Flu woo, immuno-woo, and vaccine woo–all in one!11!

Once again, I’m migrating more popular posts from the old blog. If this is a repeat for you, sorry. –PalMD
Wow. I mean, wow. I was googling some flu information, and one of the first hits was so fundamentally wrong about all matters medical that I actually felt ill. The dangerous title is “Building a Child’s Immunity the Natural Way“. It’s wasn’t clear to me what this meant, so I had to read the damned thing. It starts out pretty bad:

New Jersey’s Public Health Council gave its citizens a Christmas present that will not please the health-conscious, as it became the first state in the nation to require flu shots for preschoolers.

So, if your “health-conscious”, you are against mandatory vaccination. Hmm…

Vaccines are dangerous for the health of any individual, but when administered to small children in their important developmental years, they are especially damaging. Medical “experts” have not even determined the correct dosages for small children, who in this regard are not just small adults. When we talk about daycare, we are talking about babies as young as a few months of age. Additionally, not only do vaccines usually contain mercury, but many lack effectiveness and can cause problems with the development of the child’s natural immune system (emphasis mine).

Look, I’m not going to address all of the anti-vaccination canards present in this piece, other than refer you to other excellent sources. Two things really get me though: lies, and this “immunity” thing.

Even if the evidence of a relationship between vaccine use and autism is disregarded, there are more debilitating results of vaccine administration to children. Due to the availability of new health information, a growing number of scientists and doctors have realized the problems revealed by recent immunology research and have begun to challenge the foundational tenets of vaccination. Because it seems that vaccines have eradicated many diseases in the last 100 years, many doctors have been reticent to question them. Such claims have mainly been based on epidemic studies rather than on clinical evidence.

For example, Europe never used the polio vaccines, yet it experienced the same rise and fall of polio cases as did the U.S.

That, my dear reader, is a lie. OK, if you are being generous, it is just ignorance, but I find it hard to be generous, given a 3 second stop at google will take you over to the World Health Organization and explain its polio eradication campaign in Europe. After a lie like that, it’s hard to believe anything that follows.

Also, many diseases that were believed to be wiped out have re-appeared under different names. As an example, spinal meningitis and polio have almost the same exact symptoms. There have never been any studies that proved the vaccines actually did cause the eradication of any disease; it has only been assumed by the fact that that the epidemics seemed to have ceased. The CDC uses the concept that a relationship does not prove causality to downplay the autism-thimerosal link, yet ironically, they don’t apply the same standard to the relationship between vaccination usage and the end of an epidemic.

That isn’t just “moving the goalposts“; that’s digging them up, burning them, and scattering the ashes. We all know epidemiologic studies have their limitations, but it’s pretty clear to the scientific community, beyond a reasonable doubt, that vaccines successfully prevent disease. (By the way, “spinal meningitis” and polio are completely unalike, and, believe it or not, we actually have tests to tell us what organism is causing an infection. Welcome to the early 20th century!)

All vaccines depress our immune functions. The chemicals in the vaccines depress our immune system; the virus present depresses immune function; and the foreign DNA/RNA from animal tissues depresses immunity. Studies have found that some metabolic functions were significantly reduced after vaccinations were given and did not return to normal for months. Other indicators of immune system depression included reduced lymphocyte viability, neutrophil hyper-segmentation, and a reduced white cell count. So we are trading a small immune depression for immunity to one disease, our only defense against all known disease for a temporary immunity against one disease, usually an innocuous childhood disease. Vaccines have been linked to AIDS and other immunodeficient disorders as well. The trade-off is not at all fair and not worth the risk.

Wow. This is so damned stupid. And dangerous. First, what does this phrase “immune depression” mean? I don’t know. They do give a hint futher down, throwing around big words like “neutrophil hypersegmentation” but that’s pretty meaningless as an observation, and without references is completely useless. Then the nice scare tactic of vaccines and AIDS. Nice. Really nice. OK, time to explain how vaccines actually work.

Vaccines and the Immune System

This is really cool…much cooler than the cultists would like you to believe. It is teh über-kool. And please forgive the over-simplification.

We need an example: let’s take polio vaccine—you know, the one they never used in Europe when the WHO wiped out polio in Europe. We have two choices, but the one we use the most in N.A. and Europe is the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV). Both of the polio vaccines have advantages and disadvantages, but hey, I only have so much time.

To make IPV, polio viruses are grown in the lab, then “inactivated” with a chemical. This renders them non-infectious. Then they are injected under the skin, which is where the fun starts…

When the inactivated viruses enter the tissues, immune cells patrolling the area detect foreign chemicals, usually proteins. (Viruses are not living organisms, but basically little bits of RNA or DNA and protein.) These cells engulf the invading viruses, process the parts, and actually display them on their surface, like a sign. Other cells (T-cells) come by, and if any of them happens to be able to read this sign, they get very excited. These cells, by various mechanisms, pass the news of the specific invader on to B-cells, which then mature and start making antibodies that are specific to the polio virus. This takes a few weeks. After this initial introduction of polio to the immune system, the antibody reaction dies down, and a few of these now-polio-specific B-cells go into hibernation in the spleen, lymph nodes, gut, and other nooks and crannies.

Let’s fast forward a few years. You are about to go on your dream vacation to Uganda. You’ve been warned about sporatic cases of polio in the area. You have every intention of avoiding unpurified water and uncooked foods, but nobody’s perfect. One night at dinner you accidentally eat the salad. They guy who made the salad just returned from the outhouse, which doesn’t have a sink. Eww. In his stool were some polioviruses. These were deposited on his hands, then into your salad, and ultimately into your gut. I hope it was a good salad.

When the virus reaches the gut, it latches onto the intestine. Some of your immune cells recognize it, and start the same process that happened when you were vaccinated. Except you have those clever little “memory B-cells” left over from your vaccination, so instead of the immune reaction taking weeks to ramp up, it takes hours. Your B-cells start dividing and producing antibodies and secreting various important chemicals. The antibodies mark cells infected with polio with a big sign that says “kill me”, and the soldiers of the immune system march in and do just that.

If it weren’t for your vaccine, the antibody response would have taken too long, and you would have become infected. Chances are you would get lucky and suffer nothing worse than a “stomach flu”. Or you could end up paralyzed.

So, when I read idiotic trash like the above article, I get really, really mad. All these years of science, medicine, and public health pumped into the sewer in favor of cult medicine bullshit. They should be ashamed. But of course, they have no shame.