There is a webpage floating out there in cyberspace that
illustrates the rabidly pro-vaccine camp's attitude about vaccine risks
specifically, and the truth in general. Just as they promote
injections, with virtually no proper follow-up, i.e., by shooting
first, etc., some are not at all reluctant to launch what I consider to
be unfair and misleading attacks, failing to determine the fairness and
accuracy of their claims.
The website in question is titled "Misleading
graphs, an example from the site of Sandy Mintz". It is
posted by a doctor, "Eve" aka
"kidoctr", who is a contributor to a vaccinations discussion board.
While I don't mind the plug, and the many hits my graph gets because
of this, for the record, here are the problems as I see them, with her
goofy presentation of the information on my webpage.
graph is not misleading. It is a straightforward graph, using
statistics supplied to me by the CDC. There is absolutely no
interpretation of the graph included on the page. It simply shows
the incidence of deaths from measles, going back to 1912 and ending in
1983. I note the missing later years, and that the graph would
not change much if they were added.
"Eve" may not like the fact that the continued decline in measles
deaths post-vaccination, to almost zero, can hardly be seen. But
it is barely visible because relative to earlier drops, any further
drop is minimal.
"Eve" tries to justify using this graph as her example because "Anti-vaccination sites almost all use graphs to delineate the myth that VPDs (vaccine-preventable diseases) fell prior to the introduction of vaccines and that this serves as 'proof' that vaccines were never the real reason for their decline." However, my graph takes no such position. In fact, I, myself, do not hold that point of view, and have often said so, much to the consternation of some of my
So let me gladly take this opportunity to explain my thinking on
this subject, and attempt to correct any misunderstanding of my views:
1) I believe vaccines had some effect on the decline in
disease incidence. One only has to see how measles
cases almost disappeared overnight, to believe they had an
effect. How much of an effect they had, I cannot say, although in
the case of measles it does appear to have been significant.
However, since there have never been any long-term studies comparing
the vaccinated to the never vaccinated, we simply do not know the
answer to that question. (For more on this, click
However, I also believe that vaccines mostly impacted overt cases of
many of these diseases, including measles. And that
and mild cases of these diseases continue to occur, with almost no
consideration for, or examination of, the possible consequences.
Note that there are often differences in the rates of change vis
á vis disease incidence
(morbidity) and deaths (mortality). For instance, whereas
vaccines appear to have had a considerable effect on measles incidence,
they appear to have had relatively little effect on measles deaths.
2) It is not always clear how much vaccines contributed to the
CONTINUED decline in deaths/cases for the diseases, since many had
already declined dramatically and one cannot assume they wouldn't have
continued to decline without vaccination. To repeat: Since there
have never been any long-term studies comparing the vaccinated to the
never vaccinated, we simply do not know the answer to that question.
3) We also do not know if the impact vaccines have had on
disease incidence/severity is permanent or temporary. Changing
vaccine effectiveness and other factors certainly raise the specter of
impermanence. They even point to the alarming possibility that
the diseases will come back in more severe form.
4) The question, in my opinion, that should be asked is: "What
has been the cost of any declining disease incidence brought about by
the introduction of vaccines?" To repeat: Since there have never
been any long-term studies comparing the vaccinated to the never
vaccinated, we simply do not know the answer to that question.
5) It is completely unfair to use a neutral graph to counter a
judgment that it does not make.
"Eve", in attacking me, is well in sync with the overall attitude of
the ultra pro-vaccine community to the facts about vaccines and their
presentation of them. So I can't say I'm surprised.
But I do want to thank her for giving me the opportunity to share my
thoughts on this most interesting and important subject.
"Eternal vigilance is
the price of liberty." - Wendell Phillips (1811-1884), paraphrasing
John Philpot Curran (1808)