Tag: vaccines

Dichotomous thinking and uncertainty in medicine and science

Medicine is by its very nature uncertain. Unfortunately, humans don't deal well with uncertainty, and our tendency towards dichotomous thinking leads us to think that if we're not absolutely certain about something we don't know anything.

/ November 11, 2019

Shame on HBO! Bill Maher interviews Dr. Jay Gordon and the antivaccine misinformation flows.

Friday night, an old "friend" of the blog, pediatrician and antivaccine apologist Dr. Jay Gordon, made an appearance on Real Time With Bill Maher. In a long segment, the antivaccine misinformation flowed fast and furious in a Gish gallop of pseudoscience. WTF, HBO?

/ November 4, 2019

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. hosts a trainwreck of an antivaccine forum in Harlem

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. reached out to the African-American Community in Harlem with his antivaccine message. It didn't go so well. First, Rev. Al Sharpton, whose National Action Committee was going to host it, bailed due to negative publicity. Then RFK Jr. was kicked out of his venue during his speech because the event went way over time. RFK Jr.'s efforts do,...

/ October 21, 2019

Woo versus Wikipedia

Love it or hate it, Wikipedia is a main go-to rough and ready source of information for millions of people. Although I've had my problems with Wikipedia and used to ask whether it could provide reliable information on medicine and, in particular, alternative medicine and vaccines, given that anyone can edit it, I now conclude that Wikipedia must be doing OK, at...

/ October 14, 2019

Vaccines in the News: The Good, the Bad, and the Imminent Loss of Our Measles Elimination Status

A quick recap of vaccine-related news from over the past several weeks.

/ October 4, 2019

The long, strange road to passing SB 276 appears to be near its end…finally

In 2015, California passed SB 277, which eliminated religious and personal belief exemptions to school vaccine mandates. Unfortunately, there was a problem; a weakness in the law allowed antivaccine quacks to help parents get around the law by writing medical exemptions not supported by science. The long strange battle to get SB 276, the law designed to close that loophole, reveals a...

/ September 9, 2019
Vaccine Guide

The Vaccine Guide: Cherry picked studies and deceptive highlighting in the service of antivaccine pseudoscience

The Vaccine Guide is a website and a book by Ashley Everly, a "toxicology consultant" for Health Freedom Idaho. It's been making the rounds in the antivaccine underbelly of social media lately and basically consists of screenshots of cherry picked studies, articles, and web pages, with Everly's highlighting passages to provide an antivaccine spin. It's clever in a way, but also rather...

/ August 19, 2019
Marianne Williamson

Is today’s generation of children “the sickest generation”?

Presidential candidate and New Age self-help guru Marianne Williamson has been repeating a claim that over half of our children have chronic illness and implying that the expansion of the vaccine schedule since the late 1980s is responsible. But is it true? Are over half of our children sick? Is this "the sickest generation"?

/ August 5, 2019

A new study reinforces the conclusion that autism is primarily genetic

Last week, the largest epidemiological study of its kind was published and concluded, once again, that autism is primarily due to genes and that the environmental component of autism risk is much smaller. Not surprisingly, once again antivaxers didn't want to hear that message.

/ July 22, 2019

Bad Documentary Review: Family Shots

Amazon removed a number of anti-vax documentaries in March but a few still remain unfortunately. Family Shots is a anti-vax propaganda film pretending to be a documentary about a father trying to find out if vaccines are safe. It also got government funding to be made. Yeah...

/ July 15, 2019