Better Living Through Science: Why Your Kids Probably Aren’t Getting Measles

Oddly, there’s been a few recent outbreaks of measles. It struck me how when I was a kid, a few hundred kids getting measles wouldn’t have been news at all. However, even a handful makes the news now, since in 2000 the Center for Disease Control declared measles eradicated in the United States.

So how can an eradicated disease come back? How did we eradicate it to start with? The answers tell a pretty interesting tale of science applying to everyday life.


The first written account of measles appears to be from a 9th century Persian doctor. It would be 1757 before a Scottish physician showed it is caused by infection. By 1912, the United States started tracking the disease as an average of 6,000 people a year were dying from it in the US. It was particularly deadly to communities that had no exposure. In 1529, a measles outbreak killed two thirds of the population of Cuba. Later, it wiped out half the population of Honduras and also ravaged the Incans. In the 1800s, Measles wiped out major portions of Hawaii and Fiji.

Of course, that was before there was a vaccine. Before the 1963 introduction of the vaccine, virtually all children got measles — up to 4 million cases of it occurred each year in the US. Thanks to better medical care than was available in 1912, roughly 500 people a year would die, but nearly 50,000 a year would be hospitalized and around 1,000 would suffer from brain swelling as a side effect.

If you are below a certain age, you’ve probably never had measles or even seen a case of it. It is highly contagious and about 10 days after you are exposed, you’ll break out. High fever, cough, runny nose, and inflamed eyes are all symptoms. You’ll also likely get white spots in your mouth. But the trademark symptom is red spots on your face that spread to the rest of your body. The whole thing should be done in 10 days or less.

The virus is airborne and if you are not immune, you have a 90% chance of contracting it if someone in your living space has it. One infected person can infect 10-12 people on average. Compare that to the flu where the infection rate is 1-2 people. However, typically, if you have it once, you are immune from future exposure, although exposure elevates your risk of death from other causes for a few years.


In 1954 there was a measles outbreak in Boston. John Enders and Thomas Peebles collected blood from infected students and were able to isolate the virus in 11-year-old David Edmonston’s blood. By 1963 they had an effective vaccine. In 1968 the vaccine was improved by Maurice Hilleman and that vaccine is the same one you get today, usually with vaccines for mumps and rubella.

Enders was also instrumental in the creation of the polio vaccine. Even though polio got more press, it was less virulent and had fewer fatalities. Of course, polio often had more long-term effects on surviving patients. Still, Ender noted later in life that he found the work he did to end measles more significant than his Nobel-winning work on polio.

The actual vaccine works best with two doses. If you take only one, it is 93% effective. With two doses, your chance of avoiding infection is 97%. The vaccine actually contains live virus, although they’ve been “attenuated” to use the medical parlance. The live virus is placed in another host such as animal tissue or even a live animal. Many of the microbes will not be able to infect the host and die, but some will possess a mutation that allows it to thrive. This mutation will spread, but the mutated virus won’t be as adept at infecting a human host. That’s the virus that winds up in the vaccine.

Dueling Vaccines

As successful as the measles vaccine is today, it didn’t start off that great. In 1963, there were two vaccines based on the isolated virus from Edmonston. One used an attenuated virus, but perhaps it wasn’t attenuated quite enough. Almost half of the children who received it would get a fever and some measles symptoms, so they started administering it with a measles immune globulin to further reduce its strength. This helped, but it was still less than ideal.

The other vaccine — based on the same virus — used dead organisms and was therefore not causing symptoms. However, it required three shots each a month apart and didn’t offer long-term protection against the disease. Worse still, a few years after inoculation, some children developed a measles-like illness.

Enders made the virus available to other researchers to encourage improvements in attenuation and this led to other vaccines based on other strains or improved attenuation of the original strain. By 1968, a safe and effective vaccine was available. While it is possible to have minor side effects, they are typically mild and short-lived.

People were optimistic. In 1967 it was thought that the disease would be eradicated from the United States in a matter of months. This didn’t pan out. You can’t get everyone to take a vaccine and sometimes the vaccine simply doesn’t work.

War on Measles

In 1978, the CDC set a goal to eliminate measles in the US by 1982. While they didn’t make that goal, they did reduce cases significantly. In 1989, a new outbreak led to the recommendation for a second dose of vaccine. By 2000, there had been 12 months with no continuous disease transmission, so the war was declared over. However, since there are unvaccinated people and some of them travel overseas, occasional outbreaks do occur.

Realistically, not everyone will get vaccinated. Some people can’t for medical reasons or are too young. Other people simply won’t for reasons like religious belief, fear, or just laziness. However, if enough of your neighbors are vaccinated or otherwise immune, it confers what is known as herd immunity. If about 90 to 95% of people are immune to measles, it will stop the spread of the disease and your chance of getting it will be near zero if you are not directly exposed to it. Less virulent diseases like polio require even fewer members of the herd to be immune. However, diseases you can contract from something other than another person (for example, tetanus) aren’t subject to the herd immunity rule.

Measles Today

Two recent US outbreaks had 225 and 50 victims — a far cry from the early days. In both cases, people without immunization went to a foreign country and returned home to infect other non-immunized people.

There are still 20 million cases a year of this disease, mostly in the developing world. If you think it is just a harmless childhood rite of passage, think again. In 2014, there were 73,000 deaths — better than the 2.6 million who died in 1980. However, a decrease in immunization rates has seen numbers trending up in recent years.

It is interesting, though, that a disease that used to strike millions now makes the news when a few hundred people get it. There has been controversy, of course, around side effects and also surrounding ethical concerns about some vaccines (including measles) have been tested. That’s a bigger topic. But the number of lives saved by the measles vaccine over the last 50 some odd years is staggering — perhaps as high as 100 million.

153 thoughts on “Better Living Through Science: Why Your Kids Probably Aren’t Getting Measles

  1. I troll friends preparing to have kids by asking if they’re going to vaccinate. But seriously, anti-vax is a steaming pile of anti-science bullshit, and I applaud the kids recently in the news for escaping their parents’ ignorance and getting the shots on their own.

    1. This is what happens in a society that allows everyone to have equal voice, spout opinions that are ridiculous and dont bring them to bear when they become dangerous.
      It’s the natural evolution of flat earth theory. Mock them you may, but their opinion is just as valid as everyone elses.

      Stupid is seemingly an incredible polarising force and stupid people seem to gravitate to which ever stupid principle they believe in. Can we somehow harness “stupid” for energy?

      The apologists let them continue; “they are doing no harm” sure, if its’ flat earth theory, but not when their stupid ideals affect everyone around them.
      Freedom of speech gives you to right to yell bomb on a plane. But we might like a word with you if you are stupid enough to do it as clearly there are some issues which need addressing..

      It doesn’t help that you have maintream media telling people about alien conspiricies, fake moon landings in the name of entertainment.
      Stupid people start to believe the hype. Governemnt is out to get me, Chlorinated water, government meat, mind control injections., etc.

      Some people need protecting from themselves. And certainly from others.

        1. – Yeah, they already did a study to try to prove ‘stupid people’… Turned out the more educated and affluent, the more likely to question the safety of vaccines. Then the media spin on that study was ‘more educated people are more easily duped’… I personally know multiple (real PhD) doctors and a pharmacist (not a ‘tech’) who don’t vaccinate. Maybe not every doctor is a brain surgeon, but they are also not stupid. They are all happy to discuss any questions regarding vaccines, and would not steer anyone away from vaccinating, but it is a personal choice (from much) personal research and what they have seen in their own practices, to not do so.
          – There are legitimate points for safety concerns, whether or not you agree with those concerns. For sake of argument, how many ‘normal’ drugs come back to have class action lawsuits against them a couple years after release, even after the much more stringent double-blind studies they have to go through before approval/release? – In contrast to having vaccines classified differently with minimal studies required, full injury liability waiver for the developer/producer, and are injected into those so young it is difficult to prove a mental function change (or many other possible side effects) may have been a result of the injection.

          1. Thank you for not being so stupid , and arrogant , that you assume everyone who chooses to not vaccinate is , stupid. I discovered just the opposite when I began to research the subject. If the medical – pharmaceutical – research community was willing to publicly admit that serious vaccine injuries do happen and go back to providing single vaccines, on a delayed schedule, more parents would choose the vaccines that (mostly) prevent the infections , like measles. The consistently increasing number of vaccines being required , like Gardasil , is creating more and more distrust of this industry. As they say, you can fool some of the people some of the time …

          1. from your linked article:
            “. Rates have been rising since the 1960s, but researchers do not know how much of this rise is due to an increase in actual cases. There are other factors that may be contributing, such as: increased awareness, screening, diagnostic services, treatment and intervention services, better documentation of ASD behaviors and changes in diagnostic criteria.”

            also the source states it has been a rise of 15% in the LAST two years. so my tin foil hat says its more likely the result of cellphone exposure than vaccines as i doubt there has been significant change in vaccination behavior last two years.

          2. – Yep, autism rates are off the charts for years in a row (1 in 59, from a site fully in support of vaccinations) and the death / risk statics thrown around on many of these diseases are so twisted from reality they might as well be called a scare tactic. If you disagree or question them in any way whatsoever you’re ‘flat earth’ and publicly ripped apart, rather than any discussion or research being allowed. Heck, there has probably been more ‘wifi is causing plants to die’ research than safety testing on these things, especially with the pharmaceuticals not having any liability for injury or death(US anyway). As the article states everybody used to get measles, and it wasn’t a huge issue. Not fun by any means, but relatively rarely serious (in reality – with few cases being reported since it was so common to get – but if you look at ‘reported cases’ vs deaths, you can make it look pretty bad), and even moreso with today’s treatments available if it did take a bad turn.
            – When some credible safety studies are done, i might not be opposed, but until then, I’d rather take my risks with measles than many of the life-long debilitating injuries it (may, or may not, but I don’t think it is a closed book personally) be causing. When (California? CDC? can’t find source at the moment) has a task force to overturn vaccination exemptions issued by doctors that are based right on vaccine safety labeling, based on CDC standards instead, I think we are well beyond ‘the government is out to get me’ thinking with very real red flags of regulatory capture and questionable practices. Also half(yes, probably an exaggeration) of the studies done have whistle-blowers – who generally get publicly shredded, no mater how high their credentials or scientific backing and prior credibility. You don’t think there might (at least possibly, worth pursuing, rather than public slander) be something to this? – They are literally risking (losing) their careers, and quite possibly life, to say ‘this isn’t right’, against a multi-billion dollar industry. Anyway, back to the name-calling….

          3. As this discussion is about the (invalid) side effects of vaccinations, why did you post an unrelated link ?
            Is this the kind of mis-information anti-vax’rs like to quote ?
            I think it’s the drugs the anti-vax people used in their youth.

            Also. it seems that you have many different names in this discussion.

      1. Correlation does not imply causation. I think maybe that should be tattooed on the inside of every child’s eyelids at birth so that once they learn to read the lesson just might sink in.

        I could just as easily state that anti-vaxers are on the rise similar to autism being on the rise. So I guess anti-vaxers cause autism then!

        The only study to ever show a link between autism and vaccines was the one submitted by that steaming pile of shit Andrew Wakefield which he later admitted was a lie. Every bout of sickness and even every death to come from this ill-informed viral idea should be attributed to him and he should be spending the rest of his life in the bottom of a deep dark dungeon.

        1. Correlation does indeed IMPLY possible causation, it does not PROVE it but it is certainly implied. Out of the thousand folks that died during the past hour, all of them had eaten ketchup sometime in their lives. Does this mean it caused their deaths? Of course not. But, if all 1,000 of those folks had eaten the same brand of ketchup just prior to dying, then certainly an investigation into the ketchup would be warranted. This is why I do not get a flu shot and I do not get the flu. I have not had any flu vaccinations in the past 40 years and yet I still do not get the flu. People I work with get the flu shot every year and somehow, hundreds of them get the flu every year. Interesting isn’t it?

        1. “Your kind”? It is outrageous that you consider yourself to be intellectual and well educated yet you use this terminology? I believe you just proved otherwise.

  2. What I don’t get is why there aren’t more vaccinations delivered orally like polio. I’m not afraid of needles—I used to donate blood regularly, I get blood work done annually—but, I don’t like getting shots for some reason. Every year I keep putting off getting flu shots for this reason. The same with shingles. With all modern technology advancements can’t we develop vaccinations that don’t require puncturing skin and flesh with a sharp metal object? (c:

    1. The stomach is a harsh environment. Potentially the measles vaccine can’t handle the stomach acid. Similarly, insulin is injected because it gets destroyed in the stomach.

    2. Vaccines target the location where the pathogens live and multiply. With polio, it’s the intestines, so an oral vaccine works. With MMR, it works best with a slower release, such as in fatty tissue. Oral vaccines are more risky, because they have attenuated, but not dead, viruses. Injections are safer. Perhaps we can get closer to the hyperspray, a la Star Trek, rather than crude needles, but the options for getting a vaccine into your body are always gonna be the same.

      1. “Vaccines target the location where the pathogens live and multiply.” No. They cause you immune system to respond with antibodies that can bond with chemical structures on the virus and disable and destroy it. The antibodies can go nearly everywhere and once the template is know, more can be produced very rapidly compared to having to start from scratch.

    3. BTW, there is a “new” shingles vaccine out now, it is much more effect than the previous one of 3 years ago.

      I’ll take my shots, but some DO hurt! A flu shot will leave the injection site sore for several days afterward.

      1. “A flu shot will leave the injection site sore for several days afterward.”

        You’re not really selling it there, mate. (c:

        Good to hear about the shingles vaccine. I will get it one of these days because I’ve heard from several people that getting the actual shingles is no fun at all. I just need to get over my childhood traumas about getting shots. (c;

        1. You can even get shingles in your eyes, which I’m sure is no picnic and I think can cause significant damage to sight.

          Maybe get a small tattoo somewhere inconspicuous. Then a vaccination injection won’t seem like a big deal.

          1. You’re absolutely right. It can leave you blind. Happened to a family member.

            Unfortunately the initial symptoms were similar to stress-induced migraines, so they didn’t get the correct medical attention for (about a week, I think). After it was diagnosed, she saw probably the top specialist in the world, but the damage was done (and continued to be untreatable).

        1. Know what’s worse than a sore spot on your arm? Dying of tetanus. Or measles. Or being in an iron lung. Or coughing yourself so hard you break a rib, then get a secondary infection from a punctured lung before your heart gives out from the combined effects of exhaustion and the infection, or you die from the pneumonia (whooping cough).

          I’m old. Had friends go from all of the above as a kid.

      2. Oh please!

        The flu shot? Hurt?

        It’s sore as in “if I purposely flex this arm muscle this way to make myself feel the injection site it’s not entirely un-noticeable to me”. It’s not sore as in seriously affecting one’s ability to use the arm or even one’s ability to just enjoy the day.

        What a crappy excuse to make yourself a petri dish that incubates and distributes a virus that really does ruin one’s week or two!

    4. I’m sure I read an article recently – about witches, and toxic hallucinogens. The stuff was absorbed through skin contact.
      If the needle alternative got you high as well as delivering a vaccine dose, it would be a revolutionary development.

  3. Okay, people will categorize anti-vaxxers and climate deniers in the same “sub-human” category.
    It is so much easier to go ad hominum or state “it is settled science”
    and totally ignore the claims made against those people. Instead of addressing their concerns.
    And the more “they” try to sweep those concerns under the rug, the longer and stronger the concerns become.
    It is too bad that civil discourse has broken down in the 21st Century, as many of the great advances of the previous century are being lost in the we v. them bickering.

      1. Vaccines contain adjuvants which may over-stimulate the immune system; vaccine injections bypass the normal immune system 1st reponse of gut and airway; vaccienes may be made from immortal (cancer) cell lines which could be harmful it not fully deactivated; SV40 knowingly left in the polio vaccine; vaccine liability protection laws preventing recovery of damages via civil suit
        “MY BODY MY CHOICE!”

        1. Wow. At first I thought this was a troll (poe’s law!), because believe it or not, antivax stuff is often shared by people who are anti.. antivax – they do it to show how ridiculous some of the beliefs are. But then.. the upper case letters, and of course, mentioning “the left”. Coupled with the typo’s – pretty sure this is someone with too much time on their hands, and a persecution complex. The whole “my body my choice” thing is actually something the anti-vax side claim, so, I’m unsure what this person is trying to say..

        2. You don’t represent hackaday!

          What would it even mean to over-stimulate an immune system? That idea is quackery! It isn’t a muscle that you can pull or an electrical device that burns out. Even if you temporarily taxed it, using up a large number of leukocytes your body would just grow more in response! What a load of horse shit!

          Vaccines could be made from immortal cell lines? Ok. And? I’m pretty sure that if doctors started pumping people full of cells that grow into cancers the public would notice that. Hell, by that argument they could put anything in there. How about cyanide? And why just doctors and vaccines? Maybe one of the workers at the place you bought your last fast food “flavored it” with arsenic! Why couldn’t they? Oh, yah, cause that’s murder and they would go to prison. What a moron!

          And SV40? Yes, it was in Polio vaccines for a few years in the 1950s. It was there because nobody knew about it! Now it’s screened for, not knowingly left in. So how many have died from it? Well, it hasn’t been clearly shown that anyone has. How many died from Polio? Which would you rather be infected with?

          You want your choice with your body? Cool. Just sterilize yourself because there is no good reason for you to spread that shit to another generation. Then you and all the other morons can go form a leper colony somewhere that the rest of us who chose to actually take care of our bodies don’t have to be exposed to your viri.

          1. “What would it even mean to over-stimulate an immune system? ”

            While I don’t think it’s likely to happen due to vaccination, this is probably why the 1917 flu was so deadly among young, fit, healthy people like the US military boot camp soldiers it struck first.

            CDC: ” There were high death rates in previously healthy people, including those between the ages of 20 and 40 years old, which was unusual because flu typically hits the very young and the very old more than young adults.”

            Strong immune systems may overreact, causing a “cytokine storm” which is like a positive feedback loop where white blood cells fighting infection trigger the release of cytokines, which in turn activate more white blood cells, which release more cytokines, etc.


          2. Do you not realize the similarity to “we shouldn’t let people be exposed to hurtful ideas” we mist sterilize the mental environment from anything deemed irresponsible. They shouldn’t be allowed freedom of speech because their hurtful ideas could infect my child! While I agree with vaccines, I disagree that you should force them on people, especially as the risk is NOT zero.

          3. “While I don’t think it’s likely to happen due to vaccination, this is probably why the 1917 flu was so deadly among young, fit, healthy people like the US military boot camp soldiers it struck first.”

            Hmmm. I thought this was all figured out. Flu is a respiratory disease and that particular virus had a severe pneumonia associated with it plus was very contagious.

          4. “What would it even mean to over-stimulate an immune system? That idea is quackery!”

            While not joining the anti-vaccination brigade, I’d like to point out that allergic reactions are effectively over-stimulations of the immune system. These reactions can range from mild dermatitis to full-on anaphylaxis.

            Vaccines tend to be tested and risk-assessed for such reactions, of course.

          5. “the 1917 flu was so deadly among young, fit, healthy people like the US military boot camp soldiers it struck first.”

            I may have been healthy when I entered boot camp, (not during WWI) and even healthier when I left… but that doesn’t mean all the exercise and sleep deprivation weren’t stressing my immune system.

          6. @Joh H – You are somewhat correct. Well, the reason it hit those in the war first was because of the overcrowded, overstressed conditions they were in. But, it is true that Flu was more deadly to younger, healthier people.

            This is because the symptoms we normally perceive from a flu are not the direct result of the flu. The virus isn’t killing so many cells that we actually feel them go. It IS our immune systems response that while helpful to removing the virus is also rather inconvenient to the rest of our bodies’ processes.

            It is as @K says, allergic reactions are an example of an over-stimulated immune system.

            I don’t think this is what @hackaday was talking about though. I think he was implying that vaccinations could somehow damage an immune system although I could be wrong.

            Anyway, what percentage of people’s immune systems do over-respond to vaccinations in such a way?
            Far less than respond that way to many popular foods!
            Also, far less than the percentage that would suffer terrible deaths were there no vaccinations!

            Vaccinations are given in a particular order and at particular times for reasons. If a person is one of the “lucky” tiny fraction of a percent that respond poorly it will likely be caught before real damage is done.

            Then that person goes through life without the rest of their vaccinations. That person is dependent on the herd immunity that the antivaxers are destroying!

        3. And another’s body (i.e child) is not their choice.
          If your child causes my child to get MMR, can I sue you for pain and suffering ?
          Can I sue you for life long heart ache when my child has life long problems.

          1. If your child is vaccinated, why would the unvaccinated be of concern to you?

            I don’t fully agree with the antivaxers, but I do think there needs to be more transparency as far as what’s really in the vaccines.

          2. NiHaoMike Said: “If your child is vaccinated, why would the unvaccinated be of concern to you?”

            Please notice this statement cut from above:
            ” If about 90 to 95% of people are immune to measles, it will stop the spread of the disease and your chance of getting it will be near zero if you are not directly exposed to it.”

            So you won’t blame me for not letting your child play with my child.
            Or anyone else in that school for that matter.

          3. “I don’t fully agree with the antivaxers, but I do think there needs to be more transparency as far as what’s really in the vaccines.”

            Pure unadulterated dumpth. And apparently I don’t fully agree = I mostly agree.

            I wonder why the insurance companies would tolerate some lack of transparency in vaccine contents? (As opposed to what you put in your mouth?)

          4. @NiHaoMike – We do not live in Magic Land. There is no magic elixer that makes one completely 100% immune to disease. For the individual vaccination significantly ups your odds of staying healthy. For the population it makes the likelihood that an outbreak will spread as opposed to burn itself out very low.

            Still, having a bunch of little mini-mike petri dish kids dropping their gems all over the school playground is a hazard that can and should easily be avoided.

        4. If I’m being treated for leukemia, and my immune system has been wiped out in preparation for a bone marrow transplant, then I’d be extremely susceptible to catching something from your unvaccinated pathogen-carrier child, resulting in my death.

          That’s MY BODY.

          1. You just described my nephew. Survived leukemia by way of a stem cell transplant but was not fully recovered when he caught the flu and died.

            Our family takes vaccinations very seriously.

    1. “Okay, people will categorize anti-vaxxers and climate deniers in the same “sub-human” category.”
      Don’t do that people! Don’t you know it’s unfair to sub-humans?!?!

      “It is so much easier to go ad hominum”
      Nope, that requires recognizing the anti-vaxer as human

      ‘or state “it is settled science”’
      That’s exactly what it is!

      “and totally ignore the claims made against those people”
      Aww, hell no! I’m ignoring nothing. I’m making claims against those “people”!

      ” Instead of addressing their concerns.”
      Their concerns have been addressed over and over again.
      Their concerns are all assenine.

      “And the more “they” try to sweep those concerns under the rug, the longer and stronger the concerns become.”
      Ooooh, “THEY” Better call Mulder!

      “It is too bad that civil discourse has broken down in the 21st Century”
      There is no value in attempting civil discourse with a broken-brained moron that is hell-bent on tearing down the progress of the last century and returning us to a more diseased state. They are not reasonable. They do not listen to reason. They are good for only one thing, being petri dishes.

      ” as many of the great advances of the previous century are being lost”
      Yeah! Like Herd Immunity! F@#$ those people that are ruining it! They are a problem and nothing more than a problem, just like the viri they support.

    2. In some ways, I agree – mocking or immediately dismissing someones beliefs/preconceptions only strengthens their beliefs pushing them further to “that side”. In some ways I think this is why there is still a small but significant antivax community, simply saying “yeah but you’re wrong and you want to kill babies!” isn’t really going to bring people on your side, and I think many know this but prefer to be seen as being right, rather than actually try to improve the situation.
      Some of course, cannot be dissuaded, but those are who cautious and on the fence (despite the weight of evidence of safety, efficacy and huge cost/benefit ratio) will just see one side mocking those who are worried for their children – whilst you may be angry about it, outrage doesn’t help matters.

      1. > mocking or immediately dismissing someones beliefs/preconceptions only strengthens their beliefs pushing them further to “that side”

        It also hurts them. And since they lack mental capacity (remember, they’re not even humans) to ever change their beliefs anyway, since they do not care about facts and reason, why not hurt them? They deserve it. They totally deserve all the pain we can cause them.

        > but those are who cautious and on the fence

        That’s a myth. They are all idiots. Every single one of them.

        1. No matter what you think of other people, you shouldn’t have this strange hating view, just because you disagree on a societal/health/political topic.
          That debate is so extremely overheated. Where is civility gone? Not only that, people claim that this is the right thing to do, all think they are even (intellectually) superior.

          Unbelievable what calls itself scientific or intellectual today.

          Humans should be treated according to human rights, this is a fundamental law that counterweights everything else.
          There are no buts and ifs.

          You might be in rage, and forgot to keep your class. Arguing you are right to have lost it, though, disqualifies you as an intellectual or scientist.

          1. > on a societal/health/political topic

            It’s a *scientific* topic. There is no place for “alternative” points of view in science, only facts matter, and those who dismiss facts must be mocked, must be beaten to pulp, must be ostracised, must never be considered as equal to the proper human beings.

            > Humans should be treated according to human rights,

            Those who ignore the Scientific Method are not quite humans anyway.

    3. It isn’t the concerns, it is the amount of dumpth. The absolute belief that something that fits their view of how the work works, things like homeopathy, is true. A favorite is “no one has done a proper scientific blind study of the effect of the MMR vaccine”. Aside from how long that wold take to find “no effect”, like 90 years, for the billions who have received the vaccine, all those who did not are your control group!

      It is some sort of blind spot, the intersection of numeracy and reality is invisible to them.

    4. They certainly are not the same as those who doubt the efficacy of various schemes for humans to change the climate. There is no control experiment for climate change. You have a choice about accepting various projections. Vaccines are an open and shut case.

    5. Last I checked, the same people condemning anti-vaxxers were the same ones saying “DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO WITH MY BODY” in regards to birth control and ejecting unborn offspring without clicking the dismount button first and allowing the industry accepted ejection mechanism to do its job.

      I am all for common sense, but a lot of the modern vaccine BS is getting out of control. Never had a flu shot, rarely get the flu. I choose which vaccines my children get and if that keeps them out of school then they can go to a different school or (what we are considering now) be homeschooled and be smarter than any public school dummy.

      I choose which vaccines. I choose what I believe. I speak freely without threatening others (someone mentioned it being free speech to make a bomb threat on a plane – Incorrect – That is a threat and constitutes assault). Anyone who wants to try and illegally modify/remove these liberties should be advised that people like me are now carrying compact AR-10 pistols with us wherever we go…. Give us liberty or give us death!

      1. You sure you ever had the real flu? It’s not a few days of and sniffles feeling bad. The real flu will knock you flat and keep you in bed for 2 weeks or more with high fever. That’s the one the vaccine is meant for. A friend had it, it damaged his heart. He now gets the shot every year.

        1. Not only have I never had that type of “flu”, I surveyed the dozen people around me at the water cooler and none of them have heard of such a thing except with very elderly people and small children… One claimed to be knocked out of service for at least half a week one time. Are you elderly? Or suffer from immune system problems?

          1. He is describing the flu. It is a very serious respiratory viral infection. Did your friends get antibiotics to help prevent pneumococcus taking advantage of the lung damage? Or perhaps have had the pneumococcus vaccine to prevent a secondary deadening? Every strain is different. They come from Chinese farms where the virus passes from pig to chicken/duck to fish to human to pig to chickens/ducks to fish (occasionally dogs in the chain) until an airborne virus the likes humans is spawned. They swap bits of coding all the time (maybe by more than one virus hijacking a cell – don’t know). Thus, swine flu, bird flu, and flu’s named after ports of entry. It has been quite a while since there has been a really bad one outside China.

          2. Consider yourselves lucky then. You don’t need to be elderly (I’m not), that only raises the chances. You can be young and in good health and still catch the flu I describe and which the shot is for.

            Trust me, you’ll know when you have it and you’ll hate it.

          3. I had that kind of flu, I was in bed for over a week, with a bucket beside me. I was young and in pretty good shape, I was also in the US Navy at the time. I ran a fever of over 104 at one time, my room mates ending up moving out because I cracked the windows(This was in December while I was stationed at Great Lakes(just north of Chicago) going to BE&E before ET “A” school.) I was checked by the watch about every two hours, I guess to make sure I had not died. No fun at all.
            Also, go back and look at the news, grabbed these two with a quick search.
            Note, one was 20 and the other 21, neither old, young or immune compromised.

      2. You sure you ever had the real flu? That’s not the usual kind of sniffles and feeling bad for a few days. The real flu will knock you flat and keep you in bed for 2 weeks or more with high fever. It might not kill you unless you’re old, but it can damage your heart. A friend had this happen, he now gets the shot every year.

        1. Stop making people paranoid with unlikely turn of events.
          It is very common for kids to get the flu, and treated and monitored properly, your immune system will be built up like it should.
          Flu vaccine is only for people with specially weak immune systems. It must also be renewed annually, because the flu virus changes all the time.
          Having had the flu, is the best vaccine.

    6. > Instead of addressing their concerns.

      While you at it, address the flat-earthers and creationists concerns as well.

      There is absolutely no point in treating the idiots as equals. They won’t appreciate it. Just make them shut up, one way or another.

  4. Have you ever actually engaged a real devout anti-vaxxer? In my real word experience they are not rational, and thus you can not have a rational conversation. You can give them all the science, all the data, all the facts and truths, and they’ll come back and say “Well yeah, but my 2nd cousin had a kid that had a bad reaction, and a movie star said that they cause [SIDS, allergies, ADHD, mongoloidism … ] so NO ONE should get them!!! Besides it’s just a big pharma conspiracy!!!” *sigh* I’m spending my time and energy on electing people to government who believe in science, facts, and evidence.

    1. ” I’m spending my time and energy on electing people to government who believe in science, facts, and evidence.”

      That is probably the best use of your time instead of trying to debate the anti-vaxxers, the problem lies in the fact that all of your possible options have already been corrupted and will willingly destroy the educational system which only exasperates the situation. Why would they do this? simple, its easier to sell people shit they don’t need if they are under educated like politicians who are already in the pocket of business or some pet passion project that another politician may have. We have a lot of people in government who believe in science, facts and evidence yet they use those things to further their own personal interests by deceiving the rest of the general public. So instead of electing people who believe in science, facts and evidence, try electing people who believe in consequences for actions (every politician says they are all for consequences until the lens is pointed their way)

    2. It can be entertaining, and the beauty of this country is that you both are free to believe what you want and also engage freely in civil discourse regarding the subject, no matter what opinion you have

    1. I think I read that paragraph in “The Population Bomb” in 1968. In afct at the time Ehrlich said the US had a population if 160 millions and for sustainability, needed to be more like 120 to 140 million (which would be nice). And we are all supposed to be long dead by now. It does make one wonder about those who desire massive immigration, doesn’t it?

      1. It’s not about massive immigration, it’s about the jobs we ‘mericans won’t do.
        It’s the labor costs of picking fruit and vegetables in hot fields.
        The cost of labor is the biggest expense in growing food in the country.
        So, if $10 a pound for apples or carrots is OK with you, then get all those high school kids out there on minimum wage.
        Lets start with the kids in YOUR county.

  5. Some have experiences that give them reasons to distrust medical advice. I am one of them. Science has a lot of data, but it is not always interpreted correctly or without a bias. Science changes its mind as it learns. I was on the fence about vaccines with my children, but a great pediatrician helped me see the big picture and I vaccinated without worry. The problem is, as pointed out above, vaccines do cause problems sometimes, and sometimes serious problems. My doctor acknowledged this, and my concerns, and explained which ones have a good track record and helped me sort it out. Without this respect for my concern and an honest response that vaccines can cause harm sometimes, I was able to take my Dr’s advice. We don’t do flue shots, though, and my doctor thought that decision was fine. My pediatrician was just a main stream doctor in a large practice, not an outlier or holistic that posters here would call a “quack” or whatever. I’m convinced people are more concerned with the drama of name calling than really helping the situation, and a person with concerns who doesn’t just blindly follow medical advice and understands that in the real world, money sometimes wins out over the well being of people, is just looking for information they can trust. The pharmaceutical industry unfortunately is not reliable. That’s where a really great doctor comes in. She had really studied the situation herself and cut through the misinformation on both sides of the debate for me.

    1. “Some have experiences that give them reasons to distrust medical advice. I am one of them. Science has a lot of data, but it is not always interpreted correctly or without a bias.”

      Nobody knows everything and nothing is perfect.


      Science is a process that is designed to find and remove it’s own inaccuracies. Sometimes damage does happen before the inaccuracy is found. There is always some risk.


      There is no other source of knowledge that does it any better. If you reject medical science because it has on occasion been wrong then you must replace it with something. The only other sources of “medical knowledge” available are folk-lore and hearsay. Both are far less reliable and far more likely to hurt you.

      If you ever want a good measure of just how good our medical science is I suggest this. Go for a walk in a couple of cemeteries. Chose one that is currently active, filled with people that died within the last couple of decades. For the other choose an old cemetery from before modern medical science. In both please make it a point to read the gravestones paying special attention to the dates and how old the occupants were when they died. If you still doubt science after that then you might as well go grab a shovel cause the choices you will likely make are not going to help you live a long life.

  6. Over confidence is a problem with the anti-anti-vaxers. They shout loudly that “Vaccines are Safe”.

    Vaccines are not 100% safe. They may be safer than the alternative, but to claim they are 100% safe when they are not breeds more irrationality. There is a vaccine injury court that has paid out $4BB in injury claims. The anti-anti-vaxers like to pretend it doesn’t exist. I have met people who have lost years of their life from vaccine injuries. Not much fun.

    I still am mostly pro vax. I waited for my kids to be older and more developed before going all in. I don’t follow blindly the age recommendations. They are made up — there is no science behind them.

    I am scientist, PhD.

    1. I have never heard anyone say 100% safe. It is like air-bags and seat-belts. Occasionally someone is thrown clear of an accident unharmed and some small portion of the population will latch onto that and refuse to use set-belts. Occasionally someone is killed by an airbag – while being saved from being double killed. Ejection seats kill pilots.

      Anyway, you have to sign a waver to get a shot. How do they win the civil actions? Jury selection is critical I’m sure.

      1. No, there *are* genuine risks with vaccines. Some of the adverse outcomes can be very serious, and permanently debilitating, if not life threatening. If I’m not mistaken, the vaccine injury fund was set up to help those rare unfortunate people (and they are exceedingly rare), as a recognised side effect of the *massive* public health benefit of mass vaccination programs.

        Paying for a few thousand injured people per year is chump change compared to the economic impact of saving a hundred million lives, just from the measles vaccine alone.

        If we had managed to achieve global eradication, as we did for smallpox, then there would be no need to keep up the vaccinations. We’re nearly there with polio (IIRC), and campaigns against diseases like measles & pertussis (whooping cough) were progressing well – until recently.

        In the meantime, I’ll vaccinate myself and my kids against everything I can. I’ve only had the flu once in my adult life, and it’s an experience I don’t plan to repeat, thank you very much!

        1. There are genuine risks with airbags. Why the “No.”? I wonder how many of the suits are from a reaction to a shot that hit a vein and causes inflammation. Or the person has a vasal vegus and cracks their head on the floor?

    2. There is indeed a failure to communicate here. Take the comment of ‘S’, just above yours: What i take away from it is that there was a doctor that listened to S, talked to S, and then got S to do every vaccination necessary. It probably involved S saying something ominous like ‘But some vaccines have a bad track record, right?’ (Meaning S had heard that vaccines currently on the market were dropping victims left and right) and the doctor answering ‘Yeah, some like abc can be pretty rough, but xyz here is very mild and i’ve never seen a child hurt because of it’ (Meaning the doctor knew about 1:10000 recipients of abc have a temporary reaction to abc, while 1:10000 recipients of xyz have the same reaction, but as the doctor has ‘only’ been vaccinating for 10 years straight, she has only seen 5000 people, and none of those had that reaction, or reported it to her. Thus she really thinks (wrongly) that xyz is better, or she thinks she can thruthfully claim she never ‘saw’ a bad reaction to it.). S was mollified, and vaccinated.

      Would there have been another doctor, who heard S say ‘But some vaccines have a bad track record, right?’ (Meaning S had heard that vaccines currently on the market were dropping victims left and right) and had answered to the question with ‘That’s bullshit, Vaccines are safe. Vaccinate your children now’ (All factually correct, even the ‘safe’ monicker, as we call many things ‘safe’ that are statistically much more unsafe than vaccinations (meaning the ratio of bad outcomes if we do the thing, and the bad outcomes if we don’t is much higher) )

      While I would prefer (i.e. rather go to) the latter doc, because she is more grounded in statistics, taking into account that there are many ‘S’s around, i’d actually rather have a lot of the former doc around: They get herd immunity going, while at the same time keeping the ‘S’s close to someone close (though not as close as the latter doc) to science…

      1. The second doctor you would prefer in your example does not provide the statistics in your example, only a generalized response and a directive. This is a doctor, in my opinion, to be avoided. You have no idea if the advice is coming because of a medical reason, or a salesman just visited the day before, because your preferred Dr. shares nothing. In my experience, when a doc behaves this way, it’s because he/she is not up on the subject and can’t answer a very specific question. When I was analyzing this years ago, my concerns were not a result of news or social media, a friend had an experience with a vaccine. I have no social media accounts and never have. I had read several books and articles on both sides of the subject, none of which had been objective. Luckily, my doctor was objective and not on one side or the other. She had years of experience and was able to tell me the safest and most necessary vaccinations.

      2. It is a proven fact that when presented with statistics and then questioned on their perceptions of safety people tend to greatly exaggerate the least likely dangers while under emphasizing the larger ones.

        The dangers of not vaccinating are orders of magnitude more likely to harm one than are the dangers of vaccinating.

        It is a little more complicated because in a society where nearly everyone gets vaccinated a single individual who chooses to forgo that vanishingly small possibility of being harmed by the vaccine would still be protected by herd immunity. That turns vaccination into sort of a game-theory problem and so is more complicated.

        Unfortunately enough people are making the selfish choice of not vaccinating that herd immunity is diminishing. Now it’s a more simple question of the odds of being hurt by a pathogen vs by a vaccine. This one is a no-brainer. Get the damn vaccine.

    3. If you are a scientist then should be somewhat literate in statistics. And as such realize the number of people who do not suffer any reactions to vaccines vastly outweigh those who do. No-one has claimed vaccines are 100% safe, that is a typical straw-man argument. Everything in medicine is based on a cost/benefit analysis. Some drugs are ineffective, but have little side effects, so they aren’t taken off the shelves. Others have great benefit, but also a lot of side effects, again, same deal.

      Vaccines have an overwhelming cost/benefit ratio – how many people do you know that have died from a vaccine? Or become disabled as a direct result of a vaccine? I suspect the “people you have met” were either part of an antivax group (and therefore, a concentrated sample) or mistaken about the cause of their illnesses. Why don’t we hear about the hundreds of millions that *don’t* have reactions?

      We have no idea of your education or credentials, and given the anonymity we cannot check. But I know one can buy a PhD fairly cheaply. Also, there are those with genuine PhD’s who believe things that are incorrect, in fact, those with higher education can fall victim to such belief’s because they assume they are intelligent enough to be right. It’s rather arrogant to believe you know more about what ages to give the vaccines than the hundreds of experts who decided these things. Unless of course your PhD is in googling.

  7. Redditor here, I wholly and unabashedly believe in “herd immunity” despite a complete lack of scientific evidence. If your unvaccinated child causes my vaccinated son to get measles I am seriously gonna go on reddit and make an angry post about how dumb these anti-vaxxers are.

    1. Uhh.. If your son is vaccinated, how will ‘my’ unvaccinated son cause your son to get measles? Or do you not think that the vaccination works? That is the whole point of herd immunity…

      1. Another article scanner ~

        Cut from the article above:
        If about 90 to 95% of people are immune to measles, it will stop the spread of the disease and your chance of getting it will be near zero if you are not directly exposed to it.

        The out break of measles currently under way is caused by kids playing with each other.

        So, I will ask you,
        a) Can I sue you for your child giving my child measles ?
        b) Should the school administrates ban your child from the school ?
        c) describe your solution.

        1. a) Same answer as “can I sue you if your child gives my child the flu” – No. Now, if measles vaccine had 0% rate of negative health effects AND 100% rate of successful vaccination you could have some argument regarding this but because those numbers are not 0% and 100%, respectively, there is no real argument here.
          b) If this is a public school, no, and if private school, yes.
          c) Keep calm and stop wasting thought on this. Unless you support tyranny, you will not support mandatory vaccination. If you support tyranny, then you should start voting for these socialist/far left wackos.

          1. a) Why 0% and 100%? The chance of negative health effects while not 0 is very close to 0. The success rate of a vaccine preventing a disease is not 100% but it’s much much higher than without. You take greater risks just walking out your front door in the morning than you do getting a vaccine!

            c) Socialism is an economic system. Vaccines are medicine. Equating the two just shows how ignorant you are. Go read some books or something!

          2. >> Same answer as “can I sue you if your child gives my child the flu” – No.

            No, you do not want me to sue you
            No, the courts will not allow me to sue you

    1. Irrelevant kid being used by tyrannical government to take a jab at a perceived enemy that doesn’t even exist.

      Not news.

      Real news would be talking about why the deficit continues to grow despite record tax money coming in; Why the last POTUS and cronies got a free pass from FBI on, well, anything (i.e. atty. general selling 20% of nations uranium to russia in exchange for donations to clinton foundation, while running private email server containing classified secrets, etc, etc) while current POTUS being crucified for irrelevant things he did before he was even elected… I keep waiting for minority report’s Tom Cruise to come through the ceiling and arrest him… Not saying that I love the guy but him and his crew are several orders of magnitude lower in shadiness than the last crew…. Pretty sure the last atty. general did in fact commit blatant treason……

      1. The real question is why citizens as a whole tolerate these politicians. We can criticize them all day but then why do we allow them to hold office? When did it become ok for the political parties to lie incessantly and then spend all of their time chasing each other down for doing it instead of getting down to business. Why do we allow companies to pollute our air, water, and food supply? And then we live in it. We have become zombies who stay tuned to the same tired political drama that politicians provide for us every day. And all we do is pick a side and then attack the other side. It doesn’t matter what side you are on – both sides are for wall street, not concerned with the real health care crisis we are facing, pro-anything or anybody that will support their political cause. Most politicians are narcissists who love the sound of their own voices. Let’s get some really smart, good-hearted introverts to take over running things and watch what happens. And these people need to be paid well, not the abysmal salaries that will only attract those already rich who have their richness to protect, or those waiting for the big payout at the end when they get on the Goldman Sachs speech payroll, or go to work for a defense contractor, or Rx company, or lobbyist. Pay them well for good performance while in office, and no need to make the big money on the sly. We’ll all save a fortune being free from all the pork, and the scandals, and the bad deals. I’d gladly pay a billion dollars to any leader who balances the budget and gives our kids a future. Think of what we would save on interest alone. And whatever great “health care plan” they come up with, they have to be on the same plan. Not a special plan just for them. We need people in there who come from every day families, and actually know and care about every day people. The same type of people that would run a great business – get the right expertise and people involved. Our government employees in Congress and the White House are the most non-diverse group of people ever – they are all rich. They are not equipped to make good decisions for the entire populace, or to act honorably, or to lead anything. They’ve become tainted. For starters, no person should be Commander in Chief who refused to serve. Such a person should never decide whether other people’s sons and daughters should die for a cause. That’s obvious. We need an independent party to get involved, and that means the rest of us have to wake up and stop getting caught up in all this political drama.

  8. From the end of the Hackaday article:
    “people without immunization went to a foreign country and returned home to infect other non-immunized people.”

    From this statement is seems all the anti-anti-vaxxers don’t have anything to worry about, they can get vaccinated, and anti-vaxxers can “run the risk”. According to the statement above only the anti-vaxxers NEED to worry about it.

    Anti-anti-vaxxers aren’t going to change the minds of the anti-vaxxers and vice versa and at this point I think both sides know it. Civil discussion on this is basically non-existent, which is exactly why neither side will change anyone’s mind.

    If 5-10% remain un-vaccinated, then let them be, you certainly won’t change their minds. You (I don’t care which side you’re on), certainly won’t change mine either.

    1. Wrong. Vaccinations are not 100% effective, some people don’t develop antibodies, even after repeated attempts. Then we have kids that are too young to be vaccinated. And there are people with damaged immune systems (leukemia and the treatments for it come to mind). Those are the people that depend on herd immunity and are put at risk by people who purposely don’t get vaccinated.

      If you want to eradicate measles or polio (like it was done with smallpox), you need to vaccinate everyone who can be vaccinated. Once that is accomplished (and smallpox showed it can be done), we can stop vaccinating for them.

      1. WAIT a minute! From a pro-vax standpoint, what should we do with these people who fail to develop antibodies? Based on current media, I think we need to be ridiculing these people’s immune systems, expelling them from schoola and just geneally treat them as social lepers? CNN would agree with this for sure.

        1. Nothing, they are just unlucky that the vaccination didn’t work for them. At least they tried. But if everyone who can is vaccinated, herd immunity will make it a lot less likely for them to catch that illness.

    2. “Survival of the fittest”, or “Evolution”. Let these principles the science community holds true take their natural course, and if measles or polio or … are so bad, they will eliminate themselves. If not, perhaps there is something being missed by the science community.

      1. Yes indeed, humanity is the plague and polio is the cure. Humanity is too stupid to survive, humans are proven to be incapable of evolving in a changing world and will soon go extinct.

  9. For mathematical principles, we require full and solid proofs. Each prof builds on other proofs that are not refuted. The way the proof is built also must be correct.
    I have yet to see such a method taken for things like this-not to say vaccinators or anti-vaccinators are wrong or right, but if it is settles science, there should be a such similar proof. All you get is people referencing up to a handful of studies that ‘prove’ their view, but large gaps in the proof are left unaddressed, and the base proofs are also often lacking.
    Write such a proof, end the argument. Or just let people have their *opinions*, right, wrong or indifferent.

    1. Duh, you can’t prove a bloody thing when it comes to the natural world, the only way to reason about nature is to observe reality. “large gaps in the proof are left unaddressed” No duh, Sherlock, we don’t know a bloody thing about how the universe works. How are you going to ‘prove” that your theory is correct?

    2. Proof is in the eye of the beholder. You can not and should not force anyone do something based on your “proof”, at least not in USA. To think that you can is ignorant.
      Give people liberty, or be prepared for a fight to the death.

  10. I had red measles as a kid, as well as german measles.
    This probably explains why i am merely a garden-variety geek, and Steve Wozniak.
    Vaccinate your kids, or end up like meeee!
    (all things considered, I’m still pretty happy)
    But seriously, do all your research, and then vaccinate your kids. It’s a modern miracle.

  11. Lets talk facts, shall we? Here’s the package insert for measles vaccine.

    Pick the ones you’d prefer for your new-born child. Pancreatitis and Encephalithis are the good-ones.

    So, if someone says “Ignorant Parents”, I would split this into the two:
    – ignorant to probabilities (1PPM) – anti-vax

    Digestive System: Pancreatitis; diarrhea; vomiting; parotitis; nausea.
    Endocrine System: Diabetes mellitus Hemic and Lymphatic System: Thrombocytopenia; purpura; regional lymphadenopathy;leukocytosis.

    Immune System: Anaphylaxis and anaphylactoid reactions have been reported as well as related phenomena such as
    angioneurotic edema (including peripheral or facial edema) and bronchial spasm in individuals with or
    without an allergic history

    Musculoskeletal System
    Arthritis; arthralgia; myalgia.
    Arthralgia and/or arthritis (usually transient and rarely chronic), and polyneuritis are features of infection
    with wild-type rubella and vary in frequency and severity with age and sex, being greatest in adult females
    and least in prepubertal children. This type of involvement as well as myalgia and paresthesia, have also
    been reported following administration of MERUVAX II.

    Nervous System
    Encephalitis; encephalopathy; measles inclusion body encephalitis (MIBE) ; subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE); Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS);
    acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM); transverse myelitis; febrile convulsions; afebrile
    convulsions or seizures; ataxia; polyneuritis; polyneuropathy; ocular palsies; paresthesia.
    Encephalitis and encephalopathy have been reported approximately once for every 3 million doses of
    M-M-R II or measles-, mumps-, and rubella-containing vaccine administered since licensure of these

    There have been reports of subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) in children who did not have a
    history of infection with wild-type measles but did receive measles vaccine.

    Cases of aseptic meningitis have been reported to VAERS following measles, mumps, and rubella

    Respiratory System
    Pneumonia; pneumonitis (see CONTRAINDICATIONS); sore throat; cough; rhinitis.

    1. I’m not sure what your point is. You write yourself “Encephalitis and encephalopathy have been reported approximately once for every 3 million doses of M-M-R II or measles-, mumps-, and rubella-containing vaccine administered since licensure of these vaccines.” – 0.00003% rate for a non fatal reaction seems pretty good given the alternative of ~0.01% fatalities from measles alone. And that doesn’t include the increased risk of other diseases that measles increases the chances of based on the “Immune Amnesia” an infection causes. You can post all the shocking list of adverse effects all you like, but without rates they are fairly meaningless.

  12. I cannot paste entire content nor was it my purpose. There were 110000 deaths from meazles in 2017. If an entire population is vaccinated 100%, there might be 100000 disabled babies annually (assuming 40 severe side effects each with prob. at 3e-6). Vaccines have their cost.

    1. > “there might be 100000 disabled babies annually (assuming 40 severe side effects each with prob. at 3e-6)”

      See what you did there? ” *Assuming* 40 severe side effects, each with a prob of 3e-6″. You just arbitrarily assigned equal and random probability to each side effect – that isn’t how it works. You don’t get to decide what the probability is, or that it should be the same chance for each side effect. That is called “making things up”. Also, you’re assuming that every single adverse event causes a disability, which is another assumption – surely many reactions are transient and cause no lasting damage?

      There is plenty of information about it in the document you linked to, so why resort to trying to pass off numbers as facts, when you have access to the source of actual figures that you can use?

  13. I have to admit that this discussion has gone on far too long. ( 5 days )
    I’m sure Hackaday can tell us how many posts have happened here, would be interesting on to hear.
    Also, how this topic compares to other long threads and what topics those covered.

    So hey Al Williams, any idea of the stats ??

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