The vaccine package insert paradox

The anti-vaccine movement presents a beautiful case-study in inconsistent reasoning and logical contradictions. One of the most entertaining and important of these contradictions comes from their treatment of vaccine package inserts. If you have ever spent any time debating anti-vaccers, then you have, no doubt, encountered these inserts. They list adverse events that were reported during vaccine testing, and anti-vaccers are adamant that these inserts provide clear evidence that vaccines are, in fact, dangerous. As I will explain, however, this argument is inconsistent with other core anti-vaccine arguments, and the presence of adverse events in the package inserts actually provides strong evidence against the vast global conspiracy that anti-vaccers envision (and, indeed, that their position requires).

blue stick figure white vaccine package insert paradox anti-vaccerFirst, it is important to clarify exactly what the adverse events on vaccine package inserts actually are, because anti-vaccers constantly get this wrong. They are not side effects that have been confirmed to be caused by vaccines. Rather, they simply include any adverse event that was reported during vaccine testing, regardless of whether or not the vaccine was the cause. For example, if, during testing, a child developed a fever from something completely unrelated to the vaccine, fever would still get listed as an adverse event (remember, saying “A happened before B, therefore A caused B” is a logical fallacy known as post hoc ergo propter hoc). In other words, the package inserts contain a lengthy list of anecdotes, and anecdotes are not evidence of causation. If you actually take a careful look at the lists, you should be able to convince yourself of this pretty easily. For one thing, many of the items on these lists (such as autism) have been carefully studied and repeatedly shown to have no causal relationship with vaccines. Further, the lists contain things like teething, and I doubt that even the most ardent anti-vaccer is willing to blame vaccines for teething (thus we get our first logical contradiction, because they are cherry-picking which adverse events to blame vaccines for). Finally, the package inserts themselves clearly state that the items on these lists have not been shown to be caused by vaccines. So, once again, anti-vaccers are being logical inconsistent because they are only believing the part of the package insert that agrees with their preconceptions. Just to prove that I’m not making this up, here is a quote from the Tripedia DTaP vaccine insert (an insert that anti-vaccers frequently cite; my emphasis).

“Events were included in this list because of the seriousness or frequency of reporting. Because these events are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequencies or to establish a causal relationship to components of Tripedia vaccine.”

There is, however, a more serious contradiction, and it is the one that I want to focus on. Anti-vaccers insist that “big pharma” knows that vaccines are dangerous and are just covering it up for the sake of money. For that claim to actually work, however, you also need governmental regulatory agencies and pretty much all of the world’s scientists to be willing to cover up evidence of the dangers of vaccines as well. Thus, anti-vaccers are forced to concoct a vast conspiracy in which pharmaceutical companies lie constantly and have bought off the FDA, CDC, independent scientists, etc. Now, if all of that is true, then riddle me this, Batman, why would those lying companies publish a list of adverse events that has to be approved by the corrupt FDA?

Really think about this for a second. In the same breath, anti-vaccers will tell you that Big Pharma is lying to cover up the truth about vaccines and publishing a list that proves that vaccines are dangerous. Those two views are incompatible. If these companies are actually willing to buy off major government organizations and most of the world’s scientists, then why on earth would they undo all of that by publishing a list of harmful things that vaccines cause? (note: even though these lists don’t actually show causation, they are still clearly not in the pharmaceutical companies’ best interests, more on that in a minute)

You might try to worm your way out of this by arguing that Big Pharma doesn’t want to publish these lists, but the FDA forces them to. If that is your response, however, then you are correct that this is what is happening, but you are wrong that it helps your position. You see, if you argue that the FDA is forcing Big Pharma to do this, they you have just undercut the notion that Big Pharma bought off the FDA, and that is a huge problem for you. The FDA demands evidence that things are safe before it will approve them, so the only way that Big Pharma is going to be able to push “TOXIC” vaccines is if they have bought off the FDA, but if they bought off the FDA, then how is the FDA forcing them to publish these lists? Do you think that the FDA is ok with poisoning children just so long as the company prints a list of adverse events on the package insert? That makes no sense.    

A second approach would be to claim that companies are only publishing those lists to avoid lawsuits, but there are two problems with this argument. First, these lists are not standard warning lists, so it’s not actually clear to me that they would do much in a legal setting. Second, and more importantly, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) was set up precisely so that people could seek compensation for “vaccine injuries” while protecting companies from expensive lawsuits. In other words, companies are already protected from lawsuits by the VICP, so they don’t need a list to do that (note: the VICP is essentially a no fault system that does not require evidence that the vaccine actually caused the injury, so it also doesn’t constitute evidence that vaccines are dangerous; details here).

Finally, you could try to get out of this mess with a shred of dignity by admitting that the lists don’t actually provide evidence that vaccines are dangerous. Although that it certainly the position that you should take, it actually doesn’t help you all that much, because a clear logical contradiction still remains. People respond incorrectly to labels all the time, and companies know this (that is why totally worthless labels like “organic” and “natural” are so common). Thus, even though these lists aren’t actually evidence against vaccines, people will (and clearly do) still view them that way, and pharmaceutical companies aren’t stupid. They know that people will miss-interpret those lists. Thus, publishing those lists is still bad for Big Pharma’s bottom line, which once brings us back to the question of why the companies publish them? I’m actually going to agree with anti-vaccers here, and agree that pharmaceutical companies would be more than happy to cover up anything that might hint that their products are dangerous. I’m under no delusions that pharmaceutical companies are benevolent entities setting out to bring about world peace and eternal youth. They are after money, plain and simple. Their greed is, however, kept in check by regulatory agencies like the FDA. In other words, we have once again arrived at the conclusion that companies publish these lists because the FDA requires them to do so. This is really important because, as I explained above, this is completely inconsistent with the notion that the FDA has been bought off by big companies, and if the FDA hasn’t been bought off by big companies, then you have no reason to think they aren’t actually doing their job and regulating pharmaceutical products.

To summarize all of this, the anti-vaccine movement relies on the notion that companies have bought off regulatory agencies like the FDA, because without that conspiracy, there is no explanation for the fact that agencies like the FDA approve vaccines. However, the FDA forces pharmaceutical companies to publish adverse events in the package inserts, even though doing so is bad for the companies. Herein lies the contradiction. If the FDA has been bought off, then how is it capable for forcing companies to publish these lists? These two things are incompatible with each other, and the fact that the FDA can force companies to publish these lists is clear evidence that the FDA controls the companies, not the other way around. Without a corrupt FDA, however, anti-vaccers’ conspiracy theory comes crashing down.

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27 Responses to The vaccine package insert paradox

  1. Joe says:

    You are wrong that “organic” and “natural” are same. Although the term “organic” can mean almost anything like “natural”, organic actually has a specific meaning in terms of food. This means not grown with synthetic chemicals and etc. which is a specific and real difference, regardless of if you agree of it’s value or not.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TK says:

      It just says they’re worthless as labels, which they are.


      • voodoobike says:

        The “label” tells you what it is. A label is useful as one word to describe something rather than saying, “grown with non synthetic pesticides.” and etc. How else would it work conveniently as one word?


    • Aaron says:

      In theory you are correct, but the thing is these so called “organic” crops have herbicides sprayed on them all the time, the only difference being that the herbicides used here are not regulated like more common ones e.g. glyphosate. I would trust glyphosate any day over some other unknown/unregulated herbicidal agents. “Organic” is a sham – don’y buy into it.


      • Stuartg says:

        Several years ago I saw a documentary where an Australian farmer was removing less than perfect appearing carrots from his crop. His reason was simple: he could sell the deformed carrots for significantly more if he labelled them as “organic”.

        I never buy “organic” if there’s an alternative.


    • Ariane Beldi says:

      A specific and real difference? How is a synthetic chemical different from a non-synthetic chemical? Can you tell us how you differentiate between a molecule that has been synthesized in a lab and the same molecule produced without human help, by a plant, for instance?


    • Fallacy Man says:

      I never said that they are the same, only that they are worthless, and I stand by that, because those labels tell you nothing about how healthy or even environmentally friendly those products are. The article that I linked to in the text explains in more detail.


  2. voodoobike says:

    My original comment just meant that natural and organic should not be described as both being meaningless since the natural is meaningless and organic is not. Semantics, sure, but your post it all about properly describing things.


    • Ariane Beldi says:

      Organic is actually meaningless among the general public, as very few people will be able to actually tell you what it really means. Most people think that organic describes crops that have been grown without any chemicals and even crops that pretty much grow by themselves and farmers just have to harvest them when they are rip! Thus, most people don’t realize that organic agriculture still allow hundreds of pesticides and that farmers often need to use them in higher quantities and more frequently than farmers using conventional pesticides.So, it is very funny when you have proponents of organic agriculture looking for traces of synthetic pesticides on fruits and vegetables or cereals, but never interested in checking out whether there are traces of “natural” “organic” pesticides on them!

      People also think that organic means healthier and more tasty food than conventional food. The problem is these qualities don’t depend on the type of agriculture but on the characteristics of the breed and the time of harvest as well as the method of conservation.


      • voodoobike says:

        Agreed, the organic lable does not necessarily mean food grown this way is going to taste better, be healthier for humans and the environment. Yet as far as what methods farmers use, it depends. USDA Organic is so watered down that there are only a few differences from “conventional” agriculture. Oregon Tilth on the other hand is an example of how standards can be more specific as far as what fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides are used. So perhaps some organic farming is better. Yet overall, it’s doesn’t mean that much in the larger scheme of agriculture. In this is more about how humans grow food and possible implications which we should all be aware. In specific instances, there has been evidence of man-made and petroleum based chemical residues which again, may or may not be harmful for human consumption or the environment. It must be understood that science does not always have an answer for the long term is effects. There is more to the story and debate on not just GMO safety, yet effectiveness. Some say GMOs increase yields, some say not. There is the issue of agriculture CO2 emissions and climate change. There are issues with using substances that have proven to cause harm to humans and the environment only after evidence in the long term, such as DDT, Alar in apples and possibly Nictinoids and Glyphosate. I think that writing the whole thing off as “worthless” is missing the point of why we should not be so accepting of putting any man-made chemical on our food and in the environment without question since science does not assure safety and viability right off the bat. There is also the issue of natural gas fertilizers how they revolutionized agriculture in corn as a base crop for and what that means for the future sustainability. There is a much more important story behind all this. Sure the specific question of the consumer buying organic food is one thing, yet I tend to not be so specific perhaps even so narrow minded about this issue in particular.


  3. Doobie Pagoda says:

    Your error in logic is in believing that the FDA is a monolithic entity with (a) perfectly distributed, uniform knowledge through its entire operation and (b) only a single mind directing all of its actions and policies. In fact, the FDA has thousands of employees, each of whom is unaware of what most of the others are doing. So it is perfectly plausible to postulate that some FDA departments have been “bought” by the pharmaceutical industry while others haven’t. The former are the ones who help push vaccines, while the latter impose the requirement for listing adverse events on the insert. This isn’t difficult to understand.


    • While it is quite possible that individuals can and will be bought off (see doctors promoting cigarettes long ago), it is another things to assume that whole “departments” are bought off. This assumes a “Serpico” style of living, which doesn’t hold water the longer you let it try to hold it. But, in the interest of science, here we go.

      Big pharma company “Acme”, fresh from making its Super Speed Pills for a certain coyote for special testing out in the Arizona desert, has decided to market them as a diet pill for lonely matriarchs in Schenectady and East Saint Louis. They saw from drone-mounted surveillance cameras that the pills have some rather intense side effects if taken in quantities greater than zero pills per lifetime. So, they decide to buy off “a department” in the FDA. First, they send their corporate goons to approach a lonely employee in a basement garage somewhere in Baltimore, preferably far from the Gaylord, and convince them that they will get “A lot of dough, see, for helping us out, see? And if you don’t, see, you’ll meet the fishes, see?” Understandably perturbed, the mousy man in the tattered tweed goes home to his wife who is cooking meatloaf and potato buds over an open flame, and confesses his fearful encounter. Much to his surprise, she calmly agrees with the idea and mutters something about smearing the grooms withal. Slightly non-plussed, the lonely man returns to the designated location the Man with the Tall Hat said to meet him the following Saturday afternoon. There, they talk under the japanese cherry blossom trees, briefly about the fact that they both haven’t gotten much sleep recently, and get down to business. For a goodly sum of $1230.72 per year, they only ask for some edits to some copy that will come their way. They just have to remove all adverbs and trim anything that mentions “burrowing through rocks with one’s teeth and head.” Oh, and if anyone says anything to him about these edits, he has two choices: refer them to the Man With The Tall Hat (at +1 846 555 1212) or take them for a long walk along the Reflecting Pool. The mousy man accepts and soon his life changes. He’s got bling. He’s dumping’ Benjamins off da wall, and he be pimpin’ like ya gonna be a playa. yo. His co-workers notice his change of fashion sense, and quickly wonder about whether or not he didn’t play fair with the office Lotto pool. Soon, they are all showing up at work driving Pontiacs with moon-roofs with rich Corinthian leather. Because they are all having such a nice time, no one from HR notices. When the annual ethics certification training comes up, they laugh it up and pass the Dom around. Other departments, first the Athlete’s Foot Cream Safety Board and then the Enema Anthropic Exploratory Examination Group want in on some of that action. Acme obliges willingly to them all, lavishing them with gifts that would make even the most seasoned NASA employee wince. But, there’s one guy. Just one guy who comes in through the East Gate, Timothy, who drives a motorized bicycle down the causeway each day from South Padre Island, and makes his way up to Arlington every morning, who doesn’t see it. He’s much too busy with NPR’s podcasts from This American Life to notice the odd behavior coming in through the other door. This guy is handed all the copy for all the vaccine inserts. He asks his assistant Myrtle, the fetching gal in tortoise rims who’s one hot tomato, don’t cha know, whether or not these are serious, and why they’re always insisting on testing him from upstairs. She shrugs, as she always does, and without being asked gives him the labels from last year to insert. They both go off to lunch together and enjoy talking, not realizing that their young romance doesn’t fit their slightly older deportments. Myrtle doesn’t mind that Timothy’s a bit paunchy, and Timothy likes Myrtle’s sharp wit and extensive collection of swing music. So, the FDA trundles along all mutually oblivious. The head of the FDA, one Dr. Oliver Persimmon Callyoake, notices that Timothy and Myrtle are still filing reports in triplicate after all these years, as he puffs on a White Owl, and glances at USA Today.


      • Doobie Pagoda says:

        I started reading your reply but found it tedious and condescending. If you’d care to debate, please write up a précis of your argument, omitting the cryptic allusions and attempts at humour, and divide it into readable paragraphs. Then I’ll read it.


    • Fallacy Man says:

      First, you’re telling me that Big Pharma can only selectively buy off people? If they can buy off everyone else, why can’t they buy off the labeling? Think about what you’re saying here. You’re suggesting that they are powerful enough to buy off the people who are actually responsible for ensuring that the product is safe, but not powerful enough to buy off the pencil pushers who make sure that it is labeled correctly? Sure, that makes perfect sense (sarcasm).

      Further, all the different groups communicate and collaborate frequently, so you really do need everyone to be involved in this for this conspiracy to work. Otherwise, one group will realize the truth, reveal it, and the whole thing goes to crap.

      Finally, I’ll note that this type of shifting the goal posts is one of the fundamental problems with conspiracy theories. The whole thing is a massive assumption to begin with, so no matter what evidence is shown to the contrary, you can always twist or modify the conspiracy to work around the evidence rather than actually dealing with it. We can summarize this as follows:

      Anti-vaccer: Big Pharma has bought off the FDA
      Me: Here is evidence that the FDA controls pharmaceutical companies, not the other way around.
      Anti-vaccer: Well they haven’t bought off that particular part of the FDA, but trust me, they totally bought off the other parts.


      • Doobie Pagoda says:

        It has only been very recently that people started paying any attention to the vaccine inserts. Most people didn’t have a clue that such documents existed until vaccine critics started speaking up. So the pharmaceutical companies probably didn’t feel particularly threatened by having to put inserts in the packages because they knew that nobody–including doctors—was reading them. Now that the vaccine inserts are getting a lot of publicity, I would not be surprised to find that Pharma is working behind the scenes to get laws and regulations changed so that they will not have to put the inserts in the packages. Wait for it.

        But this means that they will have to cozy up to a different group of people than they are currently cozying up to. As I said earlier (but you ignored) there are many, many people employed in different parts of the FDA. The left hand frequently doesn’t usually know what the right hand is doing. That’s ALWAYS the way it is in large bureaucracies.

        I’m not saying that there is or was a group of incorruptible people in the FDA that Pharma “couldn’t” buy off. I’m just saying they never bothered to try, because it wasn’t an issue until recently. Nobody was reading or publicizing the inserts. Pharma focused its efforts on getting permission to sell the vaccines, which meant cozying up to the people in charge of approving them.

        I would suggest that you read the extensive literature on Public Choice Theory in the field of economics in order to understand why regulatory capture occurs.

        As far as massive evidence is concerned, there is already massive evidence of corruption within the FDA and the CDC. If you are unaware of this, you have lots of catching up to do. I hardly know where to start in directing you. You might try Part Four of the book “Thimerosal–Let the Science Speak”. That part is titled “Conflicts of Interest in Policymaking and Regulation”.

        Back as far as 1989, The Lancet published an article called “Corruption at the FDA” but unfortunately it’s behind a paywall.

        Here’s a 2013 article from Harvard University about corruption within the FDA:

        Please, just Google the terms “FDA corruption” and “CDC corruption” and don’t conclude that the massive amount of material you find there is all hooey posted by conspiracy theorists. There are sound, logical reasons why government agencies become corrupt. The interests of their individual employees do not coincide with the mission of the agencies.

        Pointing out things that you have overlooked does not constitute “shifting the goal posts”. That’s what debate is all about–bringing to your opponent’s attention things that he/she doesn’t seem to be aware of.


        • Fallacy Man says:

          You seem to be missing the point here, which is that you are making one assumption after another, and you keep piling them on in an increasingly intricate conspiracy without any actual evidence to support it. You are cherry picking when to invoke a conspiracy and when not to (again, that’s one of the problems with conspiracy theories: they can always contort themselves to work around evidence).

          Regarding corruption more generally, first, many of the accusations really are nothing more than conspiracy theory nonsense (the recent “CDC whistle blower” hysteria is an excellent example of this). In other cases, the science is extremely clear. For example, you mentioned thimerosal. I haven’t read that particular book, but I have read the peer-reviewed literature, a huge portion of which comes form independent scientists from all over the world. This is one of the key problems with these conspiracy theories. It wouldn’t be enough to buy off the FDA (or part of the FDA). You would need every regulatory body and essentially every scientist in a relevant field from every university in the world. It is an enormous assumption. Finally, I will fully grant you that money can influence policy and the FDA is not a perfect organization. However, the evidence does not support the type of wide spread corruption that you are asserting.

          Take the article you linked to, for example, there are too many things there for me to comment on all of them, but here are a few highlights. First, I’m pretty sure that the FDAs mandate is not to only approve drugs that are superior to existing drugs. Rather, their mandate is to approve drugs that work better than a placebo (which this article acknowledges that they do) and to make sure that they are safe. The definition of “safe” is a bit subjective though. For example, the article claims that, “One in every five drugs approved ends up causing serious harm” which sounds really bad, but when you actually go to the article that it cites, its not a case of regulatory agencies wantonly allowing dangerous products. Rather, the situation is that that there are serious side effects in a minority of cases, especially for people with certain other conditions, and that will always be true. Any real medicine will have side effects. That is the unavoidable trade off for having the wonderful medicines that have saved so many lives. So the fact that are side effects does not prove that the FDA is corrupt or isn’t doing it’s job. Of course there are side effects. Simply saying something like, “1 in 5 drugs will cause a serious side effect” is totally meaningless unless you also look at the rates of those side effects and compare that risk with the cost associated with not taking the drug.

          Your article also distorts things in other ways. For example, it says that prescription drugs are the 4th leading cause of death. That is, however, false. Medical errors are the fourth (possibly 3rd) leading cause of death, but that includes tons of things beyond prescription drugs, and also includes many people who died during botched surgeries/misdiagnoses/incorrect prescriptions, etc. who would also have died without any medical intervention of any type. More details here

          To put it simply, regulatory agencies are far beyond perfect, but there is simply no evidence for the type of all encompassing conspiracy that would be necessary for the type of vaccine cover-up that the anti-vaccine movement requires.

          (as a final note, I’m not at all convinced that arguments about package inserts are recent. I’m certainly willing to be wrong on that, but they have been around for the entire time that I have been involved in this debate [which is quite a few years now]).


          • Doobie Pagoda says:

            I have never suggested or believed that there is a conspiracy. My point is that the regulatory system of every country has the same systemic flaws. One is the problem of concentrated benefits and dispersed costs. This was pointed out decades ago by Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman.

            You really do need to understand Public Choice Theory. One fun way of learning it that wouldn’t require you to take a course in economics would be to watch old episodes of the British comedy series “Yes, Minister” and “Yes, Prime Minister” on YouTube. The writers of that show understood very well the concept of regulatory capture, and how misaligned incentives operate to make civil servants thwart the mission of the agencies that are supposed to act in the public interest. It’s a systemic problem, not one that relies upon “conspiracy” theory.

            However, I can foresee rapidly diminishing returns to continuing this conversation with you, and there’s no evidence that anyone else is reading, so I think it will be more rewarding to spend my time elsewhere. I’ll just recommend as my departing post several books that I have read over the past few months. You probably won’t read them, but you should, if you really want to understand the position of vaccine critics:

            Dissolving Illusions, by Dr. Suzanne Humphries & Roman Bystrianyk
            The Virus and the Vaccine, by Debbie Bookchin & Jim Schumacher
            Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak, by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
            Vaccine Epidemic, by Louise Kuo Habakus and Mary Holland

            Good luck.


    • Richard says:

      This may be news to you, but there are other countries in the world apart from the United States. Most of the western countries among those have their own, independent incarnation of the FDA, their own independent researchers, scientists, and paediatricians — and, yes, their own, independent version of a vaccine adverse events databases. And oh, several of those countries even have their own vaccine manufacturers.

      Miraculously, ALL of these independent organizations all over the world register similar effects of vaccination: similar levels of protection, similar side effects (both as observed during clinical trials and as reported through local VAERS organisations), and even similar anecdotal reports through both registered paediatricians on one side and networks of antivaccine activists on the other side.

      In my opinion, there can only be two explanations:
      1: All vaccine manufacturers are part of a secret cartel, and succeeded in establishing a worldwide conspiracy, paying off at least a million scientists, researchers, doctors, government officials and other closely involved parties to all publish the same, vaccine-friendly information, in order to trick approximately 100 million people each year into getting their children vaccinated. At approximately $100 per child, these vaccinations would generate 100,000,000 x 100 ~= $20 billion in annual turnover (i.e. 2% of the global annual turnover in the pharmaceutical marketplace — quite a realistic figure). Assuming that a hefty 10% of this sum is somehow diverted to bribing those 1 million people, this would mean that each and every one of those scientists, doctors etcetera all over the world would at most receive $2,000 annually to keep playing along. And that with not even a single one of them blowing the whistle, or even one accountant finding out about billions of dollars going amiss — and that for decade after decade.
      2: Vaccines simply do what they’re supposed to do, with the side effects as mentioned in the label, while still being monitored for safety and effectiveness by countless scientists, doctors and health officials, the independent reports of whom contribute to an ever larger evidence base showing that, yes, vaccines are both very effective, and very safe.

      But somehow, I feel that even this plea to common sense will not convince you. Ah well, so be it.


      • Doobie Pagoda says:

        Whatever made you think I live in the United States? I don’t.


      • Doobie Pagoda says:

        I will make just one final effort to educate you people, because I happened to read about this particular study this morning. Please read this:

        It’s a study showing that Infant Mortality Rates (IMRs) of various countries are correlated to the number of vaccine doses given in those countries. The US gives more vaccines than any other country in the world, yet has an appallingly high IMR. Here’s a quote from the abstract:
        “The mean IMRs of all nations within each group were then calculated. Linear regression analysis of unweighted mean IMRs showed a high statistically significant correlation between increasing number of vaccine doses and increasing infant mortality rates, with r = 0.992 (p = 0.0009).”

        You refer to an absence of whistleblowers, but this is just something you pulled out of thin air due to your own lack of research. There ARE whistleblowers who’ve blown the whistle against the CDC, and it’s not just Dr. William Thompson mentioned in the Vaxxed movie. There are others. Your ignorance of this fact is not proof it its truth.

        Some other countries such as Italy and Japan have withdrawn vaccines that are mandated in the US.

        The world is not all “ad idem” on the subject of vaccines.


        • Richard says:

          Neil Miller and Gary Goldman are “Men on a Mission”, i.e. the mission to show the world the Evil of Vaccines. Their “research” has long been debunked.
          Yes, US child mortality rates are far higher than most other western countries. But if you had done even the most superficial of research (e.g. finding the actual cause of death), you would have found that vaccines have nothing to do with this. The high infant mortality in the US is due to poor health care in general, in particular poor perinatal care and a failure of the health care system to cope with expensive congenital problems. This is a political problem that has nothing to do with vaccines.

          Please educate yourself before making a fool of yourself.


  4. cadxx says:

    We are told that if we take this or that vaccine, we may still get the complaint “but it will be a less serious infection”. This is just like cloud seeding – we don’t know if it was going to rain without the cloud seeding.

    Why do people complain about other people not having their kids vaccinated when their own kids are supposed to be immune?

    I would imagine that your FDA is much like our UK health service, the regions are run by a group of people who sometimes fail, as they do here on a regular basis. They are simply moved to the same job in another region. These people are never fired whatever they do. I can give examples on request.
    To say that such a setup is not corrupt is just naive.


    • Fallacy Man says:

      First, the fact that vaccines can reduce the severity of the disease has been well established by comparing severity among people who did and did not receive the vaccine. I don’t know what you are going on about with clouds. For example,

      Second, if you don’t understand why even people who support vaccines think everyone should be vaccinated, then you need to start at square 1 with understanding how this all works. In short, not everyone can be vaccinated, and we care about those people to. Second, a vaccine is not a magic shield. It greatly reduces your chance of becoming sick, but it does not eliminate it all together. However, when everyone is vaccinated, herd immunity comes into play and it is very hard for the disease to spread, thus protecting you even further. Again, this is very well established (more details and sources here).

      I’m not exactly sure what you are arguing in your last paragraph, but it sounds like a very different thing than what I am talking about in this post.


      • cadxx says:

        First: Reducing severity cannot be called “protection from disease”. This all ties-in with the philosophy of Big Pharma…curing a disease does not make money. What they want is something the sufferer has to take for life…that makes money. Palliative treatment is designed to relieve symptoms, not intended to cure.

        You say you care about people who don’t want to be vaccinated and yet you are prepared to take away their free will to choose for themselves. describes your last sentence: a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect, as in “cruel kindness” or “to make haste slowly.”. Oxymoron?

        You say: “herd immunity comes into play and it is very hard for the disease to spread, thus protecting you even further.” How does this work with only the partial protection you describe?

        My last para was about the institutionalized corruption, pandemic.

        My spell checker has become americani”z”ed 🙂


  5. voodoobike says:

    If the entire Republican Party be bought off by big oil to perpetuate climate denial, then how about the corruption of an entire federal agency? (My devil’s advocate question.) Vaccines are probably not the best example, yet for other drugs I think the FDA is indeed influenced by Big Pharma to ignore important science in favor of profit. I believe the idea of a conspiracy is too simplistic and in reality there a grey area that includes inevitable corruption. Nothing is so black and white. So yes, the warning labels are not any evidence that vaccines are dangerous, yet this does mean that vaccines are completely safe. I believe the small risk of vaccines is completely worth it. Yet I do believe there is some corruption in the safety how they are made merely because the companies that make them have a financial stake to get them approved and forgo some safety because of it. Again this is the reality of the grey area and the problem with black and white conspiracy thinking. But in the case of the GOP it’s perhaps an example of how politics can corrupt in a more absolute way and not a conspiracy but easy to prove.


  6. Jim True says:

    Dear Mr. Fallacy Man:
    It took a long time for me to find a place to enter this comment. And I am also not sure that my comments are directly related to the discussion directly above where they are being entered. Furthermore, as I skimmed the discussions trying to find a place to insert a word or two edgewise, what I felt like saying changed… a lot.

    I believe in and trust science as it is practiced in the world today.

    That being said, I am concerned about the influence of money on science. Two examples spring to mind.

    I can cite no evidence other than my own personal anecdotal observation, but it seems to me that universities are increasingly being funded more by private donations and less by government support. This seems like a conflict of interest. For example, when a university is deciding whether to allocate new lab space to the study of basic biochemical pathways that may not have a commercial application for decades or to the development of new heartburn pill that has the same active moiety as an existing one but is different enough in its substrate to be patentable, who is paying for that new lab space will be a factor in what gets studied.

    Secondly, I am troubled by GMO’s. I am very skeptical of the “Frankenfood” argument. What worries me though, is the fact that a corn has been developed with a “lock and key” feature. To reap the benefit of this disease resistant corn, a farmer must feed his corn every year with an amino acid that has been engineered out of that corn. Furthermore, corn is wind pollinated and if pollen from this engineered corn should blow from a commercial farm over on to a subsistence farm, the poor subsistence farmer’s family might starve because that farmer cannot afford to purchase the “key” every year.

    Again, I believe and trust science and scientists, I just wish there were a system of checks and balances a bit stronger than conscience, a few bloggers crying in the wilderness, Mr. Woodward and Mr. Bernstein, and the Guardian.

    Jim True
    Renton, WA


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