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View Poll Results: What makes people suspicious of vaccines?

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  • a) Trypanophobia

    1 9.09%
  • b) Suspicions of government

    0 0%
  • c) Acknowledged side-effects

    2 18.18%
  • d) Unacknowledged side-effects

    1 9.09%
  • e) Link to autism

    0 0%
  • f) Mercury is bad!

    0 0%
  • g) It's a big conspiracy/cover-up

    0 0%
  • h) A combination of all or some of the above

    3 27.27%
  • i) Ignorance and/or a lack of education

    4 36.36%
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Thread: What makes people suspicious of vaccines?

  1. #1 What makes people suspicious of vaccines? 
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    What makes people suspicious of vaccines?

    There seem to be various different anti-vaccination movements, and apparently this is not a new thing. But the different movements tend to focus on different fears of vaccines. In Britain, MMR is considered dangerous whereas in the US vaccine groups focus on preservatives used in vaccines and/or the high number of vaccinations. But what makes so many different groups so ubiquitous?

    Is it because:

    a) People generally have a fear of needles and would rather avoid having one anywhere near them if possible (as evidenced by urban legends featuring syringes in Coke cans or injecting AIDS into nightclubbers etc...).

    b) People don't like the government telling them what to do and ordering them to have needles stuck in their arm.

    c) Vaccines make people sick in the way they're designed to do but many people would rather not have those kinds of sicknesses.

    d) Vaccines make people sick in ways they're not designed to do but such sicknesses aren't being taken seriously.

    e) Vaccines cause autism because they contain mercury.

    f) Vaccines contain mercury and that's bad enough.

    g) Vaccines are designed by the New World Order to implant tiny chips that will be used to control us and spread genetically targetted diseases that will kill everyone except those Nazi freaks, Dick Cheney and Barack Obama.

    h) All (or some) of the above.




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  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    You have omitted the correct explanation from your options: many people are as thick as two short plancks.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    You have omitted the correct explanation from your options: many people are as thick as two short plancks.
    True. But the body of my post expands on the options a little. Essentially each of the options are "beliefs" not necessarily facts. For example, (e) should be understood as "People believe that vaccines containing mercury cause autism" etc...

    I suppose I did leave off the option, "Other" as well.

    Anyway, any comments will be welcome.
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  5. #4  
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    Me, five reasons, none of the above:

    -Fear of promoting antigenic shift i.e. mutated supervirus becomes more likely.

    -Ethical misgivings about joining the class of privileged immune, while a second class adapts (and fosters new strains) in near isolation.

    -A general reluctance to decouple from natural interaction with environment, which systems theory tells us leads to demise of the closed system.

    -I note that viruses haven't stopped our ancestors over four billion years.

    -Personal health, happiness, or longevity aren't my greatest concerns.



    These are vague and maybe stand on errors others could point out?
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    -Fear of promoting antigenic shift i.e. mutated supervirus becomes more likely.
    What is the mechanism behind making a mutated supervirus more likely? Is it because vaccines deselect (if that is the right word) the competition which could be a lesser evil?

    -Ethical misgivings about joining the class of privileged immune, while a second class adapts (and fosters new strains) in near isolation.
    Why wouldn't people have ethical misgivings from forming a second-class by refusing immunization?

    -A general reluctance to decouple from natural interaction with environment, which systems theory tells us leads to demise of the closed system.
    Shouldn't we be suspicious of soap also if that was the case?

    -I note that viruses haven't stopped our ancestors over four billion years.
    We could say, in four more billion years who will care what happens to us? But equally we could say, who cares what "people" in four more billion years think? Or in other words, most people surely think more in terms of their own lifetimes.

    -Personal health, happiness, or longevity aren't my greatest concerns.
    No, I think this is question-begging. I think people who oppose vaccines tend to think that personal health, happiness and longevity are concerns of theirs (whether greatest or not) and think (however wrongly) that vaccines would somehow curtail that. Hence, my question. What is the reason people are suspicious of vaccines?
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by angrysoba
    What is the mechanism behind making a mutated supervirus more likely? Is it because vaccines deselect (if that is the right word) the competition which could be a lesser evil?
    Something like that. Maybe someone with better grasp will explain the mechanics or lack thereof.

    Quote Originally Posted by angrysoba
    Why wouldn't people have ethical misgivings from forming a second-class by refusing immunization?
    I mean those who have no option. Chinese farm urchins, playing with the piglets. Should we diverge our immune systems from theirs?
    Quote Originally Posted by angrysoba
    Shouldn't we ban soap also if that was the case?
    Actually there are reasonable arguments for minimizing use of antibacterial soap. The main point I think is to maintain a barrier of harmless & beneficial skin flora.
    Quote Originally Posted by angrysoba
    most people surely think more in terms of their own lifetimes
    Beyond that it's just religion. :|
    Quote Originally Posted by angrysoba
    No, I think this is question-begging. I think people who oppose vaccines tend to think that personal health, happiness and longevity are concerns of theirs (whether greatest or not) and think (however wrongly) that vaccines would somehow curtail that. Hence, my question. What is the reason people are suspicious of vaccines?
    Seems you're the one begging the question: People worry for their well-being so vaccines worry them.
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by angrysoba
    No, I think this is question-begging. I think people who oppose vaccines tend to think that personal health, happiness and longevity are concerns of theirs (whether greatest or not) and think (however wrongly) that vaccines would somehow curtail that. Hence, my question. What is the reason people are suspicious of vaccines?
    Seems you're the one begging the question: People worry for their well-being so vaccines worry them.
    Not quite. What I mean is that they tend to think that vaccines are bad for their health. I am saying, "What makes them think that?" I think there is a suppressed premise rather than a question-begging structure to my question.

    But okay, we could say: "People are suspicious of vaccines because their health and happiness are not personal concerns." but it sounds counter-intuitive to me.

    Thanks for answering though.
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  9. #8  
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    Possible reason: Celebrities and other kinds of entertainment personalities question vaccines.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Me, five reasons, none of the above:

    -Fear of promoting antigenic shift i.e. mutated supervirus becomes more likely.
    Antigenic shift occurs in influenza when more than one virus is infecting a cell at the same time. This occurs because the influenza virus has 8 strands of DNA in it's capsule (mini chromosomes if that makes it easier to picture). And anyone of those 8 can be traded with another influenza virus.

    This isn't usually a problem because the viruses infecting the same individual are usually closely related. It becomes a nasty problem when it produces things like H1N1 out of interspecies infections.

    Now I don't see how vaccines would promote this though. What the vaccine will do is push the prominent influenza strain and those closely related to it to the fringes as it finds fewer and fewer host, while the ones sufficiently different from the vaccine strains will gradually become the next prominent strain. Though this happens with or without vaccines as the immune response of being infected once by the virus gradually reduces the number of available host for the virus.
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  11. #10  
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    Ooh! I see a new category, i) Ignorance/lack of education has been added.

    Maybe my original post was ill-thought-out and is a too vague to gain any useful information.

    There are people who are ignorant of science who will eschew vaccines because their own authority figures have preached to them that vaccines are evil (in some WHO campaigns I have heard this is the case.)

    I agree that some people will listen to celebrities such as Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy.

    But some people who are against vaccines are themselves doctors and scientists who I would hesitate to call "ignorant" such as Edwar Yazbak. Does anyone know of any refutations of his work?

    Others may not be scientists, but who I would hesitate to call uneducated, such as Melanie Philips. She had a spat with Ben Goldacre over whether or not vaccines could lead to autism:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/20...health.science

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/20...icineandhealth
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong

    -Fear of promoting antigenic shift i.e. mutated supervirus becomes more likely.

    -Ethical misgivings about joining the class of privileged immune, while a second class adapts (and fosters new strains) in near isolation.


    These are vague and maybe stand on errors others could point out?
    These seem contradictory. Either the vaccination promotes a supervirus or remaining unvaccinated promotes a supervirus, which is it?
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by angrysoba
    What is the mechanism behind making a mutated supervirus more likely? Is it because vaccines deselect (if that is the right word) the competition which could be a lesser evil?
    Something like that. Maybe someone with better grasp will explain the mechanics or lack thereof.
    Well, since you asked:

    the slope of a line is

    this is not a mechanism involved in biological adaptations
    Dick, be Frank.

    Ambiguity Kills.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong

    -Fear of promoting antigenic shift i.e. mutated supervirus becomes more likely.

    -Ethical misgivings about joining the class of privileged immune, while a second class adapts (and fosters new strains) in near isolation.


    These are vague and maybe stand on errors others could point out?
    These seem contradictory. Either the vaccination promotes a supervirus or remaining unvaccinated promotes a supervirus, which is it?
    I thought those complimentary. As far as I know, a supervirus typically is the product of crossovers between several populations (e.g. pigs and humans). So, hypothetically, imagine if we removed half the human population to space stations, where both their immune systems and latent viruses developed in vaccination-driven isolation from the Earth folk. I think we'd rightly fear the potential supervirus emerging where those populations mingle.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucius Cornelius Sulla
    http://www.quackwatch.org/03HealthPromotion/immu/autism.html

    About vaccines and autism.
    Thanks, I'll read through it.
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Me, five reasons, none of the above:

    -Fear of promoting antigenic shift i.e. mutated supervirus becomes more likely.
    ...
    Well, I think you can cross this one off your list. Antigneic shift occurs when a person (or animal) is infected by more than one strain of a virus at the same time. Getting vaccinated prevents certain strains from setting up shop in your body, and so reduces the opportunities for antigenic shift by reducing the number of viruses hanging around in a person.
    -I note that viruses haven't stopped our ancestors over four billion years.
    I'm pretty sure that a vast number of our ancestors have indeed been stopped by viruses in the last four billion years.
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  18. #17  
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    bubonic plague and malaria have had the potential to destroy us, the fact that they didn't has little to do with vaccines though, and more to do with vector control.
    Dick, be Frank.

    Ambiguity Kills.
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  19. #18  
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    Supervirus argument doesn't sound convincing. We see no evidence that proper vaccination would do this- maintaining an unvaccinated pool will allow continued mutation and maybe a pressure to become resistant but this happens by evolution anyway and is not going to accelerate with rising vaccination. The mutation rate is directly proportional to the size of the host pool. With vaccines we can get ahead of the game in a manner unprecedented since we evolved an adaptive response. We finally have the capacity to change our immunity on a time scale that matches that of virus evolution.

    We do see a problem like the one suggested with bacteria and antibiotics but that's very much down to how those work- which is utterly different from the way vaccines work.
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  20. #19  
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    Okay. So my remaining concern is that vaccines might be more strategically applied to the widest population. Or is it better to concentrate resistance of certain countries?

    Might make a good boardgame.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Okay. So my remaining concern is that vaccines might be more strategically applied to the widest population. Or is it better to concentrate resistance of certain countries?

    Might make a good boardgame.
    We do this now, when was the last time a Canadian child received a Polio vaccine? Yet Polio is still endemic in central Africa, so vaccine campaigns are now almost exclusively concentrated on Africa.

    It is economical to target the populations that are most at risk.
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  22. #21  
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    It's all in the side effects that can occur, especially when adjuvants like Squalene are used.
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  23. #22  
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    The squalene thing is as bad as the MMR and autism thing. Most of it relating to the Gulf War syndrome myth.

    There simply isn't any concrete evidence of any harm related to squalene, and the MF59 adjuvanted vaccines have shown much higher efficacy in European trials.
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    The squalene thing is as bad as the MMR and autism thing. Most of it relating to the Gulf War syndrome myth.

    There simply isn't any concrete evidence of any harm related to squalene, and the MF59 adjuvanted vaccines have shown much higher efficacy in European trials.
    How hard of evidence do you need? 95% of Gulf War Syndrome victims had evidence of Squalene in their body.
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Cobra
    95% of Gulf War Syndrome victims had evidence of Squalene in their body.
    Reference please...
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  26. #25  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Cobra
    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    The squalene thing is as bad as the MMR and autism thing. Most of it relating to the Gulf War syndrome myth.

    There simply isn't any concrete evidence of any harm related to squalene, and the MF59 adjuvanted vaccines have shown much higher efficacy in European trials.
    How hard of evidence do you need? 95% of Gulf War Syndrome victims had evidence of Squalene in their body.
    Subsequent studies have shown that 80% of individuals have antibodies against squalene, with or without vaccination containing it. Squalene is everywhere, in your food, and produced by your own body. Moreover, the GFS study didn't use controls and thus wasn't a reliable study in the first place. Furthermore, the US army has stated several times that squalene was never used as an adjuvant in their vaccines.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guidice et al. [u
    Clinical and Vaccine Immunology[/u], September 2006, p. 1010-1013, Vol. 13, No. 9]Squalene is a naturally occurring oil which has been used in the development of vaccine adjuvants, such as the oil-in-water emulsion MF59. In past years, by use of noncontrolled and nonvalidated assays, a claim was made that antisqualene antibodies were detectable in the sera of individuals with the so-called Gulf War syndrome. Using a validated enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the quantitation of immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgM antibodies against squalene, we demonstrated that antisqualene antibodies are frequently detectable at very low titers in the sera of subjects who were never immunized with vaccines containing squalene. More importantly, vaccination with a subunit influenza vaccine with the MF59 adjuvant neither induced antisqualene antibodies nor enhanced preexisting antisqualene antibody titers. In conclusion, antisqualene antibodies are not increased by immunization with vaccines with the MF59 adjuvant. These data extend the safety profile of the MF59 emulsion adjuvant.
    http://cvi.asm.org/cgi/content/full/13/9/1010
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  27. #26  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    You have omitted the correct explanation from your options: many people are as thick as two short plancks.

    You have hit the nail on the head my friend! Good answer
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  28. #27  
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Me, five reasons, none of the above:

    -Fear of promoting antigenic shift i.e. mutated supervirus becomes more likely.
    Antigenic shift occurs in influenza when more than one virus is infecting a cell at the same time. This occurs because the influenza virus has 8 strands of DNA in it's capsule (mini chromosomes if that makes it easier to picture). And anyone of those 8 can be traded with another influenza virus.

    This isn't usually a problem because the viruses infecting the same individual are usually closely related. It becomes a nasty problem when it produces things like H1N1 out of interspecies infections.

    Now I don't see how vaccines would promote this though. What the vaccine will do is push the prominent influenza strain and those closely related to it to the fringes as it finds fewer and fewer host, while the ones sufficiently different from the vaccine strains will gradually become the next prominent strain. Though this happens with or without vaccines as the immune response of being infected once by the virus gradually reduces the number of available host for the virus.

    Hi I_feel, I believe we have chatted before, many moons ago, on this board....

    Not to poop on your parade, but I slightly disagree with your last line, or two. A vaccine works by stimulating antibody production, usually starting out relatively low in titre (concentration), then very quickly hitting the top of the curve, before dropping slightly and levelling off. How does this differ from a non-vaccinated response ? Two ways: vaccines contain either attenuated (weakened) pathogens, or they contain DNA/RNA remnants which act as foreign antigens in a safe, un-infecting manner. Either way, your immune system churns out great gobs of immunoglobulins (antibodies) which target the antigen it was turned on by, which destroy the virus/bacteria/viroid etc. So, my point regarding your statement is - it is not so much as the number of hosts are limited, it is more like there are less viruses left to infect any host/cell.

    Just my 2cents worth. By the way, I spent 8 years working on vaccines
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  29. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by CShark


    Hi I_feel, I believe we have chatted before, many moons ago, on this board....

    Not to poop on your parade, but I slightly disagree with your last line, or two. A vaccine works by stimulating antibody production, usually starting out relatively low in titre (concentration), then very quickly hitting the top of the curve, before dropping slightly and levelling off. How does this differ from a non-vaccinated response ? Two ways: vaccines contain either attenuated (weakened) pathogens, or they contain DNA/RNA remnants which act as foreign antigens in a safe, un-infecting manner. Either way, your immune system churns out great gobs of immunoglobulins (antibodies) which target the antigen it was turned on by, which destroy the virus/bacteria/viroid etc. So, my point regarding your statement is - it is not so much as the number of hosts are limited, it is more like there are less viruses left to infect any host/cell.

    Just my 2cents worth. By the way, I spent 8 years working on vaccines
    I wasn't talking about the specifics of the immune response. I was referring to the epidemiological consequences of the flu vaccine in respect to some theorized super virus emergence, which is pretty much you get less viable hosts available for the strains related to the vaccine target strain, which is the same thing that happens with the usual cycle of infection with influenza anyway.

    For the annual flu vaccines, we have the attenuated live virus nasal ones, and the killed virus particles, with adjuvant or without. So, all three of these vaccine types cause rather large spectrum immune responses that provide a decent amount of protection for multiple closely related strains. The most effective seems to be the new ones being produced by Novartis over in Europe with the MF59 adjuvant.
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