’d compare Wakefield to a bucket of shit, but that’s an insult to the bucket of shit.

So this former doctor is even more contemptible than I previously thought. Thanks for the information.

A. Wakefield does not follow herd of antivaccine activists. He milks them.

B. Thank you for working through this catastrophe of an article.

C. Another thing to remember is that Wakefield seems to assume that strain development is not tracked. But as some articles he cites show, that’s just not true. Strain development is carefully tracked. His assumption that vaccines will cause wild mutations that will be missed requires pretty fast development.

D. To support your point about HPV vaccines, Dan Kegel in his wonderful HPV FAQ collected the most recent studies on strain replacement.

Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle states that the closer you come to knowing one variable, the further you get from knowing the other. With vaccination, we have multiple variables, each of which, when changed, could change another in ways we can’t even predict, with inherent uncertainty.

I guess I do have to open my mouth. There is a very specific relationship between the variables of momentum and position in quantum mechanics; they are conjugate variables in an expression of quantum mechanical phase… literally, they appear together as a product in the wave function. Such conjugate variables do not commute and, as a result, abide by the uncertainty principle. The generalization of the uncertainty principle has the product of two uncertainties greater than or equal to a value involving a commutator… meaning that if the two uncertainties do commute, where the commutator goes to zero, the uncertainty principle says that the two uncertainties at hand can be known simultaneously to arbitrary precision. Fact is that many variables often occur together and if they commute, the uncertainty principle has nothing to say about them.

I extend this a little further. In the uncertainty principle, the precision by which either uncertainty can be known is modulated by the value of the product of those two uncertainties and is required to be greater than (or equal to) some value. For position and momentum, this value is one-half of hbar, a number closely related to Planck’s constant. hbar is about 1*10^-34… this is tiny! Tinier in fact than the scale of Avogadro’s number being big. As a result, most commutators essentially approach zero. This is important because, on most scales where you can measure, your normal uncertainty of measurement is big enough that the measured values of momentum and position are essentially uncoupled and can be as precisely known as the situation calls for. This is why a person doesn’t suddenly teleport across the parking lot when they trip on a curb.

Sorry, people invoking Uncertainty Principle out of context is a big pet peeve of mine.

@ foolish physicist:

Unfortunately, woo-meisters/ anti-vaxxers like those I survey will dip into whatever sounds “science-y” in order to impress their marks and wow!- do they like physics! Quantum and entanglement are frequent choices ( didn’t Montagnier use that to explain homeopathy?);
more in my areas, they like to invoke neurophysiology, cognition and “cognitive dissonance”, throwing in terms without understanding their significance, constructing baroque models of “brain damage” and methods “cure” in relation to ASDs.

I imagine that this is because these examples ( in either physics or psychology) sound the most arcane and least likely to be studied by the general public so they can construct Rube Goldberg contraptions all the more easily and fool the uninformed.

Not sure if it was Montagnier using entanglement or someone else but he definitely argued FOR homeopathy . He appeared at AutismOne too.Nobel disease I guess a la Linus Pauling.

Oh, absolutely! Which makes it doubly important people like me open their mouths. Orac says a lot and well, puts it in writing, but he doesn’t have time or expertise to tackle it all. I think I can help in my tiny way by making certain to put in writing exactly why this particular sort of concept can’t be manipulated the way the charlatans use it;-) Or so I would like to believe.

Even with only an undergraduate degree in physics I had to cringe/face palm the inapplicable use of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. Perhaps we can postulate a “certainty principle” for Wakefield: The longer the utterance by AJW on vaccines, the lower the likelihood he’s saying anything truthful (with the probability of it being a lie approaching unity if the utterance is 1 or more complete sentences).

foolish physicist writes,

I guess I do have to open my mouth.

MJD says,

Q. In this medium, when someone opens their mouth can it be heard.

The great thing about Respectful Insolence the blog is our fingers do the talking. Clearly, this is the “Respectful Insolence Uncertainty Principle.”

Please note! Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) should not be confused with the genuinely legitimate and respectful organization American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS,, which is a very pro-science organization. Seeing the term AAPS referred to so many times in this article in a poor light was jarring.

Head-desking so hard right now…
I can’t go all over it, I have neither the stamina nor the level of expertise of our host. These bits jumped at me, through:

Vaccines that “leak,” which let the hosts survive but do not prevent the spread of the pathogen, relax this selection and allow the onward transmission of strains otherwise too lethal to persist.

Right here, there is an underlying affirmation by Wakefield: in order for the ‘mild’ measles virus strains to be selected, people infected with ‘lethal’ strains must die.
That’s flirting very close to eugenism.
Also, this is admitting that the measles virus does has the potential to kill infected people (or had it, anyway). I wonder how this will be reconciled with “measles is just a mild disease”.

I also note how Wakefield redefined ‘herd immunity’ from something based on probabilities (for the germs to find a new host) to some magical, fuzzy natural thing which, somehow, ensure that children get sick at the perfect time.
I think I will rename him Pangloss.

“[Claude] Bernard was correct. I was wrong”

Seriously, WTF.
Claude Bernard argued for the existence of enzymes (some non-living substance, more exactly – ‘enzyme’ would be coined later), Louis Pasteur for the existence of germs, as the cause of fermentations. Under a strict definition of fermentation, Pasteur was right. If you don’t add yeasts, you won’t get bread, or beer. Under a more… fairer definition, Bernard was right. We biologists do ‘fermentations’ every days in our labs by adding enzymes to various stuff.
But AFAIK Claude Bernard never dismissed Pasteur’s germ theory of disease.
Both of them actually collaborated in an experiment which disproved the ‘spontaneous generation’ theory.
Some lazy dude must have merged a few 19th-century French scientists together. This ‘terrain’ thingy sounds more like Béchamp, indeed.
I know we French all look alike, but please do some effort.

Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle states that the closer you come to knowing one variable, the further you get from knowing the other.

A character over at Schlock Mercernary had the perfect answer: Including facepalm.

To paraphrase, neither vaccines – or Wakefield – are electrons.

@ Orac

I saw the article yesterday on Age of Autism and planned to e-mail you, suggesting you refute it. Thanks for beating me to the punch.

Quoted from the article: “At a time when mortality from measles was one in 100,000.”

According to CDC website and numerous articles, the decade or so prior to the vaccines had ca. 500,000 reported cases; ca. 48,000 hospitalizations, up to 1,000 cases of encephalitis (resulting often in permanent disabilities, including deafness, blindness, seizure disorders, and mental retardation) AND an average of 450 deaths. This doesn’t count the dozen or more kids who died several years later from subacute sclerotic panencephalitis. So, Wakefield’s “one in 100,000” would mean 5 deaths per year. Less than subacute sclerotic panencephalitis cases and 1/100th the actual number of cases. I guess math isn’t his strongest skill???

As for natural immunity, that is what existed at the time, not very helpful was it. On the other hand, measles is one of the most contagious infectious diseases there is and it is contagious up to 2 weeks before becoming symptomatic, so a traveler from another country would pass it on in the plane, those getting it would take it home, those boarding other planes would carry it everywhere. So, how does Wakefield and other antivaccinationists explain that the recent outbreaks among small groups of Orthodox Jews, brought in by a visitor from Israel, didn’t cause a wide-spread epidemic; but was limited to mainly those unvaccinated, that is, the “weaker” vaccine herd immunity stopped it from spreading?

And how do they explain that the recent outbreaks of measles around the world are in nations with the lowest vaccination rates, especially Ukraine whose vaccinations went down due to the ongoing civil war and had 50% of the measles cases in Europe?

There was a phenomenon back in the day where every child in an elementary school would get measles, then almost no one, including the new Kindergarteners, would get it for a few years, then eventually the unexposed population at the school would pass below the herd immunity threshold and all the younger students would get measles at once.

“I guess math isn’t his strongest skill???”

More likely is his awareness that for his devoted followers mathematics is beyond their ken and interest. The few of them who do understand math choose to believe or echo him anyway.

I saw this in the paper also that I found interesting: “This manuscript is based on a presentation given by Dr. Wakefield at the 2018
meeting of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness.”

Support for Wakefield’s claims can be found in the context of “MicroRNA based feedforward control of intrinsic gene expression noise” 8/30/19 and the preprint “Buffering gene expression noise by microRNA based feedforward regulation” 4/28/18.

Reassembly of viruses and viral fragments in vaccines links the degradation of messenger RNA to constraint-breaking mutations, which are the obvious link to virus-driven extinction in species from microbes to humans.

Can I get an “Amen” to that? Buffering gene expression noise… MicroRNA etc

The abstracts are very similar and seem to be a modelling approach to RNA gene expression. I haven’t read the papers but the summaries don’t appear to have any relation to Kohl’s ramblings above, anyway I would love to see his reference for vaccine viral particle reassembly driving a microbe to extinction, any microbe…

A citation:
“Intrinsic noise, which arises in gene expression at low copy numbers, can be controlled by diverse regulatory motifs, including feedforward loops. Here we study an example of a feedforward control system based on the interaction between an mRNA molecule and an antagonistic microRNA molecule encoded by the same gene, aiming to quantify the variability (or noise) in molecular copy numbers.”
Nothing to do with evolution.

I suspect the 1 in 100 000 figure is the result of the same misuse of data we have seen in recent comments hereabouts. That is, it considers the population as a whole. If you accept that measles infects nearly everyone and that the infection results in very long term immunity, then only the new members of the herd will be susceptible. The deaths will be almost exclusively among children born since the last sweep of infection passed through the herd, so taking the population as a whole says very little about mortality from infection. I believe that the US data actually includes numbers by age range, so deliberately using the all-inclusive number is deliberate deception.

As is increasingly seen, bacterial resistance to antibiotics is frequently due to sharing spit among non-related species. Bacteria are notorious for this. Antibiotic resistance is often cropping up as a result of one species acquiring resistance-conferring plasmids from other species.

If new, resistant strains of measles might arise, it seems to me like a very compelling reason to ramp of the rate of vaccination to the extreme, thereby possibly eradicating the disease entirely.

I’m becoming increasingly convinced that anti-vaxxers simply make assertions that suit their fancy at the moment of utterance with regard to herd immunity.

Even if Pasteur recanted every last iota of his findings on his deathbed, it doesn’t matter. We have learned a few things since he expired. Among those things is confirmation of much of his work.

@ Doug

If Wakefield’s 1 in 100,000 is for the entire population, rather than those infected, I guess Wakefield could make the case that U.S. combat military deaths in World War II were just a small percentage of total U.S. population. Wouldn’t put it past him.

A while ago I investigated as did Orac the claim that Pasteur recanted, NEVER happened; but even if it did, he was old, in poor health, so not the faculties of the young innovative scientists; but it NEVER happened.

even if it did, he was old, in poor health

The story was invented in a book from the 1960s; I tracked it down back when I frequented MDC but don’t have it to hand.

@ doug,

If new, resistant strains of measles might arise, it seems to me like a very compelling reason to ramp of the rate of vaccination to the extreme, thereby possibly eradicating the disease entirely

Isn’t the (urban/pop-culture) definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result?

Not in this case. Rinderpest, which was Measles’ Cattle Cousin, was successfully eradicated. There is no reason why measles could not suffer the same fate.

Since all US cases begin as imports, it would behoove us to support the Global Measles Eradication campaign & focus on the key areas of concern (particularly East Asia & Eastern Europe to start), followed by a dedicated African campaign.

@ Christine

Measles is one of the diseases having only humans as its reservoir, the others include smallpox and polio. If it wasn’t for religious fanatics, polio would now be the second disease to be eradicated. If they are eventually successful, measles might be the next one. However, one doesn’t necessarily need to vaccinate an entire population, depends on incubation time and when first becomes infectious. Smallpox was eliminated by “ring vaccination.” Wherever they found a case, they vaccinated all who came in contact with. In Third World where villages distance apart, eventually they were successful in about 12 years. However, polio is passed through food and water, so need to vaccinate basically everyone. Measles is airborne like smallpox; but incubation, infectious timing different from smallpox, so I’d have to do some research to determine if one would need to vaccinate basically everyone or use some variant of ring vaccination.

Isn’t the (urban/pop-culture) definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result?

No, that’s Narconon. At least you didn’t invoke Einstein.

Rinderpest, which was Measles’ Cattle Cousin

Progenitor, in fact, IIRC. Not sure when they diverged.

” it seems to me like a very compelling reason to ramp [up] the rate of vaccination to the extreme, thereby possibly eradicating the disease entirely”, which in fact was exactly how smallpox and rinderpest were eliminated from nature.
There is a very colorful, and I believe true, story of a well-loved bandit chieftain in Bangladesh who was going home to die. WHO physicians joined his entourage and vaccinated everyone who came out to see for one last look.
Today, extreme antivaxers are delaying the eradication of poliomyelitis by brutally murdering public health workers in their areas.
Funny how the antivax, especially the ones who propound violent methods, are actually doing the work of Boko Haram, al Qaeda, and Taliban.
“Isn’t the (urban/pop-culture) definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result?” Yes, but it’s a very poor definition. Roulette, my former dating strategy, and any task that is executed by persistent effort all work exactly that way. It’s also how we get babies, a process where doing (more or less) the same thing over and over is quite rational, and fun too.

the AAPS world view rejects all restrictions on physicians autonomy in the practice of medicine, purportedly for the good of the patient; supports private practice as the One True Practice Model, rejecting being employed or accepting government or third party insurance; violently hates government involvement in medicine, either financially or regulatory

Uh … these are BAD things?

I guess my grandpa was right when he told his six kids before he died that he was glad none of them had followed his footsteps into medicine because he ‘didn’t like the direction that the practice of medicine was headed in this country’.

He never allowed his billing office to tell him who owed him money & was perfectly okay with accepting a dozen fresh eggs or a loaf of baked bread in exchange for those nighttime emergency house-calls. He was a US Navy Commander, physician & surgeon in WWII & was on a ship hit on D-Day in Normandy.

Cut from a different cloth, I suppose.

Gosh, Christine Kincaid, I’m sure my mother and father wished they had a doctor like that. The one who made house calls for us always expected to be paid, even when he had to make multiple visits when I almost died from pertussis. Of course, it would have been a bit difficult for us to pay him in fresh eggs, since we lived in the middle of an urban city, where people did not keep chickens in the back yard.
Not sure what his military service had to do with anything, but if that’s necessary in a post, my Dad survived the Ardennes Offensive.

@ Elle,

It was just relevant to the caliber of doctors that would agree with a physician maintaining full autonomy. I’m bewildered that physician autonomy was painted in a poor light; I want a doctor who recommends what is best for me; not what the insurance company says they will pay for.

I totally confused a receptionist at a doctors group office once when he asked me if I had a preference of which physician I would prefer to see & I told him I wanted ‘The oldest & grouchiest doctor in the group. Preferably a Dinosaur, if there is one.’

What I meant was that I wanted somebody who wasn’t intimidated by managed care reps & their ‘troubleshooting’ diagrams of care plans. Somebody who wouldn’t tell me they were not ‘allowed’ to prescribe antibiotics because I hadn’t first exhausted every over-the-counter sinus symptom remedy. Somebody who knew how to game surgical pre-approvals by admitting for ‘exploratory surgery’.

I wanted old-school & if that meant just plain old & scary; that would be my guy.

“Full autonomy” in AAPS-speak means the freedom to completely ignore evidence-based guidelines, no medical licensure by the state, etc., etc., etc.

Sorry. I like autonomy as a physician, but I’ve worked with doctors all my life, being one myself. Too much “autonomy” inevitably leads to cranks like Andrew Wakefield and many of the members of AAPS. Medicine does need to be regulated. Evidence-based guidelines are useful, and if a doctor decides to do something different he should be able to justify it with science, not just his god-like autonomy based on his often unjustified belief that he can interpret masses of data as well or better than experts.

I thought you said you had superior reading comprehention, but apparently it only works when the text validates you, since you’re apparently blind to te rest of the sentence.

@ Terrie,

You are apparently criticizing my reading when your writing errors couldn’t possibly be blamed on auto-correct? Maybe it’s ‘posting-before-coffee’? Happens to the best of us.

Christine, I have moderate dyslexia and severe dysgraphia. I can literally be thinking one word and type another. Yet I somehow manage to recognzie that one should respond to a complete thought, and not cherrypick half of it.

Try again.

You are apparently criticizing my reading when your writing errors couldn’t possibly be blamed on auto-correct?

Honeybunch, I’m an editor, and the first rule of editing is that you can’t be your own editor. Your lack of reading skills, however, is akin to Halley’s comet returning several times a year.

How can you dispute that Pasteur recanted germ theory? Wakefield cites Susan Dorey Designs, a peerless source of medical history.

I was supposed to get a measles vaccine when the new one came out but I couldn’t because I got the measles first. So my question involves people in the age groups who got the measles vaccine long ago: if Andy is right and the virus has “evolved” wouldn’t people who were amongst the earliest recipients now be most vulnerable and getting measles?
Because it’s almost like a new virus? And wouldn’t events like this be noted?

HOWEVER the new cases seem to be children and adults who are “unvaccinated” or “partially vaccinated” and the sources appear to be people visiting from countries with lower rates of vaccination.. Not vaccinated in the1960s or later.

@ Denice

First, it would depend on how different an evolved strain was. More than likely, worst case scenario would mean that some cross-immunity would remain, so if got measles would likely be a much milder case. This is what happens with seasonal flu vaccine when not a great match, people sometimes till get flu; but risk for hospitalization and death still lower among those vaccinated, something antivaccinationists ignore.

@ Terrie,

You really don’t know anything about medicine and just make up nonsense, don’t you

Because I prefer a physician who maintains autonomy? Please stop.

Because you want a doctor not beholden to science and best practicies. That’s the “automony” AAPS is touting.

I’ll stop if you stop.

Oh, looks like I mis-spelled “practices.” Christine, look, you can mock that instead of actually responding to the content of what I said.

Because you prefer a physician who panders to your wishes and acknowledges your perspicacity and brilliance?

@ doug,

Nope. For example; I don’t like it that a doctor diagnosed me with a sinus infection & then proceeded to tell me she wasn’t ‘allowed’ to prescribe antibiotics because I hadn’t tried Mucinex & the Neti Pot yet.

Despite that she had my chart right in front of her that stated a history of ‘occult’ sinus infections that would result in my being in the ER, tilted into trendelenburg with IVF wide-open & a fever of 104. She wanted me to use more symptom relievers. When I have a history of being … ASYMPTOMATIC … until I’m very ill.

What I would have preferred; is a physician who would look at the available history & consider their own diagnosis & just write for some damn Keflex & not tell me what they are or are not, allowed to do.

I was a practicing physician assistant working in major hospitals for 20 years. How many loaves of bread equal the cost of one MRI? If I got paid in eggs, how many would the MTA take for subway fare? Could I possibly have gotten enough to pay my mortgage or feed my kids? That’s a f**k of a lot of eggs.
Now, shouldn’t those paying for care, be it the patient herself, her labor union, her employer, or the government to which she, and you and I, pay taxes expect to have their money spent on care for which there is some scientifically supported basis, rather than astrology, qi meridians, discredited pre-scientific ideas, whatever, as well as having that care delivered in some reliable manner? The brave maverick physician who won’t let some bureaucrat or functionary tell her how to treat HER patients may also be a crank, or insane, or lazy, or worse. Could you even prosecute an “Angel of Death” practitioner without a standard of care?

I was trying to make sense of what Wakefield is saying, but then I began thinking of the long history of deaths during wartime from infectious diseases, which continued well into the 20th century. Shouldn’t bacterial sepsis from battlefield injuries have declined to almost nothing long before then, if pathogenic organisms are constantly “evolving” into milder forms? How was it possible for influenza to have suddenly become a worldwide killer around the end of WWI? We weren’t vaccinating against influenza, so that explanation is out. Did people’s “terrain” make them more susceptible out of nowhere?

It doesn’t compute, unless you accept that Wakefield is a jackass.

Physician autonomy sounds like a nifty thing at first. Why shouldn’t MDs be free to use any drug and whatever (un)sanitary procedures they want, without some hospital or government Big Brother insisting on practice standards? It’s tyrannical to demand that medical record dictations be completed on time or that some minimum of continuing medical education be accomplished. Remember, Suzanne Humphries was supposedly so appalled at being required to get her hospital patients immunized that she instead of practicing medicine she now writes books, does private consults, studies homeopathy and commits other good works.

I was just coming to post that. “Way ahead of you.”

The thing about AW’s ‘point’ is – vaccinations do exactly what the wild-type disease does, just without the disease. If the virus can mutate to evade a vaccination-induced response, it can mutate to evade a ‘natural’ immune response (see: HIV).

Vaccines just stress the body (way) less and do (wayway) less collateral damage.

JPANDS – Just PANDering to the Stupid

I wonder if Wakefield’s nonsense is really intended to be much other than pandering to the fools who have declared vaccination to be a tool of New World Order population control. It would allow them a measure of a defense from the criticism that their claims are obviously false – “But the effect will be delayed until it is too late and the sheeple are dooooooomed!!” (Haven’t we been hearing that, too, around here lately?)

If vaccinations are so genocidal then how come at the age of sixty-six, coming on scene just as most modern vaccines were being introduced, I have seen the world’s population increase from just under three billion to something around seven billion, or maybe more? Some genocide!

He doesn’t even understand the concept of mass extinction: when the number of species becoming extinct greatly exceeds the usual background rate. Suggesting that humans might, possibly, in his fevered imagination, go extinct is not a mass extinction event.

We are quite possibly entering the real thing atm but that’s a separate issue.

Mass extinctions are counted in extinct genera, not even species… The whole homo genera would need to be wiped out.

@ Orac,

Evidence-based guidelines are useful, and if a doctor decides to do something different he should be able to justify it with science

Okay, thank you. I believe that there should be ‘standards in practice of care’. In fact, the closest I’ve ever been to death’s door was due to a doctor who did not adhere. Surely there must be a balance.

You seem to be quite sickly. Maybe you should see a doctor with enough “autonomy” to tell you to have your head examined.

I am sick of ignoring your pathetic attempts at being ever-so-much” just one of the gang” and thinking we won’t notice how ignorant you are.

I’m not usually mean, but you bother me more than Happy Bob from Oz and that guy with the latex fetish combined.

@ brainmatterz,

You seem to be quite sickly

My doctor, who examined me just yesterday, quite thoroughly; would likely disagree. I believe his exact words were ‘Most of my patients would kill to have these lab results; you could live to be 100 …’ It’s probably a good thing I’m over 46 though, as he mentioned how the HPV vaccine was going to ‘save a lot of lives’. Dodged that bullet.

The event mentioned above was a hemorrhagic OBGYN event; had nothing to do with health status.

My sinus issue is a leftover from the chronic, childhood strep infections that started within a month of the MMR4 I received prior to coming to this country. Without the dumb vaccine I would be even healthier, thanks. Given the frequent mentioning from posters here regarding their or their families auto-immune conditions, neurological conditions, ASD, learning disabilities & struggles with everything from depression to Bell’s Palsy; all potential vaccine-induced adverse events?

You may one day be forced to re-evaluate how & by whom you define ‘sickly’.

struggles with everything from depression to Bell’s Palsy; all potential vaccine-induced adverse events?

FOADIAF, sincerely.

Christine, I assume you mean my learning disabilities that I mentioned earlier. The same ones my father has. And his father. And possibly his father, but that might have been lack of schooling. I’d love to know about these magical time travelling vaccine-induced adverse events that cause my grandfather’s dyslexia in 1912.You could win some major scientific awards for discovering that.!

“their or their families auto-immune conditions, neurological conditions, ASD, learning disabilities & struggles with everything from depression to Bell’s Palsy; all potential vaccine-induced adverse events?”
Also almost entirely having no correlation to autism, vaccines, or environmental factors. I say almost, because, as I was taught, “anything can do anything”, meaning once in a great while, we might see a rare occurrence, not to lend your claim any support.
Autism was first named in 1943; few if any of the modern vaccines were in existence then. Bell’s palsy was recognized as a discrete disorder by Sir Charles Bell in 1829. Its triggers are well-known. Depression, or melancholia, as it used to be called, was well-known a considerable number of centuries ago, when it was blamed on an imbalance in the humours. As for autism, a search of historical biography and medical writings provide good evidence that it was also known for quite a long time, but given the state of psychology, psychiatry, and neurology before the latter half of the 20th Century, it also was not recognized as a discrete entity, and when it was, its causes were misattributed.
Everything you named was recognized long before vaccination. Those 19th Century docs had few tools to treat disease or identify causative factors, but there were many great observers and diagnosticians among them, and there was little that escaped their notice.
Read a little history. It might show you how wrong you can be.

@ Joel Harrison,

f it wasn’t for religious fanatics, polio would now be the second disease to be eradicated

Well, this is a new one for me. Religious fanatics?

Regarding measles; I had read that the second dose of the MMR was added because infants of mothers who had only received the MMR1 were increasingly susceptible to the measles during their first year of life due to insufficient maternal antibodies.

The CDC Pinkbook, however; mentions this:

From 1985 through 1988, 42% of cases occurred in persons who were vaccinated on or after their first birthday. During these years, 68% of cases in school-aged children (5–19 years) occurred among those who had been appropriately vaccinated. The occurrence of measles among previously vaccinated children (i.e., vaccine failure) led to a recommendation for a second dose in this age group

Can we be sure that within the next decade there will not be another recommendation for an MMR3? I know most here tolerate vaccination very well, because if you didn’t; you wouldn’t be here.Or you would be here ‘like me’. That’s not been the case in my family.

Measles is so contagious that having even just 5% of people susceptible because they didn’t get effective immunity from vaccines is enough to cause serious outbreaks. Since 2 MMRs have been recommended a lot of locations have been able to eliminate the endemic spread. Showing 2 is enough

In some corners of the planet, you can add the local brands of Catholics. Or at least their leading archbishop.

The ones opposed to vaccines in the Netherlands are mostly orthodox Christian, what we call black stockings churches.
No Catholics. They are more opposed to gay practices. Still a lot of gay people seem to feel at home in the Catholic church, something I fail to understand.

Still a lot of gay people seem to feel at home in the Catholic church, something I fail to understand.

I’m now an agnostic, but was a practicing Catholic for over two decades. Catholicism is a very broad church, and what lies beneath is often quite different from the public face. Heck, centuries ago there was something called the “Brotherhood Ceremony”.

Dr G’s repudiation of anti-vax has not gone unnoticed:

In the series that never ends ( latest news and articles, today) Gale & Null
Wikipedia Skeptics Attack on Truth in Journalism

Sharyl Atkisson reports the Truth about vaccines but has been smeared by Wikipedia, SBM and especially DR DG! who uses “opinionated, non-science sources.. .habitual absence of references from peer-reviewed, independent scientific literature.. accuses of her of “writing propaganda” while his own are ” not peer-reviewed…long-winded diatribes peppered with misleading
accusations, hostility and mockery… rarely ever cites peer-reviewed research to support his cynicism against those who challenge vaccine safety” in “derisive debates on-line” ( paraphrase**) his opponents rely more on peer-reviewed literature than he does.

Gee, that sounds familiar!
It should be noted that alties accuse anyone who doesn’t agree with them of being “un-scientific” whilst they wax poetic about homeopathy, vaccine damages, healing genes with meditation and green juicing. Dr DG gets singled out quite frequently as an outspoken SB spokesman. Of course the audience can’t tell the difference between the two camps so they obediently listen to their guru.
Take it as a sign that you’re making a difference, Dr, and that they’re probably more afraid of you than anyone else.You affect the bottom line: sales of woo-tinged nonsense. And they’ve said so!

** I could no longer reproduce such crap word-for-word as though it were Holy Writ

Honestly, this sounds like a Bill Maher co-authored screed, with a few more $50 words to sound Sciencey. So when is his guest spot on Real Time?

Christine: Sinus infections are VIRAL, not bacterial. You shouldn’t be taking anti-bacterials for a viral infection, at that point all you’re doing is running a gym for the bacteria.

I’m curious what “balance” needs to be found between complete physician autonomy (a la JPANDS) and following evidence-based standards of care. Does that mean misprescribing opioids only part of the time? Using sterile OR procedures when it strikes you as necessary, and the rest of the time just waltzing right in after digging in the garden to do an appendectomy without gowning and gloving?

It’s especially bizarre (and depressing) that someone who self-identifies as a nurse evidently thinks physicians are god-like creatures who should be free to do what they want. It seems to me we had a striking example just recently of nurses obsequiously catering to a physician’s grossly inappropriate actions, with catastrophic results. The nursing code of ethics (as promulgated by the American Nurses Association) requires nurses to question inappropriate or unethical decisions relative to patient care and to report uncorrected violations to appropriate higher authority.

There’s nothing in the code about doctors having JPANDS-style autonomy.

*speaking of god-like attributes, I’m cackling with glee over the prospect of my support for immunization leading to the extinction of humanity, as Wakefield has warned. I never knew I wielded such power.

“Sinus infections are VIRAL, not bacterial.”

Actually they are caused by both viruses and bacteria (most cases are viral in nature). Even when infections are caused by bacteria, symptoms often resolve just as quickly with no treatment compared to taking a course of antibiotics.

Many patients obviously want docs to prescribe antibiotics even when they’re not likely to do any good and may cause harm. But again, a nurse should know better.

There was plenty about her story I found odd, but, yeah, the idea that the doctor wouldn’t prescribe the antibiotics for a sinus infection isn’t one of them. I’ve certainly faced doctors who wouldn’t do so, even when they should have per the standard of care and best practices (secondary infection with high fever). Ironically, that was not some shadowy “control” (the AAPS cited government control, but Christine seems to be focused on managed care and insurance) and more the exact type of doctor Christine thinks is the ideal. The guy was convinced he knew best and no one should be telling him what to do.

Terrie, Not just “odd”; as you probably know I don’t/ can’t diagnose anyone but sometimes we have to speak up when there are people in potentially dangerous situations because of violence** and I don’t just mean the protagonist and teenager either. By avoiding*** meds and not calling the police, she may be courting disaster that could involve others besides herself.
Of course, we would bear no responsibility- I really don’t want to be involved at all BUT I think Orac and company should know this since she’s been hanging around here.

** counsellors, health care professionals should take action if a client describes abuse/ danger to others
*** as revealed elsewhere

Denice, in this case I was referring to her story of how the doctor “wasn’t allowed” to prescribe antibiotics.

@ DB,

several posters here have acknowledged that sinus infections can be either viral or bacterial but then go out of their way to scrounge for something discrediting to use against me.

While none of them have yet to acknowledge that I was talking about a history of ‘occult’ or asymptomatic sinus infections & their otherwise rational knowledge base got thrown out the window before they realized that unresolved viral illnesses, such as pneumonia; can certainly be conducive to a secondary bacterial infection.

Which is exactly what happens with me.

Now, see how your bias against my position on vaccines allowed you to disregard science-based medical interventions & recommendations? Not very smart.

Unfortunately, this is likely contributing to high mortality during ‘flu-season’, as if prescribing antibiotics for the probable secondary bacterial pneumonia (which can easily be auscultated & assessed in about 60 seconds) is somehow ‘cheating’ on the ‘your only hope is the vaccine …’ meme.

Mainstream media is unwittingly quite good at pointing this out, with the common denominator in their coverage of ‘flu deaths’:

“Was seen in urgent care, sent home, dead within 48 hours’.

Health-care providers are becoming biased from providing appropriate care for any illness where vaccines are a factor. Just like you here are trying to inappropriately disparage my complaints about this physician not providing me with what you otherwise would acknowledge; WAS the appropriate treatment. Get a grip.

“Health-care providers are becoming biased from providing appropriate care for any illness where vaccines are a factor. ”

Sheer and utter poppycock, in the original meaning of the word. Perhaps you just need to find another doctor since you claim the ones you’re seeing do the bidding of others, and won’t take payment in the form of loaves of bread.

Christine, I fully believe you were not given needed antibiotics for a sinus infection. I’ve had that happen myself, though it was by the exact kind of doctor you seem to think is the ideal. What I’m skeptical of is your claim that the doctor said they “weren’t allowed.” I think that was just your interpretation of what happened, not what actually happened.

Writing for JPANDS is a sure sign that you have given up any real pretence at being a scientist and are just a conspiracy theorist.

So, we have

Wakefield: “The Sixth Extinction: Vaccine Immunity and Measles Mutants in a Virgin Soil” where some virus mutates due to vaccines and then wipes us out, leaving earth sans humans. Fade to black.


Mike Adams (July 2019): “ALERT for humanity: The “perfect storm” for a vaccine HOLOCAUST is now here” where 90% of us die all at once from vaccine “kill switch vectors” after which robots replace human labor while the globalists negotiate with space aliens to assure Earth’s place in the galactic ecosystem. ( )

Adams has the superior flare for going full apocalypse.

“Flare”? You could mean “flair”, but I prefer to imagine Adams as a piece of magnesium as it is ignited.

Whoops. I did mean “flair” (though supporters of both Adams and Wakefraud might call them “lit”)

Well, Adams and other cranks do want to be noticed, so it is making sense to me that they would use flares as part of their competition arsenal. Metaphorical ones or real ones.

What’s the word when you use the wrong word but it turns out to be appropriate anyway?

Not entirely off topic — could California residents please call the governor’s office and ask politely that he sign the vaccination bill.

The receptionist will add your call to the numbers on the competing lists.

You can find the number by doing a search for California governor.


I hope this isn’t how the governor decides, but then again anti-vaxxers call from all over the globe on these things and pretend to be from where ever the politician is (aka “the flying monkey approach”) which sometimes has worked for them with naive politicians.

@ Denice,

What in the actual fuck are you talking about? I most certainly HAVE called the police when he went missing during the pre-dawn hours on black friday, as many autistic children do. That is the LEADING cause of death for autistic children; do you really think I’m going to fuck around?

And if by ‘avoiding meds’ you mean those psychotropics that have never been approved for use in autistic children? Obviously; the science agrees with me on that one. Advising a mother to ask a doctor; HIS doctor; who has declined to write for an off-label use of a medication … to go against advice & engage in that trial & error is not very safe. You should avoid being seen that way.

If you feel the need to butt in where you have no business being; why don’t you troll those sites where parents are advocating bleach as a ‘cure’ for ASD & help those kids who are potentially in quite a bit of danger, rather than worrying about me; just because you don’t like what I say about vaccines.

@ Ellie,

Perhaps you just need to find another doctor

I do have another doctor. She was in the urgent care office I visited.

@ Ellie,

Unfortunately, she was paid by insurance. Minus the copay.

Then they had to pay the ER bill exactly one month later; for the IV antibiotics her negligence resulted in me needing. I paid that copay.

Oh & @ Ellie,

Sheer and utter poppycock

Nope. Doctors should be prescribing antibiotics for patients with a secondary bacterial pneumonia; whether or not it’s during flu-season. Period.

CK, your comment was, and I quote, “Health-care providers are becoming biased from providing appropriate care for any illness where vaccines are a factor. ”

That is what I called poppycock, in the original meaning of the word, and that is what it remains.

Orac** or any of his minions can read what Christine wrote on AoA’s post about Minnesota police recently
about not calling the police to “deal with meltdowns”, against meds and institutions. 2 comments.

I want nothing to do with her.

** Orac should know this so no one could call him negligent if anything happens

@ Denice,

Yes, on a post about an elderly couple who had to call 911 during their autistic grandson’s meltdown … and the police responded by shooting & killing him. Are you insinuating that this is the outcome I should pursue for my family?

Are you insinuating that ‘mandatory reporting’ should be invoked on behalf of the families of all autistic children who are aggressive during puberty? Or just the ones who would prefer that their local police departments had obtained the necessary training to safely manage the developmentally disabled in their communities; prior to us viewing them as a resource?

Orac, as far as I have seen; does not advocate for the abuse of the disabled by untrained law enforcement; which at this point; unfortunately, means my local PD. I suppose you are declining to mention the bulk of my post for that very reason; regarding the young autistic man in my community who was body-slammed into the wall & handcuffed on the ground because an officer thought the drawing pen he was clutching in his hand was a ‘syringe’?

Yeah, no thanks. My son has an able-bodied father in the home & a large family who loves him. Leave me alone.

@ Christine

The U.S. has the highest per capita killing by police of mainly unarmed kids in the 1st world. Whether it is a kid on the Spectrum, a minority kid, a kid with other psychiatric problems, or just a kid who had been drinking, killing of innocents is an American problem. As for calling the police, the word “aggressive” has a wide spectrum and, despite the above, most police act appropriately. If a mother is alone with a teenager, whether on the Spectrum or for some other reason, becomes threateningly aggressive, sometimes there is no choice and one can only hope the police react appropriately.

As for wandering off, yep a problem with ASD; but other children, mentally retarded, Down Syndrome, and “normal” kids wander off and get lost. Dangerous for any of them. What bothers me most is anti vaccine websites that discuss the above two problems as if they ONLY occur with kids and people on the Spectrum, as if society should ignore all others. For me, ALL children, whether handicapped, mentally retarded, Down Syndrome, ASD, ALL are precious.

And you have an “able- bodied father in the home”, what happens if he is out of town? You are really tiresome.

Christine: “If you feel the need to butt in where you have no business being”

That’s the risk you take by blogging your family’s life story* here.

*including the fantasy parts.

@ DB,

I would like nothing more than to leave the blind squealing of this filthy pig-pen forever. I actually believe that you all here are too far gone intellectually & too caught up in the phenomena of mass-hysteria & propaganda to see the truth.

What likely needs to happen at this point is for your agenda to be quickly given the green light so that the plague of vaccine-injury can move like the proverbial swarm of locust across the continent & for the US to de-evolve into the weakest, sickest & most disabled nation in the world. The canary in the coal mine to the benefit the rest of humanity.

Seriously, the Salem Witch Trials have nothing on you all here & the rampant insecurity evidenced by your libelous calling of other men ‘rapey’, your bullying of scientists & doctors, your exploitation of disabled people, your abuse of parents of dead & disabled children, your ‘I wanna suck Orac’s dick’ social workers, your crazy cat-lady groupies, absent-mother lawyers, indoctrinated, pseudo-intellectual man-virgins, rambling word-salad academia & your creepy, voyeur-like obsession with mini-doxxing anyone who threatens your shaky little house of cards.

Your agenda needs to prevail so that you can reap what you have sown.

Then again, within the next decade most of you here will be shaking your fists in posey mitts, drooling into your bibs & shuffling around in Memory Care facilities, so maybe it’s just best to patronize & humor you now while causing a filibuster for each & every bill of mass-destruction proposed. The problem, of course; is the number of people that you will take down with you.

There won’t be enough young, healthy people left to take care of you.

I would have left a month ago, after I arrived with all the extremely ominous evidence needed, only to find out you were too blind to see it; if it were not for the fact that I could never look America’s children in the eyes again, for having been such a coward.

Yet, I’m still considering stepping out of your way so that you can just get this over with, all at once & en mass, so there can be no doubt as to the epidemiological signal. Analyzed by scientists in foreign countries, of course, since nothing of any value will be produced by this country ever again.

I would like nothing more than to leave the blind squealing of this filthy pig-pen forever.

Your noble sacrifice in enlightening the pagan savages here in order to save their misguided souls from the evils of vaccines is duly noted.

I would like nothing more than to leave the blind squealing of this filthy pig-pen forever.
We’re in agreement. Please leave, and take your incoherent “theories” and ramblings with you.If you’re not going to spend your time on your family, try therapy.

“I would like nothing more than to leave the blind squealing of this filthy pig-pen forever.”
Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

Then again, within the next decade most of you here will be shaking your fists in posey mitts, drooling into your bibs & shuffling around in Memory Care facilities

What about the heartbreak of psoriasis?

Hey Christine, have you decided which it is yet?

A) You are smarter than every scientist in the entire world who’s ever done any vaccine/autism study analysis?

B) Every scientist in the entire world who’s ever done any vaccine/autism study analysis is being paid or threatened to keep quiet about the actual real but suppressed evidence that vaccines cause autism?

I would like nothing more than to leave the blind squealing of this filthy pig-pen forever. I actually believe that you all here are too far gone intellectually & too caught up in the phenomena of mass-hysteria & propaganda to see the truth.

Oh good grief, white saviour complex as well.

Reincarnation of Sarah Bernhardt?


The phrase “attention seeking behaviour” comes to mind.

Sweden, for instance, has a vaccine schedule similar to ours, with an uptake north of 95%, Yet they have a healthier population.


MY best guess would be that they do NOT have entrenched pockets of generational poverty based upon historical inequalities where neither standard medical care nor decent food choices are prevalent BECAUSE they’re a bunch of SOCIALISTS who provide education and medical care for everyone who lives there**

( interestingly, a well known woo-meister insists that eating dairy products usually leads to cancer, heart disease and early DEATH despite the fact that the Dutch and Swedes aren’t exactly dropping like flies)

** or maybe it’s because they use saunas to clear out toxins? ( I’m joking).

Saunas are in the Netherlands not that common. But there are some dangers about the vaccine-uptake. Some childcare organisitions refuse unvaccinated children. It is still a bit difficult, because Christian politicians are often talking about freedom of religion, which includes not vaccinating your children, because it is against the will of the Lord, according to some groups. In the past this has led to polio-cases in certain regions.

Christine: When did you swap husbands? Cause a few weeks ago you were moaning about your ‘retired’ husband who lives with his tv and can’t take care of his own son. And it doesn’t matter if someone comes from a two parent home when the cops come calling.

@ PGP,

I’m not overly impressed with most men but no, his dad is not retired. What do you mean ‘it doesn’t matter if someone comes from a two parent home when the cops come calling?”

My concern for my son & the police is in regards to our local PDs terrible track record with dealing with developmentally disabled people & the mentally ill. There are good training programs for law enforcement available but they seem to be optional.

My main fear right now is that he have a meltdown in public & someone will think I’m being abused or even attacked by a stranger & try to be a good Samaritan, not realizing that he is a minor with a disability.

What did you think was the problem?

We know that Wakefield was never an expert in infectious diseases, immunology or vaccination science, but was he an expert in anything?

The report on John Walker-Smith’s successful High Court appeal against his GMC suspension states (copied directly from the report at

“Undisputed facts
2. From 1992 until May 1997 Dr. Wakefield was Senior Lecturer in medicine and
histopathology and Director of Research of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Study
Group at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine. Although trained as a surgeon, he was not a clinician and was not allowed to practise as such.”

Does Orac, or anyone here, know any background before Wakefield’s faked ‘case study’ of twelve kids? Why wasn’t he allowed to practice clinically?

It’s not a reflection of previous wrongdoing, if that is what you think. My understanding is that the position he was Incas simply a research one, not clinical.

@ Sue:

There is a Wikipedia entry on AJW:
it seems that he started out as a legitimate researcher, investigating small intestine transplantation ( in animals) at Toronto, then returned to England where he continued with liver transplants, studying Crohn’s disease and was a lecturer. He came to believe that Crohn’s had something to do with measles infection.

Within Brian Deer’s encyclopaedic work on Wakefield, I seem to recall that somewhere he called him a “failed researcher” or suchlike although I can’t pinpoint exactly where that is. Be that as it may, I have never seen any reference to him being anything other than a research surgeon, never treating patients. It sounds like his choice, not being barred from doing so. I imagine that becoming a physician who treats patients would have to involve other training.

@ Ellie,

Reincarnation of Sarah Bernhardt

The palanquin riding drama-queen? Lol.

One derogatory post after enduring over a month of insults does not a Bernhardt make.

She rather wasn’t enough of a drama queen, “the show must go on” is not a particularly healthy approach when you suffer successive knee injuries in the process.

“One derogatory post after enduring over a month of insults does not a Bernhardt make.”
You have been making an endless succession of derogatory and insulting posts since you started here.
Do you even read your own postings?

According to Dr DG’s twitter, AAPS pulled the new issue of JPANDS** with AJW’s article:
SO, do they actually have a sense of shame?

** did they name it that because it sounds a little like “JAPAN” which is an interesting country with smart people that they wanted to be associated with? And, believe me, anti-vaxxers/woo-merchants try to name blogs, orgs, magazines after more respectable entities/ outlets. ( NVIC, AVN, PRN, TMR )

It’s the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, which would be JAPS by conventional abbreviation. I guess they needed to indulge in a little political correctness by adding all-caps AND.

No, the ‘A’ is for Anglo and the ‘W’ is for Wanker but Jackass is correct.

Orac writes,

We’re in far more danger of a major extinction event from human-caused climate change than from vaccines…

@ Orac,

Damn right, will you accept a guest-post laced with respectful insolence toward climate-change skeptics from your’s truly? Let’s work together on climate change and forget about vaccines for the moment. Please advise.

Christine: ‘it doesn’t matter if someone comes from a two parent home when the cops come calling?”

Oh, I thought you were doing an ‘all black men come from single-parent households, and that’s why the cops shoot them’ schtick. I was just going to point out I don’t think parental dynamics make a difference. Heck, in one case,a guy who got shot in the town I live in was a dad and from all accounts an enthusiastic and loving parent. Didn’t make any difference, he’s still dead. I do agree that police training is a problem. I’m whitish, and I still come out of every encounter with the cops shaking.

Also, way to channel 4chan. Aren’t you too old for that board, Serena Joy?

Ok, so your husband’s not retired, he’s just lazy. Still a problem. Seriously, you have this whole huge family, and not a single one can step in and give you a break. Or maybe you don’t want a break, so you can alienate your son from his siblings even more.

@ PGP,

I do agree that police training is a problem

Exactly & my local PD isn’t exactly racking up points. In the past few years they have shot & killed a mentally ill man who was obviously quite delirious, body-slammed & handcuffed the autistic teenager who was clutching a drawing pen & have been sued by a deaf guy who they tazed after he ‘didn’t answer them’.

And the training IS out there … just ‘optional’.

alienate your son from his siblings even more

Oh geez; this kid is so NOT alienated, he’s probably the most popular kid at every family gathering, event & holiday we have. One of my older sons is getting married today & I already know he’s going to be on the dance floor for hours. You can’t appreciate the saying ‘dance like no one is watching’; until you meet him. But I’m worried about his behavior. I’ve been up since 0430 just worrying.

His dad annoys me because he ‘gets to’ go to work all day & then says stupid things like ‘you must have provoked him somehow’ when he gets aggressive. I suppose if I were the one who was 6’4″ & 240, I wouldn’t be very ‘provoking’ either.

It sounds like you have a close-knit extended family, which is great. Have you considered asking any of them for some respite? Or asked if they know of any organizations that can help? Either private or governmental.

In my town, Lutheran Social Services offers respite for caregivers. Maybe there’s something similar by you? Couldn’t hurt, might help, as they say.

So naturally, AAPS would see Wakefield as a perfect contributor to its house organ JPANDS. I’m only surprised that it hasn’t happened before, as far as I can remember. (I’m not going through JPANDS back issues to see if he’s contributed before.)

Using Google shows at least two previous contributions (I and the Google spider could have missed others):

Eating popcorn

I rather enjoy how she keeps threatening to leave, but sticks around anyway; how she keeps changing her story, as if the internet doesn’t remember; and how you all want to — ehem! — “pleasure” Orac. Dinner theater at its best.

Dr Ren:

Orac’s minions know how easy it is to find information about anyone **- in fact, a regular*** found drunk driving involving children by a natural health blogger, I’ve found so-called experts’ true educational backgrounds/ lawsuits/ earnings and others have found how inconsistent or mendacious alties can be in diverse ways ( or even an anti-vaxxer’s MPH thesis! thank you), Many have done SB research/ dissertations/ literature searches about far more complex material as you know only too well.

** in RL, addresses, lawsuits, bankruptcies, arrests are public
*** take a bow, Dude

I think we have more of those people, who threaten to leave, but always come back. Mostly anti-vaxxers, or people involved in quackery.

@ Science Mom:

About that ” white saviour” complex:

anti-vax is extremely- and alarmingly white**- ( as Dr DG notes on Twitter) : looking over their recent protest and blockade videos ( also @ highwiretalk), they’re white and mostly affluent ( as studies have shown): some attendees interviewed today travelled from SoCal which rather far away so they apparently can miss time off from work and other duties.
YET they call themselves “civil rights” activists also comparing their “persecution” to the Holocaust and identifying with the women of #metoo.
Not the same thing: they’re not being enslaved, denied the vote, lynched or herded into concentration camps, starved and then forced into gas chambres or raped, humiliated and abused by powerful employers. NO equivalence. SRSLY.

** which I can say because I’m awfully white myself.

Christine: Oh geez; this kid is so NOT alienated, he’s probably the most popular kid at every family gathering, event & holiday we have.

And yet, not one of these so-called adults can take care of him, and give you a break from being a ball of anxiety and rage. Seriously, figure out a way to take an hour a week at least to go interact with some real live people without him around.

And get off 4 and 8chan; they’re worse cesspits then Reddit, and Reddit’s a hellhole. (A hellhole that made some slight effort, but still, a hellhole.) Actually, taking a break from the net entirely might do you good. I’ll do you a favor right now, those people at Age of Autism, they aren’t your friends and will never be.

I do think that your anxiety, worrying and constant hovering are problems; I know I don’t want to be around my mom when she’s worried, and I’m not pleasant company when I’m anxious either. I can’t imagine living with someone always on edge and perpetually angry, and I think that’s one of the reasons he’s so aggressive. And you do need to think about his siblings and father. If you killed him, would they forgive you? If he hospitalized you or killed you, do you really think they’d forgive him, and not just leave him to whatever fate the system doles out?

I checked just now and the JPANDS Wakefield “extinction” article is available online in all its glory.

Unfortunately I checked out a couple of articles from previous issues and suffered a mild cerebral cortex sprain as a result. The Fall 2015 issue contains a rant about gummint-controlled medicine which suggests that the enslavement of doctors happened because of too many women entering the field.

The article (on “battered physician syndrome”) blasts “…totalitarian control over the profession of medicine, which now happens to be composed of a significant proportion of women physicians. This is out of control. How did this happen on our watch?
Are women more likely to submit to bureaucratic, authoritarian domination, thus allowing it to proliferate unrestrained in a dark, deafening silence until it’s too late?”

A female ophthalmologist wrote the article.

Sorry to be late to the party – I have skimmed the article and the comments, but don’t see where anyone has picked up Wakefield’s schoolboy error in presenting the Serbian measles “morbidity” chart, where he stupidly thinks his amateur epidemiology can pull the wool over the eyes of readers (well, seeing as this is JPANDS, maybe that’s a very easy thing to do).

He completely borks the concept of “measles morbidity”. What an ignorant twat.
The chart shows the age distribution among measles outbreak cases. Here is what Wakefield says:

“Measles morbidity in those under one year of age increased from 10.4% to 15.2% over this period. In those older than 30 it increased from 10.4% to 51.2%. Conversely, measles morbidity in children 1-4 years of age fell from 12.4% to 4.3% and in those 5-9 years of age, from 20.4% to 2.9%.”

No, no no, no, Andrew, noooooooooo! That isn’t what morbidity means!

…The “measles morbidity” in those under one year of age would be the proportion of the population under one year old who got measles, and not the proportion of those who got measles who were under one year old.

There is also a reason why the age distribution of measles cases has shifted somewhat towards adults… and it’s not because the vaccine immunity is wearing off as Wakefield claims.
In fact the data from countries in Europe with measles cases confirms that the vast majority of these are in those who have had no vaccination (or sometimes inadequate vaccination, having had only one dose of MMR instead of the required two doses).

And which idiot is responsible for the vaccine hesitancy that saw these MMR vaccination rates plummet in these countries over the last 20 years?
…Wakefield himself.

Orac the Sterile continues to downplay microbiome science, even amid 2019 papers such as this:
“How the gut microbiome regulates host immune responses to viral vaccines”

People are now finally understanding how microbiota are key to gut-brain injuries including autoimmune disorders by vaccination.

Yet Orac the Sterile remains a little behind (as well as a big ass).

Let’s continue to discuss microbial predisposition to adverse vaccine reaction, “the “terrain,” which makes a child susceptible.”

Does that paper even have anything to do with autoimmune disorders by vaccination or with adverse vaccine reactions beyond not producing an optimal protective immune response?

A. Pompousassloner, it’s not surprising the authors display no interest in vaccine safety and disease prevention in that paper, as that’s a high level gnotobiotic vaccine lab focusing only on improving response. But are you living in a bubble? Do you actually believe microbes are only present for your egoistic convenience?

Here’s another author, 2019, fully acknowledging microbial predisposition to vaccine injury just a couple weeks ago:
‘Immunology taught by vaccines’

“These results indicate that antibiotics-driven depletion of the gut microbiota may drive inflammatory responses to vaccines”

Their new flu shot study illustrates microbial predisposition to injury:
The devastating one-two punch of antibiotics followed by vaccination should become common knowledge.

“Antibiotics-Driven Gut Microbiome Perturbation Alters Immunity to Vaccines in Humans”

Infantile, curt response by Pampers. He can’t even reply in the original thread.

And, of course, Orac the Sterile would never join this conversation, even while his cancer industry makes microbiome science a major priority, probably the most exciting research in the field and beyond. Recent news:
“collaborative research agreement on the analysis of gut bacteria related to cancer on November 22nd.”

New research:
“Chemotherapy-induced neuroinflammation is associated with disrupted colonic and bacterial homeostasis in female mice”
“Gut Microbiome Regulation May Reduce Multiple Chemo Side Effects”

It’s no wonder parents are resorting to FMT (fecal microbiota transplant) to address gut-brain vaccine injury. FMT will likely become the norm in cancer treatment.

Nice new review included microbial cause of pancreatic cancer:
“Microbiota in pancreatic health and disease: the next frontier in microbiome research”
“Fig. 3 | proposed relationship between bacteria and development of pancreatic cancer. The oral and/or intestinal microbiota associate with the presence of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) in patients but debate exists regarding the microbial elements responsible for PDAC acceleration. Although the initiating event(s) of PDAC formation are unknown, bacteria from a distant location (that is, nonpancreatic) have been implicated in the acceleration of pancreatic carcinogenesis in mouse models9, which might also be mediated by bacterial metabolites. Alternatively, bacterial translocation to the pancreas might occur from the intestine or oral cavity and, combined with impaired pancreatic barrier function, colonize within the pancreas to alter immune tolerance to facilitate PDAC progression. Notably, this immunological reprogramming involves increased myeloid-derived suppressor cell infiltration and transition of macrophages to an M2 subtype. These processes subsequently result in decreased CD4+ T helper 1 cell (TH1 cell) and CD8+ T cell recruitment, which hinder tumour immunosurveillance with subsequent PDAC progression.”

Keith Bell writes:

Nice new review included microbial cause of pancreatic cancer:

… And he follows it by a nice review not about a microbial causation of pancreatic cancer (there’s a single, speculative sentence mentioning anything like that in the Future Directions part of the discussion in that article). The rest talks about various associations in microbiota composition with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (I’d frankly find it more shocking if they did not exist).

This is the third time he does that that I’ve seen (and off topic to Wakefield’s anti-vaccine lunacy). I can only assume this is happening multiple other times in the rest of the comments (that I have not read).

Pampers, microbial involvement in carcinogenesis is well known, including pancreatic cancer:

Both you and Orac the Sterile appear disconnected from the web of life. Certainly the vaccine industry has never factored individual flora balance prior to vaccination associated with severe gut-brain injury.

And why is there not a single publication about measles severity/infectivity based on microbial predisposition? It’s been factored in poliovirus and HIV research. Meanwhile, measles shares the same receptors responsible for keeping gram-negative bacteria in check. That’s how measles can cause pneumonia via gut-lung axis and become lethal in poor nations like Samoa and Madagascar where gut dysbiosis is common.

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