William K. Wolfrum's picture

    Bill Gates speaks truth: "Those anti-vaccine efforts -- they kill children"

    Talking to CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Bill Gates minced no words in stating his opinion on anti-vaxxers and fraudulent researcher Andrew Wakefield:

    "So it's an absolute lie that has killed thousands of kids. Because the mothers who heard that lie, many of them didn't have their kids take either pertussis or measles vaccine, and their children are dead today. And so the people who go and engage in those anti-vaccine efforts -- you know, they, they kill children. It's a very sad thing, because these vaccines are important."

    The strong language Gates used is necessary, because facts aren't working on those who ignorantly fear vaccinations. And they are putting all children at risk, not just their own. Two years ago, I wrote a post titled "Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy want your children to die," after Carrey penned a ridiculous column, rehashing long-debunked theories vaccinations. In that, I wrote this:

    The studies are in. The vaccine program is a not a vast conspiracy. It is a successful program that has literally wiped many dangerous illnesses off the continent. The only conspiracy on the subject is the one endlessly and ignorantly pursued by Carrey and McCarthy.

    There is only one way left to go with the anti-vaccination crowd - let them know over and over again that they are child killers. Because it's the truth. And that truth is just not sinking in.


    Crossposted at William K. Wolfrum Chronicles



    Wolfy, you are exactly correct. It is beyond bizarre that anyone would get medical advice from a comedian and his playboy bunny girlfriend, insane actually. And they are killing children, and more than that, helping to bring back virulent diseases, once eradicated in the modern world. Incredible inanity, that too many seem to fall for. Bill Gates is correct, 100%, and he should keep the pressure up on the know-nothing crowd, they should be marginalized and ridiculed for their rejection of the medical facts.

    First of all tmccarthy if you are a real person I would be very suprised. I could go an an ignorant diatribe countering your ignorant diatribe.. but I will ask you two questions:  Please bring forward one scientific case study that shows a vaccine ever worked… this should be easy for you, but it has to be are real case study, not some generic estimates from the CDC or WHO… Secondly, if these vaccinations work and actually protect babies from ‘death’ (and not just the opposite), why, (you have to answer this) don’t doctors themselves (ones with functioning brain cells) vaccinate their own children?    If you can’t at least put forward some effort in researching these two questions and reply with factual based evidence, then don’t  reply… do yourself and the world a favor and keep your ignorance to yourself. 

    You are a hilarious troll... what do you mean, am I a real person? What a stupid response. 

    There is adequate proof vaccines work.

    Do we have outbreaks of polio in the US any longer? Oh right, no we don't.

    Vaccines help prevent infectious diseases and save lives. Vaccines are responsible for the control of many infectious diseases that were once common in this country, including polio, measles, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), rubella (German measles), mumps, tetanus, small pox, and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib).

    Each child is born with a full immune system composed of cells, glands, organs, and fluids that are located throughout his or her body to fight invading bacteria and viruses. The immune system recognizes germs that enter the body as "foreign" invaders, or antigens, and produces protein substances called antibodies to fight them. A normal, healthy immune system has the ability to produce millions of these antibodies to defend against thousands of attacks every day, doing it so naturally that people are not even aware they are being attacked and defended so often (Whitney, 1990). Many antibodies disappear once they have destroyed the invading antigens, but the cells involved in antibody production remain and become "memory cells." Memory cells remember the original antigen and then defend against it when the antigen attempts to re-infect a person, even after many decades. This protection is called immunity.

    Vaccines contain the same antigens or parts of antigens that cause diseases, but the antigens in vaccines are either killed or greatly weakened. When they are injected into fatty tissue or muscle, vaccine antigens are not strong enough to produce the symptoms and signs of the disease but are strong enough for the immune system to produce antibodies against them (Tortora and Anagnostakos, 1981). The memory cells that remain prevent re-infection when they encounter that disease in the future. Thus, through vaccination, children develop immunity without suffering from the actual diseases that vaccines prevent.

    There  is an overwhelming amount of data proving that vaccines do work. Now put your evidence out here, your data, your actual evidence that can be replicated by reputable scientists.

    Good luck with your anti-science vendetta.  It is strange to me, that on faith you take the word of the unlearned, and ignore the massive data supporting efficacy of vaccines.

    I have a question for you Ken. Would understand how to read any study sent your way? You actually do not know how vaccines work and you think anybody takes you seriously? There is a video online of a toddler dyeing  of whooping cough due to the loss of herd immunity. Then keep on with your stupid ill informed bullshit. Tell me Ken what is the scientific method is and how it works? STFU  go in the corner and play with yourself and let the adults take care of things. You sir are an absolute stupid fuck. 

    Kewl. Satan is posting. That'll put a feather in the cap of the dagblog.

    So dude, what's up?

    What's up?

    Multiple postings, fer sure.  I never shoulda' cancelled my AOL--this new browser is  hellish hard...and the captcha, fuhgeddaboudit

    This is so important to keep going.  It's horrific that people still believe that nonsense, given all the information out there to the contrary.  I want Jenny McCarthy to be big enough to come out and apologize for passing along bad information, but somehow I don't think it's going to happen.  There need to be consequences for pushing false information that may well injure or kill.

    On any given Sunday morning there are dozens of infomercials touting some ridiculous product, curing anything from ingrown toenails to cancer.  There apparently are no regulations about lying about these products, which to my mind is another example of free-market insanity.

    Synchronicity has a post, "Canada has law preventing lies on broadcast news." Canada's Charter of Rights does guarantee freedom of belief and expression, but vaccination-deniers are clearly endangering health and lives. I'd like to see the broadcast rule enforced in their case.

    Jeez you guys are hard-core on this one, acanuck. I'm just not as sure. Before I go further, my disclaimer - I have all my shots, recommend others get them, know the guy published fraudulent material, etc. 

    But. This stuff isn't simple. Not even as simple as saying there's a wide medical consensus on this. Because, complexifying things, are things like the fact that having some diseases actually seems to prep the system and provide some level of immunity against other diseases. And that combining vaccines isn't quite as surefire guaranteed a path as just arguing for a vaccine's efficacy.

    And then, at the heart of my complaint, is the endless stream of things which the doctors - AND THE PHAMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY - has told us are vital, and necessary, but which aren't. Remember that killer flu? And, ummmm, did more of us die form the vaccine, or the flu? Because SOMEONE gets to be a child killer out of that debate too.  

    In fact, on medical issues,m the one thing we can guarantee is that... someone's a child killer. And yet, each of us only tends to research - in our own amateurish way - a smallish number of these issues. I'm a bit of a bugger on fluoridation, for instance. Good thing, I'm sure - but jamming it into toothpaste and such isn't necessarily a good thing. Or how about mercury in fillings? A good thing? A safe thing? How about fracking, and then spreading radioactive materials all over our roads? How about EMR and cell phones and all that? Seems that it DOES definitely change brain function (though talking to most of my callers is the riskier thing, IMHO.) 

    I know, I know, the vaccines are meant for good, they're not nasty poisons being hidden away in waste products. Got it. But. Some of this medical stuff ain't all that sure. In fact, I would argue - and win - that the level of confidence we can have in medical issues is never 100%. 

    As for Wolfrum's piece, this is one of those rare times when I basically think he should eat his words, and stop being an asshole. I KNOW NOT HAVING VACCINES CAN DO BAD THINGS, AND PROBABLY KILL KIDS. Here's the thing though. Stating it like that, at that pitch, "child killer," makes him a brass-ass hypocrite, and in this case, to spell it out, that means, WOLFRUM IS A FUCKING CHILD KILLER.

    See, because this is true. He flies in airplanes. Anybody with a clue has read about the pollutants from that, right? Not just CO2, but the noise and the emissions at airports and their consequences, right? Kids die from that shit. Or hasn't he seen the protests involving tens of thousands against Heathrow's expansion? And I suspect he also drives a car. Millions of people die from that shit. And I'll bet he buys food sprayed with pesticides. Does he think farm workers grow on trees?

    Do I really need to go on? These are simple facts. Wolfrum ignores them. I don't care about his feelings or his complex views on them or the practical difficulties, I just think he's a CHILD KILLER.

    See? It's a hard line.Yes, I want to see most of the financial sector exiled to work camps and then have to die in anonymity, but they're knowing, law-breaking, life-thieving bastards. But in cases where people are genuinely confused, but probably mean well (that is, I'm assuming Jim Carrey really isn't aiming to kill kids?) And in a field as confusing as medical stuff, where we all weigh in, on any of 1001 topics (wanna hear my theory about gout?)... then this maybe isn't the best way to tackle the issue. 

    But hey, what do I know.

    Oh yeah. A lot. And you guys driving cars? You're fucking assholes and child killers and physically and intellectually lazy and you kill animals and your bullshit makes me sick.

    Hmmmm. Maybe this kindof approach DOES work. For me. ;-)

    And apologies Wolfrum, am just trying to make a point. Not really ranking on you for being a child killer. 

    Quinn, as I've declared before on this site, I'm skeptical of everything I read. Everything. And that includes medical studies. The guy who perpetrated this fraud -- as it turns out, for financial gain --was responsible for hundreds of thousands of children not being vaccinated. And many, many of those children died as a result. He should be in prison.

    But I'm even angrier at The Lancet, the respected medical journal that published his initial "study." Based on 12 (twelve) anecdotal claims of a link between the MMR vaccine and autism! I'm no scientist, but I understand the scientific method well enough to know that any study of that size had to be garbage. The Lancet finally retracted the article, 12 years after it appeared. Sorry, not good enough.

    People who continue to promote and popularize this bullshit, after all the countervailing evidence that has come out, can no longer claim any presumption of good faith. Sorry, Carrey and McCarthy.

    Yes, I know some people die from reactions to flu shots. Thousands more die each year from flu. So should you get your shot? It's your call, but yeah. Fluoride in toothpaste? I know any substance in excess can be toxic, but does anybody eat toothpaste? No. Then it's fine. Dozens die each year from reactions to anesthesia. Is that any reason to decline surgery for that brain tumor? No, you idiot.

    And so it goes. Inform yourselves of the relative risks, and make sensible decisions. Especially when you're making decisions on behalf of your children, who can't make them for themselves.

    Don't get me started on the academic journals anymore. I have a journo-friend in Canada who helped break some stories on the approvals processes for drugs, and the role of the companies, and thence back into the medical personnel involved, who ran various nameless journals.... Sweet stuff, that. And the big killer flu story, remember that? Erg. Some not nice - as in really not nice - issues around the production of the shots, and who made money and how, and who spoke out in favour and so on. 

    All of which piles up on people. Because there's so much info, and increasing numbers of alternatives, but also, we can't possibly keep up and sort this stuff out --- especially with so many vested interests in the pharm-med field.

    Just take one thing you said. They don't eat toothpaste. Errrm, yes, they do. And in ENORMOUS quantities. Because it now tastes great, right? And you should do it after every meal. And the kids squab it on it huge glopping amounts, and swallow it. I didn't know this, until I was researching pica behaviour, and how kids eat dirt.

    Shorter: man, it's confusing. 

    Which is precisely where Carrey and company come in. And they're Hollywood/weird. And you said it - how can you trust anyone in the profession anymore, EVEN THE LANCET.

    I guess it just makes me cut Carrey 3% slack. 3%. Whereas the Lancet and the pharma guys? I'm now supposed to give them 100% confidence when Wolfrum decides the evidence is just that solid? Sorry, no die. Much as I love Wolfrum, he's pissed, and he's turned weighing the risks into a conviction that slides a bit too far for me.

    So my doctor didn't tell me that arthritis in the hip could be one of the side effects of my hepatitis shot, but at least I had it so I couldn't be called a BABY KILLER.

    Of course the doctors forgot to tell me that some of those vaccines could have side effects on infants who've shown signs of epilepsy - am I a BABY KILLER for thinking about not giving all 14 recommended shots to the tiny tyke, including those all important shots for sexually transmitted diseases, a significant danger in the first weeks of life?

    Of course the FDA and CDC are perfect and all these talks about billions for vaccines for Africa couldn't have a crass financial downside to them, and couldn't be rigged by rich mofo's with a financial agenda, despite what these idiots say here: http://www.deepcapture.com/wp-content/uploads/story-of-dendreon.pdf

    Because we know Big PhRma plays fair, and would never push ineffective or damaging pharmaceuticals on a credulous public with the aid of lazy or overworked doctors.

    And we know all these vaccines are safe, because the doctors tell us what to do if there are any signs of problems during the weeks when the series are given, and if there were, well, inquiring minds would get to the bottom.

    And I get all my news from Bill Gates anyway.

    I read the news today.

    Oh boy.

    My daughter couldn't have rubella shots because she had seizures; I gave myself smallpox vaccinations for twenty-five years to prevent cold sores; now they tell me they will give me cancer.  I worked on people who got Guillain-Barre from swine flu vaccine and were paralyzed for years.  How many of the shots for the last flu epidemic went wrong, and how much did the manufacturers make in the meantime, and no epidemic, but plenty of panic.

    So get your kids the shots, but do it with your eyes open, and tell the docs about any medical history that might be a contraindication .  Some come with risks.  I was half glad my kids were foster kids before we adopted them: we weren't allowed to decide--the county did.


    I'm shocked to learn that you repeatedly self-medicated with the smallpox vaccine for a purpose it was never designed for, stardust. You surely realize that any bad side-effects are not a knock against the vaccine. The eradication of smallpox has saved about 100 million lives in the past quarter-century, and will go on saving that many at that rate indefinitely into the future. Same goes for the polio vaccine, which each year comes ever closer to eradicating that scourge. We're down to under 1,000 cases a year worldwide.

    As for the recent fears of bird-swine flu, yes, it wasn't a repeat of 1918's Spanish flu pandemic. Its virulence may have been overestimated. But thousands of people did catch it, and did die from it. Part of what may have kept the final toll down was that large numbers did get vaccinated for it. Many more would have died if the vaccine had not been available.

    LOL!  It wasn't my idea to 'self medicate'!  And there was plenty of info that the flu vaccine manufacturers helped gin up the fear.  (Short becaue every time I try to comment, I'm told I am SPAM.  sound familiar?)   ;o)

    Sorry if I misunderstood, stardust. I never considered a doctor might have given such advice. As for the SPAM thing, are you on a really small ISP, like a bandwidth reseller? Sometimes a single spammer can get every other client blocked. Get on your ISP's case about cleaning up their act, and if they don't (and there's an alternative in your area) change providers.

    Have you;  logged out and then try reregistering?  

    But hey, what do I know.

    You know. You know to beware the "medical industrial "complex and the government epdimeologisits of this world who don't give a shit about individual people and their individual physical makeup or individual health issues.

    If not for the autism "wackos", babies might still be getting a nice little bit of mercury with their vaccinations.(Yeah, tell their mothers not to eat too much tuna while they are in utero because we'll be giving them some mercury with their early vaccinations.) I'm sure it did most kids no harm. But hey, those others, that's the price you got to pay.

    Instead, that was stopped, but only in 2001.

    While it's pretty damn clear now that it's use is not related to the autism "epidemic," it isn't clear that its use wasn't related to stuff like ADD, hyperactivity, or a multitude of other childhood behavior problems or similar acute complications. (The old timey pediatrician favorite: oh it's just growing pains, he'll grow out of it.)

    In the early 1990's I had a lot of serious neurological symptoms, a lot of warning signs of MS. After much torture by specialists in neurology and optic nerves and such who couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. I finally found a prominent Park Avenue board certified M.D. allergist/immunologist with a  subspeciality in pediatric immunology who slowly helped all my auto-immune symptoms fade away with immunization treatments (all caused by undiagnosed and untreated allergies which regular MD's of the time did not get any training in.) But this isn't about me, it's about his pediatric patients.

    Along with a few of his colleagues, he also had a radical interest in wholistic medicine, still radical among most old farts in medicine back then, now much more common.. From the questions about mercury raised in those circles, after studying up on the chemistry, he removed all thiomersal from his immunizations a decade before it was removed from commercially availabe immunizations, he specially ordered all his vaccines custom made without it. He did it because he especially believed it to be very bad stuff to be injecting even in small amounts in babies and young children, and he didn't need no friggin' double blind studies, he saw the results himself in many of his patients in their changes in behavior following immunizations. I never heard him talk about autism, but I did hear him talk about how thiomersal was bad stuff and I probably shouldn't be putting solutions with itt on my contact lenses every day.

    And it ain't just the drug companies. Medicine is an art and not a science, while epidemeology is mostly science without art or soul. And together the geniuses of their time told my parents that eating margarine (trans fat) was good for them, that most kids should have their tonsils removed and that formula was better than breastfeeding.

    From my own body and the immunological treatments I had, if I had kids, I would get them immunized, but only on a day when they were not suffering any unusual symptoms, not "fighting" off something or another. And I'd probably try to get them to a specialist that would be willing to give the vaccines individually and not in combination, to watch for reactions. And autism wouildn't be what I would be looking for. Fucking up their immune system at the wrong time in their development would be what I would be looking for.  Like years of irriatable bowel syndrome or things like that, which could have been mitigated by counter immunological treatment. Immunology is serious business, it's fooling around with your entire system, and the reactions need to be watched in every individual.

    You are so right about this.  I had all the childhood diseases, and never any of the complications, but the truth is that children who are not vaccinated put others around them at risk as well.  It is misguided to say the LEAST to keep your children from getting vaccines.

    When I worked in college health, the standards for Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine changed so that a booster was required.  We had students who insisted that they would not take the vaccines because of the cruelty involved in producing the vaccines.  When I explained that they were grown in eggs, they kind of didn't know what to say.  So they just put their arms out and got the shot!

    I just recently got the Varicella Zoster vaccine (against Shingles) after seeing pretty much everyone in our family get the disease.  I work in Reproductive Medicine and, not only do I not want to have this painful illness, but I also do not want to expose people who are early pregnant to a potentially damaging virus.

    The original "study" out of England that reported an association with all kinds of neurological problems, but especially autism have been thoroughly debunked.  This is just one more example of people "believing" something because they "heard it" somewhere as opposed to having knowledge based on facts.  Good blog, Wulfie!


    Not just debunked—shown to be a deliberate sham by a greed SOB.

    Wakefield has been unable to reproduce his results in the face of criticism, and other researchers have been unable to match them. Most of his co-authors withdrew their names from the study in 2004 after learning he had had been paid by a law firm that intended to sue vaccine manufacturers -- a serious conflict of interest he failed to disclose. After years on controversy, the Lancet, the prestigious journal that originally published the research, retracted Wakefield's paper last February.

    There are things in the world, outside the neighborhood, that will easily make your life miserable if your immune systems isn't capable of warding off an attack. For example, in the past 9 months I've been having serious sinus problems, but my doctor refused to give me anything stronger than the average antibiotic he prescripts to local residents. He says Americans are over medicated to the point where our immune system is too reliant upon stronger medication rather than allowing the body healing itself. But I'm just talking about a snotty nose and its not going to kill me.

    I can't comprehend why a parent would forgo vaccinations for their children, especially those known to kill or injure a child for life. Could it be the parents believe a child's immune system needs to learn to fight off infections and viruses on its own without the assistance of medication so as to build up a resistance on its own? I doubt the body's auto-immune system is capable of warding off attacks against specific diseases without assistance from vaccines. Is there's a study out there looking into the reasoning behind such parental decisions to see what influences their decisions? Is it possible internet gossip masquerading as fact (most obvious), coupled with religious leanings, along with political ideology are mixed in such a manner a reasonable person may fail to see the deadly folly of such a path?

    Recently The Dr Oz program had a panel discussion about vaccines and autism.

    One of the doctors suggested spreading over time, the vaccinations to be given  (MMR?) 

    I gathered from that doctors opinion; not to overload the bodies natural response; allowing the bodies immune system to manage the assault.  

    Be wary of what you see on Dr Oz.

    Is there something in particular that makes you wary of Dr. Oz?

    I think there's two ways to consider the advice of the expert:

    1. In theory, it makes sense, and there's no research to suggest it's a bad idea.
    2. OTOH, in practice, increasing the number of visits to the doctor's office for parents to get their kids immunized increases the odds that they'll miss one or more vaccinations.

    So, I'd say that if you're convinced that you're not going to miss any immunizations, then I think following this advice is more likely to help than to harm, but that's an "if" that unfortunately might not apply to many parents.

    That's unfortunate. I kinda like the guy.

    I would say that there can be a place for faith in medicine, as the placebo effect demonstrates, but it seems like he went way past that line.

    I like the guy, too. When I was working out of my house back in early 2000s, my wife would have Oprah on right around quitting/dinner time. I thought Oz and Roizen were good communicators with sensible advice. We bought their big book and I gave one to my sister. I have occasionally watched his show, and haven't seen anything that weird. The last one I saw he played a tape of his own endoscopy, in which they found a polyp, and he urged folk not to let this stuff go, which is good advice.

    But while I am open to some aspects of holistic medicine, I know there are a lot of charlatans, too.

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