Refuted Blogs


I found this lovely post on a friend’s post regarding Baby Aryn , a 7 week old fighting for their life against a vaccine-preventable illness, HiB. This baby could die because she wasn’t old enough to be vaccinated yet, and someone else made the choice to expose her to deadly diseases.

baby aryn
Our hearts go out to this sick little girl. Support her family here

So here we go…

I was asked again, recently, what the reasons were we did not vaccinate our children.

Before I begin, I believe in parental freedom of choice whether to vaccinate or not. I hope we can all respect each others choice to decide what is best for our individual children and resist the temptation to judge one another.

The idea that parental freedom trumps all is common in the anti-vax community, but still wrong. Children are not accessories owned by their parents. Your child is not a car that you can choose not to take care of. We have made it very clear as a culture that if you don’t take care of your children, society will intervene. Society can and does set limits on how parents can treat their children. This includes medical neglect. If you do not give your children proper medical care, the state can and will intervene. Don’t believe me? Check here, here, or here.

And you know what? People can judge you for that. If you are secure in your choice, it wouldn’t bother you.

As an RN and mother, I’ve been researching this topic in depth for quite a while (spurred on by an adverse reaction in my first son with his first (and only) MMR back in ’91), and I have many reasons for not trusting common vaccine science.

Here are a few things (not in any specific order) I want parents who still vaccinate to know:

As far as I know, I’ve never met an RN who had a research component of their degree. That is not to disparage nurses, but simply to be honest about research is and what research is not. Googling “Why vaccines are bad” (or even “why vaccines are the best”) is not research. Research takes place in a laboratory with experiments. If you have never done experimental research, stop saying “I’ve done my research”. What you’ve done is read. Reading is important and noble. Educating yourself on anything is important to growing as a human.

But reading is not research.

As for this child’s MMR reaction; I’m sorry. That is awful.  1 per 10,000,000 children who receive the full schedule of MMR will have a severe reaction. It is horrible to have to watch your child, or any other child, suffer.

However, measles is one of the most infectious diseases on the planet. 90% of unvaccinated children exposed to it will contract the disease. 1 in 1,000 children who contract the disease will die; another 2 in 1,000 will have severe, permanent brain damage. By the numbers, the full course of the measles vaccine is orders of magnitude safer than allowing your child to go unprotected.

If we had a group of 10,000,000 fully vaccinated children, one would have a severe reaction to the vaccine. If we had a group of 10,000,000 fully unvaccinated children 27,000 would have died or had severe brain damage.

For more information about the relative risks of vaccinating versus not vaccinating, please check out this post.

1. You really should be concerned about the toxic ingredients in vaccines.

Any person who says “toxic” without a dose is either totally ignorant of all things science and chemistry related, or is trying to manipulate you. Either way, this is not a good person to trust with the health and safety of your children. Toxicity has an actual meaning in science, “The degree to which a substance (a toxin or poison) can harm humans or animals.” It is expressed as LD50, and comes with a number expressed in milligrams per kilogram (for example, caffeine has an LD50 of 127 mg/kg and table salt has an LD50 of 3,000 mg/kg). Anything else is a buzzword, not science.

Injecting neurotoxins like aluminum and formaldehyde, aborted fetal cells, multiple antibiotics and various animal serums into the body is going to cause a lot more harm than even a rough week of the measles or chickenpox…. In my cost-benefit analysis, the chances of my child being harmed from vaccines is far greater than the chances of my child being harmed from one of those illnesses. Once you digest this fact, you will understand why there should be less fear about diseases and more about vaccines.

This is our gold standard anti-vax misinformation, debunked dozens of times, but rising from the dead like a zombie you can’t seem to get a headshot on (do you get the cover photo now?).

I’ve written an entire post about aluminum in vaccines, which you can find here, but I’ll hit the highlights. To quote myself, “Aluminum is added to vaccines in order to act as an adjunct. Vaccines expose the immune system to a small amount of an antigen (like dead measles virus). Then the immune system responds and creates the proper antibodies. An adjunct prompts a larger immune system response without adding more of the antigen (virus). So by adding a small amount of aluminum to a vaccine, scientists have been able to make a much more efficient vaccine.”

Is this aluminum dangerous? Short answer: no. Long answer: Still no. Babies are exposed to much higher levels of aluminum from their diet than they are from a full vaccine schedule. To quote myself again, “If we look at all vaccines before 15 months, you’ve got 6.36 mg of aluminum. In the same time period, the average baby will get 14.9 mg of aluminum in breast milk.”

When aluminum enters the bloodstream, about 90% of it stays in the plasma until 98.5% is excreted within the day. The average adult has about 20 mg/kg of aluminum in them at any given time.

Reminder: everything is toxic in certain doses. Aluminum serves an important function in vaccines, and is not present in a toxic amount.

But, I can hear you asking, what about the link they provided? It was  a review paper- not a research paper (meaning not evidence, see a full post on that here)- written by Lucija Tomljenovic- a rabid anti-vaxxer who jumps from vaccine to vaccine attempting to demonstrate harm. Lucija is famous for publishing in predatory journals and faking data, resulting in publications being retracted. To learn more about this fraud and why they are as reliable of an expert on vaccines as your plumber, check here. To learn why anti-vaxxers embrace doctors repeatedly proven to commit fraud, I don’t know; find one and ask I guess.

But what about formaldehyde? That sounds pretty scary- that is the stuff that stinks up dissection labs! I haven’t written a piece on formaldehyde yet (maybe I should), but as with everything else in this blog, the accusation that toxic amounts are being injected into your children is bunk.

Formaldehyde is added to cultures of viruses and bacteria that will be used in vaccines in order to kill the bacteria, that way the vaccine can’t make you sick (this is how the dead part of the dead measles virus occurs). This formaldehyde is diluted significantly, leaving a minuscule amount in the vaccine- around .005-.1 mg.

Formaldehyde is produced by processes in the body, like making amino acids (the building blocks of proteins). Clay & Sullivan, 2001 say, “The body normally produces and metabolizes (detoxifies and uses) 50,000 mg of endogenous formaldehyde daily. It has been calculates that an adult human liver will metabolize 22 mg of formaldehyde per minute (or 1,320 mg per hour).”  When tested, doctors can’t even identify a difference in formaldehyde concentration before and after vaccines. This is simply another fear mongering tactic by someone with a loose grasp of science.

But what about the paper they linked to? Well, this is a paper looking at changes in endogenously produced (meaning produced by the body) formaldehyde and its effect on the brain. This has nothing to do with vaccines. The only formaldehyde considered in this study is that which the body creates. Which means that the author of this post (and anyone who has posted it) didn’t bother to check the links.

The next link is just a list of vaccine ingredients on wikipedia. The great part of that is that you can click on any of those links and find out exactly why it is in your vaccine, how much is in your vaccine, and what it’s LD50 is! (I’m guessing our author didn’t bother to do that.)

Many moms are coming to this conclusion!

Bandwagon is a fallacy based on the assumption that the opinion of the majority is always valid: that is, everyone believes it, so you should too. Also called appeal to popularity, authority of the many, and argumentum ad populum (Latin for “appeal to the people”). More info here.

Just because a bunch of parents think something, doesn’t make it science. Hell, just because a bunch of scientists think something doesn’t make it science. The scientific consensus is determined by dozens (in this case hundreds) of well performed, independent scientific experiments which all come to the same conclusion.

2. Read the latest pilot study of unvaccinated vs. vaccinated children which found significantly higher rates of allergies, chronic diseases, ear infections and learning disabilities in those vaccinated on schedule. I posted on this here.

What I'd Tell You Over Coffee If You Asked Why We Didn't Vaccinate, reasons, children, adverse reaction, MMR, vaccine science, toxic ingredients, vaccines, neurotoxins, aluminum, formaldehyde, aborted fetal cells, antibiotics, animal serum, measles, chickenpox, cost-benefit analysis,  childhood illnesses, pilot study, unvaccinated, vaccinated, allergies, chronic diseases, ear infections, ADD, ADHD, autism, learning disabilities, healthier, effective, failure rate, booster shots, populations, lifelong immunity, vaccine injury, high doses vitamin C, Frederick Klenner, polio, hepatitis, deaths, statistics, eradicating disease, history, evidence, CDC, whooping cough, diptheria, scarlet fever, typhoid fever, foreign human DNA, abortion, risks, vaccine package inserts, Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, Dr. Tetyana Obukhanych, PhD, shedding viruses, immuno-compromised, mumps, rubella, rotavirus, shingles, flu, prevent suffering, question doctors, change mind, detox after vaccine, vaccine manufacturers, liability, quackery

Who do you think will grow up to be healthier?

This study, like the first point, is another zombie argument: debunked so many times that it is shocking anyone would honestly consider reposting it.

Mawson et al. paper linked here (Notice that I didn’t include a year in my reference, that is important. I’ll explain why soon.) has been debunked here, here, here, here, here, and here. In fact, I even used it as an example of how to examine papers here.

To summarize all of them, this paper is a dumpster fire.


dumpster fire
A graphical abstract for the Mawson paper.


Mawson emailed a bunch of conservative homeschool programs, told them he was trying to link vaccines to a variety of illnesses, and asked if they’d send out his survey. Some did (do you think maybe they might have been people who held anti-vaccine beliefs) and some did not. In the end, he ended up with around 600 kids (400 moms). The moms filled out a long survey asking if they believed vaccines caused any of several dozen conditions in their kids. If they said yes, it was marked as a yes in the study. No checking with a doctor, no blinding, no attempt at any basic experimental practice. 40% of the kids were not vaccinated; in reality upwards of 90% of kids get fully vaccinated.  This means that the sample cannot be considered random or reflective of the population it intends to study. In short, the design of this study is embarrassingly bad; I would expect better from 5th graders at a science fair. But what did they find?

After they gathered their data, they used a technique called p-hacking, or data dredging, a technique of manipulating statistics in order to get the significance required to claim an effect. This is not proper science and grounds for retraction of papers. So when the proper statistics are used, they found a heaping load of nothing.

The final nail in the coffin of this paper? It has been retracted three times from three predatory journals (journals that allow you to pay to publish anything) for fraud. This is why I can’t put a year on the citation- it has been published multiple times in multiple years. Like the Andrew Wakefield faked study, anti-vaxxers don’t drop a study just because of demonstrable fraud.

But that shouldn’t worry you, there are other vax-unvax comparison studies done with decent methodology out there. What did they find? Well I will borrow this chart to summarize:


A full analysis of these studies can be found here, to explain the theories on why differences were seen. However, that is outside the scope of this post, and it is clear that vaccines are not correlated to a whole host of developmental and health problems.

3. Vaccines aren’t as effective as we are told.

Actually there is a huge failure rate. That’s why booster shots are given so often. That’s also why highly vaccinated populations show just as high rates of disease.

Boosters are given because we are told that vaccines don’t last forever, so that somewhat contradicts your argument there. But still, we can look at the actual effective rate for vaccines (given that this is all published in peer-reviewed journals rather than conspiracy blogs like what the author linked).

First, let’s look at how well vaccines have done at reducing their targeted illnesses.


The data in this graphic come from the web site of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. It is a look at the past morbidity (how many people became sick) of what were once very common infectious diseases, and the current morbidity in the U.S.


Vaccines have been effective in reducing 14 diseases to less than 25% of what they were prior to vaccinations. But let’s look vaccine by vaccine.

vaccine effectivness

No vaccine is 100% effective, but then again, no scientists has ever claimed they were. If vaccines were 100% effective, herd immunity wouldn’t be such a fragile thing, nor would parents of vaccinated children worry about their own children so much. (Rest assured, we would still worry about all of the unvaccinated children getting sick- we have hearts.) This “concern” is so vague it is somewhat hard to respond to; they simply assert there is a massive coverup with no real direction. Are the numbers that are provided by scientific studies faked? Is the author implying that doctors lie and say that vaccines are 100% effective (they don’t)? Who knows. The author just vaguely references a conspiracy and moves along.

The first link she provides is to a conspiracy site that promotes holocaust denialism and AIDs denial. I will need a full blog post simply to debunk it. Basically though, it attempts to manipulate studies to make a point. In one example, 3500 people in a closed, Jewish community contracted mumps. The study concluded that, “The epidemiologic features of this outbreak suggest that intense exposures, particularly among boys in schools, facilitated transmission and overcame vaccine-induced protection in these patients. High rates of two-dose coverage reduced the severity of the disease and the transmission to persons in settings of less intense exposure.” Basically, people were exposed to so many sick individuals that the vaccines (which are 88% effective) failed to offer protection; however the vaccine reduced the severity. This study doesn’t prove vaccines don’t work; rather it promotes the importance of vaccinating everyone within communities. But VacTruth doesn’t portray it that way.

The second is to a news article discussing the recent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. They ask how a vaccinated woman in New York could get measles when the vaccine is 99% effective. The simple answer here is that it isn’t 100% effective- no vaccine is. That is why it is so important that everyone vaccinate in order to annihilate these diseases. The article goes on to point out that vaccines are incredibly effective and useful; I’m not sure our author bothered to read what they were linking to.

4. The diseases we vaccinate for are mild and build lifelong immunity. Why risk a forever vaccine injury? 

The immune systems of normally healthy children do the work and the diseases leave with no serious, lasting effects. An excellent natural cure is Vitamin C. Frederick Klenner, MD., observed that high doses of vitamin C could quickly dry up chicken pox and cure measles, polio and hepatitis.

Between 2005 and 2014, there have been no deaths from measles in the U.S. and 108 deaths from the MMR vaccine.

This is a bald-faced lie. (Side note: This mother claims she doesn’t want to be judged? Well, this mother is a lying sociopath trying to hurt your children. I’m judging her. But let’s get into it anyways.)

I’ve written a blog on the topic of how dangerous these disease are before here.  But to summarize:

death rate of disease

The diseases we vaccinate for killed thousands upon thousands of children prior to vaccination. To say that this isn’t true is a lie that disrespects millions of people who lost loved ones to these diseases. No honest person can honestly say these diseases are safe or mild. Not to mention, even people who don’t die often spend significant amounts of time ill. 7/100 babies will die of a whooping cough. The other 93 will spend an average of 6 weeks incredibly ill. Does that sound mild to you?




This website contains lovely and cited graphics of how vaccines have reduced illness in children. Denying that these vaccines have reduced the incidents of deadly diseases makes you a fool.

But let’s look at what happens when we have a true vax vs unvax study that the anti-vaxxers always want, in an area in which there is no herd immunity, but study participants had the full benefit of updated health care. 25 children were fully vaccinated and 25 children were not given any vaccinations. In the vaccinated group, one child had a mild case of measles at 2.5 years old. In the unvaccinated group, 13 children contracted measles and 2 died. Another child died of tetanus. This is the future anti-vaxxers want for your children.


Anti-vaxxers do not care that half a million children die of preventable diseases. Famed anti-vaxxer Jenny McCarthy once said she would stand in line to get her child measles (with a 3 in 1000 chance he would die) rather than continue to parent an autistic child.

When people say these diseases are mild, they are lying. The truth is, they just don’t care.

Wanting your children to be sick so that you can feel good about being counter-culture makes you a bad parent.

The resource this author provides for vitamin c is a blog post about a doctor from the early 1900’s. For a few dozen articles about why vitamin c is not a miracle drug, check here. As a side note, it should be a huge red flag when anything is listed as a cure for everything; diseases have different causes which is why they have different cures. For preliminary data on how super doses of vitamin c can cause cancer, check here. (Tl;dr version: Doctors were doing a 10 year trial on high vitamin supplementation that has become so popular. The doctors stopped their trial 2 years in the patients in the supplement group started getting cancer and the trial became dangerous. Do not give your children super doses of vitamins for any reason. Do not deny your children medical care if you fail to vaccinate them and they become ill.)

The idea that no one has died from measles but there have been deaths from the vaccine can be debunked with the most basic of google searches. It was begun by liars (or people bad at  math and science) and is perpetuated by people with no ability to fact check anything. Remember, in the US, over 90% of children are fully vaccinated against measles, so the fact that no children have died in the last decade wouldn’t be so surprising. But don’t forget that worldwide, more than 145,000 children under five die from measles every year. In reality, 5 people have died of measles in the US in the past decade.

But what about the 108 kids who have supposedly died from MMR? Well, this information comes from VAERS. I’ve written about VAERS before; remember that this is a service intended to acquire any and all data to be analyzed. While it is supposed to be limited to the US, people have proven that they can upload reports from other countries. People have uploaded claims about vaccines given to 18-month-old babies for their 6-month-old child. Another claim was accepted after a man claimed to turn into the incredible hulk after vaccination. Another man claimed he turned into Jesus Christ after a flu shot. For more information on why VAERS can’t be taken seriously as a reference, check here. For more funny examples of what VAERS has accepted, check here.

5. I don’t believe that vaccines played much of a role in eliminating diseases.

History offers little evidence that vaccines are responsible for eradicating disease even when “herd immunity” vaccination levels have been reached. Most of the diseases we vaccinate for today were already on a steep decline before their respective vaccines were widely introduced.

Before you laugh, since this may go against everything you’ve ever been taught, I’d ask you to look into this further with actual CDC statistics (see CDC Fig. 1 graph) where arrow says Passage of Vaccine Assistance Act!

Well, the lucky thing is that science doesn’t care what you think. The fact that you want to reject science (and do so with faked graphs) means nothing. But it does remind us that you aren’t a researcher.
The first link the author provides takes us to a newspaper article written by a “natural” doctor. He freely admits that he rejects the common science of pharmaceutical chemistry and encourages his patients to do the same. He does not provide any evidence for any of his claims, but instead pushes you to watch his documentary (can you feel my eyes rolling?).
The second link she provides states, “Strategic vaccination campaigns have virtually eliminated diseases that previously were common in the United States, including diphtheria, tetanus, poliomyelitis, smallpox, measles, mumps, rubella, and Haemophilus influenzae type b meningitis.” I’m guessing the author didn’t bother to read it.
What they did probably look at are death graphs. In 1900, for every 100,000 people who got the flu, 800 died. With the invention of clean water and penicillin, that was down to 200 per 100,000 in 1940 (numbers are approximate). However, dying from the flu isn’t a good metric of vaccines. Rather, disease incidents should be used.
Finally, the author posts a doctored picture designed to make us think vaccines don’t work and that diseases were already on there way out. Here is an article looking at that in full. As Science-Based Medicine points out in their title, this is naked intellectual dishonesty.
You can read in full how the author faked their graphs. Basically, they strategically delete years and mess with scale bars in order to manipulate people they believe are as bad at math as they are.
No, there’s not fetal tissue in vaccines (a common misconception), there are unavoidable traces of fetal cells/foreign human DNA in many of them. I cannot support a medical practice that benefits from abortion, but no matter your views on abortion, you have to admit that there’s a flaw with this practice. NO safety studies have been done on the effects of foreign DNA in the bloodstream.
Well first, this contradicts the first point in which she claimed aborted fetal cells were in vaccines; at least the author knows this isn’t the case. But let’s unpack this, regardless of how contradictory the whole thing is. The basic idea here is that all bacteria and viruses are grown in cell media. The most common cell lines for this are Wi-38, which are immortalized cells (meaning they don’t develop or change, they just replace themselves) from two aborted fetuses over 40 years ago. There are now many cell lines from other lineages as well.
From the religious angle, the Pope has issued statements supporting vaccination despite the origin of these cell lines. For Catholics, rejecting this means rejecting your entire religion (because if you can’t trust the infallibility of the pope what can you trust?) thus debunking your whole religious angle anyways. Most mainstream religious groups have said that vaccinations are morally acceptable, with many actually stating that vaccines are a moral responsibility. Unless you are a part of a fringe religious group, you have no grounds for medical rejection of vaccinations.
If you insist on rejecting vaccinations because of the use of cell culture in their creation, reject every other piece of modern medical science starting with antibiotics. All of them started out in cell culture dishes.
As for there having been no tests about consuming foreign DNA- what does this lady think we eat? There is DNA in everything you eat. Or how about a blood transfusion? The donor’s DNA was in all of those white blood cells. Most of those are eliminated through centrifugation, but a few measly cells remain (far more cells than those from the virus media). Your own bodies white blood cells find and kill the foreign DNA.  Blood transfusions have been around since the 17th century and extensively studied.
While some plants do show horizontal gene transfer (they can steal genes from genetic material they’re exposed to) humans cannot do this. Not to mention there have been over a hundred safety studies conducted on vaccines, none of which have sone any freaky horizontal gene transfer going on.
All I have to admit about this one is that with your scientific evidence being scant non-existent, you’ve decided to make an appeal to the authority of religion.
appeal to authority.jpg

7. Even if you still decide to vaccinate, please look at the risks and disorders on each vaccine insert

Adverse events are listed on the vaccine package inserts themselves if we would take the time to read them. Your doctor probably won’t show you these. Adverse events are NOT rare. That’s why the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program in the USA has paid out over $3 billion in vaccine injury compensation claims. Not the one-in-a-million case as we are lead to believe.

This list is so predictable that I already had my articles picked out for when the author inevitably cried “read the inserts!” There is a beautiful irony in someone telling you that every drug manufacturer, doctor, and scientist you’ve ever known is lying to you, except on the insert. The Skeptical Raptor has done an excellent blog explaining why argument by vaccine insert doesn’t work, which you can find here.  But I will quote myself (from an entry I wrote here about the flu vaccine) to explain why your doctor doesn’t give you the vaccine insert:

“Every patient who receives a vaccine will get a vaccine information sheet (VIS). These sheets give important information about risks and benefits of the specific vaccine. They are formatted to about a 10th-grade reading level, ensuring that most people can read and understand them.

“These differ from the vaccine insert in several ways. First, the vaccine insert was written with legality in mind. So they list any adverse event that was temporally correlated with a vaccine. The VIS only lists adverse effects that have actually been proven to be caused by the vaccine. This is back to that whole correlation does not equal causation argument.

“The VIS is more useful to patients because it gives you relevant medical information, instead of legal information. But the vaccine insert is still available online.”

If you go read my flu shot post, you’ll find that all of the information that anti-vaxxers found so terrifying in the package insert was actually on the VIS in a way that was relevant to patients. The idea that millions of doctors are trying to hide anything from you is laughable. The idea that there is a multi-million person conspiracy with the sole goal to get you to take dangerous vaccines, but they print damning evidence of that conspiracy on the insert is so ridiculous it isn’t even funny anymore.

But the next part of this- that adverse events are not rare as proven by the VICP paying out- gets interesting, if a bit numbers heavy.  Since 1988, 16,000 claims have been considered by the VICP; let’s assume they are all factual. In 2015, there were just over 74 million children in the USA. 90% of them were fully vaccinated (as per the stat earlier), we had 66,600,000 fully vaccinated (for their age) children in 2015. Now the population is increasing, so let’s round down a bit and call it 55,000,000 fully vaccinated children in the USA at any given point over the last 27 years, with 16,000 of them having a vaccine claim. That would mean that 0.00001 of vaccinated people have a vaccine injury- it really is 1 in a million! But only 4,150 cases were deemed successful (despite the incredibly low bar set by this being a form of civil court.) Which means that our number of injured persons drops to about 0.000002 per vaccinated.

But let’s discuss the VICP a bit more. This group was created because the government knows the importance of vaccines, but also knows that nothing in life is perfectly safe. With a $0.75 tax per vaccine, the government is able to help the families of vaccine injured individuals without bankrupting a low profit, life-saving industry.

But most importantly, the VICP doesn’t use science to determine if a claim is valid. So even in the cases of 4,150 people who have received compensation, there was never any scientific attempt to prove a vaccine caused a problem.

For more information on the VICP, check out this article here.

8. Unvaccinated children pose no risk to others (it’s the other way around!)

In an open letter to senators, immunologist Tetyana Obukhanych, PhD, states unequivocally that unvaccinated children pose no additional threat/risk to vaccinated children.

“It is often stated that those who choose not to vaccinate their children for reasons of conscience endanger the rest of the public, and this is the rationale behind most of the legislation to end vaccine exemptions currently being considered by federal and state legislators country-wide. You should be aware that the nature of protection afforded by many modern vaccines – and that includes most of the vaccines recommended by the CDC for children – is not consistent with such a statement.” ~Dr. Tatyana

I am still undecided as to whether the mom is just incredibly ignorant or is intentionally trying to lie, but the longer this goes on the more I lean towards the second. The author has already pointed out that vaccines aren’t 100% effective, which I provided scientific sources for, so how on earth can anyone conclude that unvaccinated children who contract these diseases at much higher rates than vaccinated children, aren’t a danger? Not to mention this ignores the issue of Baby Aryn, where this whole thing started: she was too young to be vaccinated, and is fighting for her life because of an unvaccinated kid. How can anyone with a brain (or a heart) say that the unvaccinated child was of no danger?

But of course, this is coming from Tatyana Obukhanych, an unemployed, scientifically unsuccessful anti-vax quack. After her lovely letter (linked to by our author) was published, the Skeptical Raptor looked into Obukhanych. What did he find? She washed out of science after a postdoc (meaning she failed to complete her research training) with only 8 articles to her name, only 1 as a first author. To put this in perspective for those of you who haven’t been in grad school, many programs (including my own) won’t let you leave without at least 3 first author publications. You have to contribute something to the field in order to get a PhD. Obukhanych’s record proves that she has contributed nothing. Oh, and she contributes to an anti-Semitic website regularly. Because if you’re going to hero worship a failed scientists, it may as well be a bigot. It seems redundant to post the appeal to authority meme again, but it still applies.

But what about her letter? Just because Obukhanych is a racist failure of a scientist doesn’t mean we can dismiss her opinion out of hand (that would be an appeal to authority in the opposite direction). Well, scroll down and read what the skeptical raptor has to say here. But to put it concisely, everything she said was garbage manipulation (or misunderstanding) of the studies. She cherry-picked data and missed the point generally- but that is par for the course with anti-vaxxers.

9. Your vaccinated child(ren) will be shedding their live virus vaccines (this includes the measles and chickenpox vaccine) after their shots

The Johns-Hopkins patient guide to caring for the immuno-compromised once contained information warning patients to stay away from those recently vaccinated. Interestingly, it has been changed, I believe, under pressure from those who reap huge financial benefits from vaccine sales.

Scientific evidence demonstrates that individuals vaccinated with live virus vaccines such as MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), rotavirus, chicken pox, shingles and influenza can shed the virus for many weeks or months afterwards and infect the vaccinated and unvaccinated alike.1,23,4,5,6,7,8,9

Furthermore, vaccine recipients can carry diseases in the back of their throat and infect others while displaying no symptoms of disease.10,11,12

Next time you hear someone blame unvaccinated children, please remember who is really spreading these diseases.

And now we’ve gotten to the vaccine shedding idea; I don’t think that this particular anti-vaxxer has had an original thought in this entire post. If she would have bothered to do any fact-checking at all, I could be at happy hour right now.

When anti-vaxxers say shedding, they mean that after you get a vaccine, you can spread it to those who are around you. Is this how it really works? Well, only if the vaccine is a live virus vaccine, and only very rarely.

“Only three vaccines in the routinely recommended childhood vaccination schedule are made using weakened, but live, viruses. In some instances, the virus can be detected for a short period of time in the vaccinated patient and that can sometimes lead to others being infected with the vaccine version of the virus. But those instances are extraordinarily rare.

With the chickenpox vaccine, for example, 11 people are known to have caught the disease through exposure to a vaccinated person—but that’s out of more than 50 million people who have been vaccinated. And even then, the vaccine is shed only in the case of people who develop a chickenpox-like rash following vaccination. That is why if a person recently vaccinated against chickenpox does develop a rash, they are advised to avoid contact with individuals with weakened immune systems.” x

So to summarize, the risk of shedding after a live virus vaccine is approximately 1 in 22,000,000. Meanwhile, the chances of catching chickenpox are all but guaranteed if you are in close contact with an infected person for 15 minutes (assuming you aren’t vaccinated).

Shedding arguments, in particular, seem hypocritical about anti-vaxxers (but what doesn’t?). If these diseases are mild and you want your kid to get immunity, wouldn’t you be glad for the shedding? Well, of course, they aren’t because anyone with a brain (or a heart) doesn’t want their kid to get sick.

In a beautiful display of failure to understand science, the author then concludes that if standards of care for cancer patients have changed at all, it is probably because of a conspiracy, not because science has revealed new information (no one tell her that cancer treatment has changed quite a bit from the past). In fact, the American Cancer Society now recommends several vaccines for cancer patients, and makes no recommendation to stay away from those who have received live virus vaccines.  The reality is that cancer patients are a special class of people, and it is silly to try and say that vaccine recommendations for them mean anything for the general public.

The author next lists her 9 studies proving vaccines shed regularly and this is a danger to be afraid of.

  1. Outbreak of Measles Among Persons With Prior Evidence of Immunity, New York City, 2011: This paper investigated the cause of a measles outbreak, specifying that vaccines had basically driven the disease out prior to this. They found that of 89 people infected, 4 were vaccinated. One of these vaccinated patients was able to pass the disease on after catching it from the unvaccinated patient zero. This doesn’t show that vaccines shed. This shows that unvaccinated children are at a huge risk when deadly, preventable diseases break out (given that they made up 96% of the patients in this outbreak, dispite making up only 9% of the population).

  2. Detection of measles virus RNA in urine specimens from vaccine recipients: The goal of this study was to prove that someone with the measles virus in their system will show it in their urine, allowing for increased diagnosis. Vaccinated children were used because you could do multiple time points after achieving circulation to see how quickly you could find the virus in the urine. The goal of this study is to allow someone else to easily study measles, not to study shedding. (But the word shedding is in the abstract, so maybe they just did a google search an included every link that contained their search terms?)
  3. Comparison of the Safety, Vaccine Virus Shedding, and Immunogenicity of Influenza Virus Vaccine, Trivalent, Types A and B, Live Cold-Adapted, Administered to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-Infected and Non-HIV-Infected Adults: The goal of this study was to determine how flu vaccines will “behave” differently when given to an HIV+ person. If the author of this little list bothered to read the study, rather than just the title, they would have found that this study demonstrated no shedidng with the type of vaccine they were recommending to HIV+ people. If you are HIV+, you should get their recommended vaccine. If not, get whichever you’d like because this study doesn’t apply to you. Honestly, I don’t know why the author thinks information about the very ill relates to healthy people? This is like reading a study about dolphins dying on land and saying, “Well I better jump in the ocean!” Are you a dolphin? No, so this doesn’t apply to you. Go find a study that does.

  4. Sibling Transmission of Vaccine-Derived Rotavirus (RotaTeq) Associated With Rotavirus Gastroenteritis: This was a case study of the only time rotavirus has ever shed. The vaccine was introduced in 2006 and millions of doses have been given out, but this one time it shed. Sound the alarms. In the US prior to the vaccine introduction, 200,000 children went to the emergency room every year and 60 died from rotavirus. In a single year of vaccinations, disease incidence dropped by 40% (or did the US just get clean water in 2007?).

  5. Polio vaccination may continue after wild virus fades: This is a news article summarizing research showing that,”an oral vaccine containing a single strain of poliovirus produces four times greater immunity in children than the long-used three-strain vaccine does.” This article talks about the difficulty of getting into high conflict and very poor regions to get the polio vaccine to children there; it has nothing to do with shedding.

  6. Case of vaccine-associated measles five weeks post-immunisation, British Columbia, Canada, October 2013: This was not a case of shedding as used by the anti-vaxxers (meaning that a vaccinated child gave the disease to an unvaccinated child), but rather a case in which a child developed measles 37 days after vaccination, the first time this has ever happened, as noted by the author. Given that millions of kids get the MMR every year and this is the only case to ever occur, do you think the author is being intentionally dishonest in saying that this is common?
  7.  Study Finds Parents Pass Whooping Cough to Babies: This is a news article reviewing new research demonstrating why babies are so prone to whooping cough. The whooping cough vaccine does not have long-term efficacy, which is why people who are going to be around babies are recommended to be up to date. The authors say in the article that this shows the importance of not missing your babies vaccination appointment, even by a month. Clearly our author (or our poster) didn’t bother to read the article.
  8. Immunized People Getting Whooping Cough: This is a news report from 2014. When you go look up the epidemic in question, you find that only 24% of hospitalized patients had any whooping cough vaccine. Of babies under 6 months, only 17% of their mothers followed the recomendation to protect their child with a Tdap shot during pregnancy. The authors offer, “Acellular pertussis vaccines are less reactogenic than whole-cell vaccines, but the immunity conferred by them wanes more quickly. Most of the cases among adolescents aged 14–16 years were among those who had previously received Tdap ≥3 years earlier, suggesting that their illness was the result of waning immunity. It is likely that increased incidence will continue to be observed among this cohort in the absence of a new vaccine or more effective vaccination strategy.” So this outbreak doesn’t mean anything for shedding, but does prompt researchers to create a better vaccine.
  9. Vaccine Failure — Over 1000 Got Mumps in NY in Last Six Months: This is a mercola article (yes the same guy who still says the Amish don’t vaccinate- they do- and that autism is basically Alzheimer’s disease- it’s not). When I was in the third or fourth grade and starting to do research projects, I had to sit through an hour-long talk at the library on how to identify a good source on the internet. I would like to send our author to that course. Mercola is an anti-modern technology nut. He doesn’t believe in treating cancer patients- unless it’s with the thousands of dollars of supplements he will sell you. But in this case, he ignores that adults are supposed to get a third dose of the MMR to avoid the mumps and plots out that 85% had the two doses as children. It is an unrelated statistic, has nothing to do with shedding, but does point out how contagious mumps is and how important boosters are. 

So out of the 9 links, did our author prove that shedding was common? No. But she did prove that she can’t read an entire article to save her life.

10. Those trying to teach about vaccine dangers have only one motivation: to prevent more suffering. We have either witnessed it first hand in our own family or know those who have.

I can think of a few

Andrew wakefield's house
Andrew Wakefield’s mansion, bought off of his anti-vaccine scams.
David Mercola’s mansion, bought off of his health scams.

Anti-vaxxers always have something to sell you, and they defintiely live comfortably because of it. But what of their followers, like our author here? They probably won’t get rich off of this blog. So why do I think she’s doing it? Ignorance. Her child became ill, and she wants to control the situation. By blaming vaccines, she can swear them off, and “ensure” her child is never hurt again. It is guilt and sanctimony run ammok, marshaled by charlatans with no conscience but a large pool.

11. We must question what doctors and government tell us before many more children and families are harmed….(possibly yours!)

And the rapture is near! Seriously, I can’t believe the author included this point. But yes, I would love it for you to ask some good questions. Then go answer them. Go get your bachelors of science (chemistry or biology are your best bet- biochemistry for the win). Then go get your masters (immunology, neurobiology, or pharmacology should be fine). Then go get your PhD. Then get a postdoctoral fellowship. Then get a grant. Now answer your question. But for the love of god, stop posting conspiracy nonsense.

12. All those years ago, it wasn’t too late for me to change my mind when I saw what it did to our first child, and it’s not too late for you to change your mind, either.

This is not a reason. This is a statement… Why did she make it….Oh wait….

 If you decided to vaccinate and now regret it, you can still detox.

To sell her detox! I was wrong- this author is probably lying to you to get rich, hoping to get a piece of the Wakefiled pie.


So in short, there was not a single compelling or convincing reason not to vacciante in this entire blog. It was a bunch of nonsense that has been debunked dozens of times.


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