The conference is a who’s who of autism and anti-vaccine quackery, which Orac explains in detail. Their keynote speaker this year was Edwin Black, who believes that we’re engaging in scientific genocide to create a master race. And no, I did not hyperbolize.
Dr. Daniel Kalb of Cool Springs Family Medicine attended the AutismOne Conference. Cool Springs Family Medicine is the type of practice where you can have regular pediatric care, but they also specialize in other pseudoscience areas such as offering “detox” options and “hyperbaric oxygen therapy.” These are certainly red flags, as the only “detox” you can do to your body is done by your liver and kidneys. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has not been clinically proven. Also, I promise that if your liver is not working, you’ll know it.
And no purveyor of pseudoscience’s website is complete without a link to an online store, where you’re encouraged to enter their affiliate code to buy some snake oil products.
Given this, it’s not entirely surprising that Dr. Kalb announced on Tuesday that his practice would no longer be administering vaccinations. The very first reason?
1.Because they can cause Autism – yes, I’ve had 15 years’ experience in taking care of ASD kids, that’s a lot of vaccine injury stories from moms. Don’t tell me that they are making it up or they are just reaching for an explanation, or that it was a coincidence or that they are just too stressed, or that they are uninformed. All of those arguments are stupid.
Stupid, you say?
What’s stupid is a licensed medical professional would make a claim that is entirely inconsistent with the body of evidence we currently have available. What’s stupid is that a licensed medical professional is literally passing off anecdotes from moms (but not dads?) as evidence.
It is absolutely true that vaccine injuries do occur. Nobody is denying that. Nothing in life is without risk. You could trip and fall walking to the kitchen or choke on an apple today
So let’s look at the numbers on the HRSA Vaccine Injury Compensation Fund. The most recent data shows that from 2006 to 2014, there were 2,532,428,541 vaccines administered. Of those two and a half billion doses, just 2,199 resulted in a compensated injury. That means that roughly 0.00000086% of all vaccines administered result in compensation. You can compare that to your chance of being struck by lighting in your lifetime (1 in 10,000), at 0.0001%.
But Dr. Kalb doesn’t stop there. He goes on to deny any CDC data due to the “whistleblower” (which has been refuted ad nauseam).
The next point is just confusing.
2.Polysorbate 80, Aluminum, formaldehyde, animal DNA with viruses, and many other ingredients in vaccines, are not good to inject into babies. Think of cancer, and autoimmune disease.
What? Seems like a non-sequitur.
Then comes the pharma shill claim. I’ll give him credit for waiting until bullet point #4 for it, though:
3.We can do better. Right now, it is a whole lot cheaper to propagate a multi-million dollar campaign to promote vaccines and hide behind the vaccine injury protection act, than it is to develop a safe vaccine program.
Okay, then provide some answers. If you don’t think it’s safe, then what do you think is safe? Don’t just talk about wanting change, come up with some solutions. Be the change.
Further down the list, we have this confusing bit:
5.Dr. Andew [sic] Wakefield’s research was properly defended and vindicated 4 years ago. The Lancet paper stands: There is a link between the MMR vaccine and Autism.
Dr. Kalb must have missed the day in medical school where they explained what “retracted” means.
But none of this really comes as any surprise from a clinic who treats children with “a variety of herbal remedies, homeopathic remedies, and essential oils” and who acknowledges the “importance of the entire person – mind, body and spirit” (whatever that means). He also specializes in hyperbaric oxygen therapy, claiming that patients “may show improvement” of Autism or Lyme disease with HBOT treatment. You cannot “improve” symptoms of Autism, and Chronic Lyme simply doesn’t exist.
When we had Dr. Clay Jones (who writes for Science Based Medicine) on our podcast last week, we talked about how homeopaths/naturopaths market themselves. They emphasize “natural” remedies and “holistic” approaches to medicine. They talk about how they “treat the patient, not the symptoms.” That sounds nice, but I’d really rather you treat my symptoms, please.
The efficacy of vaccines is indisputable. There’s no question. While injuries do occur, you are more likely to be struck by lightning than experience a vaccine injury. Nothing in life is 100% safe. Life is about minimizing risks. Vaccines minimize one area of risk.
While it appears that that Dr. Kalb’s facebook page is down (as of this posting), you can still contact the Tennessee Department of Health to make them aware of the public health risk this licensed doctor is creating.
If a 12 year old can understand it, surely an actual doctor can too.