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Episode Two: What’s in a Vaccine? Are Vaccines Effective? … and … What About Polio?
- Ty Bollinger is the producer/creator of this series and a previous The Truth About Cancer series. His films and books are steeped in conspiracy theories and his primary M.O. is to stoke fears about mainstream anything.
- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is an environmental lawyer who remains convinced that the thimerosal that was removed from childhood immunizations is somehow still causing autism.
- Brandy Vaughan is a former pharmaceutical representative who now raises money to put anti-vaccine billboards up around the country.
- Barbara Loe Fisher is the founder of the poorly name National Vaccine Information Center.
- Dr. Suzanne Humphries is a nephrologist and homeopath who sells books she’s written.
- Dr. Sheri Tenpenney is an osteopath and doomsday prepper who sells supplements on her website.
- Robert Scott Bell is a homeopath, a podcaster, and an HIV denialist.
- Dr. Larry Palevky is a “holistic” pediatrician who sells supplements at his website.
- Eric Zielinski is a chiropractor and “Biblical Health Educator” who promotes essential oils at his website.
- Dr. Paul Thomas is a pediatrician who sells supplements and anti-vaccine books at his website.
- Mike Adams is a conspiracy theorist and Scientology-apologist who runs the website/webstore NaturalNews.
- Dr. Irvin Sahni is a spinal surgeon.
- Rep. Bill Posey is a U.S. Representative from Florida with close ties to many in the anti-vaccine community.
- Stephanie Seneff is an MIT computer scientist who has published multiple anti-vaccine articles in low-impact journals.
- Dr. Toni Bark is an MD and homeopath who sells chocolate and skincare on her website and travels the country testifying at hearings.
- Dr. Debra Gambrell is trained in pediatric anesthesiology who now practices “biodynamic osteopathy” and offers unscientific alternatives to vaccines.
- Jennifer Margulis has a PhD in American Studies and is the author of several anti-vaccine and pro-homebirth books.
- Dr. Rashid Buttar is an osteopath who uses chelation and hydrogen peroxide treatments and was investigated for the deaths of four cancer patients.
- Dr. Judy Mikovits is a biologist and a controversial Chronic Fatigue researcher whose papers have been retracted.
- Robert J. Krakow is a vaccine court lawyer.
- Sayer Ji is the founder of non-evidence based website GreenMedInfo.
- Dr. Shawn Centers is a holistic osteopath who treats autistic children with non-scientific treatments.
- Erin Elizabeth is a conspiracy theorist and the wife of Dr. Joseph Mercola and self-described “Health Nut” who runs her own website.
Clinical Trials are bad
- The film claims that epidemiological studies are susceptible to manipulation, but it’s important to note that not one of the people appearing in this episode is an epidemiologist. The WHO has published guidelines for epidemiological research.
- Another claim is about clinical trials being small and the not reflective of the population. Vaccine clinical trials are voluntary and include up to 50,000 people. Further surveillance is done through the Vaccine Safety Datalink and other sources.
- Anti-vaxxers often express concerns that trials do not use a saline-only placebo as a control, but rather another vaccine. The WHO has addressed some of the ethical issues regarding placebo use in vaccine trials, particularly when it comes to preventing diseases where a safe vaccine is available.
Vaccines contain harmful ingredients
- One claim is that pharmaceutical companies know what vaccines contain and are “shady”
- The film claims that ICD9 codes specifically warn that ingredients may cause reactions, but the truth is that these codes are used to help investigators find reactions and monitor vaccine safety.
- A common conspiracy theory is about the Simpsonwood Conference, where the CDC purportedly acknowledged and promised to hide a link between thimerosal and autism. Seth Mnookin covered the truth about this conference and thimerosal at length in his Panic Virus book.
- Polysorbate 80 is found in ice cream, and isn’t dangerous!
- Aluminum does not cause neurological damage and autoimmune diseases as it is quickly eliminated from the body.
- RFK Jr. claims that the Institute of Medicine threatened to defund the CDC if it looked into the connection between thimerosal and autism. On top of this not happening, the CDC is funded primarily by the federal government.
No one can prove vaccines are effective
- The film criticizes measuring effectiveness by the vaccine’s ability to create an anti-body response, which they argue is not necessarily related to the human response. However, there are multiple ways to measure vaccine effectiveness and efficacy, including observational studies.
Polio isn’t a thing
- The film claims that 7 or 8 other viruses also cause paralysis, so the current perception of polio is misguided because polio isn’t so bad. Even though people lined up for the first vaccine.
- If 100 people had the polio virus, 95% of people would have no symptoms, and less than 1% would suffer paralysis. In the 1950s, this meant 15,000 people each year were paralyzed by polio.
- Simian Monkey Virus: the film points to a supposed connection between contaminated polio vaccines and cancers, saying that SV40 DNA was found in the tumors of individuals with cancers who had received the vaccine, but that the federal government had denied any association. Evidence also supports this denial as people who did not receive this vaccine also had SV40 DNA in their tumors and receiving the vaccine made people no more likely to get cancer.
- The film calsl out the Gates Foundation as responsible for spreading viruses in Africa because of administration of vaccines there. However, SV40 has not been found in any vaccines since 1963.