Vaccine - Autism link

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Re: Vaccine - Autism link

Postby DrEvil » Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:14 pm

Agent Orange Cooper » Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:12 am wrote:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23932735

Administration of aluminium to neonatal mice in vaccine-relevant amounts is associated with adverse long term neurological outcomes.

Abstract
Our previous ecological studies of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has demonstrated a correlation between increasing ASD rates and aluminium (Al) adjuvants in common use in paediatric vaccines in several Western countries. The correlation between ASD rate and Al adjuvant amounts appears to be dose-dependent and satisfies 8 of 9 Hill criteria for causality. We have now sought to provide an animal model to explore potential behavioural phenotypes and central nervous system (CNS) alterations using s.c. injections of Al hydroxide in early postnatal CD-1 mice of both sexes. Injections of a "high" and "low" Al adjuvant levels were designed to correlate to either the U.S. or Scandinavian paediatric vaccine schedules vs. control saline-injected mice. Both male and female mice in the "high Al" group showed significant weight gains following treatment up to sacrifice at 6 months of age. Male mice in the "high Al" group showed significant changes in light-dark box tests and in various measures of behaviour in an open field. Female mice showed significant changes in the light-dark box at both doses, but no significant changes in open field behaviours. These current data implicate Al injected in early postnatal life in some CNS alterations that may be relevant for a better understanding of the aetiology of ASD.


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/21568886/

Aluminum vaccine adjuvants: are they safe?

Abstract
Aluminum is an experimentally demonstrated neurotoxin and the most commonly used vaccine adjuvant. Despite almost 90 years of widespread use of aluminum adjuvants, medical science's understanding about their mechanisms of action is still remarkably poor. There is also a concerning scarcity of data on toxicology and pharmacokinetics of these compounds. In spite of this, the notion that aluminum in vaccines is safe appears to be widely accepted. Experimental research, however, clearly shows that aluminum adjuvants have a potential to induce serious immunological disorders in humans. In particular, aluminum in adjuvant form carries a risk for autoimmunity, long-term brain inflammation and associated neurological complications and may thus have profound and widespread adverse health consequences. In our opinion, the possibility that vaccine benefits may have been overrated and the risk of potential adverse effects underestimated, has not been rigorously evaluated in the medical and scientific community. We hope that the present paper will provide a framework for a much needed and long overdue assessment of this highly contentious medical issue.


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19740540

Aluminum hydroxide injections lead to motor deficits and motor neuron degeneration

Abstract
Gulf War Syndrome is a multi-system disorder afflicting many veterans of Western armies in the 1990-1991 Gulf War. A number of those afflicted may show neurological deficits including various cognitive dysfunctions and motor neuron disease, the latter expression virtually indistinguishable from classical amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) except for the age of onset. This ALS "cluster" represents the second such ALS cluster described in the literature to date. Possible causes of GWS include several of the adjuvants in the anthrax vaccine and others. The most likely culprit appears to be aluminum hydroxide. In an initial series of experiments, we examined the potential toxicity of aluminum hydroxide in male, outbred CD-1 mice injected subcutaneously in two equivalent-to-human doses. After sacrifice, spinal cord and motor cortex samples were examined by immunohistochemistry. Aluminum-treated mice showed significantly increased apoptosis of motor neurons and increases in reactive astrocytes and microglial proliferation within the spinal cord and cortex. Morin stain detected the presence of aluminum in the cytoplasm of motor neurons with some neurons also testing positive for the presence of hyper-phosphorylated tau protein, a pathological hallmark of various neurological diseases, including Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal dementia. A second series of experiments was conducted on mice injected with six doses of aluminum hydroxide. Behavioural analyses in these mice revealed significant impairments in a number of motor functions as well as diminished spatial memory capacity. The demonstrated neurotoxicity of aluminum hydroxide and its relative ubiquity as an adjuvant suggest that greater scrutiny by the scientific community is warranted.


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22235057

Mechanisms of aluminum adjuvant toxicity and autoimmunity in pediatric populations

Abstract
Immune challenges during early development, including those vaccine-induced, can lead to permanent detrimental alterations of the brain and immune function. Experimental evidence also shows that simultaneous administration of as little as two to three immune adjuvants can overcome genetic resistance to autoimmunity. In some developed countries, by the time children are 4 to 6 years old, they will have received a total of 126 antigenic compounds along with high amounts of aluminum (Al) adjuvants through routine vaccinations. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, safety assessments for vaccines have often not included appropriate toxicity studies because vaccines have not been viewed as inherently toxic. Taken together, these observations raise plausible concerns about the overall safety of current childhood vaccination programs. When assessing adjuvant toxicity in children, several key points ought to be considered: (i) infants and children should not be viewed as "small adults" with regard to toxicological risk as their unique physiology makes them much more vulnerable to toxic insults; (ii) in adult humans Al vaccine adjuvants have been linked to a variety of serious autoimmune and inflammatory conditions (i.e., "ASIA"), yet children are regularly exposed to much higher amounts of Al from vaccines than adults; (iii) it is often assumed that peripheral immune responses do not affect brain function. However, it is now clearly established that there is a bidirectional neuro-immune cross-talk that plays crucial roles in immunoregulation as well as brain function. In turn, perturbations of the neuro-immune axis have been demonstrated in many autoimmune diseases encompassed in "ASIA" and are thought to be driven by a hyperactive immune response; and (iv) the same components of the neuro-immune axis that play key roles in brain development and immune function are heavily targeted by Al adjuvants.In summary, research evidence shows that increasing concerns about current vaccination practices may indeed be warranted. Because children may be most at risk of vaccine-induced complications, a rigorous evaluation of the vaccine-related adverse health impacts in the pediatric population is urgently needed.


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23609067

Aluminum in the central nervous system (CNS): toxicity in humans and animals, vaccine adjuvants, and autoimmunity

Abstract
We have examined the neurotoxicity of aluminum in humans and animals under various conditions, following different routes of administration, and provide an overview of the various associated disease states. The literature demonstrates clearly negative impacts of aluminum on the nervous system across the age span. In adults, aluminum exposure can lead to apparently age-related neurological deficits resembling Alzheimer's and has been linked to this disease and to the Guamanian variant, ALS-PDC. Similar outcomes have been found in animal models. In addition, injection of aluminum adjuvants in an attempt to model Gulf War syndrome and associated neurological deficits leads to an ALS phenotype in young male mice. In young children, a highly significant correlation exists between the number of pediatric aluminum-adjuvanted vaccines administered and the rate of autism spectrum disorders. Many of the features of aluminum-induced neurotoxicity may arise, in part, from autoimmune reactions, as part of the ASIA syndrome.


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25428645

Are there negative CNS impacts of aluminum adjuvants used in vaccines and immunotherapy?

Abstract
In spite of a common view that aluminum (Al) salts are inert and therefore harmless as vaccine adjuvants or in immunotherapy, the reality is quite different. In the following article we briefly review the literature on Al neurotoxicity and the use of Al salts as vaccine adjuvants and consider not only direct toxic actions on the nervous system, but also the potential impact for triggering autoimmunity. Autoimmune and inflammatory responses affecting the CNS appear to underlie some forms of neurological disease, including developmental disorders. Al has been demonstrated to impact the CNS at every level, including by changing gene expression. These outcomes should raise concerns about the increasing use of Al salts as vaccine adjuvants and for the application as more general immune stimulants.


https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/165315-overview#a4

Aluminum Toxicity

Approximately 95% of an aluminum load becomes bound to transferrin and albumin intravascularly and is then eliminated renally. In healthy subjects, only 0.3% of orally administered aluminum is absorbed via the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and the kidneys effectively eliminate aluminum from the human body. Only when the GI barrier is bypassed, such as by intravenous infusion or in the presence of advanced renal dysfunction, does aluminum have the potential to accumulate. As an example, with intravenously infused aluminum, 40% is retained in adults and up to 75% is retained in neonates. [MY COMMENT: Or in an infant without sufficiently developed myelin sheath—damaged by brain inflammation from prior vaccines, perhaps—where an IM injection bypasses the natural defense of the GI tract and crosses the blood-brain barrier]

...Aluminum is absorbed from the GI tract in the form of oral phosphate-binding agents (aluminum hydroxide), parenterally via immunizations, via dialysate on patients on dialysis or total parenteral nutrition (TPN) contamination, via the urinary mucosa through bladder irrigation, and transdermally in antiperspirants. Lactate, citrate, and ascorbate all facilitate GI absorption.

If a significant aluminum load exceeds the body's excretory capacity, the excess is deposited in various tissues, including bone, brain, liver, heart, spleen, and muscle. This accumulation causes morbidity and mortality through various mechanisms.



Will you look at that. Except for the last one every single one of those papers are written by the same two people, Chris Shaw and Lucija Tomljenovic. That would be the same researchers who have had at least two studies retracted after serious issues with the data was found.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-c ... -1.4351855

UBC researchers pull paper linking vaccine component to autism after data alleged to be manipulated

Lab can't confirm allegations because original data is no longer at the university, co-author claims
Rhianna Schmunk · CBC News · Posted: Oct 16, 2017 2:00 AM PT | Last Updated: October 16, 2017

Researchers from the University of British Columbia are retracting their scientific paper linking aluminum in vaccines to autism in mice, because one of the co-authors claims figures published in the study were deliberately altered before publication — an issue he says he realized after allegations of data manipulation surfaced online.

The professor also told CBC News there's no way to know "why" or "how" the figures were allegedly contorted, as he claims original data cited in the study is inaccessible, which would be a contravention of the university's policy around scientific research.

The paper looked at the effects of aluminum components in vaccines on immune response in a mouse's brain. It was published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry on Sept. 5.

Co-authored by Dr. Chris Shaw and Lucija Tomljenovic, it reported aluminum-triggered responses "consistent with those in autism." Shaw said he and Tomljenovic drew their conclusions from data that was "compiled" and "analyzed" for the paper, rather than raw data.

However, subsequent scrutiny has raised questions about the validity of the data, with one doctor calling the paper "anti-vaccine pseudoscience."

The allegations were published last week on Retraction Watch, a site that reports on withdrawn papers as "a window into the scientific process."

By the middle of September, commenters on PubPeer — a database where users can examine and comment on published scientific papers — pointed out that figures in the study appeared to have been altered, and in one case lifted directly from a 2014 study also authored by Shaw and Tomljenovic.

Shaw, a professor at UBC's department of ophthalmology, said he and the lab ran their own analysis of the figures in question after seeing allegations from PubPeer on Sept. 24. He said he requested a retraction from the journal within two days and notified the university.

"It appears as if some of the images in mostly what were non-significant results had been flipped," Shaw told CBC on Thursday. "We don't know why, we don't know how … but there was a screw-up, there's no question about that."

Shaw said the lab can't confirm how the figures were allegedly altered because he claims original data needed for comparison is no longer at the UBC laboratory.

"We don't think that the conclusions are at risk here, but because we don't know, we thought it best to withdraw," the researcher said.

Asked how the seemingly wonky figures weren't caught before publication, Shaw said it was "a good question."

"We were always under the impression that, based on our viewing of the original data a couple years ago and our subsequent analysis of these data, that everything was fine," he said. "One double-checks this at various stages in the process, but by the time you've looked at them enough times and done the various analyses on them, you do tend to believe they're right.

"When you look at these kinds of [data], unless you look at them under very, very high power and magnify them 20 times — which no one does, by the way — you would not necessarily see that there was anything untoward," the professor said.

Original data taken overseas, Shaw claims

Shaw claims the original data is in China, with an analyst who worked on the paper.

The professor claimed the analyst told him the data are "stuck there."

"It's like 'the dog ate my homework.' What are you going to do?"

He noted that, even if the original data are recovered, he thinks "this paper is dead" for credibility reasons.

University policy dictates that original data must remain with the lab for at least five years after it's collected. In this case, the data should stay at the UBC lab until 2018.

The university told CBC it won't be commenting on the retraction or the allegations of removed lab data.

The analyst's lawyer did not comment on the allegations surrounding the data in a statement to CBC, saying it was "a matter between UBC and Dr. Shaw."

Reached by email on Friday, co-author Tomljenovic said she agreed to the retraction but said she "had nothing to do either with collecting or analyzing any of the actual data." She declined further comment.

Alleged data manipulation 'appalling,' expert says

Dr. Michael Gardam, an associate professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the University of Toronto, looked at the paper and the allegations and said there seems to be "pretty clear evidence that data has been falsified" — even if the lab team doesn't have the material to confirm. He called it "appalling."

"I've run [data] like that. They don't change themselves, and the photos don't change themselves," Gardam told CBC on Friday. "The images have been manipulated, according to what I've seen, and I'd argue [Shaw] clearly agrees with that because he's actually retracting the paper."

Past retractions, vaccine documentary

Gardam noted that another scientific paper Shaw worked on on the topic of vaccines was retracted in 2016.

The article, published in the journal Vaccine, questioned the safety of the HPV vaccine Gardasil.

The paper was pulled "due to serious concerns regarding the scientific soundness of the article" and "seriously flawed" methodology, according to the journal.

Shaw was one of the eight co-authors on the study, but he distanced himself from the project on Thursday.

"I was not directly involved except for some editorial comments at the early stages of the manuscript," he said.

The paper was republished by another journal after further review by the authors.

Shaw was also featured in The Greater Good, a 2013 documentary looking at U.S. vaccine programs. The film's website listed the professor as a doctor "with concerns about vaccines."

When it comes to this latest UBC study, Gardam said the university is going to need the original data if it determines an investigation is required.

Shaw said he's likely finished working on papers concerning vaccines after this retraction.

"I'm honestly not sure at this point that I want to dabble in [vaccines] anymore," he said. "We have some projects that are ongoing that have been funded that we feel duty-bound to complete that are on this topic. Frankly, I doubt if I will do it again after that."

CBC also asked the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry for comment and did not hear back by deadline.


Lucija Tomljenovic also appears to be a fan of Wakefield.
https://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011 ... licated--0

The last paper seems to be above board, and does touch on the possible connection (in adults) between macrophagic myofasciitis / chronic fatigue syndrome and some vaccines. There's research being done on it, but so far they haven't been able to determine the cause. It's most likely a genetic predisposition in some individuals that prevents their bodies from disposing of the aluminum properly so it builds up in certain muscles.
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Re: Vaccine - Autism link

Postby liminalOyster » Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:47 pm

Right but the last paper is also cited by websites which debunk the strong claim of "aluminum adjuvant = smoking gun for vaccine conspiracy." It looks like this Tomljenovic/Shaw team collaborate with a linguistics prof named John Oller in Louisiana who is a strict creationist. This doesn't *necessarily* mean anything but, it affects my own instinct about them for sure.

If I were who they claim/fancy themselves to be - intrepid renegade researchers trying to bring attention to a cover-up, I'd understand how important it was for my work to *not* be dismissed by simple association and I would definitely opt out of that alliance. The lack of attention to their perception by the scientific establishment seems telling. Plus Tomljenovic certainly looks more like an activist than anything - see her book on Amazon and/or (via her ResearchGate profile) her paper including info about de-fertilization programs in Kenya. Nothing wrong with that but it sort of means her research findings would need to be truly untouchable which they appear to be anything but.
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Re: Vaccine - Autism link

Postby Agent Orange Cooper » Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:31 pm

http://vaccinepapers.org/review-paper-al-adjuvant-autism-20-pages-97-references/

Introduction to Al Adjuvant and Autism-20 pages, 97 references

This article is a detailed introduction to the science supporting the link between aluminum adjuvant and autism (and other neurological disorders). Note that it is not from a peer-reviewed journal. It is more thorough than the other introduction material on the VP website.

Its short enough to read in 1-2 hours, but detailed enough for you to really understand how the science fits together. Enjoy!


Download pdf here:

AUTISM & ALUMINUM ADJUVANTS IN VACCINES


http://vaccinepapers.org/examine-evidence-rebuttal-american-academy-pediatrics-aap/

Examine The Evidence-A Rebuttal to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

This document provides a rebuttal to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) statement on vaccine safety. It also includes a list of the most important papers cited here. Descriptions and key quotes are provided for each paper. 11 pages.

Vaccine Dangers: Examine the Evidence

This document describes 29 studies, on these topics:
Healthy User Bias: 4 studies
Aluminum adjuvant toxicity and transport: 8 studies
Immune activation brain injury: 17 studies

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Statement
The AAP circulates a statement on vaccine safety. The primary focus is autism. The statement includes descriptions of vaccine safety studies, mostly on MMR and thimerosal. It was last updated in 2013.

AAP statement: Vaccine Safety: Examine the Evidence

42 studies are described, on the following topics:

MMR/measles vaccine and autism: 25 studies
Thimerosal/mercury: 9 studies
Review papers: 3 (mostly on MMR and thimerosal)
Vaccines and metabolism: 1 (Klein 2011)
Vaccine timing and number: 1 (Smith and Woods, 2010)
Vaccine antigen exposure: 1 (DeStefano 2013)
Autism-GI disorders: 1 (Black, 2002)
Parental reports of autism triggers: 1 (Lingam, 2003)

The AAP statement does not mention aluminum adjuvant or immune activation. There are no studies comparing vaccinated with the unvaccinated (100% unvaccinated). There is one study looking at the timing of vaccine exposure (Smith and Woods 2010, reviewed here: http://vaccinepapers.org/critical-review-smith-2010-pediatrics-journal/).

Concerns about brain injury from Al adjuvant and immune activation are not mentioned, despite the fact that the dangers of both were known several years prior to 2013. The AAP has had plenty of time to review the studies on immune activation and aluminum adjuvant and say something about them. Instead, the AAP is silent.


http://vaccinepapers.org/response-to-charges-of-cherry-picking/

Response to Charges of “Cherry-Picking” (List of Abstracts)

I have been accused of “cherry-picking” scientific papers for the series on immune activation. This can be a difficult accusation to counter, because it requires an overview of the totality of scientific papers in the field.

“Cherry-picking” is when a non-representative paper is used to make a point that is generally contradicted by most literature in a field. For example, say there are 20 papers on a topic. 19 are generally consistent with one another, and 1 is an outlier with contrary results. Cherry-picking is citing the 1 weird paper and ignoring the other 19.

If I am cherry-picking, it should be easy for critics to find the more numerous papers that contradict the ones I cite (i.e. the 19 papers in the example above). So I ask the critics: “Where are the contrary papers?”

Of course, papers must be sorted and selected to make scientific arguments. There are too many to cite them all. I have selected papers that are most relevant and useful for my arguments. But they are not cherry picked. The papers I use are generally representative of the field of immune activation and brain development. And they are often some of the most highly cited in the field of immune activation.

To prove my non-cherry-picking ways, below is a list of abstracts in the immune activation field that did not make it into the articles. You can see for yourself that they support the thesis here: that immune activation and cytokines-no matter the source-injure the developing brain and cause autism and schizophrenia. Some papers show that postnatal immune activation causes brain injury. Some papers also show that immune activation and cytokines cause epilepsy, which is associated with autism (30% of autistics have epilepsy). Vaccine critics have argued for decades that vaccines cause epilepsy.

This is NOT a “100 studies that prove vaccines cause autism” list. DO NOT construe it as such. Such lists are dumb and unpersuasive. Vaccine activists should stop using this tactic. The “studies list” gambit is like dropping a giant pile of papers on someones desk and saying “here, YOU figure this out, because I don’t know how”. [whoops]

This list is provided only for the purpose of refuting the “cherry picking” accusation, by showing that the papers cited on VaccinePapers.org are representative.

Have a look. There is lots of interesting stuff here that didn’t make it into the articles.

CONTINUED AT LINK (FOR MUCH LONGER THAN I WOULD BOTHER PASTING HERE)
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Re: Vaccine - Autism link

Postby DrEvil » Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:05 pm

liminalOyster » Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:47 pm wrote:Right but the last paper is also cited by websites which debunk the strong claim of "aluminum adjuvant = smoking gun for vaccine conspiracy." It looks like this Tomljenovic/Shaw team collaborate with a linguistics prof named John Oller in Louisiana who is a strict creationist. This doesn't *necessarily* mean anything but, it affects my own instinct about them for sure.


I didn't look too closely at the final paper, other than to notice the fact that the WHO has looked into it several times and asked for more research on the subject, and that was 20 years ago. There's been plenty of research with no smoking gun since.

The only rational response to creationists is to run very fast in the opposite direction.

If I were who they claim/fancy themselves to be - intrepid renegade researchers trying to bring attention to a cover-up, I'd understand how important it was for my work to *not* be dismissed by simple association and I would definitely opt out of that alliance. The lack of attention to their perception by the scientific establishment seems telling. Plus Tomljenovic certainly looks more like an activist than anything - see her book on Amazon and/or (via her ResearchGate profile) her paper including info about de-fertilization programs in Kenya. Nothing wrong with that but it sort of means her research findings would need to be truly untouchable which they appear to be anything but.


This is what pisses me off so much about the anti-vaxxers. They seem incapable of honesty. They don't want the truth, they want evidence to support what they already believe. It's very similar to a religion in that sense.

Maybe the spread of secularism is an illusion. People just believe other crazy stuff rather than the boring, old mainstream religions. A thousand years from now we'll be observing Rand Day and wearing the symbols of St. Wakefield and St. Trump (blessed be his hair) around our necks.
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Re: Vaccine - Autism link

Postby Agent Orange Cooper » Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:26 pm

^^^ :ohno:

http://vaccinepapers.org/two-vaccines-opposite-effects-brain/

Hep-B and BCG Vaccines Affect Brain Development By Immune Activation

“Early-life immune activation has been well-established to regulate the programming of brain development and influence behavior in later life…”
-Dr Zhibin Yao et al, 2016, Sun Yat-Sen University (Consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in mainland China)


An important new study by Li et al. reports the effects of bacillus calmette-guerin (BCG) vaccine (for tuberculosis) and hepatitis B vaccine on brain development in infant rats. The study relates the observed brain changes to the type of immune activation (Th1 or Th2, explained below) stimulated by the vaccines. The BCG and hep B vaccines had opposite effects on the brain (BCG being beneficial, and hep B being detrimental), and a combination of both vaccines resulted in cancellation of the effects.

This is the first study to test the effects of immune activation by vaccination on brain development. All other studies of immune activation have used essentially pathological levels of immune activation. A criticism I have heard often from vaccine advocates is that the immune activation experiments are not relevant to vaccines because vaccines cause a milder immune activation than injections of poly-IC or lipopolysaccharide (two types of immune system activators). This argument is contradicted by the Li et al study. Li et al proves that vaccines can affect brain development via immune activation. Hence, the immune activation experiments are relevant to vaccines.

This new study is very important for the vaccine safety controversy because it connects vaccines with the studies showing that immune activation impacts brain development and causes brain disorders. This of course implies that vaccines can injure the developing brain.

Full Paper (Li et al.): Neonatal vaccination with bacillus Calmette–Guérin and hepatitis B vaccines modulates hippocampal synaptic plasticity in rats

CONTINUED ANALYSIS IN GREAT DETAIL
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Re: Vaccine - Autism link

Postby liminalOyster » Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:39 pm

In general I am very wary of being told heavy metals are safe. Not to even mention pthalates or non-metals like fluoride. Lead, for example, represents a dire and fucking catastrophic situation. I have no doubt that the extent of the role of heavy metal etiology in all sorts of pathology is underestimated. So I do not dismiss out of hand that aluminum adjuvants may play a role in neurological damage, either in select people or the population at large. They certainly could.

Sure, it is true that CDC etc vaccine safety statements do not refer to aluminum adjuvants. And that the overall statement about safety could be treated as "misleading." But there is not even a scientific consensus about anything other than the most general (iow scientifically meaningless) level of *correlation* between vaccination and ASD. Seems the onus should be on the authors of these papers and groups like Ican to generate data that strongly enough suggests reason for concern. Exley is cleraly not there yet.

These papers and the many anti-vaxx websites which tout them as definitive proof are not convincing in their impassioned reposting of what is still, at very very best, a theory worthy of further testing and their repetitive character assault on anyone who questions - which is the very means of scientific knowledge production - their data, methods, findings, counter-interests, etc.

The overarching thing for me is the absolute obsession (as seen here on this very thread) with finding a single mechanism to explain something (putative rise in ASD) that is almost certainly highly multi-factor and most likely an emergent phenomenon.

These Scientists Say A British Professor's Claim That Aluminium Is Linked To Autism Is "Absurd"
A professor at a British university has made controversial claims that aluminium in our environment is linked to autistic spectrum disorders – which other scientists have strenuously denied.

Posted on December 15, 2017, at 8:34 a.m.
Tom Chivers

A British professor’s claim in a national newspaper article that aluminium in vaccines may cause autism has been called into question by fellow academics.

The claim, by Chris Exley, a professor of bioinorganic chemistry at Keele University, has been criticised by fellow scientists, who described his research as flawed, said it is “absurd” to draw conclusions from it, and raised concerns over a possible conflict of interest, all of which he denies.

Exley has claimed in the past that aluminium causes Alzheimer’s disease and is linked to breast cancer. His department has received money from a company that sells silicon-rich mineral water, which he thinks “everyone should drink every day to remove toxic aluminium from their bodies and brains”.

The article in question, which was partly taken from a piece Exley wrote for the health blog Hippocratic Post, was published by the Daily Mail and titled “Perhaps we now have the link between vaccination and autism”. It said that in Exley’s research, to be published in the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology, “aluminium content of brain tissues from five donors who died with a diagnosis of ASD was found to be extraordinarily high”.

The Daily Mail's online story has had at least 59,000 shares so far, and a story about the research has been written on the anti-vaccination site Age of Autism. BuzzFeed News has previously revealed how false or unevidenced stories linking vaccines to autism are widely shared on the internet.

Earlier unfounded vaccine/autism scares based on fraudulent research by the British doctor Andrew Wakefield that was published in 1998 were linked to a huge drop in vaccination rates and subsequent outbreaks of measles in Britain and other countries.

Exley is quoted as saying: “Perhaps we now have the link between vaccination and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the link being the inclusion of an aluminium adjuvant in the vaccine.”

However, scientists told BuzzFeed News that Exley’s study is profoundly flawed. The study looks at the brain tissue of two groups of donors who had been diagnosed with ASD and subsequently died.

The first consists of five people between the ages of 15 and 50; the second consists of 10 people, but the details of only five are made available. It found what it said were extremely high levels of aluminium in some of the brains.

But Dorothy Bishop, a professor of neurodevelopmental biology at the University of Oxford, told BuzzFeed News that she would dismiss the study's results, while Jonathan Green, a professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Manchester who specialises in autism, told BuzzFeed News it was “absurd to draw conclusions” from the study.

The main problem, said Bishop, is that the study lacks controls: It looked at no healthy brains to see whether they were different from the ASD-diagnosed brains. “You always need controls, because you tend otherwise to see what you expect to see, even if there is no deliberate attempt at fudging the data,” she said. “This point is the most serious, in my opinion, and would make me just dismiss the results.”

Bishop said: “When you’re doing that sort of analysis you absolutely have to do it blind and have a set of control brains, and they didn't.” She said it was surprising that this study had been given access to the Oxford Brain Bank’s brains: “These brains are very, very precious and rare.”

Exley told BuzzFeed News that suitable controls were unavailable, and that his earlier studies, done using the same technique, gave them “a very good understanding”. He added that he had taken steps to “find out how much aluminium could conceivably have been added by the process”.

Second, the study didn’t mention how any of the donors died, which both Bishop and Green felt was relevant. “Clearly the cause of death is pertinent to brain findings and needs to be taken into account,” said Green. Exley said that none of them had died of causes which would cause him to expect them to have elevated aluminium levels, and that the reason he had not included the causes of death was to avoid the donors being identifiable. Both Green and Bishop felt that it should have been possible to include the relevant information in a nonidentifiable way.

Third, the study’s results are strange, according to Dr Alice Howarth, a cellular physiologist who works at the nonprofit organisation Merseyside Skeptics. “The very high figures stand out as potentially anomalous,” Howarth told BuzzFeed News. “They’ve taken three pieces of tissue from one lobe of one donor’s brain and measured each separately. One showed a [value of micrograms of aluminium per gram of brain tissue] of 2.44; one was 1.66; and the third was 22.11!”

She says most scientists would remove the third result from their findings because it was so anomalous, or at least carry out the test several more times, and that it was “astonishing” Exley had not. Instead, Exley’s paper adds the three figures together and averages them – and then places great weight on the result, saying “one has to question why, for example, the aluminium content of the occipital lobe of a 15-year-old boy would be 8.74μg/g”.

There are similar strange results in the table, the most dramatic being one with results of 0.01, 0.64, and 18.57, and another of 1.71, 1.64, and 17.10. All are given as averages of the three numbers, and the paper makes no mention of the wide variations beyond a mention of “significant inter-tissue, inter-lobe and inter-subject variability”. Bishop said the use of a mean in this situation is not recommended, “as it would not be representative of any of those in the group”.

Exley said this was because while metals such as iron, which are essential to life, are found homogeneously throughout the brain, “non-essential, toxic” ones are extremely localised, perhaps where there is damage, explaining the difference, and that he only included the mean figure because the reviewers wanted it.

In the introduction to the research paper, Exley claims the “burgeoning use” of aluminium in vaccines “has been directly correlated with increasing prevalence of ASD”, but Green told BuzzFeed News that this was an “old, discredited story with no epidemiological evidence”. Exley strongly disagreed with this assessment. The reference in Exley’s paper is to a study in the Journal of Inorganic Chemistry that the World Health Organisation’s Global Vaccine Safety Initiative describes as “seriously flawed”. But Exley said “most scientists take little notice of non-peer-reviewed documents emanating from the WHO”, and that the paper was published in a reputable journal.

Exley is also facing questions over why he did not declare his involvement with a company called SilicaWaters.com, which sells “a unique, natural silica bottled water”, in the “competing interests” section of the research paper.

The SilicaWaters website says it donates 10% of its net sales to Exley’s research at Keele University “into the benefits to health of drinking silica-rich water”.

Exley has written for the Hippocratic Post (again reproduced in the Daily Mail) that “everyone should drink silicon-rich mineral water every day to remove toxic aluminium from their bodies and brains”.

Exley’s research paper says he and his fellow authors “have no competing interests”.

Green said the SilicaWaters link is something that should “very definitely” be mentioned in the “competing interests” section of the paper, while Bishop agreed that it “probably” should have been. “The general recommendation is that you should mention anything that could be regarded as affecting your judgment,” she said.

Exley told BuzzFeed News he did not make any money from the sales, and that the SilicaWaters company had been set up by a local businessman who wanted to provide money for his research. At the time of writing, he said, the company had given only around £300 to Keele.

He did acknowledge that it might have been a good thing to add to the competing interests section: “Now I’ve had this conversation, maybe I’ll do it [next time].”

As well as previously claiming that aluminium causes Alzheimer’s disease, Exley has also previously claimed that it is found in the breast tissue of women who have had mastectomies.

Tom Chivers is a science writer for BuzzFeed and is based in London.
https://www.buzzfeed.com/tomchivers/the ... claim-that
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Re: Vaccine - Autism link

Postby DrEvil » Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:48 am

Agent Orange Cooper » Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:26 am wrote:^^^ :ohno:

http://vaccinepapers.org/two-vaccines-opposite-effects-brain/

Hep-B and BCG Vaccines Affect Brain Development By Immune Activation

“Early-life immune activation has been well-established to regulate the programming of brain development and influence behavior in later life…”
-Dr Zhibin Yao et al, 2016, Sun Yat-Sen University (Consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in mainland China)


An important new study by Li et al. reports the effects of bacillus calmette-guerin (BCG) vaccine (for tuberculosis) and hepatitis B vaccine on brain development in infant rats. The study relates the observed brain changes to the type of immune activation (Th1 or Th2, explained below) stimulated by the vaccines. The BCG and hep B vaccines had opposite effects on the brain (BCG being beneficial, and hep B being detrimental), and a combination of both vaccines resulted in cancellation of the effects.

This is the first study to test the effects of immune activation by vaccination on brain development. All other studies of immune activation have used essentially pathological levels of immune activation. A criticism I have heard often from vaccine advocates is that the immune activation experiments are not relevant to vaccines because vaccines cause a milder immune activation than injections of poly-IC or lipopolysaccharide (two types of immune system activators). This argument is contradicted by the Li et al study. Li et al proves that vaccines can affect brain development via immune activation. Hence, the immune activation experiments are relevant to vaccines.

This new study is very important for the vaccine safety controversy because it connects vaccines with the studies showing that immune activation impacts brain development and causes brain disorders. This of course implies that vaccines can injure the developing brain.

Full Paper (Li et al.): Neonatal vaccination with bacillus Calmette–Guérin and hepatitis B vaccines modulates hippocampal synaptic plasticity in rats

CONTINUED ANALYSIS IN GREAT DETAIL


And this is an excellent example of what I meant. I wasn't talking about serious researchers, but people like you who will jump on anything that supports your argument (whether it's true or not) and ignore everything else, like your previous list of dodgy papers by dodgy people.

Just so I'm perfectly clear on this: what do you think should be done about vaccines? Should we stop using them completely? Replace them with something else?
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Re: Vaccine - Autism link

Postby Agent Orange Cooper » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:17 pm

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/06/12/vaccines-and-liberal-mind

Vaccines and the Liberal Mind

Instead of demanding blue-ribbon safety science and encouraging honest, open and responsible debate on the science, too many online outlets are silencing critics and shutting down discussion on this key public health and civil rights issue

by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Late last year, Slate published an investigative report detailing how pharmaceutical giant, Merck, used “flawed” and “unreliable” pre-licensing safety studies to push through approval of its multi-billion-dollar bonanza, the HPV vaccine. For veteran safe vaccine advocates, like myself, the most shocking aspect of the expose was that Slate published it at all. Slate and other liberal online publications including Salon, Huffington Post and The Daily Beast customarily block articles that critique vaccine safety in order, they argue, to encourage vaccination and protect public health. Motivated by this noble purpose, the liberal media—the supposed antidote to corporate and government power—has helped insulate from scrutiny the burgeoning vaccine industry and its two regulators, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Both agencies have pervasive and potentially corrupting financial entanglements with the vaccine manufacturers, according to extensive congressional investigations.

Ironically, liberals routinely lambaste Pharma, and its FDA enablers for putting profits over people. Recent examples include Vioxx (100,000 injured—Merck paid more than $5 billion in fines and settlements), Abilify (Bristol Meyers Squibb paid $515 million for marketing the drug to nursing homes, knowing it can be fatal to seniors), Celebrex and Bextra (Pfizer paid $894 million for bribing public officials and false advertising about safety and effectiveness) and, of course, the opioid crisis, which in 2016 killed more Americans than the 20-year Vietnam War. What then, makes liberals think that these same companies are immune from similar temptations when it comes to vaccines? There is plenty of evidence that they are not. Merck, the world’s largest vaccine maker, is currently fighting multiple lawsuits, brought by its own scientists, claiming that the company forced them to falsify efficacy data for its MMR vaccine.

The Slate article nowhere discloses that FDA licenses virtually all vaccines using the same mawing safety science deficiencies that brought us Gardasil. FDA claims that “vaccines undergo rigorous safety testing to determine their safety.” But that’s not true. FDA’s choice to classify vaccine makers as “biologics” rather than “drugs” opened a regulatory loophole that allows vaccines to evade any meaningful safety testing. Instead of the multi-year double-blind inert placebo studies—the gold standard of safety science—that the FDA requires prior to licensing other medications, most vaccines now on the CDC’s recommended childhood vaccine schedule were safety tested for only a few days or weeks. For example, the manufacturer’s package insert discloses that Merck’s Hep B vaccine (almost every American infant receives a Hep B shot on the day of birth) underwent, not five years, but a mere five days of safety testing. If the babies in these studies had a seizure—or died—on day six, Merck was under no obligation to disclose those facts.

Furthermore, many vaccines contain dangerous amounts of known neurotoxins like mercury and aluminum and carcinogens like formaldehyde, that are associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, autoimmune problems, food allergies and cancers that might not be diagnosed for many years. A five-day study has no way of spotting such associations. Equally shocking, FDA does not require vaccine manufacturers to measure proposed vaccines against true inert placebos, further obscuring researchers’ capacity to see adverse health effects and virtually guaranteeing that more subtle injuries, such as impaired immune response, loss of IQ or depression, will never be detected—no matter how widespread. Furthermore, the CDC has never studied the impacts on children’s health of combining 50 plus vaccines.

These lax testing requirements can save vaccine manufacturers tens of millions of dollars. That’s one of the reasons for the “gold rush” that has multiplied vaccines from three, when I was a boy, to the 50 plus vaccines that children typically receive today.

There are other compelling reasons why vaccines have become Pharma’s irresistible new profit and growth vehicle. For example, manufacturers of the 50 plus vaccines on CDC’s childhood schedule enjoy what has become a trapped audience of 74 million child consumers who are effectively compelled to purchase an expensive product, sparing vaccine makers additional millions in advertising and marketing costs.

But the biggest economic boon to vaccine makers has been the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA). In 1986, Congress awash in pharmaceutical dollars—Big Pharma is, by far, the top Capitol Hill lobbying group—passed NCVIA giving pharmaceutical companies what amounts to blanket immunity from liability for any injury caused by vaccines. No matter how toxic the ingredients, how negligent the manufacturer or how grievous the harm, vaccine-injured children cannot sue a vaccine company. That extraordinary law eliminated a principal cost associated with making other drugs and left the industry with little economic incentive to make vaccines safe. It also removed lawyers, judges and courts from their traditional roles as guardians of vaccine safety. Since the law’s passage, industry revenues have sky-rocketed from $1 billion to $44 billion.

The absence of critical attention to this exploding industry by liberal online sites is particularly troubling since pharma, using strategic investments, has effectively sidelined, not just Congress, lawyers and courts, but virtually all of our democracy’s usual public health sentinels. Pervasive financial entanglements with vaccine makers and the other alchemies of agency capture have transformed the FDA and CDC into industry sock puppets.

Strong economic drivers—pharmaceutical companies are the biggest network advertisers—discourage mainstream media outlets from criticizing vaccine manufacturers. A network president once told me he would fire any of his news show hosts who allowed me to talk about vaccine safety on air. “Our news division,” he explained, “gets up to 70% of ad revenues from pharma in non-election years.” Furthermore, liberal activists including environmental, human rights, public health and children’s advocates also steer clear of vaccine safety discussions. On other core issues like toxics, guns and cigarettes, the CDC has a long record of friendly collaboration with these advocates who have thereby acquired a knee-jerk impulse to protect the agency from outside criticism.

In this vacuum, online liberal news sites are the last remaining barrier to protect children from corporate greed, yet they have become self-appointed arbiters against exposing the public to negative information about vaccine manufacturers and regulators. Liberal voices are not just sidelined, they are subsumed in the orthodoxy that all vaccines are always good for all people—and the more the better. Working with Pharma reps and their tame politicians, liberal news reporters and columnists across America are laboring in nearly every state to make the CDC vaccine schedule compulsory for children and to eliminate religious, philosophical and even medical exemptions.

As a result, the government/Big Pharma combination has gained unprecedented power to override parental consent and force otherwise healthy children, and other unwilling consumers, to undergo compulsory vaccinations, a shocking advance along the road to a corporate totalitarianism which seeks absolute control, even of our bodies. Keep in mind that there is no authentic dispute that vaccination is a risky medical intervention. It was the wave of lawsuits arising from injuries suffered from the Diphtheria/Tetanus/ Pertussis (DTP) vaccine in the 1980s, that caused Congress to pass the NCVIA bestowing immunity on the pharmaceutical industry, which threatened, otherwise, to stop making vaccines. In upholding that law, the Supreme Court declared NCVIA justified because “vaccines are unavoidably unsafe.” Since then, the Federal Vaccine Court, created by NCVIA, has paid out $3.8 billion to vaccine-injured individuals. That number dramatically understates the true gravity of the harm. A Department of Health and Human Services funded report acknowledges that “fewer than 1% of vaccine adverse events are reported.”

Supporting a law that forces Americans to relinquish control of their bodies to a corporate/state behemoth is an odd posture for liberals, who once championed the precept of “informed consent,” as the mainstay of the Nuremberg Code and the declarations of Helsinki and Geneva which protect individuals against all coerced medical interventions.

Science suggests that we might have made a big mistake by not aggressively safety testing our mandatory vaccines. Chronic diseases like ADHD, asthma, autoimmune diseases and allergies now affect 54 percent of our children, up from 12.6 percent in 1988, the year NCVIA took effect. And those data measure only the injuries characterized in digital medical records. Health advocates warn that we may be missing subtler injuries like widespread losses in reading and IQ and in executive and behavioral functions.

The suspicion that the neurotoxins in vaccines may be negatively affecting a generation is not wild speculation. Numerous studies point to the once ubiquitous use of leaded gasoline as the cause of widespread IQ loss and violence that bedeviled the generations from the 1960s-1980s. Is it not possible that dramatically increased infant exposures to aluminum and ethyl mercury—a far more potent neurotoxin than lead—might be significantly debilitating the post NCVIA generation?

The CDC claims that the cause of the sudden explosion in neurodevelopmental disorders, autoimmune illnesses and food allergies that began in the late 1980s, is a mystery. However, vaccine court awards, manufacturers’ package inserts and reams of peer-reviewed science all recognize that many of the chronic diseases that suddenly became epidemic in our children following the passage of NCVIA can be caused by vaccines or their ingredients.

The Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine), the ultimate arbiter of federal vaccine safety science, has listed 155 diseases potentially associated with vaccination and scolded the CDC for failing to study 134of them. School nurses who have spent decades in their jobs say they are seeing the sickest generation in history. The epidemic has not proven a problem for the vaccine industry. On the back end of the chronic disease explosion, vaccine companies like Merck are making a killing on the EpiPens, antidepressants, stimulants, asthma inhalers and anti-seizure drugs.

Instead of demanding blue-ribbon safety science and encouraging honest, open and responsible debate on the science, liberal blogs shut down discussion on this key public health and civil rights issue, and silence critics, treating faith in vaccines as a religion; the heresy of questioning dogma meets with anathema and excommunication.

The core of liberalism is a healthy skepticism toward government and business. So why do vaccines get a mulligan?
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Re: Vaccine - Autism link

Postby Blue » Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:52 pm

Agent Orange Cooper » Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:17 pm wrote:
https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/06/12/vaccines-and-liberal-mind

Vaccines and the Liberal Mind


Instead of demanding blue-ribbon safety science and encouraging honest, open and responsible debate on the science, liberal blogs shut down discussion on this key public health and civil rights issue, and silence critics, treating faith in vaccines as a religion; the heresy of questioning dogma meets with anathema and excommunication.

The core of liberalism is a healthy skepticism toward government and business. So why do vaccines get a mulligan?


Thanks for this article, AOC. I was going to post more info here but decided not to because some of the people debating this issue are posting outright lies. One lied about my link saying it was to a 22 years old article when it was to a 2 year old article. They refer to Amish or African outbreaks in small communities in the US without acknowledging the largest outbreaks were at places like Harvard and other expensive university dormitories populated by 100% vaccinated kids. Oh yeah, they ignore the herd immunity information I've posted, too.

It truly astounds me that so many people who question authority and the manufactured reality we live in somehow forget that skepticism when it comes to doctors, hospitals, drugs, health insurance, the entire medical establishment which is no different than any other business operating in today's predatory capitalistic world. Seeking profits.
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Re: Vaccine - Autism link

Postby liminalOyster » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:28 pm

That was me and I didn't lie at all. Obviously Mercola's paper was recent but he made heavy use *data* from a 1994 paper. Wherever else you think I or someone else has "lied," why not make a friendly correction instead?.

As for outbreaks at "expensive" schools like Harvard, I assume you're (now) referring to Mumps. That is not a scientific mystery at all. And none of the reputable popular scientific literature seems to blame that on unvaccinated people but, rather, on the only partial and longitudinally waning effectiveness of Mumps vaccine, as well as the proximity and kinds of behaviour endemic to college campuses.

Earlier you claimed that the majority of recent measles outbreaks had occurred in populations with basically 100% vaccination, which isn't true. At least the recent most high profile ones did indeed occur in specific communities and/or extremely densely populated and internationally heterogeneous places.

I like RFK jr, btw. But I think he suffers from a common tendency towards unifocal explanation - he suggests in that piece that increased immunization may explain an extremely (and overly) wide degree of childhood pathologies - that degree of singular causality rarely proves viable in large-scale epidemiological medical research.
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Re: Vaccine - Autism link

Postby Agent Orange Cooper » Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:38 pm

liminalOyster » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:28 pm wrote:I like RFK jr, btw. But I think he suffers from a common tendency towards unifocal explanation - he suggests in that piece that increased immunization may explain an extremely (and overly) wide degree of childhood pathologies - that degree of singular causality rarely proves viable in large-scale epidemiological medical research.


Well, there might be a reason for that.

Just for fun, visit this posting asking parents of totally unvaccinated children to describe the overall health and development of their unvaccinated kids, and read the comments (over 800). Many—maybe most—of these parents are raising children who were vaccinated, right alongside younger children who have not been vaccinated at all, because the vaccinated children suffered clear injury and they realized it wasn't worth the risk.

Given that, as RFK points out, there have never been any true placebo-controlled long-term vaxxed/unvaxxed studies, the testimonies of parents (who have no financial stake in this, it should be noted—they just want their children to be healthy) are really all we have to go on at this point. The consensus is, in a word, overwhelming.
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Re: Vaccine - Autism link

Postby Elvis » Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:14 am

Agent Orange Cooper wrote: as RFK points out, there have never been any true placebo-controlled long-term vaxxed/unvaxxed studies, the testimonies of parents (who have no financial stake in this, it should be noted—they just want their children to be healthy) are really all we have to go on at this point. The consensus is, in a word, overwhelming.


I'm following the discussion with dispassionate but keen interest, and the RFK Jr. piece made me sit up a bit. The no-liability law sucks. If nothing else, more studies and more oversight. The opportunities for nefarious applications—and why wouldn't They?—are much too great.
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Re: Vaccine - Autism link

Postby Agent Orange Cooper » Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:21 pm

:lol:

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Re: Vaccine - Autism link

Postby liminalOyster » Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:27 pm

Roald Dahl's notes on his daughter Olivia's 1962 death (at 7 yo) from Measles

Awful drive. Lorries kept holding us up on narrow roads. Got to hospital. Ambulance went to wrong entrance. Backed out. Arrived. Young doctor in charge. Mervyn and he gave her 3mg sodium amatol. I sat in hall. Smoked. Felt frozen. A small single bar electric fire on wall. An old man in next room. Woman doctor went to phone. She was trying urgently to locate another doctor. He arrived. I went in. Olivia lying quietly. Still unconscious. She has an even chance, doctor said. They had tapped her spine. Not meningitis. It’s encephalitis. Mervyn left in my car. I stayed. Pat arrived and went in to see Olivia. Kissed her. Spoke to her. Still unconscious. I went in. I said, “Olivia… Olivia.” She raised her head slightly off pillow. Sister said don’t. I went out. We drank whiskey. I told doctor to consult experts. Call anyone. He called a man in Oxford. I listened. Instructions were given. Not much could be done. I first said I would stay on. Then I said I’d go back with Pat. Went. Arrived home. Called Philip Evans. He called hospital. Called me back. “Shall I come?” “Yes please.” I said I’d tell hospital he was coming. I called. Doc thought I was Evans. He said I’m afraid she’s worse. I got in the car. Got to hospital. Walked in. Two doctors advanced on me from waiting room. How is she? I’m afraid it’s too late. I went into her room. Sheet was over her. Doctor said to nurse go out. Leave him alone. I kissed her. She was warm. I went out. “She is warm.” I said to doctors in hall, “Why is she so warm?” “Of course,” he said. I left.

----

Measles: a dangerous illness, by Roald Dahl (written in 1986)

Olivia, my eldest daughter, caught measles when she was seven years old.

As the illness took its usual course I can remember reading to her often in bed and not feeling particularly alarmed about it. Then one morning, when she was well on the road to recovery, I was sitting on her bed showing her how to fashion little animals out of coloured pipe-cleaners, and when it came to her turn to make one herself, I noticed that her fingers and her mind were not working together and she couldn’t do anything.

“Are you feeling all right?” I asked her.

“I feel all sleepy, ” she said.

In an hour, she was unconscious. In twelve hours she was dead.

The measles had turned into a terrible thing called measles encephalitis and there was nothing the doctors could do to save her.

That was twenty-four years ago in 1962, but even now, if a child with measles happens to develop the same deadly reaction from measles as Olivia did, there would still be nothing the doctors could do to help her.

On the other hand, there is today something that parents can do to make sure that this sort of tragedy does not happen to a child of theirs. They can insist that their child is immunised against measles. I was unable to do that for Olivia in 1962 because in those days a reliable measles vaccine had not been discovered. Today a good and safe vaccine is available to every family and all you have to do is to ask your doctor to administer it.

It is not yet generally accepted that measles can be a dangerous illness.

Believe me, it is. In my opinion parents who now refuse to have their children immunised are putting the lives of those children at risk.

In America, where measles immunisation is compulsory, measles like smallpox, has been virtually wiped out.

Here in Britain, because so many parents refuse, either out of obstinacy or ignorance or fear, to allow their children to be immunised, we still have a hundred thousand cases of measles every year. [NOTE: Since this was written in 1986, the success of the MMR vaccination has reduced this figure to several thousand each year, but unvaccinated children are still at risk, and there are still occasional deaths from measles].

Out of those, more than 10,000 will suffer side effects of one kind or another.

At least 10,000 will develop ear or chest infections.

About 20 will die. [NOTE: The number of deaths from measles has fallen to almost zero in the UK since this was written. The number of people affected by complications of measles has also fallen.]

LET THAT SINK IN.

Every year around 20 children will die in Britain from measles.

So what about the risks that your children will run from being immunised?

They are almost non-existent. Listen to this. In a district of around 300,000 people, there will be only one child every 250 years who will develop serious side effects from measles immunisation! That is about a million to one chance. I should think there would be more chance of your child choking to death on a chocolate bar than of becoming seriously ill from a measles immunisation.

So what on earth are you worrying about?

It really is almost a crime to allow your child to go unimmunised.

The ideal time to have it done is at 13 months, but it is never too late. All school-children who have not yet had a measles immunisation should beg their parents to arrange for them to have one as soon as possible.

Incidentally, I dedicated two of my books to Olivia, the first was James and the Giant Peach’. That was when she was still alive. The second was ‘The BFG’, dedicated to her memory after she had died from measles. You will see her name at the beginning of each of these books. And I know how happy she would be if only she could know that her death had helped to save a good deal of illness and death among other children.

http://vk.ovg.ox.ac.uk/blogs/ojohn/how- ... us-measles
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