By Helen Petousis Harris 02/11/2017

Quackenboss is a vaccine denier with a history of internet bullying and going loopy when someone says something positive about vaccines. She hides nameless and faceless behind a blog, or captured in a state of self-glorification during an interview with HealthNut News.

I know not her name, qualifications, or profession because they do not appear to be provided but she has plenty to say about vaccines.

A recent fairly high profile example of Quackenbosses’s modus operandi is the doxxing and attacks on a remarkable 12-year old lad from Mexico who posted a video about vaccines and autism on you tube that went viral. It is one thing to pick on a grown up but to bully a child is truly miserable. For an enlightening discussion on that episode ORAC has summarised nicely.

Just wow! Sourced from Epidemiological Life and Epidemics.

Anyway, here I want to discuss a recent post of hers, it is about “How to win any vaccine debate – part 1”

In her blog Quackenboss provides answers for people wanting to argue how bad vaccines are. What she actually provides is a carnival of age old myths and irrational arguments. Here is her first argument after which she lists no scientific studies!

Despite what you have heard in the media, only one shot and one ingredient have ever been studied for their role in causing autism

What a complete load of dogs bollocks! That is just not true.

A meta-analyses of case-control and cohort studies (the kind of studies best suited to answer questions about vaccine safety in populations) summarised the state of play in 2014. Five cohort studies involving 1,256,407 children, and five case-control studies involving 9,920 children were included in the analysis. Here are the bottom line results. The odds ratios and confidence intervals show no association:

There was no relationship between vaccination and autism (OR: 0.99; 95% CI: 0.92 to 1.06).
There was no relationship between vaccination and ASD (autism spectrum disorder) (OR: 0.91; 95% CI: 0.68 to 1.20).
There was no relationship between [autism/ASD] and MMR (OR: 0.84; 95% CI: 0.70 to 1.01).
There was no relationship between [autism/ASD] and thimerosal (OR: 1.00; 95% CI: 0.77 to 1.31).
There was no relationship between [autism/ASD] and mercury (Hg) (OR: 1.00; 95% CI: 0.93 to 1.07).

Also in a 2014 a systemic review of the safety of vaccines used in the US immunisation schedule 67 studies were examined. Only studies that used active surveillance and had a control mechanism were included (in other words no laboratory studies or case studies). It found strong evidence that MMR vaccine is not associated with autism.

The WHO Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine safety last review on thimerosal in vaccines , as per their 2002 and 2008 reviews, found no evidence to suggest an association with autism.

From Vaccine Meme Machine and Refutations to Antivaccine Memes

Enough on the first argument, here is the second following which Quackenboss goes on about toxic aluminium:

Who said that vaccines had too many antigens? That’s a straw man argument. We’ve been told hundreds of times that infants have the capacity to respond to an enormous number of antigens. Vaccine antigens were reduced to maximize manufacturer profits, not to improve safety….I’ll sit here and wait while you research the safety of aluminium.

Ok, so I have been keeping tabs on the safety of aluminium adjuvants for near on twenty years. There are two problems with the argument above.

We are interested in the safety of aluminium-containing vaccines and for that we have thousands of studies that support their safety. Aluminium-containing vaccines are very safe, so what is the relevance of the safety of aluminium that is not in vaccines?

A. There is no relevance but for the record, aluminium is ubiquitous in our environment, we inhale, eat, drink, and bath in the stuff every day. We are born with aluminium in our bodies. It is the dose that makes the poison and the dose from any vaccine is miniscule.

The third argument goes like this:

On autism and mercury…That’s because the flu shot was exempt from the mercury ban, and the mercury-preserved flu vaccine was added to the childhood schedule in 2002— one year before the last of the banned vaccines expired. Plus, 2003 was the beginning of the massive campaign to vaccinate pregnant women for influenza. Obviously, the source of mercury exposure has been swapped.

This is a peculiar train of logic, it is also very US centric. Following the same logic, in NZ we generally don’t vaccinate children with flu vaccine and have really only targeted pregnant women recently, our coverage is quite poor compared with the US. Our flu vaccines do not include mercury. But guess what…autism rates have risen here too.

She goes on to argue that even residual mercury in a vaccine is still mercury and insinuates it is harmful. Given there is absolutely no evidence that mercury-containing preservative in vaccines was ever harmful in the first place it sure is reaching to suggest trace amount are. Here are some links to actual scientific studies looking at thimerosal exposure and adverse outcomes.

For some considered comments on vaccines and autism check out Grant Jacobs blog. It has some cool data and graphs for those who would like to explore this further. http://

Finally, the fourth argument.

Re Andrew Wakefield losing his medical license for committee fraud…Did you read his medical board’s decision? Because fraudulent work was never an allegation against Dr. Wakefield.

She then posts a link to the entire verdict of the General Medical Council and challenges the reader to find the word ‘fraud’. She acknowledges a couple of relatively minor misdemeanours.

Where do I start! Fraud means to deliberately mislead to result in financial or personal gain.

Wakefield altered many facts about the patient’s medical histories in order to support his claim that he had identified a new syndrome, also it would appear for financial gain. The verdict is 143 pages long but the dishonest conduct begins around page 6.

Here is but one charge:

“your conclusions as set out at paragraph 4.a.i. was:

1) dishonest, Found proved.

The Panel is satisfied that this action, was dishonest, judged by the ordinary standards of reasonable and honest people. It is further satisfied that you knew that some or most of the funds would not be used for the reasons you had stated, because you had agreed a process with Mr Barr by which children would be selected for the study from those who had already been investigated at the Royal Free Hospital and who would have therefore been funded by the NHS.

Misleading, Found proved

And so it goes on for 143 pages. Make up your own mind if any of this constitutes fraud. The British Medical Journal think so.


0 Responses to “Who is Levi Quackenboss and what is she saying about vaccine debates?”

    • Kane.
      Could you explain where the “fake science” is? Also, why is it “fake science” compared to where you are getting your “science” from? What is your definition of “fake science” ?
      Would be interesting to break down your “scientific material” using the scientific method, which Helen seems to have done correctly and supplied good references to support. Perhaps you have a different idea of the scientific method compared to 99% of the trained and experienced medical researchers in vaccines and we could work through your view together.

  • The vaccine court has paid out over $3.6 billion since it began in 1988 for injuries and death from vaccines. Sounds “safe and effective” to me.

    • Dear Anon
      I am not sure how you go from saying how much the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has paid out as justification of vaccine safety. One of these is a no-fault compensation system and the other is a public health intervention assessed through empirical scientific research using advanced epidemiological techniques and highly trained researchers.

      The no-fault program as so role in establishing the safety of vaccines, let alone their effectiveness. Also, most importantly, not all health problems that follow vaccinations are caused by the vaccines.

  • anon –

    The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program doesn’t rule that a vaccine did cause an injury, it rules on that it “might”, for a rather generous definition of “might”.

    If you want to check if vaccines did cause injury, you need to look to medical studies of vaccine side-effects.