Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Monday, September 13, 2010

I'm guessing I'm going to be hearing a lot more about this in the coming years

For those who are curious, we have the first ever award to parents who claim a link between autism-like symptoms and vaccines, and it's a big award:

CBS News has learned the family of Hannah Poling will receive more than $1.5 million dollars for her life care; lost earnings; and pain and suffering for the first year alone.

In addition to the first year, the family will receive more than $500,000 per year to pay for Hannah's care. Those familiar with the case believe the compensation could easily amount to $20 million over the child's lifetime.


In acknowledging Hannah's injuries, the government said vaccines aggravated an unknown mitochondrial disorder Hannah had which didn't "cause" her autism, but "resulted" in it. It's unknown how many other children have similar undiagnosed mitochondrial disorder. All other autism "test cases" have been defeated at trial. Approximately 4,800 are awaiting disposition in federal vaccine court. [emphasis added]

A couple of points should be made here. First, as I emphasized above, this is so far the one and only time such a claim has been deemed valid enough to warrant compensation. So, if you hear anti-vaxxers touting this as vindication for their position, they are deliberately ignoring the many other times that scientific evidence and legal proceedings have found against them. This is particularly the case given that, as I've discussed previously, Ms. Poling doesn't actually have autism, she has a disorder that behaves like autism. Second, the distinction between "cause" and "resulted" above is key, since the finding was that an existing underlying condition was aggravated by the vaccine. Without the vaccine, this condition may still have ended up producing autism-like symptoms on its own, but the vaccine on its own was not the culprit and it isn't certain that minus the vaccine autism-like symptoms wouldn't have occurred anyway. Third, the mechanism invoked here- a mitochondrial disorder- is NOT a mechanism claimed by the anti-vaxxers. It isn't the "gut measles" hypothesis of Andrew Wakefield, and it's not the "scary toxic substances" hypothesis of Mary Tocco. And thus, even if this case were evidence that vaccines are a causal agent in autism (it's not) it still wouldn't vindicate the anti-vaxxers claims.

But, I'm sure I'll hear about this endlessly as though it proves all the crazy anti-vaccine shit right. So be it.

We're still vaccinating little JezLil.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe we should test for the mitochondrial disorder first? ; ) - Drek's S.W.

Monday, September 13, 2010 1:38:00 PM  
Blogger Marf said...

I noticed the other day that flu shots are now available in the area here. I generally don't get them because I'm not in a high risk group, and up until recently I lived in an isolated area and didn't come in contact with too many people. And I hate needles.

But I've moved to a more populated area and I think I might get one tomorrow.

Monday, September 13, 2010 7:41:00 PM  
Blogger scripto said...

$24 bucks for the H1N1/seasonal combo at Walmart. I got mine right in the menswear aisle.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010 2:57:00 AM  

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