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The Sciences

Antivax smackdown, Albietz edition

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitAugust 26, 2009 7:26 PM

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I've written about my friend Dr. Joe Albietz before: he's a pediatrician who saves lives for a living. He's also a skeptic and a really good one; he was the brains and brawn behind the very successful vaccine drive we held at TAM 7 that will help prevent 500 kids in Las Vegas from contracting dangerous diseases. Joe now writes at Science Based Medicine, and for his first article he tears to tiny little shreds a claim that the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine is dangerous, a very wrong statement being spread by Dr. Joseph Mercola, an alt-med promoter who sells "natural" remedies as an alternative to vaccinations. With all this antivax nonsense going around, I wonder how sales are doing for him? Anyway, Joe's article is lengthy, and worth every word of it. He takes Mercola's claims and shows just where he's wrong. In some cases, Mercola's errors are so flagrant it makes me honestly wonder how anyone could make them. Mercola's article is, apparently, just another in a long line of fact-optional antivax claims, and yet will still gain traction with those who don't understand what medical science has done for them and continues to do. As Joe said in the article (emphasis mine):

I’ll take the opportunity to point out that pharmaceutical companies, doctors, and hospitals stand to make a lot more money from an uncontrolled pandemic than from its prevention. The money spent on antivirals, antibiotics, sedation and pain medications, physician and hospital billing for the 200,000 people hospitalized in the US during a normal flu season would compensate them far better than profits from vaccine sales. It’s almost as though, against our financial interest, all of our efforts are designed to keep people from getting sick...

Imagine that! People trying to cure the sick, instead of bilking them for money. That sounds more like the doctors I know.

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