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Medicine Stats Science Politics

Congressional Committee Casts a Harsh Eye On Vaccination Science 858

The Bad Astronomer writes "A recent hearing of the Congressional Committee on Oversight and Government Reform became a bully pulpit for antivaccination rhetoric when Representatives Dan Burton (R-Ind.) and Dennis Kucinich (D-Oh.) made speeches connecting vaccines to autism — a connection that medical experts have shown does not exist. Although there were actual medical researchers there as witnesses, they were mostly berated by the Congressmen on the panel. Vaccines are one of the most successful medical advancements in human history, having saved hundreds of millions of lives, and after copious studies have been shown to have no connection with autism. Despite this, a vocal antivax lobby exists, including, clearly, members of Congress. In part this is why preventable and potentially fatal diseases like pertussis and measles are once again on the rise."
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Congressional Committee Casts a Harsh Eye On Vaccination Science

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  • Re:Hey! Now we know (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @01:49PM (#42181329)

    This is why I am perfectly happy with gridlock. Anything that allows either party to move forward with their platform just means more spending and more stupidity.

    Unfortunately, now they've gone and turned on the nuclear bomb timer and are now arguing about how they want to turn it off. Who knew that the only thing they could agree on was a way to ultimately destroy the government?

  • Broken System (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RichMan ( 8097 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @01:50PM (#42181339)

    The US electoral system runs on corporate money. Corporate money prefers politicians that can be manipulated. In some cases you get the direct results of the manipulation, in other cases you get the results because the politicians are not fact driven.

    There is full bipartisanship on stupidity, and it is because the system is broken.

  • Re:Freedom of choice (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Arancaytar ( 966377 ) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @02:05PM (#42181565) Homepage

    I agree that you shouldn't be obligated to get vaccinated, provided you lock yourself into your house and never touch or breathe on anything in public ever .

  • One sided (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TelavianX ( 1888030 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @02:10PM (#42181651)
    I am not anti-vaccine by any means. I am just anti all vaccines for a newborn baby. Why pump a human, at its most critical stage, with a bunch of foreign chemicals? Does a newborn really need to be vaccinated against STD's? Why not wait until the child is more robust?
  • Re:SAY NOTHING (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @02:11PM (#42181679) Homepage

    Exactly. If only children of anti-vaccination parents got the diseases, I'd say this was the parents' personal call and keep the government out of it. But when a parent says "I'm not vaccinating my kids", they expose other kids (too young to get the vaccine, vaccine didn't "take", or has a valid medical condition keeping them from getting the vaccine) as well as senior citizens who grew up pre-vaccines to the disease. People DIE because of this. All caps just seems too small to emphasize this. If you don't vaccinate your kid, you might be responsible for someone else's baby dying.

    And, even if you are heartless and don't care about anyone else's kids, get your kids vaccinated. To quote Penn and Teller: Even if vaccines caused autism - WHICH THEY DON'T - but even if they did, it would be much better for your child to get autism than to DIE from the disease.

    (Note: I'm a parent of a child with autism, albeit high functioning autism, and I likely have autism myself.)

  • by denobug ( 753200 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @02:15PM (#42181735)

    Stupid typical slashdot science fundie article.

    For everyone of you who claim that vaccines saves lives, tell that to the parents of children who develop autism for no reason and within days of getting a vaccination shot.

    Are you 100% certain that the vaccine shot that you are willing to take, or that you are willing to give your children is really safe enough to put into your body?

    Another thing, why is it that vaccinations that are given to children are the same dose that are given to adults? Is that really safe for children?

    The last thing, do you really think that the companies that make these really care if you have ANY health problems from whatever vaccine they make for you when in the US they are protected by law from harming you?

    I don't usually make such direct and opinionated comment but you sir, is an idiot. Many vaccinations in discussion here are well proven with plenty of track records on their effectiveness and potential side effects. This records spans multiple DECADES and all over the globe. The United States Congress is running a race to the bottom while the rest of the world is trying to vaccinate every kids in their country to improve their public health. Yet someone like you is standing behind a position with very little proven science and are very much in a position to prevent the stability of public health.

    We are not just talking about funding studies here on the side effect, which most would agree to be a beneficial thing (even if they don't agree with it). In fact we are talking about STOPPING current vaccination programs, which has been proven to be HIGHLY effective as far as public health goes. This goes a farther than than the individual expression. Public health at large must be properly protected with programs well run and supported by the professionals with good knowledge and experience. Right now the majority of the experts says vaccination is a good thing. We need to trust their ability in their field. There are very little reason why would majority of medical professionals would lie together on issues such as this.

    I also don't normally make this request but some with mod points please mod this post down to negative (I don't mind if you do mod mine down as well). This post has zero benefit to the readers and is nothing but flame bite.

    For the record I took all the vaccination required and it has no ill effect on me.

  • by GungaDan ( 195739 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @02:15PM (#42181737) Homepage

    Kucinich wasn't an anti-science rep. Hell he claimed to have seen a UFO from Shirley MacLaine's house. Science fiction is kinda like science, right?

  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @02:17PM (#42181767) Homepage

    I have no direct knowledge and I, like most of everyone else, simply have to trust in my medical professionals.

    But I have a concern. We know that mercury is poison. Why is it needed for vaccine? Perhaps someone here actually knows the answer and would share? Surely there are other elements or chemicals which could be used in place of mercury?

    That said, I recognize that we get more mercury from fish than we get from vaccinations. After all, most people eat more fish than they take vaccines. Also, there is the occasional broken flourescent bulb... especially popular now are the CFLs right? We have ample sources of mercury so refusing vaccinations on that basis is kind of ridiculous in a sense... you're getting your USRDA of mercury in other forms.

  • Re:Broken System (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @02:29PM (#42181969)

    As a professional political social engineer, I can tell you that there is no such thing as a person that can't be manipulated. In fact the more sure you are you can't be manipulated, the easier it is.

    Essentially, the whole point of communication is manipulation. Either to get somebody else to do something, or to get some information, which will always be biased by the preferences of the other side and hence effectively resulting in manipulation.

    We design whole realities nowadays. and if you ever looked at the schedule of any meaningful politician: It's stuffed with meetings with what are basically purely lobbyist meetings. Sometimes disguised a bit, sometimes not even that. This is where politicians get all their views from. And there is not enough time for any other source to squeeze in.
    The same lobbyists are the "sources" for most of your "news" by the way. (Slashdot is included in this.) So as unacceptable as it sounds... this is where your views come from too. (And mine, I must painfully admit.)

    You can check all of that. You'd be an idiot to believe an AC... especially a SE one. So go ahead. trust your own eyes, and your own eyes only.

  • Re:Congress Sucks (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Beardo the Bearded ( 321478 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @02:46PM (#42182257)

    I've been in the Canadian, American, and Belizian medical systems this year.

    In Belize, they'll do what they can. They can't get their hands on pretty much any supplies. Even gloves and syringes are impossible to get.

    I've had to get some tests done at home. It took about 2 months to see a dive specialist and then another month for a follow-up. It took eight months to get an echocardiogram. I do require an MRI to check for nerve damage in my spine but I'm waiting to see the doctor who can refer me to the machine. OTOH, my friend got a CT scan in 30 minutes when they thought he was having a stroke.

    In the US, you get in right away, any tests that you'd like. You just have to pay for it. There was a clinic in Belize run by a company in Texas, they wanted my CC first and then I could get treated.

    I've considered -- seriously considered -- going to the US and paying out of pocket to get the tests sooner than Canada can get around to it. I mean, there's a simple fix, just add a law to prevent any elected official in Canada from having secondary health coverage.

  • Point 1: they've taken thimerosol out of most vaccines.

    Point 2: We probably get more mercury exposure from burning coal than from CFLs. I personally get most of my mercury exposure from my silver-mercury amalgam fillings. That last one really adds up. CFLs are pretty much innocent, just like you admit vaccines are.

  • Re:Congress Sucks (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cptdondo ( 59460 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @03:14PM (#42182739) Journal

    That must be why the CIA ranks the US 51st in life expectancy, well behind almost every European nation.....

    There is rationing here in the US along economic lines. Try getting medications or medical care with no insurance and see how well that works for you.

  • Re:Congress Sucks (Score:4, Interesting)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @03:15PM (#42182743) Homepage Journal

    No, but I wish they could. Oprah and Jenny McCarthy should be sent to prison for manslaughter.

  • by T.E.D. ( 34228 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @03:50PM (#42183255)

    Burton actually is retiring at the end of this session (this month). Kusinich lost his election, so he's leaving too.

    Basically this is just a bunch of tinfoil hat screeching from a couple of loonies who no longer have to tone down the crazy because they know they won't have to face the voters again.

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling