I regularly came across the phrase "Turtles all the way down" and couldn't make soup out of it – athans I could take the meaning out of context but didn't understand what turtles had to do with it. But Wikipedia explains it:
"Turtles all the way down" is an expression of the problem of infinite regression. The saying refers to the mythological idea of a world turtle supporting a flat earth on its back. It suggests that this turtle rests on the back of an even larger turtle, which itself is part of a column of increasingly larger turtles that goes on indefinitely.
The exact origin of the expression is uncertain. In the form "rocks all the way down", the saying occurs as early as 1838. References to the mythological ancestors of the saying, the World Turtle and its counterpart the World Elephant, were made by a number of authors in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The phrase is used to illustrate problems such as the regression argument in epistemology.
The title of the book Turtles All The Way Down: Vaccine Science and Myth is a bit easier to understand. The book is written by Maryjane Odum and as an e-book can be ordered on bol.com. (Not to be confused with the novel Turtles All The Way Down from 2019!)
The long GPT summary that follows has been translated into Dutch with DeepL. GPT makes a somewhat tired impression at the end, but it is easy to read through: at some point he starts each paragraph with "The chapter discusses". Well. I found it interesting enough to share and don't have time for in-depth research at the moment.
BingChat described the book as follows:
"Turtles All The Way Down: Vaccine Science and Myth" is a book that solves the question of vaccines for you. The book explains the science behind vaccines and distills a vast body of literature, making a solid understanding of the science accessible to any dedicated reader. The book consolidates a large amount of information (accompanied by detailed analysis) that is spread over hundreds of medical articles, books and websites.
There are no references in the summary. Why interesting? Basically because confidence in the medical industry has plummeted. The extras involved give the impression of being part of a mafia, blackmailable clan that is completely trapped in each other. Under this pressure, there is manipulation, threats, coercion, concealment, lies, fraud and no one is allowed to be there when they put their heads together, no one is allowed to know how the decision-making process went, no one is allowed to see the accounts, everything is strictly secret. Not only because of the 'vaccination readiness' but even State Secret, presumably because it is thought that a number of key figures from the political and pharmaceutical top could be removed from their positions – and that is bad for the stability of the country. Think again. Whether it was incompetence, conflict of interest or malice, the overall result is in any case severely insufficient.
As a result, for example, I, once a fanatical opponent of anti-vaxers, now post this piece. I've seen how these vaccines have fared, and as a result, I've completely lost faith in generic doctor advice (and in medical professionals in general). My basic attitude of trust has been shattered.
The English original is here can be read on the substack of MATHEW ALDRED. Subscribe and comment there if you are interested because if there is enough enthusiasm he will deal with each chapter separately.
GPT4 convinced me that "That Turtles All the Way Down" was worth reading
21 JUN 2023
Like many of my readers, I get books with the intention of reading them and then I get distracted by other things (like the 1055 articles in my Substack notepad begging to be finished). A book that gnaws at me, that cries out to be read, is Turtles All the Way Down. Since I'm experimenting with GPT4, I thought I should see if I could get it to make a summary of the book, and see if that short reading experience could whet my appetite enough to get me started:
Chapter 1: TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN: CLINICAL VACCINE TRIALS
Chapter 1 of the book provides a critical examination of the procedures for testing the safety of vaccines, focusing on the use of control groups and the concept of placebos in clinical trials. The chapter states that current vaccine testing methods are flawed and not a reliable measure of vaccine safety and side effects.
The chapter begins by discussing the safety tests of GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) 5-in-1 and 4-in-1 vaccines, which were tested against the triple vaccine (DTaP). The author points out that the older generation DTP vaccine, against which the DTaP was tested, was never tested in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) with a placebo control group. This leads to a situation where the safety of a vaccine is based on comparison with another vaccine, the safety of which has also not been sufficiently tested. The author compares this to a "turtle standing on the back of a turtle, standing on the back of another turtle – all the way down".
The chapter also discusses testing the safety of Sanofi Pasteur's DTaP vaccines. The author criticizes the tests for the lack of a real control group and for using other vaccines as controls. The author states that this is not a reliable measure of the safety and side effects of the tested vaccine.
The chapter then looks at the safety tests of the rotavirus vaccines Rotarix and RotaTeq. The author criticizes the use of a "vaccine sans antigen" as a placebo in the trials, arguing that this compound is not biologically neutral and likely has side effects similar to those of the tested vaccine. The author also criticizes the high rates of adverse events reported in the control groups of the studies, arguing that this indicates the bioactivity of the compounds given to the control groups.
The chapter also discusses the safety testing of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccines, MMR II and ProQuad. The author criticizes the studies for the lack of a true control group and the use of other vaccines as controls. The author also criticizes the lack of transparency in the trials, noting that the description of the placebo in the RotaTeq trial was removed from the licensing document submitted to the FDA.
The chapter ends with a plea for the need for trials with three 'arms' (test groups) when testing new-generation vaccines. In such studies, subjects are randomly divided into three groups: a research group that receives the new-generation vaccine, a control group that receives the current vaccine, and another control group that receives an inert placebo. The author argues that this trial design would provide a more reliable measurement of the absolute and relative rates of adverse events caused by the new vaccine.
In summary, Chapter 1 provides a critical examination of the procedures for testing the safety of vaccines. The author argues that current testing methods, which often use other vaccines as controls, do not provide a reliable measure of vaccine safety and side effects. The author argues for a more rigorous approach to testing the safety of vaccines, including the use of three-arm trials and real placebos.
Chapter 2: THE SCIENCE OF VACCINE SIDE EFFECTS: A MISSING LINK AND AN EMPTY TOOLBOX
This chapter discusses the current state of the science on vaccine safety and its implications for public health. It uses two contrasting narratives to illustrate the potential benefits of personalized vaccination schedules and current limitations in predicting and preventing vaccine injuries.
The first story is about David, a child born with microcephaly. Before receiving his first round of vaccination, David's pediatrician performed a series of specialized genetic, immunological, and neurological diagnostic tests. Based on the results, the doctor drew up a personal vaccination schedule tailored to David's specific medical profile. David started getting vaccinations when he was 12 months old, and only a handful of vaccines were administered, one by one and only if he had been healthy in the previous three weeks. This personal approach was successful and David received all his prescribed vaccines without any significant side effects. However, the chapter reveals that David's story is entirely imaginary and represents an ideal scenario that is not feasible at this time with the current state of the science on vaccine safety.
The chapter then discusses the real-world implications of current restrictions in vaccine safety science. It highlights the inability of the medical community to predict who will be harmed by vaccines, to associate specific side effects with the specific vaccines that caused them, and to adjust vaccination parameters to the genetic makeup and specific health conditions of individuals. This lack of knowledge and tools can lead to catastrophic vaccine injuries that cannot be prevented.
The chapter also criticizes the current approach to vaccine safety research, which is largely based on statistical methodology with limited practical utility. It states that this approach does not contribute biomedical information that could lead to the development of diagnostic and therapeutic agents. The chapter stresses the need for more basic scientific research into vaccine side effects, especially as new vaccines are added to the vaccination schedule.
The chapter concludes with a discussion of the consequences of the lack of knowledge and tools for predicting and preventing vaccine injuries. It is pointed out that doctors cannot test a child's sensitivity to most components of vaccines, cannot recommend a particular brand of vaccine over another brand, and cannot suggest a safer vaccination schedule. This lack of devices also contributes to compliance with the recommended vaccination schedule and hampers efforts to improve vaccine safety.
In summary, the chapter calls for more research into the biological mechanisms underlying vaccine adverse events and the development of practical tools to prevent these events. It argues that understanding these mechanisms is crucial for devising effective treatments for vaccine injury and improving vaccine safety.
Chapter 3: DEFICIENT 'BY DESIGN': REPORTING SYSTEMS OF VACCINE SIDE EFFECTS
Chapter 3 of the book looks at the post-authorisation safety of vaccines and focuses on the limitations and shortcomings of current methods. The chapter begins by recognizing the importance of closely monitoring vaccine safety after new vaccines are marketed. It explains that health authorities monitor the safety of vaccines after authorization in two ways: collect adverse event reports in a specialized database and periodically analyze the collected data to identify patterns, and conduct statistical studies that examine a link between the vaccine and specific adverse events.
However, the chapter states that further examination of the design and operation of vaccine adverse event reporting systems paints a radically different picture. The author criticizes these systems for their lack of reliability and completeness, stating that they do not achieve the set goals.
The chapter then highlights a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) study on the safety of Gardasil, a vaccine against the human papillomavirus (HPV), which was published by CDC researchers. The author criticizes the research for its lack of reliability and accuracy. The study analysed all VAERS reports submitted since Gardasil's approval in mid-2006 to late 2008, a two-and-a-half-year period. The researchers found that more than two-thirds (68%) of the reports were submitted by representatives of Merck, the manufacturer of the vaccine. The author points out that manufacturers are obliged to report all adverse events that come to their attention, but have little motivation to do so. As a result, Merck's Gardasil reports were largely incomplete or inaccurate. About 90% of Merck's reports lacked information essential to conducting medical assessments.
The author also criticizes the unreliability of VAERS figures. As a passive reporting system, VAERS suffers from "underreporting", and the percentage of this underreporting is "unknown". The author states that this makes it difficult to accurately assess the safety and side effects of vaccines.
The chapter ends with a plea for the need for more thorough and rigorous research into vaccine side effects. The author criticizes health authorities for their claim that vaccine safety has been thoroughly researched and argues that vaccine safety research is for the most part based on a statistical methodology with limited practical utility and does not even attempt to contribute biomedical information that could lead to the development of diagnostic and therapeutic tools.
In summary, Chapter 3 provides a critical examination of the procedures for monitoring the safety of post-authorisation vaccines. The author argues that current surveillance methods, using adverse event reporting systems and statistical studies, do not provide a reliable measure of vaccine safety and side effects. The author calls for a more rigorous approach to monitoring vaccine safety, including the use of more reliable reporting systems and more thorough research into vaccine side effects.
Chapter 4: EPIDEMIOLOGY 101
Chapter 4 mainly discusses the field of epidemiology, the methodologies, the types of studies and the possible sources of error in these studies.
Epidemiology is a branch of medicine that investigates diseases at the population level using statistical tools. Statistical correlations between different phenomena are sought in an attempt to elucidate relationships between these phenomena. However, although epidemiological studies can show statistical correlations, they cannot provide insight into a physiological mechanism by which one factor causes another (causal relationship). In order to demonstrate a causal relationship in science, physiological (biomedical, mechanistic) studies must be carried out.
The chapter explains that in medicine, a causal relationship between two phenomena is often ambiguous and difficult to identify. A particular condition can be caused by several co-factors that work synergistically, each necessary for its development, but none cause it on its own. This makes it challenging for modern medicine to explain the origin of many diseases. It is therefore common for medical authorities to make recommendations without a thorough understanding of the mechanism underlying a specific health condition.
Epidemiological studies come in several variants. In an intervention study (trial), researchers ask subjects to take specific actions (for example, taking a drug), while in an observational study, researchers only collect information about the subjects. A prospective study follows a group of people over a period of time and collects relevant data about them. A retrospective study analyzes existing data. Intervention studies are more expensive to conduct than observational studies, but their results are generally of higher quality. Prospective studies are more expensive and take longer than retrospective studies, but they suffer less from selection and information bias, making their results more reliable.
The chapter also discusses the four main categories of observational studies: Cross-section, Ecological, Cohort, and Case-control. Each of these types uses different statistical methods to look for correlations between phenomena in a population.
The chapter then discusses the potential sources of errors in epidemiological research, which can affect the quality of the research. This includes selection bias, information bias and confounders. Selection bias occurs when researchers select a group of subjects that does not accurately represent the study population or does not fit well with the study's research questions. Information bias occurs when researchers do not collect accurate or complete data on the subjects. Confounders are separate variables, which were not included in the initial analysis, that are associated with the two phenomena studied. These can create an optical illusion of a statistical correlation between two phenomena.
The chapter gives an example of a confounder in a study of the link between alcohol consumption and lung cancer. The study found that the apparent link between the two stems from the fact that heavy drinkers are more likely to smoke, and that smoking, not alcohol consumption, is the real risk factor for lung cancer. This example shows how statistical techniques in epidemiological research can reveal confounders and highlight their influence.
As a conclusion, the chapter emphasizes the importance of understanding the methodologies, potential pitfalls, and sources of error in epidemiological research. It underlines the need for careful data collection, analysis and interpretation in order to draw valid conclusions from epidemiological research.
Chapter 5: Purposeful Science: EPIDEMIOLOGY AND SAFETY OF VACCINES
This chapter provides a critical examination of various studies on vaccine safety, with a special focus on the possible link between vaccines and autoimmune diseases or autism. The author examines the methodology, execution and interpretation of these studies and points out possible biases and conflicts of interest that may have influenced the outcomes.
The chapter begins with a detailed analysis of a study conducted by Grimaldi 2014, which explored the possible link between the Gardasil vaccine and the development of autoimmune diseases. The author expresses several concerns about the design and implementation of this study. One of the main criticisms is the selection of the control group. The author suggests that the control group may have been chosen because of the high incidence of autoimmune diseases, which would make it difficult to establish a clear link between the vaccine and the development of such diseases.
The author also criticizes the lack of information about the health profile of the control group. The study does not provide clear information on how many control subjects suffered from autoimmune diseases, which the author says is essential for interpreting the results. The author suggests that this omission could indicate a bias in the study's design, as it could appear that the vaccine has no effect on the development of autoimmune diseases.
The chapter then goes on to discuss a study by DeStefano 2013, which aimed to investigate the possible link between the number of vaccine antigens a child is exposed to and the development of autism. The author criticizes this study for its simplistic approach, stating that it does not address the real concern of parents: the possible link between the number of vaccines received and the risk of autism.
The author points out that the study did not take into account the role of excipients, which play a key role in the strength of the immune response to vaccines. This omission, the author argues, renders the study's findings scientifically worthless. In addition, the author notes that even if we ignore the study's shortcomings, the findings do not provide clear evidence for a link between the number of vaccine antigens and the risk of autism.
The chapter also discusses a study by McKeever and colleagues, who found a strong correlation between the MMR and DPPT vaccines and the incidence of asthma and eczema. However, the study authors rejected this correlation by suggesting that it was due to bias of the data. The author of the chapter criticizes this rejection, arguing that it is puzzling and that the correlation should have been taken more seriously.
The author suggests that the study authors may have rejected the correlation because it would have negatively impacted vaccination readiness among the population. The author argues that this potential bias may have influenced the interpretation of the study's results, dismissing a potentially significant finding.
The chapter concludes with a broader discussion of the problems with vaccine safety research. The author argues that the way science is currently funded can lead to biased research, as researchers can depend on their source of funding, whether that's a government or a pharmaceutical company. The author suggests that this dependence can influence the design, conduct, and interpretation of studies, leading to potentially biased results.
The author also discusses the issue of conflict of interest in vaccine safety research. The author argues that researchers may have personal or financial interests that can influence their research, which can lead to biased results. The author suggests that this conflict of interest is often not disclosed in published studies, which can make it difficult for readers to assess the validity of the studies' findings.
The author also criticizes the scientific community for its acceptance of these flawed studies. The author states that these studies are often cited without any mention of their flaws or the conflict of interest of the researchers. The author suggests that this is a result of the institutional immunity granted to these studies, which ensures that they meet the ethical standards for vaccine safety research accepted by the scientific community.
The author argues that this fundamentally flawed research is a direct result of the current funding system for science, which makes researchers dependent on their funding source. This, the author suggests, guarantees that the science on vaccine safety is almost never conducted objectively. The author argues that the public is generally unaware of this mechanism and its inherent flaws, allowing the vaccine establishment to rely on flawed research to support their claims about vaccine safety.
The author encourages readers to exercise caution when reviewing the conclusions of vaccine safety studies. The author suggests that these studies often suffer from serious methodological errors and are fraught with conflicts of interest, which can make their findings unreliable. The author states that it is important to critically evaluate these studies and be aware of the potential impact of funding sources and conflicts of interest.
In conclusion, the chapter provides a critical examination of various studies related to vaccine safety, emphasizing possible methodological flaws and biases. The author argues for a more cautious and critical approach in interpreting the findings of such studies, given the potential influence of funding sources and conflicts of interest. The author suggests that a more objective and independent approach to vaccine safety research is needed to ensure the validity of the findings.
Chapter 6: THE STUDIES THAT ARE NEVER DONE
The chapter begins by discussing the incidence of autism among the Amish community, which is significantly lower due to their lower childhood vaccination rates. The author argues that this should have prompted an investigation by the CDC, as autism is a major public health concern. However, the CDC, which is responsible for both determining vaccination policy and investigating the underlying causes of autism, did not respond to these findings. The author finds this especially striking given the CDC's rapid response to infectious disease outbreaks in Amish communities.
The author then discusses the work of Dr. Mayer Eisenstein and colleagues at the Homefirst clinic in Chicago, who took an unconventional approach to medical care with home birth and minimal use of prescription medications and vaccines. Homefirst's doctors reported no cases of autism among the thousands of unvaccinated children they had cared for for more than 30 years. Again, the author criticizes the CDC for not examining these findings.
The chapter then discusses a 2013 report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) that confirms that the safety of the vaccination program as a whole has never been tested. The report states that the field needs valid metrics of the entire scheme and clearer definitions of health outcomes linked to stakeholder concerns. The author states that this report contradicts the widespread institutional claim that the vaccination program has been thoroughly tested and found to be safe and effective. The author also points out the discrepancy between the lack of science verifying the safety of the vaccine program and the medical establishment's claims about safety.
The author then presents a hypothetical scenario in which U.S. health authorities approved cigarette smoking in the 1950s and reassured the public that it was completely safe. The authorities presented a long list of epidemiological studies confirming the safety of cigarette smoking, all of which concluded that no link had been found between smoking and adverse health problems, including lung cancer. The author uses this scenario to draw a parallel with the current situation around vaccines.
The chapter ends with a question to the reader: If a study showed that children who receive all routine vaccinations are less healthy than children who do not receive vaccinations, would you still tell parents that their children should get all routine vaccinations? The author leaves this question open and invites the reader to reflect on the implications of the information presented in the chapter.
In summary, this chapter critically examines the lack of comprehensive safety testing for the vaccination program and the possible link between vaccinations and autism. The author uses examples from the Amish community and the Homefirst clinic to illustrate the potential risks of vaccination and criticizes the CDC for its lack of response to these findings. The chapter also discusses a 2013 IOM report that confirms the lack of testing for the vaccination program and presents a hypothetical scenario to highlight the potential dangers of blindly accepting institutional claims of safety. The chapter ends with a thought-provoking question about the potential risks and benefits of vaccinations.
Chapter 7: UNSUBSTANTIATED guidelines for vaccination
The chapter begins with a hypothetical dialogue between a parent and a doctor. The parent worries about the number of vaccines administered to their baby during one visit and wonders if the baby's body can handle them all. The doctor reassures the parent by saying that the vaccines have been thoroughly tested and are safe and that an infant's immune system can handle as many as 10,000 vaccines a day.
The chapter then critically examines the practice of administering multiple vaccines simultaneously, a practice that has become increasingly common in recent decades due to the addition of numerous vaccines to the routine children's program. Each vaccine contains a number of powerful chemicals and biological substances, some of which are known to be toxic or carcinogenic. The chapter highlights that while the CDC claims that vaccine combinations have been tested as part of the approval process of a new vaccine, most have not been tested in practice.
The chapter cites an Israeli study that found that administering two vaccines simultaneously, as recommended by the Israeli Ministry of Health, increased the number of adverse events by 50%. This study was reportedly ignored by health authorities in Israel, the United States and elsewhere. Despite this, authorities continue to insist, without conclusive scientific evidence, that administering multiple vaccines simultaneously poses no additional risk because "an infant's immune system can handle up to 10,000 vaccines at a time."
The chapter also discusses vaccinating children with mild illness. It is noted that many parents believe it is best to wait until they have fully recovered before administering vaccines, for fear that a round of vaccination could worsen the child's illness or cause worse side effects than vaccinating a completely healthy child. However, the medical community continues to insist on vaccinating children who are physically unwell, probably out of fear that delaying vaccinations could disrupt their vaccination timeline and leave them vulnerable to diseases they could have been protected from.
The chapter critically examines the scientific evidence underlying these guidelines. It states that official guidelines from the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics do not provide medical credentials that support the recommendation to vaccinate mildly ill children on time. The chapter suggests that these guidelines stem from an institutional "gut feeling" or an administrative whim rather than robust scientific evidence.
The chapter ends by asking doctors a number of questions, such as whether they are aware of any studies that have investigated the safety of simultaneously administering 9 vaccine injections against 13 different diseases to a 15-month-old infant, or whether they believe that administering 10,000 vaccines in one day to an infant is safe.
In summary, this chapter critically examines the guidelines and practices surrounding the administration of multiple vaccines to infants, particularly children who are mildly ill. It questions the scientific evidence supporting these guidelines and encourages parents to engage in an informed discussion with their health care providers about the safety and necessity of these practices. The chapter suggests that the current guidelines may not be based on robust scientific evidence and are instead driven by administrative complacency or institutional assumptions.
Chapter 8: THE DISAPPEARANCE OF DISEASE
This chapter is a critical examination of the role of vaccinations in public health, particularly in the context of the United States. It presents a counterargument to the commonly held belief that vaccinations are the leading cause of the decline in infectious disease mortality in the 20th century.
The chapter begins by presenting data on infection disease mortality rates in the United States from 1900 to 1996. It contains specific figures on mortality rates from dysentery and typhoid, as well as the influence of the introduction of the MMR vaccine (measles-mumps-rubella). However, it disputes the idea that these decreases in mortality can be attributed solely or mainly to vaccinations. It suggests that other factors, such as improvements in sanitation, nutrition and access to health care, may have played an important role.
The chapter also critiques the narrative that our collective health, and that of children in particular, has never been better thanks to modern medicine and public health initiatives. It argues that while the major infectious diseases of the 19th century have largely disappeared, there has been a consistent increase in chronic diseases among children in the Western world. This increase coincides with the increased use of vaccines.
The chapter suggests that public health authorities have shown a lack of concern and a sense of helplessness in the face of this increase in chronic disease. It calls for an exploration of the historical circumstances that led to the disappearance of infectious diseases and the emergence of chronic diseases.
To elaborate on these points:
- The chapter provides a historical overview of the major infectious diseases in the 19th and 20th centuries. It discusses their causes, consequences, and the measures taken to control or eradicate them. It is stressed that although vaccinations have played a role, they are not the only reason for the decline in these diseases.
- The development and introduction of various vaccines, including the MMR vaccine, are discussed. The chapter highlights the impact of these vaccines on disease rates, but also questions the extent of their contribution to overall public health.
- The chapter critically examines the claim that vaccinations are not responsible for the significant decline in mortality in the first half of the 20th century. It discusses other factors that may have contributed to this decline, such as improvements in sanitation, nutrition and access to health care.
- The increase in chronic diseases among children in the Western world in the second half of the 20th century is being investigated. The chapter discusses possible causes, including the increased use of vaccines, and the public health implications.
- The response of public health authorities to the increase in chronic diseases is being investigated. The chapter suggests that there has been a lack of concern and a sense of helplessness in the face of this problem.
Finally, the chapter considers the future of public health in light of these trends. It discusses the enduring role of vaccinations and the challenge of managing chronic diseases.
In summary, the chapter presents a nuanced picture of the role of vaccinations in public health. It acknowledges their contribution, but also highlights other factors and disputes the narrative that vaccinations are the primary reason for improvements in public health. It calls for a better understanding of public health trends and a more proactive response to the increase in chronic diseases.
Chapter 9: HERD IMMUNITY
The chapter discusses the concept of herd immunity, the effectiveness of vaccines, and the implications of their use. It begins by discussing a study conducted by Warfel and colleagues on baboons and the pertussis vaccine. The study found that the vaccine did not prevent infection or transmission of the bacteria, which contradicted previous scientific insights. This finding suggested that even if vaccinated individuals don't get whooping cough, they can still carry the bacteria for weeks after exposure and infect others. This implies that the current pertussis vaccine does not provide herd immunity. The researchers concluded that in order to protect the most vulnerable members of the population and achieve optimal herd immunity, it would be necessary to develop a vaccination strategy that effectively blocks pertussis infection and transmission.
The chapter then discusses the pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar and its successor Prevnar-13. It notes that these vaccines generate herd immunity. It is noted that these vaccines provide protection against the serotypes included in the vaccine, but do not reduce the overall spread of the bacterium, as other serotypes fill the niche cleared by the vaccine serotypes. The reduction in the incidence of pneumococcal disease since the introduction of the vaccine is probably due to the fact that the replacement serotypes are so far less virulent than the vaccine serotypes.
The chapter also discusses the limitations of herd immunity threshold estimates. It notes that these estimates are based on simplistic models and arbitrary assumptions, making them rough estimates rather than accurate numerical values based on robust scientific data and careful calculations.
The chapter also discusses the measles vaccine, noting that its efficacy is estimated at 90-95 percent and that it provides herd protection by reducing the spread of the virus between vaccinated and unvaccinated people. The vaccination rate needed for herd immunity is estimated at 92 to 95 percent.
In conclusion, the chapter emphasizes the importance of providing conclusive evidence of the net benefit of vaccination for both the individual and society before vaccination programs are widely implemented. It suggests that while vaccines can confer herd immunity and reduce the spread of certain diseases, they are not a panacea and their use should be based on careful evaluation of the benefits and risks.
Chapter 10: THE MYSTERIES OF POLIO
Chapter 10 discusses the widespread use of DDT, a powerful insecticide, in the post-war years and its potential health effects. DDT was used in all phases of food production and distribution, including agriculture, storage, processing, packaging and transportation. The residues were found in fruits, vegetables, cow's milk and meat. A researcher in Texas found DDT residues in every sample of dairy and meat products analyzed over a six-month period.
From the beginning, some studies indicated that DDT was toxic to humans. In 1944, researchers from the FDA's Department of Drug Research examined the effect on laboratory animals and concluded that the unrestricted use of DDT solutions on the skin was not free from danger. Another team tested the toxicity of DDT for oral consumption and found that it could cause subacute toxicity when administered in small amounts through the diet for periods ranging from 3 days to 20 weeks. They also found a wide variation in individual susceptibility to DDT poisoning, which made estimating a safely tolerated dose extremely difficult.
The first report of DDT poisoning in humans appeared in the British Medical Journal in 1945. A lab worker who applied DDT powder to his hands to test its toxicity experienced pain in all four limbs, weakness in his legs, and spasms and tremors throughout his body. He had to stay confined to bed for several weeks and could not go to work for several months. Even after a year, his recovery was not complete.
The chapter also discusses the ambiguity and inaccuracy of the clinical definition of polio. Flaccid paralysis, a symptom of polio, has always been caused by numerous and varied agents and has been given dozens of different names in the medical literature. Doctors in the first half of the 20th century had no instruments for accurate differential diagnosis. Even today, doctors are unable to diagnose polio with certainty based on the patient's clinical signs or the course of the disease and must rely on laboratory tests for virus detection to distinguish between polio and "polio-like" disease (AFP).
The chapter questions the foundations of polio science, which it describes as inadequate and sketchy, despite more than a hundred years of intensive research. It also critically examines the alleged success of polio vaccines in eradicating the disease, suggesting that there are substantial reasons to doubt the role polio vaccines have played in the disappearance of the disease.
The chapter ends with a discussion of the development of newer, more potent insecticides in response to insects that became resistant to DDT. It warns that safety studies have never examined the overall effect of these substances on the human body, although people are exposed to many of these substances on a daily basis. The chapter calls for a thorough investigation into the health effects of pesticides, a call that remains unanswered.
Chapter 11: THE VACCINE HOAX
The chapter begins by discussing the era of the witch hunt against vaccine critics. It shows how anyone who dared to criticize any aspect of the vaccination program was branded an "anti-vaxxer." This led to critics being delegitimized, marginalized, and mocked, regardless of their credentials. The chapter mentions cases where leading scientists, experienced doctors, a Nobel Laureate, and even laymen who asked questions were all branded and brutally attacked by the media, the medical establishment, and industry henchmen as soon as they spoke out about vaccine reservations.
The chapter then looks at the role of the media in this issue. It mentions how in 1976, the CBS network's famed 60 Minutes show conducted a prime-time investigation into the fabricated "swine flu" epidemic. Only one person died from the flu, while millions received a rushed vaccine, which was later withdrawn. More than 450 vaccinated people developed crippling Guillain-Barré syndrome, and at least 25 people died. In 1982, NBC aired DPT: Vaccine Roulette, an hour-long documentary about children injured by the DPT vaccine, produced by journalist Lea Thompson. This type of programme, which caused a public outcry at the time, is unfortunately no longer allowed on American television.
The chapter also discusses the issue of vaccine-related diseases and the coverage of them. It mentions ADEM, an autoimmune disease similar to multiple sclerosis, and transverse myelitis, a neurological disease in which inflammation of the spinal cord leads to loss of the myelin sheath of the nerves, and then to numbness and loss of motor function of organs. The chapter also discusses the vaccine approval process and the use of various tests by unconventional physicians to treat vaccine side effects.
The chapter expands on the history of vaccines and their manufacturers. It mentions how three companies that produced vaccines during World War II eventually merged to form the vaccine and drug giant Novartis. It also discusses exposure to DDT and its possible link to polio.
Towards the end, the chapter discusses the principles applied when analyzing the results of a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT), which involves comparing different quantitative parameters between the trial and control groups. It also addresses the ethical concerns of a three-arm study and the potential safety concerns with a vaccine that has been used for many years.
Het hoofdstuk behandelt:
- een kritisch onderzoek naar het vaccinatieprogramma, de critici en de rol van de media in de vorming van de publieke perceptie. Het bespreekt ook de mogelijke gezondheidsrisico’s van vaccins en de behoefte aan strengere en onbevooroordeelde testen.
- de vaccinatie van kinderen in Israël en veel andere landen met het Prevnar-vaccin bij hun bezoek van 12 maanden. Het vermeldt de praktische beperking van het aantal vaccins dat momenteel is goedgekeurd voor gebruik, met zeer weinig beperkingen voor specifieke combinaties van vaccins. Het bespreekt ook de kwestie van vaccinatie tijdens een acute ziekte, die niet wordt aanbevolen door gezondheidsautoriteiten.
- het gebruik van drie verzwakte levende vaccins die momenteel zijn opgenomen in het vaccinatieprogramma van de VS: rotavirus, MMR en varicella. Het bespreekt ook het gebruik van sulfonamiden, een familie van geneesmiddelen die werden gebruikt voor de behandeling van infectieziekten die voorafgingen aan de ontwikkeling van antibiotica.
- de rol van de McKinlays bij het schatten van de afname in tuberculosesterfte sinds 1850, nog voor de introductie van medicamenteuze behandeling voor de ziekte. Het bespreekt ook de officiële sterftecijfers in de Verenigde Staten sinds 1900.
- de rol van de National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (NFIP), later bekend als de March of Dimes, in het werven van donaties om polio-onderzoek en de behandeling van poliopatiënten te financieren. Het bespreekt ook de Verbeterde Hygiëne Theorie, die de toename van allergische en auto-immuunziekten in het Westen, en meer recentelijk in ontwikkelingslanden, toeschrijft aan de verminderde blootstelling van zuigelingen aan bacteriën en virussen in de eerste levensjaren, als gevolg van “overmatige” hygiëne.
- acute slappe verlamming (AFP), een aandoening die wordt gekenmerkt door spierzwakte die snel optreedt. In tegenstelling tot andere verlammingssyndromen zijn de spieren ontspannen of zacht (vandaar de term slap), in plaats van stijf. Er wordt ook ingegaan op de overdracht van enterovirussen, virussen die zich vooral in de darmen vermenigvuldigen en via de ontlasting worden overgedragen.
- het aan polio gerelateerde concept van “te veel hygiëne”. Het bespreekt ook de rol van de Salk- en Sabin-vaccins in de strijd tegen polio. Het geïnactiveerde poliovaccin van Salk (IPV) wordt toegediend door middel van een injectie, terwijl het orale poliovaccin van Sabin (OPV) wordt toegediend door middel van monddruppels.
- de kwestie van de vaccinatiegraad voor de hele bevolking, die toeneemt met elk nieuw gevaccineerd cohort, werd verondersteld de incidentie van kinkhoest bij jonge kinderen geleidelijk te verminderen, zelfs na 2008. Het bespreekt ook de kwestie van het poliovirus dat in hogere mate wordt aangetroffen in monsters van niet-gevaccineerde patiënten en in lagere mate in monsters van degenen die met drie of meer doses zijn gevaccineerd.
- het feit dat de VS in 2000 overschakelde op het exclusieve gebruik van het Salk-vaccin (IPV), het VK in 2004 en Israël in 2005 (tot begin 2014). Het bespreekt ook de kwestie van het SV-40 virus, een virus van apenoorsprong, dat wordt aangetroffen in kankertumoren bij mensen.
- de kwestie van het Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), een federaal programma bedoeld om mensen te compenseren die gewond zijn geraakt door vaccins op het kindervaccinatieschema. Het staat in de volksmond bekend als “Vaccine Court”.
In summary, the chapter provides a comprehensive and critical examination of the vaccination program, its critics, the role of the media, the potential health risks of vaccines, the need for stricter and unbiased testing, the history of vaccines and their manufacturers, and the principles applied in analyzing the results of a randomized controlled trial (RCT). It also discusses various diseases related to vaccines, the use of different tests by unconventional doctors to treat vaccine side effects, and the role of different organizations and theories in the fight against disease.
Assuming that GPT4's summary is even remotely similar to the content of the book, it looks like it's really worth reading.
Flipping through the book, it seems like it takes me forever to read all 447 references to papers and other books. Maybe I should set myself the goal of going through a chapter on my Substack every week. I can then go through page by page and check all the facts and references.
This GPT summary has been translated into Dutch with DeepL. The English original is here to read.