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posted by LaminatorX on Tuesday April 15 2014, @08:14AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the Backpedaling-Furiously dept.

In an op-ed in the Chicago Sun-Times, Jenny McCarthy claims she is not anti-vaccine. "I believe in the importance of a vaccine program and I believe parents have the right to choose one poke per visit. I've never told anyone to not vaccinate. Should a child with the flu receive six vaccines in one doctor visit? Should a child with a compromised immune system be treated the same way as a robust, healthy child? Shouldn't a child with a family history of vaccine reactions have a different plan? Or at least the right to ask questions?"

However Jeffrey Kluger, who interviewed McCarthy in 2009, responds in Time Magazine that McCarthy believes vaccines cause autism, that they are related to OCD, ADHD and other physical and behavioral ills, that they are overprescribed, teeming with toxins, poorly regulated and that the only reason we keep forcing them into the sweet, pristine immune systems of children is because doctors, big pharma and who-knows what-all sinister forces want it that way. "Jenny, as outbreaks of measles, mumps and whooping cough continue to appear in the U.S.-most the result of parents refusing to vaccinate their children because of the scare stories passed around by anti-vaxxers like you-it's just too late to play cute with the things you've said. You are either floridly, loudly, uninformedly antivaccine or you are the most grievously misunderstood celebrity of the modern era. Science almost always prefers the simple answer, because that's the one that's usually correct. Your quote trail is far too long-and you have been far too wrong-for the truth not to be obvious."

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  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 15 2014, @08:39AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 15 2014, @08:39AM (#31707)

    Tig ol' bitties!

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 15 2014, @01:27PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 15 2014, @01:27PM (#31780)

      This is not offtopic. It's the only reason we even know who she is. She's not famous for thinking so why do we care what she thinks?

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by lubricus on Tuesday April 15 2014, @08:56AM

    by lubricus (232) on Tuesday April 15 2014, @08:56AM (#31712)

    If this was really in about trying to ameliorate the damage she has caused, and in recognition of the thousands of illnesses and hundreds of deaths [jennymccar...ycount.com] at least partially attributable to her stance, the od-ed would not have stared with:

    "I am not “anti-vaccine.â€

    but rather:

    "Vaccines are safe and important to you child's health and the health of others."

    Instead, this is just self serving revisionism.

    This also means that she is not a misinformed, willfully ignorant celebrity, which is still damaging and wrong but at least earnest. She is a self-serving liar whose actions have had a real human cost. I don't know how she lives with herself.

    *whew* .... steps down ... breathes...

    --
    ... sorry about the typos
    • (Score: 2) by Jerry Smith on Tuesday April 15 2014, @12:52PM

      by Jerry Smith (379) on Tuesday April 15 2014, @12:52PM (#31764) Journal

      She is a self-serving liar whose actions have had a real human cost.

      In the end I think it's the parents' responsibility, yes Jenny has verbally exhaled a lot of crap but it was the parents' fault to believe it. She's a fricking actress, not a doctor!

      (yes I tried to do a star trek pun and failed miserably, I'll go back to the class now)

      --
      All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.
      • (Score: 1) by GeminiDomino on Wednesday April 16 2014, @04:32AM

        by GeminiDomino (661) on Wednesday April 16 2014, @04:32AM (#32180)

        (yes I tried to do a star trek pun and failed miserably, I'll go back to the class now)

        You just forgot the "Damn it, Jim!"

        --
        "We've been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of our culture"
    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Heathen on Tuesday April 15 2014, @12:58PM

      by Heathen (965) on Tuesday April 15 2014, @12:58PM (#31766)

      Now that you've had a breath...

      Putting aside the issue of self service, willfully ignorant stuff for a moment. How can you fit these two quotes into the same op-ed?

      "Vaccines are safe and important to you child's health and the health of others."

      Shouldn't a child with a family history of vaccine reactions have a different plan?

      The CDC appear to agree with your statement that vaccines are safe, but then have this

      If my family has a history of vaccine reactions I would personally be questioning the schedule and even possibly the need for a given vaccine.

      (Based only on the two articles linked in the summary) I have full support for Jenny right to speak about these important issues. Jeffrey Kluger on the other hand should concentrate on debunking based on facts instead of personal attacks and trying to twist quotes. In my opinion his article/attitude is more harmful than Jenny McCarthy.

      • (Score: 1) by monster on Tuesday April 15 2014, @04:33PM

        by monster (1260) on Tuesday April 15 2014, @04:33PM (#31866) Journal

        Just a question: Since the vaccine is in reality an inactive part of the infection, aren't those with vaccine reactions better off reacting to a mild agent than to a full scale virus?

      • (Score: 2) by SleazyRidr on Tuesday April 15 2014, @07:11PM

        by SleazyRidr (882) on Tuesday April 15 2014, @07:11PM (#31931)

        If she had ever taken a reasonable stance I would agree with you. Her stance up to this point has been more along the lines of "VACCINES ARE A PLOT BY THE LIZARD MEN TO GIVE YOUR BABIES AUTISM!"

        Sadly, that's not as much of an exaggeration than I'm comfortable with. If your doctor feels that you are at a higher risk of an adverse reaction to the vaccine she will recommend an appropriate course of action. Note that I said "doctor" and not "playmate." You'll be protected by herd immunity if you can't take the vaccine, but only if the herd isn't following the anti-vax crap and is actually taking their vaccinations.

        • (Score: 1) by The Archon V2.0 on Wednesday April 16 2014, @01:33AM

          by The Archon V2.0 (3887) on Wednesday April 16 2014, @01:33AM (#32116)

          It's something of a social contract: We all agree to do this thing not just to protect ourselves but to protect those who can't do it. A few unable and a few unwilling hurts nothing. But when too many (not even a majority, just more than a tiny percentage) defect, it all breaks down. And because the benefits are so distant and vague (like with exercise), it's hard to keep people cooperative. All it takes is a friend who sounds convincing enough and has an evocative enough story to make people change their mind. And yes, McCarthy counts as a "friend": The MTV generation invited her into their homes for half an hour every week - they know her face better than the guy working two offices down.

          The mind is a malleable thing. It doesn't take much, really. Some adults can, with tools no more complex than Photoshop and slick writing, be made to "remember" something that never happened ( https://webfiles.uci.edu/eloftus/BraunPsychMarket0 2.pdf [uci.edu] ).

          • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Wednesday April 16 2014, @02:14AM

            by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday April 16 2014, @02:14AM (#32132) Homepage

            As I recall, for herd immunity to function, around 92% must be vaccinated.

            As to our current pockets of stupidity, one is tempted to make snide remarks about natural selection...

      • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Wednesday April 16 2014, @02:07AM

        by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday April 16 2014, @02:07AM (#32130) Homepage

        Well, here's a question for you: if you can't handle a virus in a disabled state and with closely-regulated exposure (which is all a vaccine really is), how on earth do you expect to handle the real thing, fully virulent and often with a much higher level of exposure??

        See, we have this same problem with certain bloodlines of dogs, that handle vaccines poorly. Dogs from these lines are also the most likely to die if unvaccinated and they do contract one of these otherwise-preventable diseases.

    • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Wednesday April 16 2014, @02:02AM

      by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday April 16 2014, @02:02AM (#32128) Homepage

      Or more likely, stated as a defense against a pending lawsuit.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by lhsi on Tuesday April 15 2014, @09:01AM

    by lhsi (711) on Tuesday April 15 2014, @09:01AM (#31713) Journal

    I read today that taking anti-depressants might be linked to autism [medicalxpress.com]. Boys with autism were three times more likely to have been exposed to antidepressants known as SSRIs in the womb than typically developing children, according to new research.

    Depressed because someone they know caught a preventable disease perhaps[?]

    Tangent: I found that this site demonstrates herd immunity quite well: http://op12no2.me/toys/herd/index.php [op12no2.me]

    • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Wednesday April 16 2014, @02:22AM

      by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday April 16 2014, @02:22AM (#32135) Homepage

      Or because they inherited a factor contributing to autism but that sometimes manifests as depression, and therefore is treated as depression??

    • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Wednesday April 16 2014, @02:24AM

      by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday April 16 2014, @02:24AM (#32136) Homepage

      Forgot to finish what I was saying... I got distracted by the excellent demo :)

      Which would be even more interesting, and effective, were it to take the death and permanent disability rates for common diseases and randomly inflict them on the 'recovered' dots.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 15 2014, @09:15AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 15 2014, @09:15AM (#31716)

    1) All of this nonsense was based on ONE study.

    2) Every assistant who participated in the study has said the study was flawed and asked to have his/her name removed.

    3) The Lancet retracted the Wakefield article.
    (You can count the times that has happened on one hand with fingers left over.)

    4) Andrew Wakefield's license to practice medicine was revoked.

    -- gewg_

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by epl on Tuesday April 15 2014, @11:52AM

      by epl (1801) on Tuesday April 15 2014, @11:52AM (#31747)

      By pure coincidence I was watching some old Penn & Teller's Bullsh*t! last night, episode S08E10 of 12 August 2010 "Vaccinations". This woman is featured, as is every counter argument you mentioned. Might be an interesting watch; you can see her standing in from of crowds screaming that vaccines are poison basically. She has no medical qualifications and not a single shred of evidence, but still people listen to her and act on what she says, very sad.

      A TV show doesn't make your points more or less valid, but it does bring them in a more entertaining fashion. I watched from DVD, but I'm sure this episode can be found pretty easily on the internet too.

    • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Tuesday April 15 2014, @01:40PM

      by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday April 15 2014, @01:40PM (#31788)

      There's one other highly relevant argument: Even if everything the anti-vax crowd was saying was true (which it isn't), we'd still be better off vaccinating, because otherwise more kids would die of diptheria, pertussis, tetanus, measles, mumps, and rubella that are affected by autism. So really, to not vaccinate your child is to try to foist the risk that vaccines do something bad onto everyone around you in an act of selfishness.

      --
      The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by tangomargarine on Tuesday April 15 2014, @02:48PM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday April 15 2014, @02:48PM (#31818)

        Yeah, but those are OTHER people's kids. Fuck 'em.

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
    • (Score: 2) by akinliat on Tuesday April 15 2014, @02:24PM

      by akinliat (1898) <{akinliat} {at} {gmail.com}> on Tuesday April 15 2014, @02:24PM (#31809)

      All of your points are true, but it's even worse. The study had a total population of 26 subjects, IIRC. Even if it had been conducted properly and the data were beyond reproach, the sample size is absurdly small to be making claims about the general population.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 15 2014, @04:33PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 15 2014, @04:33PM (#31864)

        it's even worse

        Yeah, once you get past the 1st layer there's also:
        Tiny sample size
        Cherry-picked subjects
        Gun-for-hire-to-the-highest-bidder ethics

        -- gewg_

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by aristarchus on Tuesday April 15 2014, @09:19AM

    by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday April 15 2014, @09:19AM (#31718) Journal

    Maybe we have some kind of anti-science, playboy centerfold vibe going, but really, did we (or anyone else) really need to know this about Ms. McCarthy? I mean, considering the amount of brain damage from all those shots that she . . . . No, I know nothing. Speculation is not causation. It is not even correlation. It can be, just stupid.

    --
    You are currently banned from moderating. The last day of your ban is 2022-03-25.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by mmcmonster on Tuesday April 15 2014, @10:12AM

      by mmcmonster (401) on Tuesday April 15 2014, @10:12AM (#31726)

      The reason we need to know about this is either... ...this is a warning that she's going to be on the news again, promoting a variation of her vaccine/autism link hysteria ... ...or... ...she is planning on going into acting again and wants to revise history so that she can get spots that won't be boycotted by pro-vaccination people.

      Either way, she put herself up as the poster-girl for the anti-vaccination movement. As such, she should live with her consequences. That will only happen if people remember history and not her spin on it.

    • (Score: 2) by Lagg on Tuesday April 15 2014, @05:26PM

      by Lagg (105) on Tuesday April 15 2014, @05:26PM (#31888) Homepage Journal

      People are affected by this and vaccines and the reactions used to create them are science. Deal with it. Anyway, I keep seeing these comments about her having nice boobs or being fit for playboy but honestly? You guys need to go find some better women. She's nothing special and pretty goddamned bland to put it bluntly. To say that she gets coverage because she looks good is being entirely too kind.

      --
      http://lagg.me [lagg.me] 🗿
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by wantkitteh on Tuesday April 15 2014, @09:30AM

    by wantkitteh (3362) on Tuesday April 15 2014, @09:30AM (#31720) Homepage Journal

    This woman has no qualifications or professional experience in medicine. Why did anyone ever listen to her opinion on this subject in the first place? There is a reason you ignore people who aren't medical professionals - if what a doctor says is wrong and taking his advice causes harm, they are removed from practice and their professional reputation destroyed, while wingnuts like Jenny can continue to talk bollocks and no-one has any legal recourse against her.

    Which is fine by me - maybe all the wingnuts will keep spreading their horsecrap around the wingnut community and they'll be wiped out by natural selection, improving the genetic stock of the human race. *shrugs*

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by moo kuh on Tuesday April 15 2014, @09:53AM

      by moo kuh (2044) on Tuesday April 15 2014, @09:53AM (#31721) Journal

      Except that the wingnuts can infect infants that are too young for mmr. Children don't get vaccinationed for all deadly and debilitating diseases the second they are out of the vagina. They won't just be killing off themselves. They have the potential to harm the most vulnerable.

      • (Score: 2) by wantkitteh on Tuesday April 15 2014, @12:00PM

        by wantkitteh (3362) on Tuesday April 15 2014, @12:00PM (#31750) Homepage Journal

        Very good point, I propose that anyone displaying Wingnut-like tendencies be physically isolated from the rest of the population in areas to be designated by governmental health agencies following public suggestions.

        For the English isolation zone, I nominate Milton Keynes.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by WizardFusion on Tuesday April 15 2014, @09:53AM

      by WizardFusion (498) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 15 2014, @09:53AM (#31722) Journal

      Exactly. I wish the media would stop making stupid people famous.

      • (Score: 2) by wantkitteh on Tuesday April 15 2014, @12:06PM

        by wantkitteh (3362) on Tuesday April 15 2014, @12:06PM (#31751) Homepage Journal

        They can't do that, they wouldn't get the audiences, the advertising dollars would stop flowing and profits would fall! Oh, and it would start a truth inertia that would end with an awful lot of people working for news agencies being lynched. I'm all for that personally but it's their call.

    • (Score: 2) by hamsterdan on Tuesday April 15 2014, @12:12PM

      by hamsterdan (2829) on Tuesday April 15 2014, @12:12PM (#31752)

      For the same reasons people watch reality TV? listen to Celine Dion?

      The only way people will start fighting back is when TV is cut off...

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by VLM on Tuesday April 15 2014, @01:15PM

      by VLM (445) on Tuesday April 15 2014, @01:15PM (#31772)

      "if what a doctor says is wrong and taking his advice causes harm, they are removed from practice and their professional reputation destroyed"

      LOL wake me when that happens to anything other than "making an example of" anecdotes.

      The problem with responding to ridiculous extremism with ridiculous extremism is it does nothing to convince anyone.

      A better answer is along the lines of you don't ask your plumber for car repair advice, or ask your car mechanic for interior decorating advice, so asking a soft-core-ish pr0n actress for medical advice is equally dumb. Asking her for medical advice would be as dumb as asking me for advice on looking hot and modeling.

      This also applies to the "vaccines are safe" dumbness. No, they're pretty dangerous compared to most anything kids do or are involved in (assuming you don't take your kids skydiving with you or give them working chainsaws as toys), but on average they are waaaay hugely safer than the diseases they prevent. Better off with 1 in a thousand having a severe fever and a day in the hospital like my son (full recovery, all good), than maybe 1 in 10 dead from a smallpox outbreak or whatever. Oh its pretty darn dangerous, riskier (wrt combat) than joining the .mil in fact, but it IS safer than not getting vaccinated.

      • (Score: 2) by wantkitteh on Tuesday April 15 2014, @07:41PM

        by wantkitteh (3362) on Tuesday April 15 2014, @07:41PM (#31951) Homepage Journal

        Hehe, I love doing this, it already happened in this case:

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8700611.stm [bbc.co.uk]

        I don't know how often this soft of thing happens in the US but there is concern over the fact two-thirds of doctors forced off the medical register in the UK were trained in India.

        Anyone saying vaccinations don't work obviously isn't paying attention to how effectively they've suppressed those diseases and increased our life expectancies. Until now, of course. Glad to hear your son was okay though!

        • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday April 15 2014, @08:13PM

          by VLM (445) on Tuesday April 15 2014, @08:13PM (#31971)

          Like I said it takes being in the paper to have an example made of them, but the average incompetent would never gain any such attention. And in typical British fashion the real debate is Deer claiming Wakefield made everything up as a financial scam because Wakefield had a financial interest in a competing vaccine formulation but instead of a simple financial scam the whole story went all exponential, and the typical British response is rather than commenting on the conflicting stories about the financial scam, at least on paper, Wakefield was only busted for:

          "And the panel hearing the case took exception with the way he gathered blood samples. Dr Wakefield paid children £5 for the samples at his son's birthday party."

          Its probably safer for them from a legal standpoint to bust him for that, rather than what they really wanted to bust him for.

          The whole story would probably make a heck of a techno thriller book or movie, if the truth can ever be determined.

          • (Score: 2) by wantkitteh on Tuesday April 15 2014, @09:01PM

            by wantkitteh (3362) on Tuesday April 15 2014, @09:01PM (#31993) Homepage Journal

            It's not sexy but it's got teeth - the journalist who dug it all up destroyed the credibility of the evidence the paper was based on, not to mention the doctor who wrote the paper. That's enough for anyone with two brain cells to run together to dismiss the whole idea, you'd have to be stark raving mad or paranoid as a goat who spent Halloween night in a marijuana plantation to continue to give any scientific credence to the idea.

            Oh wait....

            Agreed, good material for a techno thriller.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 15 2014, @01:15PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 15 2014, @01:15PM (#31773)

      I think the wingnuts are a *good* thing.

      The force us to up our game. To make things better. To make what they say so wrong that no one will listen to them.

      To say things like 'the science is settled' is lazy. What if there is something wrong in the numbers? What if the schedule could be better? What if the dose is too low/high? These are precisely the sorts of questions our doctors should be asking before they give the stuff to a few hundred people. That is part of science questioning the norm. Is it really the norm? Is it working or are there side effects we need to work on?

      For example recently a lady who was fully vaccinated in NY picked up the measles and gave it to 5 people (2 of whom were also vaccinated, 3 partials). Something broke, they are looking into it. Exactly what should happen. To just say 'dont worry about it' is lazy and backwards.

      I celebrate the wing nuts because they ask the stupid questions. Sometimes you need to go back and check that yeah those facts *are* true and someone didnt just make it up to get a paper published. Which happens more than you would like to know.

      I trust my doctor to use the knowledge he has at this time to make sure I, my family, and friends are vaccinated properly.

      Yes it is tiresome to deal with them. Yes it takes energy away from other goals. But if you dismiss them they will harden their lines and scream even more. If you show them what you did and why they are wrong you can get a better response. They are scared and we dismiss them.

      • (Score: 2) by wantkitteh on Tuesday April 15 2014, @08:06PM

        by wantkitteh (3362) on Tuesday April 15 2014, @08:06PM (#31967) Homepage Journal

        If the Wingnuts read these and checked the sources, they'd realize how stupid they were being:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MMR_vaccine_controve rsy [wikipedia.org]
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Wakefield [wikipedia.org]

        So let's see, some crooked lawyers wanted to make a fast buck sewing the vaccine manufacturers, so they asked a doc to cook up some evidence for them. The science was never in genuine doubt. Idiots who can't accept that the sky isn't falling don't keep anyone on their toes, they drag the entire human race down to their idiotic level. It's been SIXTEEN YEARS since these blatant lies were first published and kids are still dying today. I'll say it loud so everyone can hear me: FUCK THE WINGNUTS!

    • (Score: 1) by compro01 on Tuesday April 15 2014, @02:35PM

      by compro01 (2515) on Tuesday April 15 2014, @02:35PM (#31813)

      Which is fine by me - maybe all the wingnuts will keep spreading their horsecrap around the wingnut community and they'll be wiped out by natural selection, improving the genetic stock of the human race. *shrugs*

      But the problem is that fitness function sucks. You end up hitting unvaccinatible persons, random failures (2% or so of the population for 2-dose MMR) and not-yet-vaccinated persons (infants under 12 or 15 months of age) along with the nuts.

    • (Score: 2) by cmn32480 on Tuesday April 15 2014, @05:14PM

      by cmn32480 (443) <{cmn32480} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Tuesday April 15 2014, @05:14PM (#31883) Journal

      The problem is that the wingnuts interact with the rest of us.

      My brother's kids came to visit their 6-day-old newborn cousin, and found out 2 days later that they had whooping cough.

      When my brother told me, I WISH I could have reached through the phone and killed him. All because he and his wife believed this crap about vaccines causing autism. I later found out that his kids were literally YEARS behind on vaccinations, MMR, whooping cough, and a whole bunch of others. In the end they had to get current or they would not have been allowed in the public school system.

      Thankfully my son didn't get whooping cough which can be deadly to infants.

      --
      "It's a dog eat dog world, and I'm wearing Milkbone underwear" - Norm Peterson
  • (Score: 1) by opinionated_science on Tuesday April 15 2014, @02:38PM

    by opinionated_science (4031) on Tuesday April 15 2014, @02:38PM (#31814)

    Injecting anything into a human body carries a risk. If not from infection (piercing the skin and inserting directly into the bloodstream), then the molecular interaction of the clinical components.

    However, it does not take more than a few clicks on google images to look at the effects of some truly horrendous diseases that have been treated by vaccines.

    The development of a vaccine, however, presupposes the target is sufficiently stable that the immune system can produce a response that will target it specifically. The innate immune response of mammals has evolved to do just this, and the average human probably mounts many thousands of immune responses a day. So developing a synthetic molecular component that has out paces the result of 3 billion years of evolution, is a huge technical challenge - huge.

    The nature of clinical trails is that some patients will not respond. The whole point of clinical trials is quantify the safety and effectiveness of new treatments, and in this regard anecdotes carry precisely zero weight.

    There are a great many things more that can be done to improve the development of new treatments, but anything other than proper conducted clinical trials are subject to undermining by the mad, bad and criminally stupid.

    • (Score: 1) by Immerman on Tuesday April 15 2014, @05:03PM

      by Immerman (3985) on Tuesday April 15 2014, @05:03PM (#31879)

      >The development of a vaccine, however, ... So developing a synthetic molecular component that has out paces the result of 3 billion years of evolution, is a huge technical challenge - huge.

      I see a couple glaring holes in your argument:

      1) The immune system is powerful, but basically trial-and-error: one unknown microbe may easily require many days worth of "immune responses" before something is found that can actually stop it. Which is why vaccines are necessary - several days of being effectively unopposed can give an infection an insurmountable head start in the battle.

      2) Vaccines do not attempt to in any way replace or compete with the immune system - they simply train it. Essentially they amount to intentionally infecting people with a dead, weakened, or relatively harmless relative of the dangerous disease (or sometimes just synthesized versions of the "weak spot" for particularly nasty diseases) giving the immune system a relatively safe "target range" for it to learn how to deal with a particularly evasive family of microbes without the body being in eminent danger while doing so. Then if "the real thing" is ever encountered the immune system has already developed the counter measures to deal with it. Provided of course that it hasn't forgotten them in the meantime, which is why many vaccines require periodic booster shots - presumably the countermeasures generally aren't particularly effective against anything else, so the body needs to be convinced that the threat they defend against is real and they shouldn't be scrapped to make room for designs that are more useful on a more regular basis.

      • (Score: 1) by opinionated_science on Tuesday April 15 2014, @06:08PM

        by opinionated_science (4031) on Tuesday April 15 2014, @06:08PM (#31901)

        my summary was directed more at showing the scope of the problem, not to critique vaccines. They are a critical tool.

        your point 1) is well taken, as the underlying mechanism is random recombination of the IGH locus. But it is the nature of microbial infection which makes it so powerful. Remember, infection is not passive it constantly evolves.

        Humans also acquire antibodies directly from their mothers, which is a naturally occurring inoculation.

        Your point 2) is also correct. Although the understanding of the immune system in many ways is greatly limited, as the impact of the largely untreatable auto-immune disease are showing.

        Thank you for elborating on my points!

  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 15 2014, @03:12PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 15 2014, @03:12PM (#31828)

    one poke per visit is fine with me

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 16 2014, @12:12AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 16 2014, @12:12AM (#32083)
    Does this stupid bitch not realize that video exists?
    We KNOW exactly what she said. Over and over.

    It's not up for debate. You can't undo history. She said these things.