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From: (Steven B. Harris )
Date: 02 Sep 1995

In <427qeg$> (via) writes:

>In article <427qai$>, (via) says:
>> Vaccine Weekly via NewsPage : According to the authors' abstract of an
>>article published in Archives of pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine,
>>"OBJECTIVES: To describe an outbreak and to identify risk factors for
>>mumps occurring in a highly vaccinated high school population. (Note:
>>Highly vaccinated means a population in which more than 95% have been
>>vaccinated.) DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS: Survey and cohort study of 307
>>(97%) of 318 students. OUTCOME MEASURES:  Mumps was defined as an
>>illness with 2 or more days of parotid swelling. Serologic confirmation
>>of infection was obtained in eight cases, seven of which were evaluated
>>for presence of IgM antibody using immunofluorescent antibodies.
>>Vaccination records were verified for 297 (97%) students. RESULTS:
>>Between October 3 and November 23, 1990, clinical mumps developed in 54
>>students (attack rate, 18%), 53 of whom had been vaccinated. Most cases
>>(40 [77%] of 52) occurred 12 to 20 days after a school-wide pep rally.
>>Immunofluorescent antibody testing of all seven specimens demonstrated
>>IgM antibody to mumps. Risk factors for clinical mumps identified in
>>multivariate analyses included female gender (odds ratio, 3.0; 95%
>>confidence interval, 1.6 to 5.7) and source of vaccination other than
>>the local public health clinic (students vaccinated by private providers
>>[odds ratio, 3.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.3 to 5.2] or in other
>>districts [odds ratio, 2.4; 95% confidence interval, 1.1 to 5.3]).
>>CONCLUSIONS: The overall attack rate is the highest reported to date
>>(and to our knowledge) for a population demonstrating virtually complete
>>mumps vaccine coverage.  Even verified documentation of vaccination may
>>not be an accurate indicator of an individual's protection against
>>mumps. Vaccination failure may play an important role in contemporary
>>mumps outbreaks. We found no evidence to indicate that waning immunity
>>(secondary vaccine failure) contributed significantly to this outbreak.
>>A second dose of mumps vaccine, as recommended using
>>measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, could potentially prevent similar
>>outbreaks in secondary school populations in the future." The
>>corresponding author for this study is: JE Cheek, US Indian Hlth Serv,
>>Epidemiol Branch, Headquarter W, 5300 Homestead Rd NE, Albuquerque, NM
>>87110 USA. For subscription information for this journal contact the
>>publisher: Amer Medical Assoc, 515 N State St, Chicago, IL 60610.
>>AUTHORS: Cheek, J.E.; Baron, R.; Atlas, H.; Wilson, D.L.; Crider, R.D.
>>SOURCE: Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, July
>>[08-31-95 at 14:51 EDT, Copyright 1995, Charles Henderson]

   I love these studies.  They are posted by people who pass around
names of "private providers" who will sign off for your public school
that your kids have been vaccinated, when they haven't.  They go to
these doctors because they believe vaccines ineffective and dangerous.
They believe them ineffective because (you see) outbreaks occur in
schools among kids who've mostly been vaccinated by "private
providers."  Hmmmmm.

                                            Steve Harris, M.D.

From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Alternative Medicine (was I need help)
Date: 25 May 1997
Newsgroups: talk.politics.drugs,,,,

In <> "Ed Mathes, RPA-C"
<> writes:

>Here I become confused....was your son not immunized?

   My question exactly.  The kid probably had plain old epiglotitis.

>Pertussis also has a fairly charactistic course and a distinctive "WHOOP"
>sounding cough...once you've heard it it is unmistakable.

   We should add that the "whoop" is actually between fits of caughing,
and sounds like somebody taking in breath after being under water, or
holding their breath, too long.  Which, of course, is basically what it

                                             Steve Harris, M.D.

From: Ian A. York
Subject: Re: Simean virus No. 40?
Date: Jan 26 1997

In article <>, Craig <*@*.*> wrote:

>I'm looking for info on Simean Virus #40.  I can't seem to find
>Situation is a colleague who was originally infected via childhood
>innoculation for something else.  Now, decades later, it activated &
>caused blindness.  She is recovering, but only slowly -- can only see
>well enough read for a couple hours a day now.

Some of the early lots of polio vaccine were contaminated with simian
virus 40 (SV40). (The polio for the vaccine was grown on cells of monkey
origin, which were--unknown to the workers of the time--contaminated with
SV40. The process which inactivated the polio virus was not adequate to
inactivate the SV40, so the vaccine was produced with harmless polio and
with active SV40.)  In the great majority of cases, the SV40 did not cause
any problems; in normal humans it's a fairly harmless virus.  However, it
does seem to be able to persist for long periods, and has occasionally
recurred in older people; usually those who are immune suppressed for one
reason or another.  

This was in the early days of vaccines, and served as a fairly spectacular
wakeup call.  In this case, the virus was a relatively innocuous one, but
that was pure luck.  Procedures for inactivation, and procedures for
evaluating the cells used for growth and the final vaccine, have all been
toughened up considerably.

It's worth adding, though, that there are a significant number of people
who appear to have been exposed to SV40 or to one of its relatives who
have no history of exposure through vaccines, so it's not certain that all
cases of SV40 are due to this particular mode of exposure.

I can't find any articles in medline about SV40 causing blindness, or
infecting the eye.  Is it possible that the blindness was the result of a
brain infection?  --that seems to be more common, though any serious
affect of this virus is really quite rare.  I also find one article that
mentions SV40 in conjunction with ocular tumours, but that doesn't sound
like the situation here.

As I understand it, cases in which the virus reactivates in normal
people--that is, with no underlying immune disorder--are extremely rare.
There seems to be very little information on the clinical aspects of this
(though there is a great deal on the theoretical aspects); unfortunately,
the answers to your questions don't seem to be easily avialbe, if they're
known at all.

      Ian York   (  <>
      "-but as he was a York, I am rather inclined to suppose him a
       very respectable Man." -Jane Austen, The History of England

From: Ian A. York
Subject: Re: Anti-Vaccine sites (Pertussis Vaccine Efficacy)
Date: 5 Feb 1998 13:54:28 -0500

In article <>,
Banty <> wrote:

>I'm beginning to wonder if it would take a resurgence of disease to convince
>these folks of the benefit of vaccines.  These arguments are being made in the

This is, in fact, exactly what happens.

The latest issue of Lancet has an article reviewing the effects of
anti-vaccine rhetoric on the prevalence of pertussis.  A number of
countries dropped, or reduced, vaccine coverage, at least partly (and
perhaps mainly) bacause of anti-vaccine claims; these included Sweden,
Japan, the UK.  In each case, shortly after the vaccine use dropped,
epidemics of pertussis swept the country.  (The author graphs the cases in
comparison to neighbouring countries which kept high vaccine coverage.
The charts are lovely--perfect examples of epidemics in action, with sharp
peaks dropping off to low valleys followed by a renewed peak of disease,
while in the vaccinated country the levels remain low and constant.)  The
prevalence of the disease increased in one case up to 200-fold.

As the disease became more prevalent, vaccination rose once again.  I
guess there's nothing like seeing your neighbour's child suffocating to
death on her own phlegm to convince you that vaccination is a pretty good
thing.  As vaccination coverage rose, the peaks of disease dropped off

The author concluded that the anti-vaccine spokespeople were responsible
for thousands or tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths.  Of course, he
was considering only one vaccine.

    Ian York   (  <>
    "-but as he was a York, I am rather inclined to suppose him a
     very respectable Man." -Jane Austen, The History of England

From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Anti-Vaccine sites (Pertussis Vaccine Efficacy)
Date: 9 Feb 1998 11:55:15 GMT

In <6bjudf$6m8$> (P G)

>Steve Harris, Official statistics from many countries indicate that
>smallpox was declining Before vaccination programs were enforced.

   For centuries smallpox was vaccinated for, voluntarily.  Yep, that
caused it to decline.  But major infectious diseases don't disappear
off the face of the Earth without help.

>Omce the vaccinations became mandatory, deaths from the disease
>steadily Increased.

    Since the disease is now non-existent, obviously that had to turn
around.  Smallpox increases as population increases, and the vaccines
didn't catch up for a while.  But eventually, the disease was
eradicated.  The last massive vaccination campaigns in India and Africa
were centered around the last few outbreaks.  And they got em.  The
disease disappeared there (in the intensively vaccinated areas, and
everywhere.  Since the disease must infect humans, and since it has to
jump to new unvaccinated people every couple of weeks, it simply died.

>In fact, records from several countries show that nearly every
>contagious disease-plague, cholera, dysentery, measles, scarlet fever,
>whooping cough-Except Smallpox(kept alive by mandatory vaccinations),
>Declined in number and severity on its own.

    Nonsense.  For the case on whooping caugh alone, please see the
review article in the Jan 31 Lancet for this year (page 356).  Declines
and low rates are a feature of countries with good vaccination
programs.  Countries abandoning their programs at the advice of people
like you have experienced epidemics in the last decade.  Australia had
the worst experience.  It had whooping cough (pertussis) nearly wiped
out in the 1970's with a great vaccination program, until the news from
England made a lot of people quite vaccinating in the 80's.  This has
resulted in a major epidemic of 5000 cases in 1994 in that country.  No
such outbreaks occur in countries like the US, where vaccination rates
are still good.

> This was prior to measle
>and whopping cough vaccinations which are also given credit for the
>decline that was already in progress for those 2 diseases.

    There is no "decline" for whooping cough, you ignoramous.
Countries that quit vaccinating or do a lousy job, like Japan, Sweden,
Australia, Russia, the UK, and so on, continue to have epidemics (some
have repented).  Countries that have kept vaccinating like the US,
Hungry, and Poland, don't have pertussis epidemics.   In East Germany
until 1990, the government forced vaccination.  No pertussis epidemics.
In West Germany next door the rate during that period was 100 times

>At the time of mandatory vaccinations for smallpox, undoctored hospital
>records show that about 90% of the smallpox cases occurred after the
>individual was vaccinated. Before England passed a mandatory vaccination
>law in 1853, the highest 2 year death rate had been 2000, even during
>the worst epidemics. After more than 15 years of mandatory vaccinations,
>in 1870 and 1871 more than 23,000 people died from the disease.

    Old stale stats from a time of only partly effective vaccines.  Try

>Many countries did not impose compulsory vaccinations and the disease
>virtually disapeared on its own.

    No-- smallpox COMPLETELY disappeared in EVERY country.  With
smallpox, it's relatively easy for public health authorities to isolate
ill people and vaccinate contacts (or quaranteen them if they refuse).
All that IS compulsory.  And all that happened in EVERY country which
had smallpox to begin with.  If you disagree, you name a country which
didn't have these smallpox control policies.  Come on.

                                     Steve Harris, M.D.

From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Downsides to pneumovax?
Date: 28 Feb 1998 06:27:01 GMT

In <>
(G03090103) writes:

> (K Williams) asked:
>>Can someone tell me the downsides to the pneumonia
>>vaccine, please? What diseases is it likely to bring on?
>>What other problems would it cause or precipitate?
>I'm not very familiar with this particular vaccine, though Kalalau Rich
>seems to have cited a reliable study.  An interesting article regarding
>the pneumococcal vaccine appeared in the 2/7/98 issue of "The Lancet"
>(Vol. 351, No. 9100); it seems a group of Swedish researchers tested the
>vaccine's efficacy using a group of approximately 700 elderly
>individuals.  Their findings?  The vaccine--the same one commonly used in
>the U.S.--does NOT protect middle-aged and elderly people against
>pneumococcal pneumonia.  (To be fair, however, they did find that the
>vaccine was safe and caused no side effects, and it does appear to offer
>protection against pneumococcal bacteremia (blood infection) and
>pneumococcal meningitis.)

Comment: And, to be fair, there is an even bigger Finnish study which
found that although there was no protection overall in the elderly, the
vaccine did offer protection to the 1/3 of these elderly who were at
special risk for pneumonia.  Since this group is hard to separate out
for a large vaccine campaign, they recommended giving the stuff to

Oddly, earlier meta-analyses with younger people found just the
opposite effect: no vaccine effect for those at worst risk, but a
positive effect for heathier people.   Go figure.  Of course the risks
differed in some cases, and the differences in findings need to be
resolved.  It's still possible that everybody's right, and that here
and there, there are islands of people the vaccine does not much good
for.  There is no evidence it harms anybody.  It is certainly highly
effective in the original risk groups which got the 14-valent vaccine
licenced, which is infants and South American gold miners. <g>.

> B. Harris) wrote:
>>I give myself the stuff every 5 years, no problem.  DPT
>>is far worse (in terms of my sore arm).
>Tsk, tsk, TSK, Steve.  How *dare* you inject (pun intended)
*anecdotal* information into a serious discussion regarding
vaccination? <<

   Only if it illustrates well-known facts which you look up.  And it's
a well known fact that DPT can be a little hard on adults-- even the
acellular stuff.

> :o)   ...and do you *really* inoculate yourself with a pertussis
>vaccine (acellular, I presume)?

     Not on a regular basis-- that's the pneumovax and hep B and DT (or
tetanus) and so forth I give myself every 5 years (now I've added hep
A).  This is the first time I'd decided to risk a pertussis booster
since I had my last DPT booster something like 33 years ago.  Pertussis
immunity DOES wear off in many people by the time they reach adulthood,
and it's a miserable infection to have.  Antibiotics don't work well,
and you're sick as a dog.  You die, even.  I read up on the acellular
stuff (see one abstract below), and decided at the age of 40 to try the
Lederle ACEL-IMUNE, which is DPT with only toxoids of the D, and T, and
a few antigens of the P.  And, just for grins, I gave myself Hib
vaccine with it, but that's a pretty benign one, and I doubt it's what
caused the symptoms (though cannot be sure).

    Anyway, result was a pretty sore arm for 2 days, and actual chills
at 36 hours, requiring a hot shower.  So nice to know it's acellular at
that point...<g>.   And the next morning I was fine.  Today, at 96
hours, soreness is nearly gone.

                                           Steve Harris, M.D.

Abstracts for those who feel I'm being too anectotal:


Am J Med 1997 Oct;103(4):281-290
Clinical efficacy of pneumococcal vaccine in the elderly: a
randomized, single-blind population-based trial.

Koivula I, Sten M, Leinonen M, Makela PH

Department of Medicine, Kuopio University Hospital, Finland.

PURPOSE: To study the efficacy of pneumococcal capsular polysacc-
haride vaccine among the elderly by use of a population-based
intervention in one township, Varkaus, Eastern Finland. PATIENTS
AND METHODS: A randomized, controlled trial in which elderly
inhabitants (aged 60 years or older) of the catchment area
were randomized to receive either pneumococcal and influenza
vaccines (PI group = vaccinated) or influenza vaccine alone (I
group = controls) and offered participation. The response rate
was 67.4%. The PI group consisted of 1,364 persons and the I
group of 1,473 persons. The vaccinations were performed in
the municipal health center in the fall of 1982, and all elderly
inhabitants were followed for 3 years for the development of
radiologically confirmed pneumonia. Pneumococcal etiology was
identified by serological methods. RESULTS: The incidence of
pneumonia was 18.8 per 1,000 person-years in the PI group (73
pneumonia episodes) and 16.6 per 1,000 person-years in the I
group (69 episodes). Pneumococcal etiology was found in 27
episodes in the PI group (incidence 7.0 per 1,000 person-years)
and in 36 episodes in the I group (incidence 8.6 per 1,000
person-years). In controls (I group) the incidence of pneumococ-
cal pneumonia was significantly higher among persons with
increased risk for contracting pneumonia (19 per 1,000 person--
years) than among controls with low risk status (4 per 1,000
person-years). No significant protection from pneumococcal
pneumonia was found in the study group as a whole (vaccine
efficacy 15%, 95% CI -43% to 50%). However, in persons with
medical risk factors for contracting pneumonia, there was a
statistically significant protective efficacy of 59% (95% CI, 6%
to 82%). CONCLUSION: Pneumococcal vaccination significantly
reduced the incidence of pneumococcal pneumonia in elderly
persons at increased risk for contracting pneumonia. This
increased/high-risk category comprised 34% of the population aged
60 years or older. Because targeted vaccination of this large
group may be difficult to organize in an efficient manner,
vaccinating all elderly persons may be the best strategy to
prevent this rather common and often fatal disease.

JAMA 1990 Dec 12;264(22):2910-2915
Pneumococcal vaccine. Efficacy and associated cost savings.

Gable CB, Holzer SS, Engelhart L, Friedman RB, Smeltz F, Schroe-
der D, Baum K

Medical Technologies Assessment Division, SysteMetrics/McGraw-Hi-
ll, Washington, DC 20008.

We evaluated the efficacy and cost savings of the pneumococcal
pneumonia vaccine in a retrospective cohort study of 762
vaccinated and 1161 randomly selected unvaccinated age-sex
matched persons in Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Minnesota using
medical and pharmaceutical claims. The pneumonia incidence and
the ratio of incidence in the postvaccination to prevaccination
periods (rate ratio) were examined in the vaccine group by sex
and risk factors. Vaccination significantly reduced pneumonia
incidence, with overall efficacy of 69% and higher efficacy in
women (86%) than in men (33%). We assigned persons to risk
categories based on disease conditions as recorded in the claims
by the ICD-9-CM (International Classification of Diseases, Ninth
Revision, Clinical Modification) diagnostic codes. In the risk
categories, efficacy varied from 50% to 75% and was confounded by
sex. Immunocompromised and immunocompetent women had high
efficacy (83% to 88%), while immunocompetent and immunocompromi-
sed men had lower efficacy (33%). Persons with a precondition of
pneumonia exhibited similar vaccine efficacy to the overall
cohort relative to the comparison group. Projected costs of
pneumonia cases are 3.6 times the observed costs of vaccination
and postvaccination pneumonia costs. We conclude that the
pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine is efficacious in persons having
had pneumonia, persons "at risk" of developing pneumonia, or
persons over 50 years of age, and it corresponds to overall
savings of $141 per person.

  Comment in: JAMA 1991 May 1;265(17):2193-4

Arch Intern Med 1994 Dec 12;154(23):2666-2677
Efficacy of pneumococcal vaccination in adults. A meta-analysis
of randomized controlled trials.

Fine MJ, Smith MA, Carson CA, Meffe F, Sankey SS, Weissfeld LA,
Detsky AS, Kapoor WN

Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pa.

BACKGROUND: Because of the prevalence of pneumococcal pneumonia,
the substantial morbidity and mortality associated with many
pneumococcal infections, and an increase in the incidence of
antibiotic resistance among pneumococcal isolates, considerable
efforts for disease prevention have been made using a polyvalent
polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccine. Despite numerous clinical
trials of the vaccine, its efficacy in the prevention of
pneumococcal infections and other clinically relevant medical
outcomes in adults remains uncertain. METHODS: To assess quant-
itatively the efficacy of pneumococcal vaccination, a MEDLINE
literature search, manual reviews of article bibliographies, and
communications with pneumococcal vaccine investigators were
used to identify randomized controlled trials of the pneumococcal
vaccine. Independent review of 594 articles revealed nine
randomized trials with 12 vaccine and control study groups that
evaluated clinically relevant outcomes in adults. To estimate a
summary effect size for all outcomes, Mantel-Haenszel
odds ratios (ORs) and Dersimonian and Laird rate differences
(RDs) and their associated 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were
computed. RESULTS: Summary ORs demonstrated a statistically
significant protective effect of the vaccine for four pneumococ-
cal infection-related outcomes: definitive pneumococcal pneumonia
(OR = 0.34; 95% CI = 0.24 to 0.48), definitive pneumococcal
pneumonia for vaccine-containing pneumococcal antigen types only
(vaccine types only) (OR = 0.17; 95% CI = 0.09 to 0.33), presu-
mptive pneumococcal pneumonia (OR = 0.47; 95% CI = 0.35 to 0.63),
and presumptive pneumococcal pneumonia (vaccine types only) (OR =
0.39; 95% CI = 0.26 to 0.59). The summary RDs, which account for
heterogeneity among studies, confirmed a statistically signific-
ant protective effect for two of these same outcomes: definitive
pneumococcal pneumonia (RD =4/1000; 95% CI = 0/1000 to 7/1000)
and definitive pneumococcal pneumonia (vaccine types only) (RD =
8/1000; 95% CI = 1/1000 to 16/1000). Summary ORs and RDs failed
to demonstrate a protective effect for pneumonia (all causes),
bronchitis, and mortality (all causes) or mortality due to
pneumonia or pneumococcal infection. Subgroup analyses showed
that for all four pneumococcal infection-related outcomes,
vaccine efficacy differed for high- and low-risk subjects,
demonstrating efficacy for low-risk subjects and lack of efficacy
for high-risk subjects. CONCLUSIONS: Pneumococcal vaccination
appears efficacious in reducing bacteremic pneumococcal pneumonia
in low-risk adults. However, evidence from randomized controlled
trials fails to demonstrate vaccine efficacy for pneumococcal
infection-related or other medical outcomes in the
heterogeneous group of subjects currently labeled as high risk.

Publication Types:

PMID: 7993150, UI: 95085362


Infect Agents Dis 1996 Jan;5(1):21-28
Acellular pertussis vaccines: a turning point in infant and
adolescent vaccination.

Rappuoli R

IRIS, Chiron-Biocine Immunobiological Research Institute Siena,

Whooping cough, an infectious disease caused by the gram-negative
bacterium Bordetella pertussis, is a life-threatening disease
that cannot be controlled by antibiotic treatment or other
procedures of modern medicine. Immunization, using a vaccine made
of heat-killed bacteria, has been the only way to prevent
the disease and keep the infection under control. However, the
high reactogenicity of the whole-cell vaccine available so far
has made vaccination very controversial, and vaccine use has been
restricted to the minimum doses strictly necessary to protect
infants during the first few years of life, when the disease is
most dangerous. This policy left unsolved the problem of
controlling the circulation of the pathogens that are still
spreading undisturbed in the population, even after decades of
vaccine use. Today, the introduction of acellular vaccines that
are efficacious and virtually free of side effects suggests that
the new vaccines can be used safely to immunize not only infants,
toddlers, and preschool children, but also adolescents and
adults, making possible the complete control of the disease and
infection, so that policies addressing the eradication of the
disease become feasible. The absence of constraints for the use
of pertussis vaccine will allow the rational design of the
optimal combinations of vaccines for each age.

From: (Jonathan R. Fox)
Subject: Re: Hepa B vaccine
Date: Wed, 04 Aug 1999 23:14:57 GMT

On Wed, 04 Aug 1999 02:55:55 GMT, wrote:

>In article <ayCp3.22$>,
>  "Jeffrey P. Utz, M.D." <> wrote:
>No one is arguing that the halting of the rotavirus vaccine is due to
>the discovery of a new side effect.  That should be the only basis for
>recommending a vaccine and then later halting it.  The only other basis
>for such inconsistency is an error in CDC methodology, which I submit
>is what we really have here.  Let's identify it and uproot it.

I agree that no one is arguing that the rotavirus vaccination was
suspended because of discovery of a new side effect.  The side effect
was recognized in the early studies, and the tentative conclusion
drawn was that the apparently increased frequency of intussusception
had a high probability of being a fluke due to the relatively small
study size, so therefore the rotavirus vaccine probably does not
really cause intussusception.  There were then two options:

1. Permit generalized use of the vaccine, but list intussusception as
a possible side effect, and continue to monitor for intussusception,
recognizing that the conclusion drawn above may have been wrong.

2. Withhold the vaccine and conduct further studies.

The CDC chose, for whatever reasons, option 1.  It may be that they
have an error in methodology as well, but they may also have sound
methodology that sometimes requires a judgment call, and in this case,
they judged wrong.

Although I haven't analyzed the data as thoroughly as they did, I have
wondered why the CDC didn't take intussusception more seriously than
they did, mainly because this is a side effect that one could imagine
might result from the vaccine, even without "statistical significance"
in the early studies.  There is a plausible mechanism involved, in
that a live enteric vaccine could cause lymphoid hyperplasia in the
bowel, which in turn can cause intussusception.  This is a lot
different than the people who believe their child's behavioral
problems are caused by a recombinant protein vaccine.

Jonathan R. Fox, M.D.

From: (Jonathan R. Fox)
Subject: Thanks, John!  Rubella on the rise in the U.K.
Date: Mon, 06 Sep 1999 17:44:08 GMT

The British Medical Journal has reported that, after a remarkable drop
in congenital rubella after rubella vaccination over the last few
decades, there has now been a recent increase in congenital rubella,
caused by a decrease in MMR immunizations, likely due to parental
fears regarding the vaccine's safety, particularly the nonsense that
it causes autism.

Perhaps next time there is some family testifying before a panel that
they think their child's developmental problem is due to MMR vaccine,
we can parade by the deaf, blind, and retarded British infants that
John and his ilk helped produce.

Jonathan R. Fox, M.D.

From: (Jonathan R. Fox)
Subject: Re: Thanks, John!  Rubella on the rise in the U.K.
Date: Thu, 09 Sep 1999 22:46:10 GMT

On Thu, 9 Sep 1999 07:18:42 +0100, "John"
<> wrote:

>Bronwyn Hancock 25/1/99
>Unfortunately, however, it turns out that there is no scientific evidence
>that vaccines are at all effective, from a statistical OR immunological
>point of view.
>I am told (but I haven't been able/got around to confirm(ing) yet) that
>measles in Europe, having virtually died out, actually rose again when they
>started the vaccination programs,

This would be more amusing if it weren't so annoying.  This author
complains of lack of scientific evidence, yet supports his nonsense
with blatant hearsay such as this.  What a winner.

>Doctors, who base their diagnosis on symptoms, can be misled by the
>distortion of the symptoms caused by the damage of the immune system by
>vaccines, e.g. not getting a rash with measles. Consequently they can be
>less likely to correctly identify the virus or bacteria that is present in
>such individuals,

Uh, right.  Let's see... a toddler shows up in the emergency room sick
as a dog with a fever up to 105 and a stiff neck.  He has meningitis.
His cerebrospinal fluid grows Haemophilus influenzae type B.  He
hopefully gets better with antibiotics and steroids, but may end up
brain damaged and/or deaf.

At my institution, this used to happen about 100 times a year.  That's
about twice a week.  Then, thanks to the hard work of scientists, a
vaccine was developed specifically against H. influenzae type B.  We
started giving it to infants in the 1980's.  How many CSF cultures
grow H. flu type B now at this same institution every year?  Oh, about
zero.  In fact, we rarely see any type of meningitis in toddlers
anymore, since H. flu type B is the kind they'd typically get.
Meningitis is now mostly a disease of newborns and older children
(thanks to group B strep, S. pneumoniae, and N. meningitidis).

Now, what did he say about doctors diagnosing diseases based on
symptoms?  Maybe so for measles, but that's a weak example.

>the fact that the vaccination idea falsely assumes that germs are the cause
>of disease, instead of infiltrating the system and flourishing as a result
>of it, so it misses the mark. Worse, vaccination is counterproductive
>because it introduces toxic substances, which ARE the cause of disease, and
>Mother Nature's rule that whenever we do anything unnatural it will only
>harm us to some extent, not help us, as it will not fit in with the design
>of the body, which is much more finely tuned than is appreciated by most.
>Rather than specific research findings in themselves, one would describe
>these two statements as very credible theories which provide a broad
>explanation for the many detailed specific statistical and immunological
>observations that have been made and documented in medical research.

Uh huh.  He claims there is no scientific evidence that vaccines work,
then cites a general, unsupported "theory" about Mother Nature in
support of his position.  That's rigorous for you!

Then he relegates himself to the likes of the flat-earthers of
astronomy and the circle-squarers of mathematics with the declaration
that germs do not cause disease.  Yeah.  That's what they told
Pasteur, oh, over a century ago when they didn't know better through
ignorance.  What's his excuse?

Jonathan R. Fox, M.D

From: (Jonathan R. Fox)
Subject: Re: Greedy GP's vaccine ploy
Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2000 04:27:47 GMT

On Sun, 6 Feb 2000 18:46:01 -0800, "Roger Schlafly" <>
>Jonathan R. Fox <> wrote in message
>> And yes, currently nurses give the vaccines that I order.  Neither
>> they nor I get paid any extra for giving them.
>Are you on straight salary? Is vaccination part of your job description?

Yup.  And no production incentives either.  And my job description is

>What would happen if you stopped giving vaccines?

What would happen would be that my corps of patients would be
undervaccinated, and would probably find other doctors to vaccinate

However, when the rotavirus vaccine became available, I delayed
initiation of the vaccine because I am a believer in the old adage,
"Never be the first to prescribe a new drug or the last to stop
prescribing an old one."  I waited this one out, and it turns out it
was a good move on my part.  I didn't have any parents complaining to
me about not getting the rotavirus vaccine, that's for sure.

>My mailman might say that he is not being paid extra to
>deliver the mail. Nevertheless, his job is to deliver the mail,
>and that is what he is being paid for.
>So I'd like to understand your claim better. Are you giving
>vaccines in your spare time? Would your patients go away
>happy if they did not get vaccines?

Probably not, since, despite what you think, most people who bring
their infants to me do so specifically for their "shots."

>> Now, what were our ulterior motives, beyond the welfare of the
>> patients and the community-at-large, in vaccinating those kids, I
>> wonder?
>We are making progress. Before you refused to admit that the
>welfare of the community-at-large (as Sessions suggested) was
>a motive.

When did I "refuse to admit" that?  I said when I give a vaccine to a
child, it is solely for the welfare of that child.  My practice of
encouraging universal vaccination is for the community.

To answer my own question, which you ignored:  The motive you implied
was that we DEVIOUS doctors individually profit from vaccinating more
children, when I do not, and that it is our primary motivation, when
it is not.  In fact, we would probably be busier and have more
inpatient beds filled if we had more pertussis.  And the Haemophilus
influenzae type b vaccine has made meningitis from this organism
almost completely unheard of during this last decade.  Hospitalization
for meningitis is a big money-maker, especially if it involves ICU
care.  And think of the long-term expenses, such as hearing aids,
wheelchairs, physical therapy, scoliosis surgery... you name it!
Don't you think we'd prefer not to vaccinate, then, if there were some
grand conspiracy?

The bottom line is that you fools don't know a thing about what you're
talking about, because you do not work in the health care industry and
get all your "information" from anti-vaccine propagandists.  I am a
health care professional, and when I tell you the truth about our
motivations, you have the gall to question me and continue to imply
that you know more about my personal motivations than I do.  Not only
is it insulting, but it makes you look ridiculous.

Jonathan R. Fox, M.D.

From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Greedy GP's vaccine ploy
Date: 5 Feb 2000 08:04:21 GMT

In <> T D Laing <>
>Let's see:  currently children are vaccinated for pertussis, diphtheria,
>tetanus, polio, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella, Hib and varicella.
>I count 10 diseases there, not 21.  If you talk numbers of needles, the
>21 number is probably closer but still a bit off--for example my daughter
>received all her required shots and got only 9 needles because of the
>combined vaccines used (DTPaP/Hib, MMR, HepB.  She'll have had 11 needles
>when she gets her DPTaP booster and varicella vaccine.  They're looking
>to combine HepB in with the DTPaP/Hib to further reduce the number.)

    You'll have to give the devil his due, though, and admit that the
lack of knowledge about effectiveness of combination of commercial
vaccines is mostly due to regulatory/market failure.  We have a very
screwed up society in which such combo products cannot be licenced on
the basis of a few simple tests for antibodies, once the vaccines have
been shown individually effective.  We know that independent activity
is the rule, loss of potency is the rare exception, and that antibody
tests catch most of those.  Remaining doubt is down at the level of
rational skepticism that findings with one group of kids apply to (say)
some other group, chosen on a different basis in a different locale.
Anything can bite you inductively; doesn't matter how many studies have
been done.  The question is: where do you quit?  And what are the

From: (Jonathan R. Fox)
Subject: Re: Vaccines--the money incentive
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2000 00:24:31 GMT

On Thu, 10 Feb 2000 08:39:27 -0000, "John"
<> wrote:
>"A young Australian lady, living in England, organized one of my many
>seminars there and told me that her father told her "go to Viera's seminars
>and do not vaccinate your children.  All those ear infections, and problems
>like glue ear, are caused by vaccination".  When I asked her who is her
>father, she said "he is an ENT specialist in Brisbane, Australia". I also
>asked her whether he tells other parents to do the same thing.  This is not
>a singular example of the dishonesty of the vaccination system that they are
>afraid to take their own medicine."---Viera Scheibner

Your dipshit friend Scheibner obviously hasn't noticed that we have
developed a pneumococcal vaccine that prevents ear infections.  Coming
soon to a doctor's office near you.

I'm excited about it, personally.  It will reduce the number of office
visits and antibiotic prescriptions for ear infections, and lower the
incidence of mastoiditis and meningitis.  Of course, Schlafly would
have us believe we would rather suppress knowledge about this vaccine
because, as everyone knows, we pediatricians all make millions on ear

Jonathan R. Fox, M.D.

From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: scientists don't know how vaccines work
Date: 8 Aug 2000 09:54:20 GMT

In <8mnoht$d4b$> "CBI"
<> writes:
>You are absolutely correct. We don't fully understand it. We do know that
>they do work before using them widely and we constantly try to learn more
>about how they work in order to improve them. I don't think anyone ever
>claimed to know all the details.
>CBI, M.D.

   Remember also that "how vaccines work" differs from virus to virus.
Antibodies work to prevent INITIAL viral infection in most viruses. In
a few (HepB comes to mind) they assist viral control in active
infection. In most viruses they don't help much with that;
agammaglobulinemia people get all kinds of viral infections but don't
have a bad time with most.  Finally, with retroviruses, antibodies
don't help much with immunity, and overall may help or hinder the
active proliferation phase (it's complex). So it's silly to imagine
that scientists would understand a process which differs so much for
each pathogen.

From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: scientists don't know how vaccines work
Date: 9 Aug 2000 09:41:51 GMT

In <8mr374$9ec$> "John"
<> writes:
>Steven B. Harris <> wrote in message
>> >That is false for starters, and if you don't know fully how the immune
>> >system works how can you say vaccines are not an experiment?
>> >
>> >John
>>    If you can't say what the precise effect is, of every different kind
>>    of food and combination of food, on your health, how can you say
>>    that *lunch* isn't an experiment?
>We have been eating for millions of years (unless you are an atheist)
>so we know what foods we are meant to eat.

  Tell it to the vegetarians and the cowmilk phobiacs.  You eat all
your foods raw, I take it?

>  If you can provide the studies to show
>measles isn't a necessary process for the child to go through.

   If you can provide the studies that going as fast as 30 mph in an
automobile is not so unnatural that it will ruin your health.  That
listening to recorded music will eventually cause more brain disease in
old age.  That watching those flickering movies leads children to have
more seizures than they did in the days before the motion picture
projector.  That your computer won't give you leukemia (prove it
won't).  One can always play hysteric before the prospect of a new
technology.  It's easy. But the rest of us would rather have progress.
So would you, apparently, writing on your computer and posting to
usenet. If you held all new things to the standards that you do
advances in medicine, you'd have to be Amish.  But here you are, a
selective Luddite on the nets.  Hypocrite.

From: "Steve Harris" <>
Subject: Re: Vaccine science reviewed
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2003 16:21:11 -0800
Message-ID: <b58d5m$i73$>

"Roger Schlafly" <> wrote in message

> That is debatable, for various reasons. Rubella and chickenpox are very
> mild, and do not pose a significant threat to the lives of children.

The threat is to the lives of children that haven't been
born yet, but will be.

>Wild polio is as rare as smallpox in the western hemisphere. (The only
>people getting polio are getting it from the oral polio vaccine.)

Not true about it being as rare as smallpox. There was an
outbreak among unvaccinated Canadians in a religious
community as recently as 1979, which puts polio in our
hemisphere long after wild smallpox was gone everywhere.

The argument that we don't need polio vacination because
wild polio is rare, is like arguing against fire codes
because nobody you know has died in a fire. Just as soon as
enough people grew up unvaccinated, wild polio would be back
in the West as fast as passenger jets could bring it. Who
the hell cares about "hemispheres"? The 1979 Canadian
outbreak was transmitted by jet across the Atlantic by
unvaccinated members of the same idiot religion, practising
in the Netherlands and visiting relatives in Canada.

>Hepatitis B is not a threat to newborn babies, unless the mom is HBV+.

No, but how long do you want to delay? I can remember
getting blood from cuts of friends on me at a pretty early
age at school. Hep B is one of those things you really don't
want to delay past the age where the child starts to run and
play with other children.

Spammers are not welcome. I welcome email
from all non-advertisers who can fix my email
address (it's open book).

From: "Steve Harris" <>
Date: Mon, 9 Jun 2003 09:50:00 -0700
Message-ID: <bc2drn$pm1$>

<> wrote in message
> (smith) wrote:
> >Hi, I spoke once with a doctor (i.e. a bonafide
> >medical doctor) who told me that when he was a child,
> >he grew up in a poor town in the south, and that anytime
> >there was an outbreak of any type of disease, his mother
> >would take him to where it was, and get him infected.
> I'm skeptical.  People were afraid of infectious diseases. No sane
> person went around looking for it.  Even 50 years ago that probably
> would have been considered criminal.
> >I remember him telling me, that when he would go donate
> >plasma, that it took a very long time, because of all the
> >antibodies in his system. I wondered if someone could comment
> >on this also.
> He's pulling your leg.

Not entirely. Not for the world of 1950 without childhood
disease vaccines for the common and not very morbid

At that time, for otherwise healthy children (note the
caveat) this practice actually made sense for diseases like
rubella, measles, chickenpox, and mumps, which are quite
benign in 5 year olds, but get worse (more apt to produce
complications) the older the child is when he/she contracts
them. So better sooner than later. This is particularly true
of rubella (which produces no problems unless you get it
first when you're pregnant) and mumps (which produces its
worse side effects in post pubescent males). If you took
your kid to a chickenpox party at age 5 she was much less
likely to get lasting facial skin scars than if she didn't
get it until college.

So this was a pretty good policy for these diseases in the
days before there were vaccines for them.

And then there was polio. True, it sometimes produced
"infantile paralysis" but only very rarely. The real
outbreak of severe paralysis happened in countries where
kids didn't get it until they were old enough to swim and
play with their peers. In the case of the isolated
richy-rich kids like FDR who didn't really contact the hoi
poloi until his twenties, the consequences were disasterous.
Still, because of the possibilities of complications even in
the youngest of children, I know of no deliberate attempts
to infect small children with wild polio. In the days before
the vaccine that just happened naturally (and salubriously,
on the whole) in developing countries with bad sewage and
water systems.


From: Steve Harris <>
Subject: Re: More Flu Vaccine Delays: Please BEG -- NOT!
Date: 25 Oct 2005 14:44:02 -0700
Message-ID: <> wrote:
> I wish some of these anti-vaccine types would stroll through a 19th
> century cemetery, as I have, and observe the number of children's
> tombstones.  Even in a small rural cemetery, you'll see the graves of
> groups of children, usually under ten years old, who died within a few
> weeks of each other when a childhood disease  like diphtheria or
> smallpox went through a community.  I've also seen part of an urban
> cemetery register from 1837.  Most were infants and children who died of
> infectious diseases now rare because of vaccines, and young women dead
> in childbirth or from childbed fever, often recorded as buried "and her
> child with her".
> In the 19th century, it was a lucky family that raised more than half
> its children to adulthood, and the same is still true in many parts of
> the world.  Bad sanitation accounts for many of those deaths (infants
> and young children died in droves from "flux") but most of the rest
> were due to vaccine-preventable diseases and their sequelae.


True indeed. Anybody who's walked though a 19th century cemetary and
paid attention to dates, will be shocked to the socks. Of course, you
have to be able to subtract two numbers, so John and his ilk may not
have benefited.

There's a lot of talk about better "sanitation" being responsible for
the vast decline in infection deaths in this century, but at most, that
is only half the story. People of the 19th-century people did know
about soap-- what they lacked was chlorinated drinking water and modern
sewage treatment plants. Even so, that technology mainly stops deaths
due to water-borne pathogens like polio and all the things that cause
infant diarrhea.

By contrast (the other half of the story) for epidemic deaths from
airborne pathogens like flu, diphtheria, measles, "whooping cough" and
the like, water-sanitation helps a little, but is not the answer, or
the explanation.  The reason we hardly see these things any more, is
vaccination. The reason death rates from these things were declining,
even before vaccines arrived, is better medical care. We know that,
because case-rates for repiratory-spread bugs didn't change much, until
vaccines arrived. People still got sick, but more of them survived.
Now, however, you don't even see the illness.

Example. I've worked in many a teaching hospital and county hospital
and I've seen some odd infectious things for the US, including tetanus
and even malaria (a patient newly arived from Liberia). But I've never
seen a case of diptheria, which is far less common than tetanus. This
near-disappearance of diptheria is not because in the last 50 years
people started to wash their hands and treat their sewage. That's not
how diptheria ever spread, anyway. People still caugh when they get
ill, and that is how diphtheria spreads. "Hygeine" gets proper credit
for many things, but any award here, is undeserved. Sick kids do still
cough, in the US.  However, these days, the only places where diptheria
rages are poorer Latin America countries where people don't get
vaccinated, and places like the Russian federation where public
prevention has broken down since the central government fell apart.


From: (Steve Harris
Subject: Re: Advice on Paracetamol is Unscientific and Unsafe
Date: 23 Sep 2004 10:52:29 -0700
Message-ID: <>

"Jeff" <> wrote in message
> "john" <> wrote in message
> news:cis76m$1rf$
> > Same as Tylenol in the US
> >
> >
> Illegally copied material deleted.
> I basically agree with the article.  Unless the fever is going to harm your
> child (like if you child gets febrile seizures or have a real high fever),
> then there is no need to give medicine to lower his fever.
> Jeff


Jeff: Yes, but you missed the subtext of the article, which is a
deliberate blurring of the dangers of treating the fever in a live
infection, and treating the fever from a non-live vaccine (like
meningococcus B).

The article says:

>>It has been known for over a decade that routine administration of
antipyretics such as paracetamol may interfere with the clinical
evaluation of patients with infections, such as meningitis, that their
use may prolong infection and reduce the antibody response in mild
disease [and presumably following vaccination], and increase morbidity
and mortality in severe infection.<<


That phrase "presumably following vaccination" is the bullshit part.
Not proven. Makes sense as a good hypothesis for live vaccines such as
MMR, but a pretty long inference and may very well not be true when it
comes to an antigen vaccine like meningococcal B vaccines.

The article continues:

>>So why is the Ministry of Health advising parents to give children
paracetamol for "slight fevers" up to 39°C following vaccination with
meningococcal B vaccination... [even fevers as low as 37.5°C] when
there is no evidence to support such use -- and it can do harm?<<

Comment: What harm would it do? The unwary reader might assume that
the meningococcal B vaccine might cause meningitis (so lack of fever
might interfere with clinical evaluation). But the vaccine cannot
cause meningitis, so the point is irrelevent. As is also the point
about "morbidity and mortality in severe infection."  The
meningococcal vaccine can't cause any kind of infection, severe or
otherwise.  In sort, there's no particular reason to think the advice
to use Tylenol/paraceamol when they get vaccinated with meningococcal
vaccine, is bad advice. Probably it will make children with high
fevers from meningococcal vaccine, more comfortable.

The question of whether or not to use antifebrile drugs in
vaccinations with live viruses which DO causes (mild) infections, is
another matter worthy of debate and further clinical study. But this
article contributes nothing to that debate because it's too ignorant
to even draw any distinctions between types of vaccines. And it's
chosen the wrong type here, as a fulcrum issue.

The acticle continues:

>>There is also no scientific evidence that antipyretics prevent febrile
convulsions... it's all part of medical folklore that the Ministry advice
is based on.<<

Comment: Indeed, the preponderance of evidence probably supports a
lack of effectiveness of antipyretics in preventing febrile seizures.
Recent reviews of available good randomized studies (of which there
are only about 4) suggest no effect. This is counterintuitive, and
deserves to be more widely known. But presenting it in the context of
how to treat kids with fevers after a vaccination in which they have
no infection, is not the way to do it. Such treatment may be confort
based, and while it might not prevent convusions, there's no reason to
think it does any harm, either.

On the other hand, when an active infection with a live organism is
going on, whether from a vaccination or natural disease, the role of
antipyretics should be re-evaluated. It's indeed very possible they do
more harm than good, overall. It's just a shame this question wasn't
raised by the article in a relevent context, such as vaccination by
MMR, or in children suffering natural viral or bacterial illnesses.
Meningococcal B vaccination is the wrong place to even bring the
subject up.


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