The “Immunizations Must Be Evil Considering I Loathe Evidence” study group, aka IMBECILE, a mouthpiece for the anti-vaccination movement, has debuted a new set of guidelines meant to help consumers better categorize and understand the growing body of information available regarding the safety, or lack thereof, of vaccines.
“One of the major hurdles holding back our movement has been the lack of a standardized way for concerned parents to interpret the vast amounts of information available on the topic,” commented anti-vaccine champion and IMBECILE spokesman, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, “We looked at all forms of information categorization out here for this topic and we noticed that when other societies release their guidelines, they typically include a table outlining the quality of their evidence. Frequently, they will use categories like level 1a, level 2b recommendations, etc. In response, we have released our own guidelines on how to interpret information that mirror this format.”
IMBECILE’s recommendations are as follows. Reminder: Information quality degrades progressively as you go from level A to level F:
Level A recommendations = Testimonials and ratings
Testimonials are at the heart of any robust information-gathering system. When looking for a restaurant, a hotel, a Botox clinic, etc, you always want to follow word of mouth and ask your friends for their opinion first. If you don’t have friends, then you should consider looking at websites that have a rating scale, such as a “star system,” that may help guide your opinion. Chances are, you already do this on Amazon, iTunes, Yelp, etc, so it should be no different for vaccines. You may also choose to peruse the comments section on a major website such as Yahoo, CNN, or Fox News when an article about vaccines is published. Twitter is also similarly helpful. You would not believe how many useful and varied opinions you can gather from such reputable sources!
Level B recommendations = Consensus opinion from certain specified experts in the field such as Jenny McCarthy, the “Food Babe,” and IMBECILE’s own Dr. Andrew Wakefield
When in-person or online testimonials or ratings aren’t available, you should then defer to our experts. There is so much information out there to with which to worry your pretty little head that it can be impossible to sort through whether or not to believe something you may hear or read. Fortunately, we have pre-selected a series of specialists in the field to supply their authoritative recommendations for you. Our erudite correspondence may come in various forms, such as a tweet, an article, or a random scary-looking website.
Seriously, a website that contains the following material (taken verbatim from the hyperlink above) MUST be trustworthy:
ASPIRIN IMPAIRS THYROID FUNCTION – depletes the Vitamin C levels of the white bloods & lymphocytes in the lungs & suppresses the fever (a critical stage in getting well again)
Level C recommendations = Doing what “feels right”
You know your and your child’s body. You don’t have to be a doctor, nurse, or advanced medical practitioner to know how it works. It’s YOUR BODY. Or your child’s body as the case may be. So how could anyone really be an expert on something that’s yours? If giving your child a shot that contains a deadly disease doesn’t feel right, then just don’t do it. Also, think for a second: Why are vaccines given in a way that causes my child pain? Obviously if vaccines were helpful then your child would love them: Like when you take amoxicillin for your ear infection flavored with bubble gum or that grape-flavored cough syrup you gave to your child under age 2.
Level D recommendations = Your own review of the scientific literature.
If you make it down here, then the information starts to get sketchy. This is where we would reluctantly encourage you to look at the data yourself. Be advised: data can be confusing. You may see scientific journals publish things like “randomized control trials” and “case control studies.” The fact is that all of these studies are underwritten by someone with something to gain. Either the scientists writing them are trying to become famous or Big Pharma is trying to get rich off the results of the study. Of course, vaccines are really the only area of medicine that this concept applies. It does not apply to any of the number of other medical innovations that we are somehow ok with (like antibiotics, surgery, or taking our kid to the doctor for the doctor’s advice when our kid is sick but for some reason not caring about their advice when our kids are well).
Also, sometimes the data is not as robust as we would like. Consider this. There have been only around 15-20 trials that have looked at Autism-MMR link and only basically all of them, except this well-known one that was retracted, have shown no link. Compare this to a robustly-investigated topic like using vitamin C to prevent the common cold which has had, like, over 30 trials done on it. Clearly more research is needed before we conclude that vaccines are safe.
Level E recommendations = Doing what your doctor says you should do
If you can’t find someone to give you a testimonial or rating, if the topic has not been covered by one of our experts, if you don’t have a good feel as to what to do, if you look at the data yourself and are unsure, then now is time to talk to your doctor. Doctors once in a while may have the answer you are looking for.
For instance, this one time I had really bad right lower quadrant abdominal pain which led me to see a holistic “colonic hydrotherapist.” Well, she decided to stick a hose up my butt which caused my appendix to burst. I did feel better for 12 hours, but the pain then came back with a vengeance. Then, and only then, did I feel it to be advisable to see a doctor. Turns out, I needed major surgery and weeks of rehabilitation to fix what could have been taken care of in a minor laparoscopic operation. Point is, if you tried everything else and the results were suboptimal, then consider talking to a “medical professional.” Be advised, though, doctors are being paid for what they do so they have an incentive to, you know, do things that people who are paid to do something probably want to do. If you ask me, though, I prefer to trust someone who has no motivation to or lie or to make money. Someone like Jenny McCarthy. But I digress……
Level F recommendations = Anything recommended by the Government or Big Pharma
If you are really at a loss, then throw in the towel and just listen to the Government or Big Pharma. This is the end of the road as to what information we have to offer. If you choose to go this route then, be our guest……
However, before you leave us, we just want you to know that we thought you were one of the “cool kids.” But you are apparently a loser. We recommend you go home and cry to your mommy…..If she hasn’t died yet from vaccine-preventable illnesses such as pertussis or measles.