What wasn’t said about vaccines

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What wasn't said about vaccines

[cap­tion id=“attachment_110297” align=“aligncenter” width=“271”] Thimerosal, the most debated chem­i­cal involved in the vaccine-​autism debate. Image from Wikipedia[/​caption]

I didn’t know who Sen­a­tor Mark Green was until I saw a news arti­cle say­ing he thought vac­cines caused autism. So I started look­ing into his back­ground. Low and behold, he’s an actual doc­tor, and he inserted into Iraq with some of the ini­tial SEAL teams as their medic. He talked about it in a great video here.

So this guy served with the mil­i­tary. If he didn’t want vac­cines, well, that doesn’t fly. You get vac­ci­nated for all sorts of stuff: Yel­low Fever, Typhoid, Small­pox, and a whole bunch more. You don’t get to opt-​out of these, so if Doc­tor Green had any sort of issue with vac­cines, he wouldn’t have been going into Iraq.

And…he’s a doc­tor. He went to a good med­ical school, and he had to patch peo­ple up in some nasty sit­u­a­tions. Going into Iraq, we were wor­ried about bio­log­i­cal weapons, so again, he would have been vac­ci­nated and would be vac­ci­nat­ing peo­ple. So none of that adds up either.

So then I try to find his actual words. I found this video in a Ten­nessee news arti­cle. He says:

Let me say this about autism, I have com­mit­ted to peo­ple in my com­mu­nity, up in Mont­gomery County, to stand on the CDC’s desk and get the real data on vac­cines. Because there is some con­cern that the rise in autism is a result of the preser­v­a­tives that are in our vac­cines. So, as a physi­cian, I can make that argu­ment and I can look at it aca­d­e­m­i­cally and make the argu­ment against the CDC, if they really want to engage me on it. But it appears some of that data has been, hon­estly, maybe fraud­u­lently man­aged. So we’ve got to go up there and stand against that and make sure we get that fixed, that issue addressed.

All of these words get pared down into head­lines like:

Rep.-elect, who’s also a doc­tor, falsely links vac­cines to autism at town hall!

or

Ten­nessee U.S. Rep.-elect Mark Green alleges vac­cines may cause autism, ques­tions CDC data

So if you ask for CDC data, because you have con­stituents that are con­cerned about preser­v­a­tives in vac­cines and a link to autism, and you want to ana­lyze the data as a doctor…you’re a sci­ence denier.

What about that preser­v­a­tive? Thimerosal, a mer­cury based preser­v­a­tive, was looked at dur­ing a rou­tine review of all mercury-​based drugs (because mer­cury is par­tic­u­larly nasty to the human body) and US Pub­lic Health Ser­vice and Amer­i­can Acad­emy of Pedi­atrics released a state­ment ask­ing for thimerosal to be removed from vac­cines:

The recog­ni­tion that some chil­dren could be ex-​posed to a cumu­la­tive level of mer­cury over the first 6 months of life that exceeds one of the fed­eral guide­lines on methyl mer­cury now requires a weigh­ing of two dif­fer­ent types of risks when vac­ci­nat­ing infants. On the one hand, there is the known seri­ous risk of dis­eases and deaths caused by fail­ure to immu­nize our infants against vaccine-​preventable infec­tious dis­eases; on the other, there is the unknown and prob­a­bly much smaller risk, if any, of neu­rode­vel­op­men­tal effects posed by expo­sure to thimerosal. The large risks of not vac­ci­nat­ing chil­dren far out­weigh the unknown and prob­a­bly much smaller risk, if any, of cumu­la­tive expo­sure to thimerosal-​containing vac­cines over the first 6 months of life.

Nev­er­the­less, because any poten­tial risk is of con­cern, the US Pub­lic Health Ser­vice (USPHS), the Amer­i­can Acad­emy of Pedi­atrics (AAP), and vac­cine man­u­fac­tur­ers agree that thimerosal-​containing vac­cines should be removed as soon as pos­si­ble. Sim­i­lar con­clu­sions were reached this year in a meet­ing attended by Euro­pean reg­u­la­tory agen­cies, the Euro­pean vac­cine man­u­fac­tur­ers, and the US FDA, which exam­ined the use of thimerosal-​containing vac­cines pro­duced or sold in Euro­pean coun­tries. The USPHS and the AAP are work­ing col­lab­o­ra­tively to ensure that the replace­ment of thimerosal-​containing vac­cines takes place as expe­di­tiously as pos­si­ble while at the same time ensur­ing that our high vac­ci­na­tion cov­er­age lev­els and their asso­ci­ated low dis­ease lev­els through­out our entire child­hood pop­u­la­tion are maintained.

If you want a long run­down of how this all came together, read this arti­cle.

So USPHS and AAP removed thimerosal as a pre­cau­tion. They didn’t say it caused any­thing bad (lia­bil­ity maybe?), but they based their rec­om­men­da­tion on com­par­i­son to expo­sure lev­els of thimerosal, an organomer­cury com­pound that didn’t have an estab­lished “safe” level, to the expo­sure level set for methylmer­cury com­pounds. The two are com­pletely dif­fer­ent, but a room of smart peo­ple said we should be cautious.

We have an incom­ing Sen­a­tor, who vac­ci­nates his fam­ily, say­ing he wants data from the CDC so he can ana­lyze the data. We have a sit­u­a­tion where there may not be a lot of data, and there wasn’t as much study done at the time. And then we have con­spir­acy the­o­rists, who see the rapid removal of thimerosal as a cover up by drug com­pa­nies, com­ing into the fray.

It’s an ugly mess. I don’t blame Doc­tor Green for want­ing data. We should encour­age him to look at the data and pro­vide an inde­pen­dent review. Assum­ing he comes back and says “Yes, I reviewed the data, and we should all be good with vac­cines not caus­ing autism,” then that is a big win.

Instead, we have media slam­ming him, likely because he’s a Republican.

The biggest les­son here for any­one choos­ing to make state­ments is that you should run your own web­site and put out your own videos and words. It was dif­fi­cult to get Doc­tor Green’s actual words because they don’t fit the neg­a­tive nar­ra­tive being spun about him. If I was a Sen­a­tor, I’d specif­i­cally have a YouTube chan­nel that one of my aides updates any­time I made a pub­lic speech.

While I’m guess­ing this will blow over, vot­ers in Ten­nessee will see yet another time that the media slammed a Repub­li­can with­out cause. Sure, some­one at CNN might be gloat­ing, but I’m guess­ing there will be more quiet vot­ers who stop watch­ing main­stream media and keep vot­ing for out­siders in the com­ing years.


This post rep­re­sents the views of the very vac­ci­nated author and not those of the Depart­ment of Defense, Depart­ment of the Navy, or any other gov­ern­ment agency.

Please vac­ci­nate your fam­ily, get your flu shot, and donate to Da Tech Guy!

Thimerosal, the most debated chemical involved in the vaccine-autism debate. Image from Wikipedia

I didn’t know who Senator Mark Green was until I saw a news article saying he thought vaccines caused autism. So I started looking into his background. Low and behold, he’s an actual doctor, and he inserted into Iraq with some of the initial SEAL teams as their medic. He talked about it in a great video here.

So this guy served with the military. If he didn’t want vaccines, well, that doesn’t fly. You get vaccinated for all sorts of stuff: Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Smallpox, and a whole bunch more. You don’t get to opt-out of these, so if Doctor Green had any sort of issue with vaccines, he wouldn’t have been going into Iraq.

And…he’s a doctor. He went to a good medical school, and he had to patch people up in some nasty situations. Going into Iraq, we were worried about biological weapons, so again, he would have been vaccinated and would be vaccinating people. So none of that adds up either.

So then I try to find his actual words. I found this video in a Tennessee news article. He says:

Let me say this about autism, I have committed to people in my community, up in Montgomery County, to stand on the CDC’s desk and get the real data on vaccines. Because there is some concern that the rise in autism is a result of the preservatives that are in our vaccines. So, as a physician, I can make that argument and I can look at it academically and make the argument against the CDC, if they really want to engage me on it. But it appears some of that data has been, honestly, maybe fraudulently managed. So we’ve got to go up there and stand against that and make sure we get that fixed, that issue addressed.

All of these words get pared down into headlines like:

Rep.-elect, who’s also a doctor, falsely links vaccines to autism at town hall!

or

Tennessee U.S. Rep.-elect Mark Green alleges vaccines may cause autism, questions CDC data

So if you ask for CDC data, because you have constituents that are concerned about preservatives in vaccines and a link to autism, and you want to analyze the data as a doctor…you’re a science denier.

What about that preservative? Thimerosal, a mercury based preservative, was looked at during a routine review of all mercury-based drugs (because mercury is particularly nasty to the human body) and US Public Health Service and American Academy of Pediatrics released a statement asking for thimerosal to be removed from vaccines:

The recognition that some children could be ex-posed to a cumulative level of mercury over the first 6 months of life that exceeds one of the federal guidelines on methyl mercury now requires a weighing of two different types of risks when vaccinating infants. On the one hand, there is the known serious risk of diseases and deaths caused by failure to immunize our infants against vaccine-preventable infectious diseases; on the other, there is the unknown and probably much smaller risk, if any, of neurodevelopmental effects posed by exposure to thimerosal. The large risks of not vaccinating children far outweigh the unknown and probably much smaller risk, if any, of cumulative exposure to thimerosal-containing vaccines over the first 6 months of life.

Nevertheless, because any potential risk is of concern, the US Public Health Service (USPHS), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and vaccine manufacturers agree that thimerosal-containing vaccines should be removed as soon as possible. Similar conclusions were reached this year in a meeting attended by European regulatory agencies, the European vaccine manufacturers, and the US FDA, which examined the use of thimerosal-containing vaccines produced or sold in European countries. The USPHS and the AAP are working collaboratively to ensure that the replacement of thimerosal-containing vaccines takes place as expeditiously as possible while at the same time ensuring that our high vaccination coverage levels and their associated low disease levels throughout our entire childhood population are maintained.

If you want a long rundown of how this all came together, read this article.

So USPHS and AAP removed thimerosal as a precaution. They didn’t say it caused anything bad (liability maybe?), but they based their recommendation on comparison to exposure levels of thimerosal, an organomercury compound that didn’t have an established “safe” level, to the exposure level set for methylmercury compounds. The two are completely different, but a room of smart people said we should be cautious.

We have an incoming Senator, who vaccinates his family, saying he wants data from the CDC so he can analyze the data. We have a situation where there may not be a lot of data, and there wasn’t as much study done at the time. And then we have conspiracy theorists, who see the rapid removal of thimerosal as a cover up by drug companies, coming into the fray.

It’s an ugly mess. I don’t blame Doctor Green for wanting data. We should encourage him to look at the data and provide an independent review. Assuming he comes back and says “Yes, I reviewed the data, and we should all be good with vaccines not causing autism,” then that is a big win.

Instead, we have media slamming him, likely because he’s a Republican.

The biggest lesson here for anyone choosing to make statements is that you should run your own website and put out your own videos and words. It was difficult to get Doctor Green’s actual words because they don’t fit the negative narrative being spun about him. If I was a Senator, I’d specifically have a YouTube channel that one of my aides updates anytime I made a public speech.

While I’m guessing this will blow over, voters in Tennessee will see yet another time that the media slammed a Republican without cause. Sure, someone at CNN might be gloating, but I’m guessing there will be more quiet voters who stop watching mainstream media and keep voting for outsiders in the coming years.


This post represents the views of the very vaccinated author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Please vaccinate your family, get your flu shot, and donate to Da Tech Guy!