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items tagged with vaccines

Undermining the Official Certainty of Vaccine Science
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: News/Features

Category: Health

2016-01-07 11:26:40

The 2014 book Dissolving Illusions: Disease, Vaccines, & the Forgotten History follows an unusual format, as authors Suzanne Humphries and Roman Bystrianyk state up-front. They quote evidence from many historical and medical-literature sources, grouped by subject and date, and provide very little opinion, introduction, or conclusions. This allows informed readers to compare opposing statements and to draw their own conclusions. I would add that having a medical degree and working knowledge of modern physiology and immunology are almost a prerequisite as well.

If you require an entertaining introduction to a failed experiment of medical history depicting demons and heroes, this is probably not the book for you. If you are a practicing MD or an informed parent with doubts, you have struck gold.


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Excavating the Roots of Vaccination Anxiety: Eula Biss, January 14 at Augustana College
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: News/Features

Category: Health

2016-01-04 19:56:11

When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in September cited Volkswagen with programming 11 million cars to evade emissions standards and tests, the first thought of author Eula Biss was unusual: “This is going to be really bad for vaccination.”

Unusual for most people, but fairly typical of Biss, a lecturer at Northwestern University who will speak as part of Augustana College’s River Readings series on January 14. Her 2014 book On Immunity: An Inoculation is about vaccination, but it starts with the story of Achilles and touches on vampires, the environmental classic Silent Spring, semantics, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, anti-bacterial soap, paternalism and sexism in medicine, Kierkegaard, and New Coke among many, many other things.

The Volkswagen scandal fits right in, because – as Biss explains in the book – fear and skepticism of vaccination are nothing new and are now often rooted in a distrust of government and corporations. So when there’s an instance of corporate malfeasance that government was slow to catch, she said in a recent phone interview, it reinforces concerns that people have about vaccinations.

“I discovered really quickly that part of the reason that conversations around vaccination are so heated is that we’re often not just talking about vaccination when we’re talking about vaccination,” she said. “It’s like that fight between spouses about dishes that is really not about the dishes. ... There are all kinds of conversations about feminism and government and capitalism and the environment going on underneath the surface of this conversation about vaccination.”


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Question and Verify
Written By: Kathleen McCarthy
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Editorials

2009-10-15 15:00:03

Many of the decision-making processes we engage in require some degree of trust. Trust characterizes nearly every relationship under the sun -- whether husband-wife, parent-child, teacher-student, doctor-patient -- including legislator-voter/taxpayer and media-consumer. With regard to this week's cover story subject -- the H1N1 flu virus and its vaccines -- the decisions made by Americans to accept the professed need for widespread immunization and the safety of government-procured vaccinations is based almost entirely on trust. People who take the time to evaluate and consider the risk-to-benefit ratio of immunization against any virus find themselves asking, "Whom should I trust?" Many of us depend upon the media for our information on this subject. Unfortunately, the dominant mainstream media is no longer worthy of our trust, most especially in matters of life and death.

The media has proven its wholesale complicity in deliberate manipulation of information/news in favor of its own agenda(s) and, more importantly, in favor of its commercial interests. The H1N1-virus controversy is no different.


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H1N1: Despite the Media Frenzy, There’s Little Reason to Panic
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: News/Features

Category: Feature Stories

2009-10-15 12:05:07

If you're torn about how worried to be about the H1N1 flu virus, you're not alone.

Consider: "I think the hysteria of H1N1 concerns me the most." That's Paul M. Bolger, medical director for emergency medicine at Trinity Regional Health System.

"Let's say it's equivalent to a seasonal flu" in terms of symptom severity and mortality, countered Louis M. Katz, the medical director of the Scott County Health Department, an infectious-diseases specialist, and the executive vice president for medical affairs of the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center. "Multiply 30[,000] or 40,000 [typical annual deaths in the United States from seasonal influenza] times five or six, or three or four, in terms of number of deaths. It's a big deal. It's a huge deal. Both from the standpoint of what we call morbidity and mortality - illness and death - and from the impact on societal operations and infrastructure."

This is a worst-case scenario, right? "No, it's what's going to happen," Katz said.

These aren't really contradictory; they're just different perspectives. But they express the general realities about H1N1 that appear to be in conflict: Our brief experience with this new strain of influenza suggests that its symptoms are generally less severe than the seasonal flu's and that its death rate is comparable, but because there's virtually no immunity in people under 60, it has the potential to affect a greater percentage of the population and cause widespread problems.


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