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I have never looked into vaccines so unlike the cancer issue I have no understanding. A couple of weeks ago a scientist friend commented on a vaccine thread. His position was total science claiming there was no dubious practice from the scientific establishment. My approach was to say that even if there was BigPharma would not listen - he got me. In that same thread I was vilified by a vaxxer!!
When I looked at this thread my friend had pointed out that Andrew Wakefield's study had been completely debunked scientifically. I remember John Oliver talking about vaccines, and quoted him as evidence. Is John Oliver scientific evidence? I would tend to argue yes. John's humour is often based on deeper analyses of current events showing the inconsistencies and hypocrisies that depth can show - some depth. His appeal is to the Liberal media and Liberal establishment so you don't see pieces about their establishment support of war or wage-slavery - the usual neo-liberal blindspots. I surmise that his research is sufficiently sound because Liberals like to believe they are not part of "fake news".
The Liberal establishment is a factor when considering vaccines. Their unquestioning position concerning intellectuals, science and vaccines is characteristic of such liberalism. They might voice against the 1%, but their analysis of 1%-influence is laughable in its ignorance especially considering their level of education - or maybe because of their level of education. Because the Liberal establishment is a factor, right-wing establishment will take the opposite position. Therefore if there is questioning of vaccines right-wing populism will automatically join the affray against the Liberals leading to Liberal bleating and counter-vitriol.
The issue is further hyped because for vaccines to work it has to be 100%. Liberals know this as do scientists so when vaccines are questioned it is not a matter of individual choice as it needs to be 100%. That is enough for the mental proliferations (sankhara) of some individualists to go off the charts talking about liberties etc. So right-wing creation of confusion is worse than being the usual tool for political division and propagation of the 1%, it is dangerous.
Mostly the issue of vaccines does not affect me. If I get the flu I sleep it off, preferring a week at home to a needle of chemicals. That is not because of vaccines per se but because of my fear of chemical poisons that might be contained in vaccines. Without any sound knowledge to the contrary, I would always recommend to parents they vaccinate children, and if the community I live in were legally required to take a vaccine I would take it without question - out of a community duty to the 100%.
But I have doubts about vaccines because so many have claimed that vaccines have caused problems. For that reason alone I question vaccines. But that questioning has to be based on far more than the above collection of ideas, hence this investigation.
Vaccines Revealed have produced a video (series of videos?) on vaccines. It is called "Truth about Vaccines" was fronted by Ty Bollinger and it had a similar approach to the cancer series so it seemed appropriate. But before I start any examination of vaccines I have to point out, as I did with cancer, that the only basis for evidence can be scientific. My concern for chemicals in the flu vaccine is not based on science, it is based on a general fear of our toxic environment and how that toxic environment has affected my health. It is a loose rationale (sufficient for me) but I am retired - taking a week off school because of the flu would not have been an option and might well have led me to have a flu-shot. I took anti-biotics when forced, and I do now if I have an infection in a cut - but I avoid them. My position is not informed, it is not sound.
At the website there is a teaser video, it was hype - maybe it has to be for advertising. There appeared limited science in the video, just a collection of fears. More importantly there is a team of scientific supporters who include Andrew Wakefield whose supposed science connecting MMR and autism was considered fraudulent. He published in The Lancet, a respectable journal, suggesting a link whilst at the same time holding a press conference to promote his own interests with far more self-acclaiming assertions. In my view the integrity of the Lancet was used (long discussion on this here), and the Wakefield article was later retracted. Here is a bmj article on the issue, and this quote sums it up "Furthermore, Wakefield has been given ample opportunity either to replicate the paper's findings, or to say he was mistaken. He has declined to do either. He refused to join 10 of his coauthors in retracting the paper's interpretation in 2004, and has repeatedly denied doing anything wrong at all. Instead, although now disgraced and stripped of his clinical and academic credentials, he continues to push his views." Wakefield committed fraudulent science, was stripped of his credentials, and yet Vaccines Revealed allowed him on their team. Here is some more info on the fraud. This fraudulence brings the other members of the team into question, I personally would not want to be academically connected to a fraud. This makes all that is in this video questionable.
Of course the video still adds to the confusion, adds to the division, and yet does not affect the status quo of BigPharma profits. So it is right-wing funded!!
Here is the video. It begins with stating that a person who questions vaccines is not taking sides - a good point. Given that vaccines have been questioned it would help to get rid of the confusion - leading to the funding question.
On reflection overnight I have closed the question for me. To begin with we have to recognise that vaccine science has wiped out epidemic diseases. This is a biggie. If vaccines are to be brought into question then there needs to be a huge bank of evidence that vaccines have serious collateral damage; to me this appears not to be the case.
This questioning is mostly coming from the right-wing in which rabid individualism overrides the needs of the population. Here is a case in which individual rights have to take second place. A vaccine only works if everyone takes it, therefore the rights of the richer few individualists have to be questioned.
My main reason for avoiding BigPharma medicines is the side effects, I subscribe to the belief that there are sufficient cases where side effects are much worse than the healing power of the drug. This brings me to the regulatory bodies. I believe the regulatory bodies are in the pockets of BigPharma and do not have enough teeth. I feel they accept R&D made by the companies themselves quite simply because they do not have the resources to test themselves and are not powerful enough to stand against BigPharma.
However with regards to vaccines I don't think there is strong evidence that BigPharma has forced the regulatory bodies into playing down the individual cases that arise from vaccines.
A big factor in my belittling of "Vaccines Revealed" is the lack of professional integrity. Professional integrity demands that all associated with what you are doing is above board. A professional does not allow themselves to be associated with anything dubious. Andrew Wakefield is a fraud, yet he is part of the Vaccines Revealed team. As a sceptic asking questions about vaccines I am tainted by being associated with Andrew Wakefield, and in this situation I am not a professional. As a professional teacher I have sufficient understanding of the meaning of professionalism to say that all of that team are compromised. Perhaps their questioning has some relevance, as a sceptic all questioning has relevance, but to go on a public platform to undermine the scientific community when that platform has Wakefield on it shows a lack of professionalism.
There are professional scientific mechanisms in place to deal with the individual cases, to examine other aspects of science associated with vaccines, and there is only conjecture that such mechanisms are not sufficient. Many are answered in this lay informed blog although I don't totally agree with her approach. John Oliver who has a research team produced this lay synopsis which also answers many questions.
I have spent my life questioning the establishment, both politically and scientifically. I believe that scepticism is the way one should function normally never accept what they tell you. For this reason I have asked about vaccines. But from what I can tell science is asking those questions and science has it covered. There is no doubt that if vaccines were harmful BigPharma would try to cover it up because they would lose profits, but there is no evidence this is happening. When you examine the cancer industry there is a huge amount of evidence and verifiable anecdotal evidence that cut burn and poison is not sound and that alternatives are not being investigated, but with vaccines there is no such evidence.
So that brings us to politics and the 1%-tactic of confusion. There is no doubt in my mind that there is funding around on the right-wing for questioning vaccines. There is no doubt in my mind that there are profits such as Bob Sears' book (John Oliver's clip) for some. Confusion is around, and this instability benefits the 1% generally without affecting the profits of BigPharma. If Trump is sowing seeds then we know it is 1%-confusion.
Scepticism is important but at some point science must be trusted. In the case of vaccines there appears to be absolutely no evidence at the moment that science cannot be trusted. There is strong evidence that there is right-wing funding to create confusion. Typically Andrew Wakefield had sponsors for making the film "Vaxxed" after he had been struck off.
In the case of vaccines questioning outside of science is not constructive. Keep the scepticism within science, vaccines at the moment is not an issue ordinary parents should be concerned about, but scepticism should be watchful in the future in case things change. There is a danger we are crying wolf now, and maybe later ...
But flu vaccines ...
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