Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Uptick In Whooping Cough Linked To Subpar Vaccines

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the always-buy-name-brand dept.

Medicine 273

sciencehabit writes "Whooping cough, or pertussis, has exploded in the United States in recent years. A new study (abstract) confirms what scientists have suspected for some time: The return of the disease is caused by the introduction of new, safer vaccines 2 decades ago. Although they have far fewer side effects, the new shots don't offer long-lived protection the way older vaccines do."

cancel ×

273 comments

Or (-1, Troll)

jason777 (557591) | about a year ago | (#43773163)

Or, maybe vaccines aren't effective period. Just a thought.

Re:Or (5, Insightful)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about a year ago | (#43773173)

If neither vaccine was effective, there would have been no change. However, there was an observed uptick, indicating that the previous vaccine was definitely having an effect.

Re:Or (-1, Redundant)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year ago | (#43773185)

you have proof the DNA of the disease is the same then as now?

Re:Or (4, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43773225)

you have proof the DNA of the disease is the same then as now?

they might have that proof, actually.

but more than that they have the last years stats of the people who were vaccinated 20+ years ago. presumably the change didn't happen overnight either so there would be some overlap there as well where some age group got either one.

Re:Or (5, Informative)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#43773595)

Kaiser Permanente introduced the vaccines gradually, and have children of the same age with one or the other (or both). This is the source of the 5.6x more likely to get it number.

The older one has more antigens. The older one also had more lawsuits, even though science to this day cannot prove it caused the other problems.

And statistically we'd still be better off with the old one, unproven problems and all, compared to the new one. But there was a telling comment by a scientist -- western societies would no longer "accapt" the old one.

Thank your lawyers. They got rich (Congress even set up a fund for "victims", even though no connection was shown) and people died in increased numbers because of their actions.

Re:Or (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773979)

"western societies would no longer "accapt" the old one."

There might be a good reason for that. I don't know specifically about the "whooping cough" vaccine but in 1976 there was a campaign to vaccinate people against a strain of H1N1 ("Swine Flu"). The feared outbreak never occurred but the vaccination campaign itself is reported to have caused around 500 cases of Guillain–Barré syndrome and around 25 deaths.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1976_swine_flu_outbreak

Re:Or (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43774043)

Is this like y2k?

There was a massive push to raise awareness and prevent something. It worked, and since it worked, nothing bad happened. So it must have been a hoax all along and you're dumb for worrying about it.

Re:Or (0)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#43773241)

Does it really matter? Much like MRSA, I think a lot of times the inevitable Darwinian result happens when a vaccine or medication is ineffective against certain strains of a virus, bacteria, or other pathogen, which results in that version which resists the treatment being refined into what they like to call a "superbug" and having less of the vulnerable ones to blend into. I suspect it could be the case that what we're doing is turning a recessive gene in the bug into one that is standard for basic survival.

Re:Or (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773745)

Please don't confuse vaccines with medication (antibiotics). There is plenty of evidence that antibiotic use leads to resistance. There is plenty of evidence that vaccine overuse leads to less disease, and extinction of the pathogen. Completely different situations. Completely different conditions. Completely different theories. There is nothing they have in common. Don't worry. Common mistake.

Re:Or (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#43773295)

you have proof the DNA of the disease is the same then as now?

That's a possibility. Virulence factors can change over time. It's been hypothesized that the near complete absence of Rheumatic Fever might be due to less virulent streptococcal A bacteria. Or it might be due to increased treatment, better nutrition, sunspots or something else. It's hard to prove.

FTFA

As much pertussis as we're seeing now, we're still seeing in most places pretty good control in the very young," who are at the highest risk of dying form pertussis, Halperin says. "We're seeing lapsed immunity in school-age kids and we have to solve that. But those kids aren't dying."

Can be interpreted as either the bacterium is the same and the host defenses are better in younger children due to a less effective (but still reasonably useful) vaccine or it could be that current Pertussis strains are not as virulent, especially in infants, but still contagious. Should be possible to determine this by looking at older frozen samples of Pertussis, which I assume are available (but don't really know).

Re:Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773187)

Could you expand on what you mean by this?

Re:Or (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773197)

Well of course they aren't. That's why we still have 10% of the population dying from smallpox and polio ... right?

Re:Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773305)

What are you on? 10%?! Try nearly 0% in the US where we made sure to get rid of it. Less than 20k people get it per year and less that 1000 deaths per year hardly 10%, at its peak in the 50s. It is near 0 right now since the late 80s. In areas where they do not use the salk vaccine the death rate is pretty high. Because they do not use it...

To not use the vaccine is not only dangerous to yourself but others.

Re:Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773325)

Whoosh!

Re:Or (1, Funny)

logjon (1411219) | about a year ago | (#43773201)

How retarded are you on a scale from 1 to retarded?

Re:Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773271)

*retarted

Re:Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773739)

Potato.

Re:Or (5, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about a year ago | (#43773205)

Or, maybe vaccines aren't effective period. Just a thought.

I guess that would explain all these horrible outbreaks of polio, mumps, and measles we've been having....

Oh, wait, we aren't having large outbreaks of these diseases? Well, then I guess vaccines work.

Re:Or (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773455)

Or, maybe vaccines aren't effective period. Just a thought.

I guess that would explain all these horrible outbreaks of polio, mumps, and measles we've been having....

Oh, wait, we aren't having large outbreaks of these diseases? Well, then I guess vaccines work.

No, they don't.

See, what has happened is that folks who are naturally immune have peed in water. Now, since the essence of their immunity has gone into the water, we have been drinking the homeopathic cure!

But don't tell anyone! The homeopathic industry needs their revenue for all the R&D they have to prove the effectiveness of their products with their scientific studies.

Like this one:

"Drink this Homeopathic medicine for your sickness. Do you fell better?"

"Yep!"

"There you go! A 100% effectiveness rate!"

Re:Or (4, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#43773523)

Whatever. I still don't support homeopathic marriages or adoptions.

Re:Or (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773227)

Or maybe people should stop refusing to have their child vaccinated because of $CONSPIRACYTHEORY. Just a thought.

Re:Or (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773247)

Or maybe people should stop refusing to have their child vaccinated because of $CONSPIRACYTHEORY. Just a thought.

Why do you hate natural selection?

Re:Or (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773389)

Google "herd immunity".

Re:Or (5, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about a year ago | (#43773589)

"All natural, no dyes. That's a good business - all-natural children's toys. Those toy companies, they don't arbitrarily mark up their frogs. They don't lie about how much they spend on research and development. And the worst that a toy company can be accused of is making a really boring frog. Gribbit, gribbit, gribbit. You know another really good business? Teeny tiny baby coffins. You can get them in frog green, fire engine red. Really. The antibodies in yummy mummy only protect the kid for six months, which is why these companies think they can gouge you. They think that you'll spend whatever they ask to keep your kid alive. Want to change things? Prove them wrong. A few hundred parents like you decide they'd rather let their kid die then cough up 40 bucks for a vaccination, believe me, prices will drop *really* fast. Gribbit, gribbit, gribbit, gribbit, gribbit."

Re:Or (3, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year ago | (#43773753)

$CONSPIRACYTHEORY

Ooh, ooh . . . let me play . . . I'm good at this!

"The government has been working on vaccines that cause autism to use against political enemies by the IRS, which will be running Obamacare, which is why the IRS sorted out the political enemies' tax exemption forms, because those political enemies are against Obamacare, so they won't get the Obamacare autism causing vaccines, which is why the IRS planned to delay processing the tax exemption forms, until the paper borne version of the virus could complete testing in Libya, but the Libyans discovered that the IRS papers distributed to them by the US embassy were the cause of their autistic births, and then stormed the embassy, which was covered up by the government to look like an average Islamic riot, which was working, until the Associated Press found out about it, and was planning to publish, but IRS found out about that, and told then the FBI to tap the phone lines of the Associated Press, so they could find all the journalists and the government leaks, so they could be given a potent adult version of the autistic causing vaccine, and therefore silence them all up, and so this is why the Associated Press reporters are acting all autistic now, and . . . "

Re:Or (4, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | about a year ago | (#43773911)

Or maybe people should stop refusing to have their child vaccinated because of $CONSPIRACYTHEORY. Just a thought.

This.

From the article (emphasis mine):

During the 1980s, U.S. parents successfully sued manufacturers, alleging that the whole-cell vaccine also caused long-term brain damage. A 1991 Institute of Medicine report concluded that this was unproven, but by then many pertussis vaccine manufacturers had withdrawn from the market, leading Congress to create a federal vaccine injury compensation program for families who could show a strong case for vaccine damage.

Sound familiar?

One of the first areas in the US hit by a modern pertussis outbreak was here in California. It wasn't among poor people who couldn't afford the vaccine, like you might expect in emergent epidemics. Instead, it was in Marin County, home of highly affluent post-hippy folks like (say) George Lucas. These folks have been reading all of the holistic alternative medicine literature for years and have convinced themselves that every single article is another threat to the precious, precious unborn babies that they plan to have spring from their middle-aged wombs, and so huge numbers of them have decided to stop vaccinating altogether. Shock, horror, when the result is a resurgence of a disease that had been all but unseen in the area for decades, and a couple of those precious babies actually die.

You see the same thing all over the world. In France, there's some kind of conspiracy theory going around that the measles vaccine is bad. Measles is one of the most contagious diseases around. In 2011, there were 118 cases of measles in the entire United States in the first five months; in France, which has only about twice the population of California, there were 17,000.

On the positive side, people, including childless adults, can help to stop the spread of pertussis by getting a booster vaccination, which helps to increase herd immunity. If you catch whooping cough as an adult, you won't die, you'll get a very lousy respiratory illness for a while. But if you don't catch pertussis, you can't spread it to people who are more vulnerable, like children and the elderly. Right now, doctors believe you need a booster about once in your adult life. It's easy to get -- you can get it bundled with your tetanus vaccine, which if you're smart, you're getting every 10 years or so anyway. Last time I got a tetanus shot, I got the pertussis booster with it, and there was no change in price (i.e. both were fully covered by insurance).

Re:Or (5, Interesting)

MadMartigan2001 (766552) | about a year ago | (#43773249)

The vaccine debate is a religious one on both sides and your statement is evidence of that. The data suggesting that vaccines are working is overwhelming and trying to deny that they have worked is ridiculous. There is also risk to vaccines and they can cause harm and trying to deny that is ridiculous. The bigger question is whether or not over use of vaccines is creating a similar problem as the overuse of antibiotics. And in the process are we actually reducing our ability to adapt as a species to environmental pressure and stress.

Re:Or (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#43773391)

Our "ability to adapt as a species" would mean simply letting people die if they weren't already immune. Unless you're aware of some Lamarkian pressure I don't know about.

Use of vaccines does create a selective pressure for vaccines to adapt, which is why they're used for the most dangerous diseases or in the most at-risk groups, or so broadly that a disease doesn't have a chance to adapt before it loses all of its possible niches. Adios, smallpox. Time to get your coat, polio.

Re: Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773477)

People treated with antibiotics from childhood have weaker immune system. The same may be true for vaccines.

Re: Or (2)

longk (2637033) | about a year ago | (#43773531)

Sure it may, but why think that without evidence. Do you see any correlation between vaccines and anti-biotics that we don't?

Re: Or (4, Interesting)

Rich0 (548339) | about a year ago | (#43773689)

Agreed. If anything antibiotics and vaccines have completely opposite mechanisms of action.

An antibiotic taken as a medication kills bacteria directly, assisting the immune system and making its job easier. In the case of bleaching every surface in your house, it means that the immune system never sees the bacteria in the first place. The same is true of other external use of antibiotics (killing of bacteria before it gets into your body).

A vaccine provokes your immune response against a pathogen without exposing you to the risk of developing the disease (or a greatly reduced risk). Your immune system does all the work, and as a result it is able to do the job entirely on its own much more effectively at a later time.

Comparing the approaches, the disinfectant approach is like bleaching your house 3x/day, and the vaccine approach is like rolling around in the mud and not washing before dinner. I'd be very hesitant to associate the problems of the one with the other.

Re: Or (2)

internerdj (1319281) | about a year ago | (#43773571)

Please elaborate. My understanding is that antibiotics work in the role of parts of your immune system where vaccines work by triggering parts of your immune system. It doesn't seem like that the same logic would apply.

Re:Or (1)

mjr167 (2477430) | about a year ago | (#43773957)

...which is why they're used for the most dangerous diseases

Like chicken pox? I'd be interested to also know your thoughts on the HPV vaccine considering the disease it protects against is already incredibly rare.

Re:Or (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773403)

Smallpox vaccine causes shingles in people over 50.

Re:Or (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773707)

And so can having chicken pox at any point in your life.

Re:Or (1)

PCM2 (4486) | about a year ago | (#43773965)

Smallpox vaccine causes shingles in people over 50.

The United States hasn't included the smallpox vaccine in routine immunizations since the 70s. I don't think you could get it if you asked for it. Most doctors and pharmacies don't even carry it. You might be able to get it if you're in the military and are being deployed to certain regions known to be iffy about chemical/biological weapons.

Re:Or (0)

liquid_schwartz (530085) | about a year ago | (#43773795)

This summed it up. Because vaccines help on the macro scale any questions about them are hushed up or mocked. Unfortunately on the micro scale vaccines kill some people and it appears that little or no effort is being made to reduce this. Which leads to kids who die or have negative effects from vaccines and then parents who then rail against vaccines. Then we ridicule the parents because on the macro scale vaccines help. The parents loss was real, the damage on the micro scale is real, and the advantages on the macro scale are real. Why not work on either improving vaccine safety or work on detecting who might be at risk for a bad result and just keep them from being vaccinated? This is the problem with the vaccination discussion. I'm sure that we could find a better way if we looked, but instead we take the typical American approach of there must be no middle ground or room for compromise. Tragic.

Re:Or (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773945)

We went from a few thousand a year dieing to less than a handful. We went from 20-30k people being maimed by some of these things to nearly none. Over a 10 year period lets, say 1k per year 20k per year maimed, that is 10k less deaths and 200k less people who are bound to a wheelchair. If the person died from the vaccine think what would have happened if they got the real deal (they would have been part of the 1k per year)?

Yeah your way sounds so much better. Maybe we should stop putting chlorine in local swimming pools while we are at it. Unfortunately at this time we have no tests for this. Sure we can maybe eventually have that. But right now? We dont.

Re:Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773941)

Vaccines are not like antibiotics. There is almost no way for a virus to adapt. "Overuse" does not create strong virus's, it creates extinct virus's.

Re:Or (4, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#43773943)

From what I see all the denial is coming from one side. Doctors and scientists have never said that vaccines are 100% effective or that they are 100% safe. Like all medication, there are risks and side effects. For the vast majority of people, the side effects are rare and not serious. There is a large database to keep track of side effects and a special vaccine court [wikipedia.org] set up to hear cases of side effects. The court was started to bypass the lengthy trials that normally is associated with a civil suit and is a no-fault system. However in the case of autism, the court (and science) has found no credible link. The initial claim of a link has been discredited due to fraud. Even the study that first suggested a link has been retracted due to this fraud.

Re: Or (0)

pchasco (651819) | about a year ago | (#43773257)

Well it's a thought not supported by the empirical evidence witnessed over the decades of vaccine use that had seen the decline and near eradication of many human and other animal diseases that once plagued entire populations. Or maybe all these virii and bacteria got bored and decided to stop procreating spontaneously? Wake up, anti-vax anti-science conspiracy theorists. Maybe all you lay moms and dads out there DON'T know better than your doctor what's best for your baby. We've taken this "mom knows best" mentality off the deep end.

Re:Or (4, Insightful)

maroberts (15852) | about a year ago | (#43773263)

Or, maybe vaccines aren't effective period. Just a thought.

I suggest you try thinking harder next time.
Smallpox would still be around if they didn't work, and other diseases would be much more common.

Re:Or (-1, Flamebait)

jason777 (557591) | about a year ago | (#43773461)

haha, I knew that would get me a troll. but seriously, even if they work at all, its not worth the risk of the poisons they put in them (mercury, msg, etc).

Re:Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773521)

Please list the vaccines that contain mercury.

Re:Or (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#43773587)

May I ask why not?

By the way, did you know that mercury is no longer in vaccines (and was never in elemental form) and MSG is a food additive?

Re:Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773767)

Let's see. Overwhelming evidence that vaccines prevent disease, save lives, improve quality of life. No evidence to suggest mercury and msg are harmful AT THE GIVEN DOSES. None at all, other than theoretical maybe, sort of, kind of, possibly, could be. Rational people go with the odds, and stick with what we know. Should have given you a -1 irrational, not troll.

Re:Or (1)

EvilSS (557649) | about a year ago | (#43773777)

MSG? Stop getting your vaccines from Chinese takeouts. Also, the whole MSG is "poison" thing was proven bogus a long time ago. As for thimerosal (which is rarely used anymore anyway), if you are worried about that then I seriously suggest you never eat wild caught fish. Ever.

Re:Or (2)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year ago | (#43773917)

Actually, MSG is indeed [cdc.gov] present in certain vaccines as a stabilizer. Reports of its toxicity are, of course, bunkum, but it is there.

Re:Or (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about a year ago | (#43773861)

haha, I knew that would get me a troll. but seriously, even if they work at all, its not worth the risk of the poisons they put in them (mercury, msg, etc).

MSG? Why is that in vaccines? To enhance their flavor? As far as I know there has been no conclusive evidence regarding the harmful effects of MSG. It takes 5 times as much MSG per weight to kill you vs. table salt. You can buy MSG [amazon.com] at most grocery stores.

Blacks Are The Whooping Cough Of Society (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773165)

Blacks don't think anything is their fault. Having more of themselves in prison than college at any given time is magically not their fault. Black kids that study and try to learn and do good in school to get ahead are beaten up. Did you think it was racist white kids doing that to then? Noooo... It's mainstream black kids. They beat up the black kids who study because they're "acting white". But somehow, that isn't their fault.

The crack epidemic in the 80s affected mostly blacks. Why? Because racist whites held guns to their heads and forced them to smoke crack? Nooo.... Because of their decisions to use crack. That they made. More than anybody else did. But somehow, that isn't their fault.

Black women disproportionally get most abortions. They disproportionally get knocked up out of wedlock and have kids they can't afford. If they thought abortion was expensive, just think about what it costs to raise a child. If they thought abortion was cheap, compare what birth control would have cost. Did racist whites hold guns to their heads and force them to copulate and get inseminated? Noooo.... But somehow, that isn't their fault.

Black fathers disproportionally abandon their children, leaving them as bastards raised by single mothers. Even though this causes all sorts of probelms, making the kids more likely to go to jail, to not go to college, to do drugs and alcohol, to be criminals, all sorts of shit. Did racist white people hold guns to these "father's" heads and make them abandon their children? Noooo... But somehow, that isn't their fault.

But if you don't like niggers and OBJECTIVELY EVALUATE WHO THEY ARE AND WHAT THEY DO and then draw YOUR OWN conclusions... somehow, that's YOUR fault. Do libtards ever run out of excuses for these burdensome underachievers?!

Re:Blacks Are The Whooping Cough Of Society (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773267)

God damn it Alexander Peter Kowalski, APK, this shit is getting old.

The problem with vaccines (4, Interesting)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#43773191)

Vaccines have a great reputation, largely resulting from the highly successful campaigns with smallpox and polio. However, these were done in a less litigious era, and unlike today's medical practice, they could operate without the fear of gigantic lawsuits if something went wrong.

These reduced-effectiveness vaccines are like many "safer", "greener", or otherwise "less harmful" solutions; they have their drawbacks, but only a fool would try to push their solution by advertising those drawbacks. Now we're seeing two effects. A re-emergence of pertussis, and decreased public confidence in vaccines.

Re:The problem with vaccines (2)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#43773335)

you can't sue drug companies over vaccines. there is a huge national bank account used to pay claims of health problems resulting from a vaccine

Re:The problem with vaccines (5, Informative)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#43773395)

Be that as it may, the problem isn't the lawsuits themselves but the culture that fear has created in the medical community. I've worked in the field, and am now in IT support in that field. I can tell you right now that a lot of what goes on in the American medical system is people covering their arses in one way or another.

Re:The problem with vaccines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773413)

And like every other insurance scheme, they really don't like having to pay out, so the pharmaceutical companies are "encouraged" to have as few "incidents" as possible.

Just pay attention as the effectiveness of vaccines gradually drifts toward the effectiveness of injected placebos.

Re:The problem with vaccines (4, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | about a year ago | (#43773485)

The truth is those older vaccines probably hurt lots people. Which is not to say that they did not help millions more. Its not just the era of litigation that is the issue. We are a lot better at identifying the cause of health problems now than we were 40 years ago. We have gotten much faster and widely distributed news, so even a handful of bad outcomes becomes know to the public.

I suspect the anit-vaccs movement would be stronger not weaker if the older vaccs were still in use. A few negative outcomes with very clear established causation would be impossible to make go away in terms of news cycle.

What society is not good at is risk assessment. People are afraid to get their kid vaccinated due to the tiny risk they have some rare as yet unknown immune condition that could cause problems, but were willing to subject them to the risk of driving to the physicians office. These are the same people that demand the TSA strip search their fellow passengers but think nothing of the danger of keeping a large crowd of people confined to a small area.

We need to get much better at teaching cost benefit analysis with regard to risk management. Because right now a whole lot of people are spending a whole lot of money to make themselves less safe.

Re:The problem with vaccines (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year ago | (#43773525)

The problem is too much conspiracy thinking.
If the majority says it is good, and there is one wacko saying that it isn't. That wacko gets far more attention then the masses because, we have been trained to think everything is a conspiracy.

Not directly but we are being taught to be wary of forces that will make us the next Communist or Nazi state. Seeing how the generations before us fell into this evil mindset and just allowed to be taken over by the government.
We are now vigilant, too vigilant, every thing that comes across our plate saying trust us, this is good for you, we take it as skepticism, and most of us are not willing to do the actual science to prove it for themselves. So they don't believe the mass combined with being too lazy to check it out for themselves, creates these problems.

We want people to tell us what is best, but we don't believe these people because those same people could be lying to us to manipulate us.
       

Re:The problem with vaccines (2, Insightful)

rabtech (223758) | about a year ago | (#43773567)

Vaccines have a great reputation, largely resulting from the highly successful campaigns with smallpox and polio. However, these were done in a less litigious era, and unlike today's medical practice, they could operate without the fear of gigantic lawsuits if something went wrong.

I know that makes a great right-wing talking point, but in fact vaccine makers are shielded from almost all liability, barring gross misconduct.

Congress created the vaccine court that evaluates people who may have been injured by a vaccination (no action is 100% free of side effects in 100% of people 100% of the time, including taking no action which in the case of the target diseases is millions of deaths and maimings or stuff like allergic reactions in the case of giving vaccines).

If you are injured by a vaccination, the vaccine court awards compensation, up to and including lifetime medical care if needed.

Part of the reason these diseases are coming back is the anti-vaccination conspiracy nut jobs. If herd immunity drops below a certain percentage then the disease can persist and grow. Above that line and you have essentially 100% protection even though some people can't or won't get the vaccine (and some people who do don't develop perfect immunity). Unfortunately so many people are willing to but "JUST ASKING QUESTIONS" and "TEACH THE CONTROVERSY" bullshit that we are below the herd immunity line for some diseases. We can look forward to a lot more dead and crippled kids before Jenny McCarthy and Andrew Wakefield's body counts are tallied.

Re:The problem with vaccines (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year ago | (#43773659)

Part of the reason these diseases are coming back is the anti-vaccination conspiracy nut jobs. If herd immunity drops below a certain percentage then the disease can persist and grow.

Well, is this such a bad thing?

I mean, the 'nut jobs' will be selecting themselves right out of the gene pool, right?

:)

I've often thought at times, that the gene pool needs a little chlorine every now and then, and this looks like a natural way for it to take care of itself.

Re:The problem with vaccines (1)

tibit (1762298) | about a year ago | (#43773803)

I think that the problem we have is only tangential to the vaccines. Our communication skills demonstrably have not evolved to rationally cope with ubiquitous access to communications. People get quite irrational and their selection biases show simply because they see an "OMG" post on Facebook or an alarmist segment on their evening news.

What about the impact of illegal immigration? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773213)

It's pretty well known that illegal immigration to the United States from third-world countries, many found in Central and South America, has been a real problem that past couple of decades. People sneaking into the US in a clandestine manner enter the country without any sort of medical screening or quarantine. Most of them come from places where basic hygiene practices and infrastructure are insufficient, resulting in disease being quite common. It does not help that they will travel through such areas while making their way to the United States, as well.

So how much of this disease can be attributed to this illegal immigration?

Perhaps there are problems with modern vaccines, but it is absurd to ignore the vectors of such disease, as well.

Re:What about the impact of illegal immigration? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773229)

Oh you racist! You hater!

I need a hug.

Upgrade our vaccines. (2)

houbou (1097327) | about a year ago | (#43773217)

I wonder when it will become mainstream for our vaccinations to be based in part on nanotechnology to further the delivery and the effectiveness of vaccinations and our ability to stimulate our immune system towards fighting these diseases.

Paging Mr Darwin (0, Troll)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year ago | (#43773221)

With population exploding, shouldn't we return to an era where the weak were culled out? With chronic unemployment as the new norm, maybe there's just too many people. It's like managing these "lifestyle" diseases - back in the day old people had the grace to die of diabetes or a heart attack, now they live until 90, but don't work the last 30 years of their lives, effectively eating the seed corn of the new generation. We're soon going to be victims of our own successes.

Re:Paging Mr Darwin (1, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#43773321)

Give Libertarians an inch ....

Re:Paging Mr Darwin (0)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#43773339)

I plan on eating a lot of your seed corn, so you'd better get back to work, son.

I'm Mr. Darwin - what's up? (5, Insightful)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year ago | (#43773359)

With population exploding, shouldn't we return to an era where the weak were culled out?...

Unless you live in Africa, population is not exploding. The population growth rate is slowing, the UN predicts that the world population will stabilize around 2090 and fall afterwards. Most (more recent) predictions think that this estimate is pessimistic - it's looking like population will stabilize around 2050 and decline afterwards.

Most industrialized nations have negative population growth already, the US *would* have negative population growth if you discount immigration. Even with immigration, the US population is slowing and will turn the corner sometime in the next couple of decades.

... back in the day old people had the grace to die of diabetes or a heart attack, now they live until 90, but don't work the last 30 years of their lives, effectively eating the seed corn of the new generation.

I think the problems you are seeing is due to a lack of an evolved sense of morality. On your part.

Re:Paging Mr Darwin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773415)

With population exploding, shouldn't we return to an era where the weak were culled out?

If the population were exploding, why would you need a culling?

Re:Paging Mr Darwin (1)

bmo (77928) | about a year ago | (#43773439)

>With population exploding, shouldn't we return to an era where the weak were culled out?

You first.

--
DJ ZyklonB - spinning your best tunes from 70 years ago.

Re:Paging Mr Darwin (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43773469)

Population is not exploding. Hell without immigration the USA would have a negative growth rate. Even China and India's growth rates are slowing, very few nations have exploding population rates.

Re:Paging Mr Darwin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773561)

`At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge,' said the gentleman, taking up a pen, `it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and Destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.'

`Are there no prisons?' asked Scrooge.

`Plenty of prisons,' said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.

`And the Union workhouses?' demanded Scrooge. `Are they still in operation?'

`They are. Still,' returned the gentleman, `I wish I could say they were not.'

`The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?' said Scrooge.

`Both very busy, sir.'

`Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course,' said Scrooge. `I'm very glad to hear it.'

`Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude,' returned the gentleman, `a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink. and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?'

  `Nothing!' Scrooge replied.

`You wish to be anonymous?'

`I wish to be left alone,' said Scrooge. `Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don't make merry myself at Christmas and I can't afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned -- they cost enough; and those who are badly off must go there.'

`Many can't go there; and many would rather die.'

`If they would rather die,' said Scrooge, `they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population. Besides -- excuse me -- I don't know that.'

`But you might know it,' observed the gentleman.

`It's not my business,' Scrooge returned. `It's enough for a man to understand his own business, and not to interfere with other people's. Mine occupies me constantly. Good afternoon, gentlemen!'

People living longer should work longer (2)

PeterM from Berkeley (15510) | about a year ago | (#43773573)

>>- back in the day old people had the grace to die of diabetes or a heart attack, now they live until 90, but don't work the last 30 years of their lives, effectively eating the seed corn of the new generation.

If you're able and society needs you to work, then you should work, even in the last "30 years of your life" and even if you've done far more than provide for your own retirement.

Good human beings don't live solely for themselves--they also work to help others out.

However, I'm NOT in favor of the masses continuing to work all the way to death solely so that the 1% can pile more gold up onto their hoards.

--PM

the loons are coming! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773231)

queue the crazies. "vaccines make autism!" "they poison you and are mind control!"
the facts are that hundreds of millions of people have died of stuff we now vaccinate for before vaccines were created for them. re: jason777's post that "or maybe vaccines aren't effective period", i dont think you understand what hundreds of millions means :) where is your iron lung? remember that time you had smallpox?

Can they just stack them? (3, Interesting)

foreverdisillusioned (763799) | about a year ago | (#43773287)

Couldn't they just give the safe one first and the older, more effective one a few months later? And if not, why not just do the weaker one yearly? I think an elegant solution for a lot of these weaker vaccines is to simply do them yearly, around the same time you get your flu shot. Other than further aggravating the Jenny McCarthys of the world, I think this would be a fine solution.

Re:Can they just stack them? (2)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year ago | (#43773385)

"You said it worked for life, now you're saying it only works for a year? What, were you lying before, and you don't know what you're talking about, or are you lying now, and you just want my money on a yearly basis?"

It doesn't matter how elegant the solution is if nobody accepts the solution. Public trust in vaccines could take a huge hit with your proposed plan - you'd need one hell of a PR campaign to get people to accept it.

I've got a solution for that one too: (1)

foreverdisillusioned (763799) | about a year ago | (#43773559)

That's simple enough, just offer a significant tax break for people who elect to maintain their vaccines. The conspiracy theorists will still scream their heads off while everyone else says "$250 tax credit? Shoot me up!"

Of course this makes the neocon/libertarian baby Jesus cry, nevermind the fact that we'll all save money (and lives) in the long run.

I've got a small improvement for that. (2)

Medievalist (16032) | about a year ago | (#43774065)

Let me tweak that idea for you a bit. Despite the childish selfishness of many of their ideas, a few of the memes the right wing is shopping are essentially correct.

Their "government shouldn't pick winners" mantra is well supported by the entirety of US history; what the government should be doing in the marketplace is identifying losers. Penalizing bad behavior that would otherwise be rewarded by a free market is one of government's primary functions - for example, murder-for-hire would be incredibly profitable if it weren't for laws that make it much less so. Theft and contract violation are legitimately penalized by government and not by armed vigilante action by businesses that have been harmed. I'll stop there but you can see the list is long!

Carbon taxes and sin taxes were once right-wing ideas - and good ones, too; taxation can be used to redress the externalization of costs by corporations and individuals. We currently punish people for working (income tax) and encourage successful companies to distort both the market and political governance (regulatory competition and so-called business inducements [minneapolisfed.org] ). A wiser course would be to eliminate income tax and outlaw state government "tax break and cash grant competitions" at the federal level, and finance federal government by taxing actors who physically harm the entire citizenry through air, water and ground pollution. If the only way to make something the people want entails high pollution, then the costs will be very high and profit margins slim - until human ingenuity, harnessed by greed if necessary, solves the problem. This is a market approach, but one where the government picks losers, based on quantifiable harm and not pie-in-the-sky techno-dreams of politicians whose sole scientific qualifications are an ability to read opinion polls.

If it's true that anti-vaxxers are harming society as a whole, make them pay for the harm. Tax them extra! Don't un-tax the winners, tax the losers; you can claim it's mathematically the same, but socially and psychologically it's entirely different. Let me pay a "nonvaccination tax" if I have some objection to preventing pandemics, and you'll cut the number of anti-vaxxers down to insignificance in a decade or less.

Re:Can they just stack them? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about a year ago | (#43773569)

And if not, why not just do the weaker one yearly?

Ho ho! I smell a lucrative reoccurring contract here!

"Not had your Whooping Cough jab this year? INSURANCE PREMIUM UP 2000%. Yes, I know the price of the vaccine increases 20% per year, and we have a significant stake in the company... What's your point?"

Re:Can they just stack them? (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | about a year ago | (#43773855)

Some people are needle-phobic, and will refuse an injection for anything less than death, severe pain, debilitation, etc.. Some people think the time and expense is a waste. In recent years, only enough influenza doses have been manufactured for about 45% of the United States population, so a majority doesn't use them. I don't, and probably never will.

The safe version for the very young and stronger version for healthy older children is a reasonable approach. Lifetime immunity achieved in youth should be the goal for many diseases.

More Slashdot clickbait for dumb people (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about a year ago | (#43773377)

Nothing like vaccine stories to get the loonies going, is there?

Re:More Slashdot clickbait for dumb people (1)

longk (2637033) | about a year ago | (#43773471)

That's bothering you because you didn't have your loonie shot. Now, THAT's loonie!

Re:More Slashdot clickbait for dumb people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773817)

That's bothering you because you didn't have your loonie shot. Now, THAT's loonie!

I think the only way you can get a loonie shot if you're Canadian.

Supbar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773421)

How can anyone call a vaccines sup-bar when it causes less cases of brain damage?

Re:Supbar? (1)

longk (2637033) | about a year ago | (#43773487)

Something is subpar when it doesn't live up to expectations. Some degree of side-effects is actually expected, within limits that wouldn't change a vaccine is subpar or not.

Prosiner's dilemma (5, Insightful)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year ago | (#43773505)

Do you get your children vaccinated?

It's much more likely that your child will have a bad reaction to the vaccine than to actually get the disease. And if everyone *else* gets vaccinated, there's no need for any specific child to take that risk. That's the dilemma facing parents nowadays - from their individual viewpoint, there's a higher risk from the vaccination than there is from the disease.

Taking polio (about 30 years ago) as an example, the chance of getting polio from the vaccine was about 1 in 750,000. Polio became largely non-existent in the US during the later years of the vaccination program, so individually it's easy to see why parents might not want to take the risk.

And yet if everyone makes the best choice for their personal welfare, polio runs rampant in the country with 35,000 cases per year.

This is a variant of the Prisoner's dilemma, where if everyone does what's in their immediate best interest then everyone suffers needlessly.

We must accept the fact that sometimes we forced to take risks, and sometimes those risks will go badly. The risks are structured such that by taking the forced risk we are lowering everyone's total risk, and in the case of diseases, lowering it to a point where eventually no one will have to take the risk in the future.

Re:Prosiner's dilemma (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773669)

If your explanation was correct than everyone would vaccinate kids later in life - not when they are born (Hep B) or as soon as 4 weeks (too many to list).

I was wondering how they were going to do it... (1)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#43773565)

First off, let's get this out of the way. "Conspiracy Theory" is ultmately a mistrust in the systems we are required to live in. Especially lately, many of the things people have been label "conspiracy nut" over have come to light as either likely or simply the truth. This can be especially marked by the general non-acceptance of the Boston Bombing story. People just aren't believing any longer.

Now, the thing about vaccines is that it's supposed to be an inert version of a virus which is introduced to the body giving the person's immune system a chance to develop and immune response to the 'real' disease. This immunity response does vary from person to person and from disease to disease. But this is the first time I've heard a variation based on the "quality" of the innoculation. Think back to the first innoculations. They had to have been of crude quality and yet were highly effective to the point that it eradicated smallpox.

If you ask me, I would be more concerned about other factors which may lead to such problems and there could be MANY.

But the thing I'm getting at is now they are going to start recommending even more and frequent innoculations. Now under the current state of general government mistrust, I have to worry about what other things they might pull. I know the suspected links to autism and vaccinations are extremely unpopular discussion, but I have to wonder why, with all of our other redundant and seemingly useless studies why everyone seems so unwilling to allow any sort of studies over the links between autism and vaccinations? (For that matter, I'd like to see a study on autism and GMO foods.)

And before anyone starts into it. I want you to think about what 1 in 88 children means. And the numbers are worse for boys 1 in 53 boys is the current rate of autism. That's beyond what would normally be considered an emergency epidemic and yet it's not being treated as if it were any sort f emergency. Instead they are lowering the criteria for what is considered "autism" and are redefining it to change the numbers. If ever there was something that needs to be looked at, it's this. A significant portion of the human gene pool is being affected by this. This is serious. And yet no studies on the subject are allowed and any attempt will result in the end of a career.

Re: I was wondering how they were going to do it.. (1)

pchasco (651819) | about a year ago | (#43773769)

But why vaccinations? Maybe it's tap water. Maybe it's video games. Maybe it's birth control pills. Maybe it's Flying Spaghetti Monster causing autism. All these anti vaxers are looking for a way to blame vaccines for autism. Maybe instead of looking for a link to autism which, so far, has not been established, leave it up to scientists to find a link to anything? One million concerned mommies on the internet willing it so are not going to somehow create the link to vaccines that you all have collectively decided must be the cause. Leave science to the scientists.

Re:I was wondering how they were going to do it... (1)

EvilSS (557649) | about a year ago | (#43773905)

First off, the difference in the vaccines is that the old vaccine was a "whole cell" vaccine. Pertussis is caused by a bacteria, not a virus. The old vaccine used a dead but whole version of the bacterial cells. The new one is an acellular vaccine; one made up of protein fragments from the pertussis bacteria cell wall. That is the big difference and it turns out the whole cell vaccine was more effective.

As for the comment about allowing studies on the link between autism and vaccines: there were plenty of studies! Go on pubmed and start searching.

Re:I was wondering how they were going to do it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43774091)

First off, let's get this out of the way. "Conspiracy Theory" is ultmately a mistrust in the systems we are required to live in.

No, "conspiracy theory" is the fiction of the idiotic small mind that has little grasp on reality at large, little capability for reason, and the inability to separate reality from fantasy.

It's pretty clear you fall in this category.

Bad study (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773605)

A better study would group effectiveness by age group. Thanks to new vaccine children can be vaccinated earlier with fewer life threatening side effects therefore are more effective preventing death in younger patients.

Having had a whooping cough outbreak in the family (3, Interesting)

KYPackrat (52094) | about a year ago | (#43773609)

For any parent, guardian, or patient to make an informed decision, we have to have two pieces of information: how well a medicine generally works, and what risks there are to take it. Number One Son does this with several medicines: Colcrys controls the symptoms of his Familial Mediteranian Fever, at the risk of messing with his liver. He takes the flu shot because of the risk to the 1 and a half lung he has left are higher than the risks of the vaccine itself.

A vaccine that doesn't work, or doesn't work well, means that vaccinated patients are accepting the vaccine risk for no significant reward.

I am not anti-vaccine, I am just against unneeded risk. My kids got a round of the Salk vaccine, because the Sabin vaccine might wear out. We also did the chicken pox vaccine, to try to prevent shingles later in life (both families have had extreme shingles outbreaks later in life). OTOH, my daughter will NOT get the cervical cancer vaccine, because HPV is preventable in behavior and the real side-effect rate to the vaccine is a lot higher than the manufacturer is reporting.

My own anecdote is that the reporting on pertussis is off by at least half to two-thirds. Little Miss fought a persistent cough (with antibiotics) for weeks until her allergist said "oh, you have whooping cough. You sound exactly like I did last week." There was no use testing her, because she'd been on antibiotics. Milady and I both caught it from her. The nurse ruined my test by doing it wrong, and Milady's doctor flat-out wouldn't test her (she just got antibiotics, because she was #3 in the house to catch it). The scuttlebutt in the health profession was that the Health Department was desperately trying to keep their numbers down, by hook or by crook.

With my kids' various lung-related issues, they needed a vaccine that actually helps prevent whooping cough. The current one isn't it.

Re:Having had a whooping cough outbreak in the fam (2)

tibit (1762298) | about a year ago | (#43773865)

HPV is preventable in behavior? Pray tell, how? LOL.

Re:Having had a whooping cough outbreak in the fam (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773877)

I just had whooping cough myself, contracted it on a business trip in china.
One of my symptoms was throwing up repeatedly after every meal that was bigger than an apple. This went on for 6 weeks. I'm now 4 months down the road and the symptom still comes back every once in a while if I eat a little bit more than I should. It's like "involuntary" bulimia, not that any eating disorder is voluntary.
Lost 14 pounds and everyone tells me I am more handsome than usual, but I would have rather used the gym card I bought after new years.

Anyway, a friend of mine who is from malaysia develops vaccines. Since the disease is common there I guess they have a bit higher focus on it. He told me that the current vaccine has to be boosted every 15 years or so.
In my case I had it as a kid, and that didn't prevent me from getting it again either.

So, if you are 25 or older and haven't had the vaccine boosted, perhaps it's about time.

"austerity" (1)

ruir (2709173) | about a year ago | (#43773665)

IT is only so natural that having a large of the population poor and without conditions to pay a minimum standard of living, that many old diseases will make a comeback. It has nothing to do with the effectiveness of vaccines.

Re:"austerity" (1)

Reziac (43301) | about a year ago | (#43773919)

What we now call "poor" is what was called "middle class" or even "well off" a couple generations ago.

See http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/09/understanding-poverty-in-the-united-states-surprising-facts-about-americas-poor [heritage.org]

Re:"austerity" (1)

ruir (2709173) | about a year ago | (#43774049)

Are they less poor for having more electric outlets, or "owning" a home and a car? I bet many of those commodities are bought using credit. For me poor is living paycheck to paycheck counting the money

What did the old vaccine do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43773743)

I took the new TDaP vaccine last year (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis). It made my whole upper arm, from shoulder to elbow, turn black and I was unable to move it for 2 days... 2 days I spent the barely moving with intense fatigue and a low grade fever. None of this is unheard of. [cdc.gov] Now I've had a few TD (Tetanus/Diphtheria) shots over the years and never had a reaction before, and I don't suffer from any allergies. So, if this is what the current Pertussis vaccine does, what horrors were wrought by the previous one? Was it really that much worse?

OK, so this vaccine needs a booster (2)

Animats (122034) | about a year ago | (#43773901)

OK, so this vaccine needs a booster every decade or so. Lots of vaccines are like that. The vaccines against tetanus and hepatitis A and B all need to be re-administered every few years. No big deal.

Not just in the U.S. (2)

smooth wombat (796938) | about a year ago | (#43774041)

This article [earthlink.net] talks about how in England there has been a huge increase in the number of measles cases since Wakefield published his claptrap about vaccines causing autism and other nonsense.

For those not bothering to read the article, this is part which you need to know:

This year, the U.K. has had more than 1,200 cases of measles, after a record number of nearly 2,000 cases last year. The country once recorded only several dozen cases every year. It now ranks second in Europe, behind only Romania.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...