Anti-Vaccine Fail

June 21, 2010 at 8:45 pm (Anti-Vaccination) (, , , , , , , )

The website Child Health Safety (something of a misnomer, given their strong antipathy to vaccination) carries a graph of measles deaths that suggests that measles is no longer a danger. The author of the graph seems unwilling to update it to reflect the deaths from measles that have occurred since 2006.

Clifford G Miller, the author of the graph, cites it (and a quote from a website that no longer carries said quote) in the comments section of a recent Guardian article. The graph uses data from 1901 to 1999, but the line continues past 1999 and dips below one death per 55 million at 2006. This clearly suggests that measles deaths will be less than 1 in 55 million in the years following 2006. As the population of England and Wales is around 55 million, this equates to zero deaths.

Indeed, Miller cites the graph to support his claim that it is “just not true” that children will die from measles. In responding to his question, I asked if he could cite a webpage that currently carried the other claim he quoted (which he linked to the Tornado & Storm Research Organisation). He has, for whatever reason, ignored this request. I also wrote this:

It’s perhaps worth mentioning, though, that even with vaccination coverage at 80% plus, the population in England and Wales (around 55 million) saw deaths from measles in 2006, 2007, and 2008. [Source of figures: HPA.]

It seems staggeringly unlikely that with vaccine coverage of 0% rather than 80% we would see a drop in deaths from measles.

The fifteen deaths a year in the early 1980s (when the population in England and Wales was ~50 million: Census PDF) would equate to a risk of death by measles in a population with vaccine coverage 45-60% approximately 15 times that allegedly estimated by the Tornado & Storm Research Organisation for a population with vaccine coverage 0%.

The more I look at the facts, the less likely that claimed estimate appears to be. Perhaps it should be either (a) corroborated or (b) removed from the Child Health Safety website.

Miller responded to my comments on the deaths in 2006, 2007, & 2008 when vaccine coverage was at least 80% and my remark that it “seems staggeringly unlikely that with vaccine coverage of 0% rather than 80% we would see a drop in deaths from measles” with this:

Really? Follow the evidence. That is not what the statistical shows. Just demonstrates why science wins over what you think is “common sense”:- “Vaccines Did Not Save Us – 2 Centuries of Official Statistics”

Miller seems to think that his “statistical” proves that my intuition (that vaccine coverage of 0% will not lead to a decrease in deaths from measles compared with the vaccine coverage of at least 80% in the years that several people died from measles) is wrong.

Actually, my surprise at his claim was partly based on the fact that despite Miller claiming that measles deaths are no longer an issue, HPA figures show four deaths from measles in the three years I had referred to.

According to Miller’s “statistical”, these deaths from measles should not have occurred. For the purposes of Miller’s argument, these actual deaths appear not to count and the imaginary zero risk conjured up by continuing to draw a line through a graph is all that matters. These deaths were not predicted by Millers’s graph. That didn’t stop them from happening, though.

I asked Miller if he would update the graph to reflect the unpredicted deaths that had occurred. Here is his response:

You have been shown here to be someone who visits and runs parent/doctor bashing sites.

Now you turn up with trivia.

Boring.

I was a little surprised to see Miller characterise deaths from measles from 2006 onwards as “trivia” and “boring”. It seemed a touch insensitive – particularly coming from a man so sensitive as to believe that a single instance of referring to John Stone as “drearily ubiquitous” proved beyond doubt that I was a “parent basher”.

Miller shows a callous disregard for the lives lost in recent years due to measles infection. He also seems utterly unconcerned that the graph he is so fond of citing is out-of-date and inaccurate.

Update, 28th June 2010

Clifford G Miller has pointed me to a comment on Child Health Safety. Whoever wrote this comment should be ashamed of themselves (the author of the comment is listed as “childhealthsafety”).

First, they accuse me of “attacking people” (not a description of the criticisms I have made that I recognise). I’m also accused of being a troll, a defamer, and of disseminating gross misinformation. Then it gets interesting – they claim that my comments are misleading and I omit crucial information.

In my post above, I specifically refer to deaths in 2006, 2007, & 2008. At least two of these deaths were due to acute measles. Other deaths since 1992 were due to the late effects of measles from infections acquired during the 1990s or earlier when vaccination rates were below the level required for herd immunity and epidemics of measles occurred. Link.

The CHS comment fails to recognise that the fact that measles deaths are still occurring from infections acquired during the 1980s when vaccination coverage was low enough to allow outbreaks to occur helps to highlight the case for vaccination.

People are still dying from measles infections acquired prior to the introduction of MMR. Whoever is behind CHS wants us to go back to the days before MMR, when measles epidemics occurred that led to deaths from both acute measles infection and late effects of measles.

The CHS comment also classes the deaths from acute measles as ‘irrelevant': “there have been no relevant deaths from measles infections acquired since 1992″. Those deaths from acute measles are relevant though – they would not have occurred had there been no measles outbreaks.

If vaccination rates had been high enough in the years from 2000 (and I suspect they would, had Andrew Wakefield, the mainstream media, and lobbyists such as Jabs and CHS not done such sterling work for the anti-vaccine campaign), then there would have been fewer infections with measles and (perhaps) we might have seen zero deaths from acute measles infection. (A rate inaccurately predicted by CHS)

That take-up of measles-containing vaccine (specifically MMR) was high enough from 1992 onwards to prevent outbreaks and any deaths from acute measles infection shows that the vaccine was doing precisely what was expected of it – reducing incidence of measles and lowering the risk of death from acute measles infection.

That deaths due to acute measles have occurred since vaccination levels dropped shows just how dangerously wrong Child Health Safety, Clifford Miller, John Stone, and Jabs really are.

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47 Comments

  1. Cybertiger said,

    More specious crap from the establishment automaton. Give it a break, 523jdc!

  2. Rob said,

    That anyone can dismiss as “trivia” the danger of a disease which, though massively reduced thanks to recent vaccination efforts, still kills around 160,000 people per year around the world just sends a chill down my back. As Johann Hari said recently: “Anti-vaxxers: I will fight them until Hell freezes over. Then I will buy a pair of skates and fight them on the ice”.

  3. Cybertiger said,

    BTW, the book ‘Callous Disregard’ is a riveting read and a blistering indictment of establishment chumps like 523jdc.

  4. Cybertiger said,

    Can ‘Rob’ give the link to Johann Hari’s words?

    PS. Has ‘Rob’ ever wondered why there might have been such a disparity between deaths from measles in the UK compared to Africa, say – even before measles/MMR vaccines were introduced.

    PPS. It can’t be nice having a chilly back. Perhaps hell has frozen over.

  5. Rob said,

    > Can ‘Rob’ give the link to Johann Hari’s words?

    By all means: http://twitter.com/johannhari101/status/14616755394

    > PS. Has ‘Rob’ ever wondered why there might have been such a disparity
    > between deaths from measles in the UK compared to Africa, say –
    > even before measles/MMR vaccines were introduced.

    Yes. The disparity in measles deaths before the introduction of vaccines is likely due to differences in nutrition, sanitation and hygiene – all of which are also cornerstones of modern medicine. Has ‘Cybertiger’ ever wondered why there might have been such a rapid drop in deaths from measles since the introduction of measles vaccines?

  6. Culex said,

    I note that, as Clifford G Miller does his anti-vaccination work pro bono, he evidently charges the full market rate for his efforts.

  7. dt said,

    The Miller website lies are quite something, no? Seldom have I seen such a distortion of the evidence, misrepresentation of graphs and data, pure invention of material and basic untruths. Regarding the chart in question, I note it says: “By 2007 the chance of anyone in England and Wales dying of measles if no one were vaccinated was less than 1 in 55 million.”
    What he means is that the chance might be 1 in 55 million AT CURRENT VAX levels (around 85%). Of course, if no-one were vaccinated then EVERY child or young adult would get measles, and dozens, maybe hundreds, might die each year.

  8. Chris said,

    Measles does not just kill. Mr. Miller and the doctor who posts as “Cybertiger” are silly Wakefield Fan Boys. Obviously they don’t care about those who are permanently disabled by measles like these two boys from an old article (they are perhaps many more like them):
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1055533.ece

  9. Cybertiger said,

    ddt, the fearmonger, said,

    “Of course, if no-one were vaccinated then EVERY child or young adult would get measles, and dozens, maybe hundreds, might die each year.”

    I’m a lad of the fifties (born same year as Andrew Wakefield). People did not seem to fear measles in the sixties as I grew up. Measles wasn’t a feared disease. My family weren’t afraid of measles. I got measles in September 1963. My mother did not give thanks to God for my survival. Dr. dt is the one who distorts. Dr. dt is the silly scaremonger.

    PS. Andrew Wakefield is possibly a sixties survivor of the measles. We graduated in medicine the same year in the eighties. Spooky, huh!

  10. Cybertiger said,

    Rob said,

    “Has ‘Cybertiger’ ever wondered why there might have been such a rapid drop in deaths from measles since the introduction of measles vaccines?”

    I guess Rob has not pondered the rapid rise in deaths from malnutrition and diseases of poor sanitation and hygiene, amongst African children, since the introduction of measles vaccines.

  11. dt said,

    So according to Cybertiger I am the scaremonger for pointing out that it will actually kill people if it is allowed to return? And he says there was no problem catching measles in the 1950s?

    That would be why 1409 kids died from it during that decade then, would it?
    http://www.hpa.org.uk/web/HPAweb&HPAwebStandard/HPAweb_C/1195733835814

    This is the situation Cyberpussy and his antivax cronies want us to return to is it?
    No thanks.

  12. Rob said,

    Cybertiger @10,
    [1] I note you are not disputing the recent drop in measles in Africa since the introduction of vaccination.
    [2] Do you have any evidence of your claimed “rapid rise in deaths from malnutrition and diseases of poor sanitation and hygiene, amongst African children, since the introduction of measles vaccines.”?
    [3] If such a rise has occured, then what are claiming it means; that measles vaccine causes malnutrition?

  13. Annette said,

    Cybertiger said:

    “I’m a lad of the fifties (born same year as Andrew Wakefield). People did not seem to fear measles in the sixties as I grew up. Measles wasn’t a feared disease. My family weren’t afraid of measles. I got measles in September 1963. My mother did not give thanks to God for my survival. Dr. dt is the one who distorts. Dr. dt is the silly scaremonger.”

    I also got measles in the early 60s, and I nearly died. My mother DID give thanks to her god for my survival.

    Our GP came to see me one evening when I was very ill, and left assuming that I would be dead by the time he came back the next day. His next call after seeing me was to another family, to certify the death of their young son who had just died of measles.

    My mother sat up all night nursing me (she was a nurse by training) and praying for me, and she also called the priest to adminster Extreme Unction. But I survived.

    Measles can kill. Vaccination can prevent it. It’s as simple as that.

  14. draust said,

    Thanks for recounting that, Annette, and nice link from Chris in Comment #8. Another good one on similar lines, written by a blogging retired public health epidemiologist, is here.

    The line peddled by ShabbyTabby and Clifford Miller, that natural measles epidemics were “harmless”, is based upon the fact that the deadly consequences of measles are at a frequency where most people are statistically unlikely to have had one among their direct family and friends. Thus people of Shabby’s and my age recall “we all had measles”, but don’t remember the one in 200 people that was left deaf, or with educational problems from encephalitis, or whatever. I wrote about this a bit here.

    Of course, people who lack the humility or self-knowledge to accept their own fallibility and recall biases, and whose primary character trait is feeling that the world does not properly appreciate their brilliant insights, just know better. Or, er, not.

  15. Cybertiger said,

    Annette, the nearly didn’t survive measles survivor said,

    “Measles can kill. Vaccination can prevent it. It’s as simple as that.”

    If only life and surviving was that simple. I only said that people in the 60’s, including my family, didn’t seem to fear measles, like wot Dr. dt seems to fear it and scaremonger over it. Sure, some kids died and some kids went deaf … but not very many.

    But with smallpox it was different, people did fear that. But there were riots in Leicester in the 1880’s over compulsory smallpox vaccination. The vaccinated were dying of smallpox at a much greater rate than the unvaccinated. It was the ‘Leicester System’ that was beating the smallpox, not vaccination. Of course, smallpox vaccination had a part to play in the eradication of smallpox, but only part, and probably a small part at that.

    This is an interesting history of smallpox and the Leicester System,

    http://www.archive.org/stream/leicestersanitat00biggrich#page/14/mode/2up

    It was the sanitation what done it.

  16. jdc325 said,

    Sure, some kids died and some kids went deaf … but not very many.

    To sum up your position, then:

    There were only, what, 1400 or so deaths from measles in the 50s. That’s hardly any. Obviously the sensible thing to do is to abandon MMR on the basis of no reliable evidence whatsoever and go back to the good old days when thousands of people died from a preventable disease.

  17. Culex said,

    Quite right, too!

    Polio inoculation should also be abandoned as a waste of public money, as there has not been a seriously fatal case of poliomyelitis in the UK for decades.

    There must be other diseases we have beaten, too, where taxpayers’ money could be saved by stopping vaccinations on the NHS. If parents want to pay for their children to be given injections they will probably never need, they should be allowed to choose instead of it being forced on them as if we lived in some Stalinist state.

  18. Rob said,

    And hardly anyone in Britain has died of cholera in the last century, showing that this once-epidemic disease has been banished – probably by better nutrition and housing. I might even draw a graph to show this. Why oh why do we continue to funnel literally hundreds of millions of pounds into the pockets of Big Water Treatment to pipe so called “purified” water into our houses after it’s been treated with deadly chlorine? I notice that many of the people who say this “purification” is necessary have links to the Water Treatment industry and can therefore be ignored because of their glaring conflict of interest. But if you stand on a street corner handing out pamphlets telling people this, they look at you as if you’re mad.

  19. Cybertiger said,

    Rob was being characteristically astute when he said,

    “And hardly anyone in Britain has died of cholera in the last century, showing that this once-epidemic disease has been banished – probably by better nutrition and housing.”

    … but Rob may not have been aware that more than a few measle vaccinated kids have died from cholera in Zimbabwe in recent times … no doubt the good Dr. dt will be able to tell us all about these poor blighters. Still, at least they didn’t die of measles or malnutrition or poor hygiene and sanitation … just from another of the host of vaccine preventable diseases that are forced on Zimbabwean children.

    PS. Being a pro-vaccineer, I used to get all vaxxed up against cholera when I went off on jaunts to darkest Africa and primitive outposts in the Middle East, like Israel. But now they don’t seem to peddle the cholera vax … I guess the penny finally dropped that it was a useless vax … and sometimes worse.

    PPS. Any thoughts on ‘Sanitation versus Vaccination’ in the great Establishment war on smallpox and the British people?

    http://www.archive.org/stream/leicestersanitat00biggrich#page/190/mode/2up

    Try reading pages, 173-175 for starters …

  20. Rob said,

    Cybertiger @19:
    “but Rob may not have been aware that more than a few measle vaccinated kids have died from cholera in Zimbabwe in recent times”
    Yes, I am well aware that the economy and infrastructure of Zimbabwe recently declined so badly that it suffered cholera outbreaks. But what’s your point; that because measles-vaccinated children died of cholera this somehow shows measles vaccine is ineffective?

    “Still, at least they didn’t die of measles or malnutrition or poor hygiene and sanitation”
    Erm, no; it was poor sanitation that killed them, because that’s what enables cholera to thrive.

  21. Cybertiger said,

    Rob twittered,

    “Erm, no; it was poor sanitation that killed them, because that’s what enables cholera to thrive.”

    You said it was poor nutrition and housing that banished cholera from British shores. Even fat guys die of cholera: what’s nutrition got to do with getting bad diarrhoea etc.

  22. Rob said,

    Cybertiger, I’m sorry you didn’t realise that my post 18 was in jest, in the same way I understood Culex’s at 17 to be; I’d have thought that “Why oh why do we continue to funnel literally hundreds of millions of pounds into the pockets of Big Water Treatment to pipe so called “purified” water into our houses after it’s been treated with deadly chlorine?” would have been a sufficient clue. To further explain, it was intentionally misattributing the eradication of a disease and overplaying allegedly toxic effects of a necessary ongoing public health measure – something which is often seen in antivaccination literature.

    You still haven’t explained what point you were trying to make in 19; is it that because measles-vaccinated children died of cholera this somehow shows measles vaccine is ineffective?

  23. davidp said,

    Yes, thanks for that Annette – always good to have real experiences related.
    In the 1950’s and 60’s Measles was hard to avoid, and safer to have when young, so people accepted it and made the best of it, but it could be a nasty illness with permanent effects.

    Deaths from vaccine preventable diseases are a favourite for anti-vax people to graph, because improved health care since World War II has seriously reduced deaths from infections. Effective antibiotics (treating or preventing secondary infections) and extraordinary supportive care (up to oxygenating the blood outside the body) save many lives. Of course the people have still been extremely sick, and may have ongoing disabilities. The recent H1N1 flu epidemic shows this health care effect – tens of thousands of people were hospitalised in the U.S., ICU’s reached just short of breaking point, so most people recovered, but it was close, and the many of the hospitalised people would have died it they’d had 1940’s standards of medical care.

    Rob, I’d recommend ignoring the Cybertiger troll.

  24. Clifford G Miller « Well Known Trolls said,

    [...] G Miller Clifford Miller, lawyer and amateur scientist, is a prolific troll and often works as one half of an entertaining [...]

  25. Culex said,

    … an entertaining pantomime horse? :D

  26. dt said,

    If the end result of the antivax propaganda didn’t mean children die, their efforts on sites like CHS would have huge amusement and entertainment value. It is clear that Miller &Co haven’t got a clue, either statistically, medically or epidemiologically (but then why would they?).
    Well done jdc on calling them over what is just one of many idiocies displayed on their site. Sometime I should really also do a takedown of some of the other junk they peddle, but time is at a premium just now.

  27. jdc325 said,

    An open letter to Clifford Miller:

    Clifford, your graph is misleading, out-of-date, and inaccurate. Acute measles infection has claimed lives in years when your graph predicted no deaths would occur (and this prediction was said to hold even if no-one were vaccinated according to CHS). No amount of goalpost-shifting (or exclusion of deaths that are proving to be so inconvenient to you and your daft graph) can possibly save your out-of-date and misleading graph.

    The text on Child Health Safety is even worse. I can only hope (for the sake of your reputation) that you are not the author of the following:

    By 2007 the chance of anyone in England and Wales dying of measles if no one were vaccinated was less than 1 in 55 million.

    This is a truly moronic statement. The graph is not only inaccurate, misleading and out-of-date, but also contains figures for deaths from measles in a country with measles-containing vaccine coverage that has been at or above 80% since the introduction of MMR in 1988. How on earth can you (or anyone else) possibly justify using the figures for measles mortality in a country with 80%+ levels of vaccination to suggest that the chances of death if no one were vaccinated would be less than 1 in 55 million? Quite simply, you can’t.

    Do you genuinely believe that, in the event of a zero rate of vaccination, measles mortality will decrease as incidence of measles increases? If so, then you’re even dafter than your graph.

    In the first half of the 1980s, when measles coverage was around 52-62% [WHO figures], there were roughly 450,000 cases of measles (about 90,000 per year), there were 80 deaths (16 per year) and the mortality rate was 5-6,000 (cases of measles per death from measles infection). [Figures from the HPA.] In 1988, the year single measles vaccine was phased out in favour of MMR, there were 86,000 cases of measles and 16 deaths from measles. In 2006, there were nearly four thousand cases of measles and one death from acute measles infection. In 2008, there was at least one death from acute measles infection and there were 5,000 cases. [HPA, provisional data for 2008.] Mortality from measles was around 1 in 5000 in the 1980s – the same as it is now. A return to the levels of vaccine coverage seen in the early 1980s would see a return to the level of deaths from acute measles infection that we had during the 1980s. [And it isn’t ‘just’ people with immunodeficiency who are at risk of dying from acute measles infection. Take, for example, the case of the Duisburg outbreak in Germany. [Note: link goes to a PDF.] The two children who developed encephalitis and died were aged 2 months, and 2 years. The infant was too young for vaccination and would have relied upon herd immunity for protection. It’s also perhaps worth noting the following: “Measles-related complications were more common in younger children.” … “Overall, 77 (15%) interviewed patients were hospitalized for a median duration of 6 hospitalization days (range 2–97) and a total of 693 days.” That 15% of cases required hospitalisation for an average of six days does not suggest that measles in 2006 is ‘nothing to worry about’ as so many anti-vaccine campaigners are keen to imply. For all of us, but especially for those with younger children, measles is certainly something to fear.]

    All it would take to kill hundreds in the next decade would be for vaccination coverage to drop sufficiently. It wouldn’t even have to drop to zero – somewhere between 55-75% ought to do it. And this is, apparently, what the anti-vaccine lobbyists (which includes those such as you, John Stone, and Child Health Safety) are striving for, using your daft graph with its odd trend line as ‘evidence’ to support its wacky ideas.

    To end on a happier note… since vaccine coverage dropped to a decade low of 80% in 2003, rates are beginning to rise again and from 2007-2009 were back up to 86%. Hopefully, we will soon see vaccine coverage reach the level that provides herd immunity and deaths and serious complications from measles infection will be considerably less likely to occur. This rise in vaccine coverage might suggest that some of those initially concerned by the false claims of Wakefield, Jabs, Child Health Safety and others that MMR was associated with regressive autism have realised that they were misled. Increased awareness of the risks of measles may also be a factor in this rise.

    You are losing the battle, Clifford…

  28. Cybertiger said,

    You’re the daft git, Jimmy Cole.

    A century ago it would have been reasonable to think of measles as a killer disease. Then, the number of people dying from measles was greater than deaths from smallpox, scarlet fever and diptheria combined. In 1918, an average of 10 – 12,000 children were dying from measles every year. The next 40 years saw a steady but steep decline in deaths. In the mid 50’s the total annual deaths rarely exceeded 100. Measles vaccination was only introduced in 1968. Measles has changed and become an infectious but relatively benign disease and Clifford Miller’s graph proves it. Professor David Salisbury at the DH is also a century behind the times in his fearmongering about measles.

    Salisbury and Jimbo ‘dimbo’ Cole are both daft gits.

  29. jdc325 said,

    A century ago it would have been reasonable to think of measles as a killer disease.

    Measles can still kill. There have been advances that make death from measles less likely than a hundred years ago, but these advances haven’t eliminated the risk of death from measles – as the parents of the children who died in Duisburg could tell you.

    You and your ilk also ignore the other complications from measles when claiming it is a benign disease. Care to comment on the complications of measles infection Cybertiger? Any profound thoughts on the frequency or severity of complications from measles? To bring up Duisburg once more – how many children were hospitalised and for how long?

    (By the way, I noticed that you’d been commenting as “Duelist” over at the Guardian. Are you trying to take the heat off Miller and Stone by making their comments seem reasonable in comparison to your barmy witterings? I particularly enjoyed “elite members plotting some sort of biological warfare”.)

  30. jdc325 said,

    Heh: ad hom from an anon. Here’s what CHS have to say:

    jdc325 says about himself on his blog [jdc325.wordpress.com/about/] that he is James Cole and he is formerly unemployed and now employed as a barman and as an admin worker.

    “Res ipsa loquitur” as we say in Barnsley.

    My response:

    Res ipsa loquitur? I’m not quite sure how that particular phrase relates to the information in your comment. The legal term doesn’t seem relevant, so I guess you’re arguing that my employment status “speaks for itself”. Not sure how that’s relevant to my or your comments on measles though…

    I’m also somewhat amused by the fact that someone who remains anonymous seems to think that the job I do is somehow relevant to the points I make here. If your arguments rest on appeals to authority or, rather, my lack of authority – then how about you show me yours (I have, after all, shown you mine).

    I’m touched by your interest in my employment status, but I fail to see its relevance.

  31. davidp said,

    A good “open letter” James.

    Its no suprise that death rates from measles dropped dramatically over the 20th century.

    From 1900 to 1960, there was a continuing improvement in nutrition, living standards and health care for British people, with a few setbacks like the depression (I’m not sure what WWII did to nutrition for the poor in the U.K. – could have improved it by rationing, childrens food programs and giving full employment). The introduction of the NHS with free penicillin must have helped health care for the poor a huge amount. Public housing after the WWII destruction was a huge improvement on earlier slums. You can see these effects in the increasing average height of people over this period (still going up here in Australia)

    These changes dropped measles death rates, but the infection rate was still very high – I’d guess over 90% of urban kids got it, producing immunity the dangerous way.

    The MMR vaccination campaign actually turned measles into a disease not circulating in the U.K. community. Outbreaks were all linked to overseas travel. The scare campaign dropped vaccination levels low enough for measles to re-colonise the U.K. so you again have measles circulating in the community (it’s again “endemic”). A great achievement for those who love viruses and hate people.

  32. Rob said,

    jdc325 says about himself on his blog [jdc325.wordpress.com/about/] that he is James Cole and he is formerly unemployed and now employed as a barman and as an admin worker.

    “Res ipsa loquitur” as we say in Barnsley.

    Ah yes; the “hide behind Latin” technique – it makes you sound educated and it takes a while for anyone to figure out what on Earth you might be trying to say. Or “Post hoc wtf ergo Romanes eunt domus”, as we say down south.

  33. Cybertiger said,

    Dipstick davidp worbled,

    “A great achievement for those who love viruses and hate people.”

    … as he spewed such infectiously specious drivel, like the bright red rash of measles from right downunder. Prat!

  34. Jonny Dade said,

    CyberTiger – It’s foolish narrow minded people like you that connect with worried parents, and lead them down alleyways that not only endanger their own children, but put others around them at risk as well. You sir, are a charlatan, common sense has eluded you. Vaccines introduced – deathrate reduced, mmr scare – deathrate goes up. I don’t care if you think life is more complicated than that, there are so many studies that prove your wrong i can’t even begin to list them. Please take your drivel to one of those amatuer, tacky looking, dodgy anti-vax sites that care for your rubbish.

  35. Cybertiger said,

    Wow! Dontcha jus luv the cool intellectual subtlety and the rich complexity of argument put forward by pro-vaccineers like Mr. Dade. Twat!

  36. The Year In Nonsense. And Stuff. « Stuff And Nonsense said,

    [...] the GMC, but James Le Fanu’s article in the Telegraph drove me to it. I wrote about another anti-vaccine fail, when I posted about a silly graph and sillier claims on the Child Health Safety [...]

  37. Arthur P said,

    Isn’t it the irony, that Clifford Miller, known to his friends as ‘that fat drunk’ operates a website which he calls ‘child health safety’ and then deceitfully pretends that it is an independent group?

  38. A Brief Guide To Deflecting Criticism « Stuff And Nonsense said,

    [...] them to deflect criticism by turning attention to a perceived “attack on parents”. Clifford Miller and John Stone, for example. Miller is the author of a graph that he wrongly claims demonstrates that the risk of [...]

  39. ChildHealthSafety said,

    Hi James,

    When are you going to take down the completely fallacious information you published on this page?

    Official Data Confirms – 20th Century Measles Deaths Would Fall Exponentially – And Regardless of Measles Or MMR Vaccine
    http://wp.me/pfSi7-1PF

    Data from the Health Protection Agency shows there have been 76,000 reported cases of measles in the UK since 1992 and no deaths in adults or healthy children from acute measles [in fact 80,000+ to 2013]. There was one death in a 14 year old on immunosuppressant drugs for a lung condition and one in an immunocompromised child [according to the HPA] since 1992. That gives a chance of nil deaths per annum in healthy children since 1992 over the entire population of England and Wales – which is roughly 55 million – give or take – such as for annual fluctuations etc and 0.1 deaths per annum in immunocompromised children.

    Prior to 2006, the last death from acute measles was in 1992.”

    …….

    “In 2006 there was one measles death in a 13 years old male who had an underlying lung condition and was taking immunosuppressive drugs. Another death in 2008 was also due to acute measles in unvaccinated child with congenital immunodeficiency whose condition did not require treatment with immunoglobulin. “

    http://www.hpa.org.uk/web/HPAweb&HPAwebStandard/HPAweb_C/1195733835814

    According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2008 death is now doubted to have been a measles death.

  40. jdc325 said,

    CHS, you said “By 2007 the chance of anyone in England and Wales dying of measles if no one were vaccinated was less than 1 in 55 million” and the line you drew through your graph showed zero deaths. There have been deaths, despite reasonably good vaccine uptake. Your graph is out of date. Your statement regarding the chance of anyone dying in England and Wales if no-one were vaccinated is not simply wrong but ludicrous.

  41. ChildHealthSafety said,

    No James – you were wrong when you put up this post and you remain wrong now.

    It is all dealth with on CHS here:

    Official Data Confirms – 20th Century Measles Deaths Would Fall Exponentially – And Regardless of Measles Or MMR Vaccine
    http://wp.me/pfSi7-1PF

    But what can you expect from someone who accuses a professional journalist of being unprofessional for reporting factual news that an Italian Court found that the MMR vaccine used in the UK caused a child’s autism.

    The Italian Health Ministry conceded causation on the basis of the medical and scientific evidence but continued to fight on the basis the vaccine was not compulsory – that the parents should take the burden all by themselves.

    But then it is your obsession James so why let facts get in the way.

    And nice eh James – insist parent every year have hundreds of thousands of children vaccinated to save the vanishly rare chance that a very sick child might die from measles and end up with 1 in 64 of those hundreds of thousand of children with an autistic condition and other conditions.

    That is sick and without any sense of proportion, ethics or anything else right and proper.

  42. jdc325 said,

    CHS, your claim that measles is so benign that it would not cause deaths even if no-one were vaccinated is utter nonsense. The claim that MMR vaccine causes autism has been carefully investigated by a number of researchers in different countries using various different types of epidemiological study. These studies consistently found no association between the vaccine and the condition.

    You’ve also been wrong on various other things, including this recent slip-up where you falsely accused a health authority of a “scam” and telling “whoppers” on the basis of some figures that you had misinterpreted and been too lazy to seek clarification on.

    Are you trying to set some sort of world record for how many things a person can be wrong about?

  43. ChildHealthSafety said,

    The usual tosh and twaddle from you jdc and all dealt with on CHS.

    As for the mildness of measles don’t take our word for it – doctors writing in the British Medical Journal in 1959 were saying so:

    “British Medical Journal Tells Us – Measles Is Not The Scary Disease The Press Want You To Think It Is”

    http://wp.me/pfSi7-1Ou

    “These studies consistently found no association between the vaccine and the condition.”

    Ecological studies only establish whether there might be an association. They can never establish there is none. But you knew that before you posted your comment.

    Lack of correlation does not equal lack of causation.

    Additionally, as US government officials have already confirmed – all vaccines cause autistic conditions – so just looking at the MMR is bound to come up with a nil result – because the background noise from all the other vaccines will bury any signal from all the other cases of autistic conditions caused by all the other vaccines.

    And you should not grace statistical studies with the title “ecological” or epidemiological when they do no investigation of the clinical histories of cases. They are just statistical studies.

  44. jdc325 said,

    CHS, you don’t seem to know what epidemiology is. Perhaps you might like to start with the Wiki page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidemiology

    As for what doctors were saying in 1959, 98 people died of measles that year: http://www.hpa.org.uk/web/HPAweb&HPAwebStandard/HPAweb_C/1195733835814 There might be diseases that are more dangerous than measles and should therefore be feared to a greater degree but that doesn’t make measles benign and it doesn’t mean there is no cause for concern.

    Measles in 1959 was less of a concern than it was in the 1940s when the mortality rate was much higher. It was still dangerous enough to kill 98 people in England and Wales in that year though. Measles might normally be a relatively mild infection nowadays but not always. It wasn’t mild for the 98 who died. And that’s just the deaths in 1959 – there will also have been people who survived but had rather nasty complications.

    I’m baffled that you seem to want to return to those days.

  45. ChildHealthSafety said,

    jdc you are wrong again. What is passed off as epidemiology these days are pure statistical studies without reference to the Bradford Hill criteria whatsoever. They are just statistical studies.

    So the only way causality can be established in the absence of the application of the Bradford Hill criteria is with detailed clinical histories of cases.

    And the rest of what we stated is absolutely correct. Maybe you should read the links you post before you post them.

    As for 1959, you know very well that there would be no “return to those days.” That there have been 80,000+ plus cases of measles since 1992 and no deaths from acute measles in healthy individuals confirms that.

    But the same old twaddle is being peddled regrettably.

  46. jdc325 said,

    CHS, can you tell me which criterion precludes statistical studies?

    Let’s have a look at the criteria with reference to MMR and autism.

    Strength: the larger the association, the more likely that it is causal. No association was found for MMR and autism. Not even a weak association.

    Consistency: Consistent findings observed by different persons in different places with different samples strengthens the likelihood of an effect. Oh look – the findings of different persons in different places with different samples were consistent. They consistently failed to find an association. It’s not looking good for you CHS.

    Specificity: Causation is likely if a very specific population at a specific site and disease with no other likely explanation. This does not apply to autism and MMR. We’re not talking about a very specific population, we’re not talking about a specific site and we’re not talking about a condition with no other likely explanation.

    Temporality: The effect has to occur after the cause (and if there is an expected delay between the cause and expected effect, then the effect must occur after that delay). In some of the cases in Wakefield’s now-retracted Lancet paper, developmental problems were observed prior to MMR vaccination. He couldn’t even get that right.

    Biological gradient: Greater exposure should generally lead to greater incidence of the effect. Any evidence of this, CHS?

    Plausibility: A plausible mechanism between cause and effect is helpful (but Hill noted that knowledge of the mechanism is limited by current knowledge). What was the plausible mechanism for MMR causing autism again?

    Coherence: Coherence between epidemiological and laboratory findings increases the likelihood of an effect. However, Hill noted that “… lack of such [laboratory] evidence cannot nullify the epidemiological effect on associations”. So what you’re looking for here is accord between epidemiological and laboratory findings re MMR and autism. Unfortunately for you, you don’t have the epidemiological findings. Multiple studies, by different people, in different places found no association between MMR and autism.

    Experiment: “Occasionally it is possible to appeal to experimental evidence”. But not in this case. Well, not for your side of the argument. Which is why you prefer to refer to court decisions rather than argue on the basis of the results of experiments.

    Analogy: The effect of similar factors may be considered. Care to explain which similar factors may be considered in this case CHS?

    Now, which of those criteria precludes a statistical study?

  47. ChildHealthSafety said,

    jdc – if you don’t apply any of the Bradford Hill criteria you just have a statistical study which demonstrates nothing – like concluding eating ice-cream causes sunburn.

    Amazed after all these years you pretend not to know that – or maybe you are not pretending jdc?

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