Friday, February 21, 2014

Fordham University - Mumps

As reported in the NY Post (see #1 below) Fordham University is experiencing what is presumed to be an outbreak of mumps - per the article (citing a university statement, so an actual person may not have interviewed) this has not actually been confirmed by lab testing, so the diagnosis is based on clinical exam/symptoms/history; The university statement cited by the article is accurate and non-inflammatory in what it says, as it acknowledges all the cases occurred in vaccinated students due to university requirements for admission - and likewise states that vaccination does not guarantee immunity from this, or any, infectious disease. The university statement also notes that "Mumps in college-age men and women usually runs its course without any lasting effects. They also took measures to quarantine/isolate those affected and clean common areas.

All of the above begs the question as to why mandatory vaccination is even necessary? Is the risk of vaccination worth any risk reduction for an illness that is generally mild and self-limiting, which rarely results in complications (especially if it happens in children rather than adults).

What's essentially unknown at this point in time is if this cohort had not been vaccinated early in their life (and it is unknown how many Fordham University students had been vaccinated with the MMR as children and then again prior to matriculation) ... but if they had not been vaccinated and had contracted Mumps as a child (when the risks of additional complications are a bit lower compared to infection as an adult - especially if a child is generally healthy and well nourished, immuno-competent, and does not have any pre-existing health problems, #2), then their risk of contracting this may well have been even lower, as "natural" spontaneous infection with "wild" (ie: not a vaccine manufactured strain) produces a different, and generally more robust level of protection (as opposed to the risk reduction of a vaccine). Those born prior to 1957 are presumed to be immune ... because they were more likely to have had the infection as children.

Because the vaccine for mumps in only available as a tri-valent vaccine (3 antigens - MMR,
measles, mumps, rubella) it is more difficult to determine what causes any adverse reaction or outcome from the vaccine - which of the three antigens, or which of the adjuvents or other ingredients (or preservatives) or which combination thereof contributed to any undesired

The use of vaccines may well have begun a round robin from which many want to get off.
Receipt of a vaccine may offer temporary risk reduction against contracting an infection, but then obligates the receiver to a lifetime of re-vaccination in order to maintain whatever level of risk reduction they may have obtained from vaccination - this absolutely benefits the makers of vaccines. It is not at all clear how much this benefits those receiving them, especially if they need continual "boosters";

Vaccination is not protection, it is risk reduction.
Vaccination is not immunity.
Any benefit is temporary.
Vaccination is not free of risk.

Those at risk should be free to decide what risk they are willing to live with ... if they want to avoid the risks of vaccination (which are real, but generally not acknowledged) and are willing to accept the risk of becoming ill (and the smaller risk of complications if they contract the infection), then they should not be compelled to take the vaccine.

If a person feels the benefit of risk reduction from the vaccine is greater than the risk of vaccination (and is willing to accept that they may get sick from the infection regardless of vaccination) then they should get the vaccine.



Thursday, February 06, 2014

Lopsided liability

Two links today ... #1 is in response to a post alleging that the un-vaccinated should be held responsible for disease outbreaks (see link #2). The initial editorial was posted in May 2013, but the response (#1) is not dated;

How is it that the un-vaccinated could be held responsible for disease outbreaks while the manufacturers and providers of vaccines are legally immune (pun intended) from any adverse consequences of vaccines? One of the reasons people decline vaccination is concern about known and unknown risks of vaccines and their ingredients.

If groups insist on regulating an individual choice through mandate (ie: compulsory vaccination), then where will it end? This started with tobacco and has become increasingly intrusive, and virtually none of this was done through the free market. And even with the use of multiple legal, compulsory tools of the state (ie: banning smoking in private business/property, taxing the product, regulating advertisement, etc) it has taken >50 years to decrease smoking significantly population wide - people resist manipulation. There is no way to know what might have occurred if different tactics had been used - tactics based on a free market ... the marketplace of ideas.

It seems the only area where we have free choice is sex - and then anything goes, regardless of cost to the individual or group. Liability for spreading an STI (sexually transmitted infection) - virtually non-existent. Make a baby but you're not married - no problem, big Daddy government will step in and feed the baby (WIC/Food Stamps), provided medical coverage (Medicaid), housing (Section 8), and cash (TANF/EITC). Birth control is encouraged instead of self-control, with baby killing as a convenient back-up.

People are smart and should be able to freely choose if they will take part in a medical intervention ... and people who freely choose to take, or not take said medical intervention can and will live with the results, for good or ill. None of us lives in a vacuum, and ultimately we all benefit or are harmed by the choices we each make - and we should all be free to make decisions about our health without being manipulated or coerced.



Saturday, February 01, 2014

Follow the conflict of interest ... if you can

This link is to a 2011 article detailing a variety of conflicts of interest regarding the controversy surrounding Dr. Andrew Wakefield's research into the gastro-intestinal symptoms seen in many children diagnosed with autism. There is far more to this, and his story, than what is detailed in this link, but I think the information is very relevant ... not just to MMR vaccine, but to all vaccines (you can search the blog to see previous posts about this);