Residents speak out against vaccination rule changes

KAILUA-KONA — A public hearing on proposed changes to the state’s immunization requirements for school attendance attracted a crowd of dozens at the West Hawaii Civic Center on Thursday. The handful who testified all did so staunchly opposing the proposed rules.

The hearing was one of several being held throughout the state as the Department of Health collects feedback on its proposed rules. While only a small group of people were able to speak within the allotted time for public testimony during the meeting, attendees said after the meeting’s conclusion that they planned to continue presenting and recording their own testimony.


Those who did speak made a variety of arguments about the purported harm caused by vaccines, but many of those arguments have long been countered by public health experts and academic research.

The scientific community overwhelmingly endorses vaccination.

“The fact is vaccines save lives and protect against the spread of disease,” states a website published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. “If you decide not to immunize, you’re not only putting your child at risk to catch a disease that is dangerous or deadly but also putting others in contact with your child at risk. Getting vaccinated is much better than getting the disease.”

The state’s current immunization requirements were established in 2001, according to state health officials, and the proposed changes would go into effect in 2020. The new rules keep the current vaccination requirements while adding some new ones to the list, such as requiring vaccines against Hepatitis A, streptococcus, rotavirus and influenza for children up to 2 years old.

Among those arguing vaccinations are harmful was Dr. Jade McGaff.

“All these infectious diseases were disappearing by the time vaccines jumped in,” she said, holding a chart to the crowd. “This is (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health) data; I didn’t make these numbers up.”

And yet, hers was an argument the World Health Organization (WHO) put at the top of a list of six common misconceptions about immunization, calling statements like it “very common in anti-vaccine literature.”

While better socioeconomic conditions — such as better nutrition, the development of antibiotics and less-crowded living conditions — have all contributed to reduced transmission of diseases, WHO says the numbers “can leave little doubt of the significant direct impact vaccines have had, even in modern times.”

The permanent drop in measles, for example, coincided with the wide use of the measles vaccine starting in 1963, with other vaccine-preventable diseases showing a similar corresponding pattern.

WHO also pointed to the effect of reduced immunization levels, specifically huge jumps in incidences of pertussis in Great Britain, Sweden and Japan when vaccination rates dropped.

“It seems clear from these experiences that not only would diseases not be disappearing without vaccines,” WHO said on their site, “but if we were to stop vaccinating, they would come back.”

McGaff also suggested a connection between vaccinations for infants and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

“Why don’t they ask ‘When was the last vaccine?’ whenever a SIDS baby comes in? Where’s the research?” McGaff said. “Why don’t we know how many vaccines that baby had, how many at a time, when it dies from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome?”

WHO on the same list of misconceptions calls the alleged link between vaccines — specifically the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine — and SIDS “one myth that won’t seem to go away.”

The belief, WHO said, appears to stem from the fact that a “moderate proportion” of children who die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome have recently received DTP vaccination, pointing toward a seeming connection.

But the truth is that most SIDS deaths happen during the same age range in which the shots are given, WHO said, so it would be expected that the shots would precede some SIDS deaths “simply by chance.”


A 2015 article in the International Journal of Contemporary Pediatrics also concluded there “is no increased risk of SIDS with immunization with DTP.”

Those unable to attend a public hearing can send written testimony to the Hawaii Department of Health via email by Dec. 26 at 4 p.m. It can be submitted to

  1. Contrarian December 21, 2018 6:40 am

    Wow, embarrassing that a physician (Dr McGaff) would fall for the antivaxxer conspiracy theories. She should know better with her scientific training.

    1. KonaLife December 21, 2018 8:17 am

      I’m glad she’s not a Pediatrician.

  2. Sara Steiner-jackson December 21, 2018 6:41 am

    It is obscene how they shoot up little babies with mercury, monkey cells and thimerosol and dead egg yolks…. So many babies have autism now… research it! The DoH needs to listen to the people on this one!

    1. laakoc December 21, 2018 7:39 am

      You understand correlation isn’t causation….you could also find a correlation between autism and increase in electronic/television use in children too. Research it!!!

      1. Du Mhan Yhu December 22, 2018 9:37 am

        Too many big words to get through the smoke haze.

    2. KonaLife December 21, 2018 8:15 am

      Co-occurrence is not causality! I don’t think you could get through the first week of any science class without hearing this.

      Yes, research it. Yes, go to the science. It’s there, and will show that the anti-vac theories are just bonkers. Don’t go to websites set up by nutsos and conspiracy theory propagandists. That’s not where the science is.

      Go to Mayo Clinic, Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization, The Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Pediatrics–any peer-reviewed scientific journal. The truth is, indeed, out there, but you need to approach your research, well, by looking at peer-reviewed and published, duh, research.

      The problem with the anit-vac conspiracy theories is that their ideas can have real-life negative consequences for children and our communities. In 1980, there were 40,000 polio cases in the world; this year there might be about 20. There is absolutely no doubt that vaccines are responsible for this. Measles? Down 99%! Small pox? Gone! Tentanus? Preventable with vaccines! HPV, which causes a some very nasty cancers? Infection rates way done due to vaccines.

      You put children, families and communities at risk when you promulgate such nonsense.

      1. laakoc December 21, 2018 10:04 am

        Do you ever notice that anti vaxxers always go to “blog type websites”. Nothing backed by actual, legitimate research? If you want to see a great video, search for penn & teller’s take on anti-vaxxers.

        1. KonaLife December 21, 2018 10:28 am

          Yes, they do. Anyone can post anything online. It takes years, and multiple expert reviews for something to make it into a major peer-reviewed medical journal.

          Conspiracy Theory 101:
          1, Identify something that many don’t understand – vaccines
          2. Make sure it’s widespread
          3. Identify a “boogeyman” – the pharmaceutical companies
          4. Use single-cases and anecdotes to “prove” your theory
          5. Ignore causality and base ideas on co-occurrence
          6. Ignore the all scientific research that doesn’t fit your theory.
          7. Claim you have (or discovered) info unknown to the medical establishment
          8 “Publish” in non peer reviewed, open to anyone forums or websites
          9 Feel heightened self-esteem because you have figured it all out (as opposed to the millions of researchers, epidemiologists and medical practitioners throughout time and the world who have missed it)

          I don’t worry so much about those that are too far gone, but when young parents or people very susceptible to conspiracy theories, read this garbage and make horrible, life-changing decisions for their children or their community by avoiding vaccines, I worry.

          It’s interesting that the doctor and Ms. Steiner are probably here to spew their false anti-vaccine info because of the protections the vaccines gave them–polio, mumps, rubella, tetanus, small pox, measles–when they were growing up.

    3. Reality022 December 21, 2018 9:48 am

      Sara Steiner-jackson drooled, “A lot of ignorant anti-vaccine tropes.”
      Sara, don’t forget the monkey pus!
      You must never forget the monkey pus when lying about vaccines!!!!!!11!!!
      BTW – There are no “monkey cells” in vaccines. Nor are there any “dead egg yolks” as opposed to ‘live egg yolks’, I suppose. How would those fit through those tiny vaccine needles, Sara?
      Nor is there any “mercury”.
      Since you obviously don’t know, Thimerosal™ is the preservative that was used in vaccines and it was that compound that contained the mercury atom. IOW, in your ignorance of vaccines, you listed “mercury” twice.
      And, it was removed from all pediatric vaccines in 2001 – 17 years ago.
      The only common vaccine containing Thimerosal™ is the multidose vials of injectable influenza vaccine, and that formulation is not recommended for pediatric vaccination.
      The US supply this year is >80% preservative free preloaded, single dose hypos.
      I think it should be obvious to young parents why they should get their medical advice from their physician and recognized experts in the field.
      Why any parent would trust the health and life of their child to internet advice from Sara Steiner-jackson or HippieCrystalChic96, who failed every math and science class they took in high school, is beyond me.
      It isn’t a game. You are dealing with the life of your babies, for God’s sake.

      1. Du Mhan Yhu December 21, 2018 11:31 am

        Discussing science with a stoner is bound to lower your IQ, just saying…….

        1. Reality022 December 21, 2018 5:52 pm

          Ah, is that what’s the case?
          It is so hard to distinguish between childish fantasies, mental illness, drug induced delusions, or senile dementia on the internet.

      2. tomonthebay December 21, 2018 3:03 pm

        Have a Merry Christmas and a monkey pus free New Year.

        1. Reality022 December 21, 2018 5:49 pm

          Thank you, tom.
          Merry Christmas to you and yours and a Happy Aluminutty NWO Free New Year!

    4. Mike Stevens December 26, 2018 10:44 pm

      No, do you know what is obscene? …how the Apple juice you drink is chock full of tree bark, earthworms and manure. Disgusting!

  3. fishman2 December 21, 2018 7:14 am

    They let the flat-earthers out of the asylum again.

  4. laakoc December 21, 2018 7:38 am

    I don’t know that these anti vaxxers understand scientific research since even Dr. McGaff was unable to comprehend what she was reading…”And yet, hers was an argument the World Health Organization (WHO) put at the top of a list of six common misconceptions about immunization, calling statements like it “very common in anti-vaccine literature.”

  5. KonaLife December 21, 2018 8:29 am

    BTW, thanks to WHT for presenting the WHO and CDC counter-arguments to the nonsense presented in the meeting. The article is actually quite good, full of a lot of facts the anti-vaccine people should, but don’t, understand. We can’t let those take the microphone in these events create the perception that their ideas are anything more than one person’s opinion and are, in many cases, not based on scientific research.

  6. Reality022 December 21, 2018 9:27 am

    Ha. Anti-vaccine Dr. Jade McGaff, plastic surgeon, is so ignorant she should have her license pulled.


    “Do immunisations reduce the risk for SIDS? A meta-analysis.
    CONCLUSIONS: Immunisations are associated with a halving of the risk of SIDS.

    Discussion of any association between SIDS and DTP vaccination:

    All controlled studies that have compared immunized versus nonimmunized children (Table 5-1) have found either no association (Bouvier-Colle et al., 1989; Pollock et al., 1984; Taylor and Emery, 1982) or a decreased risk (Hoffman et al., 1987; Walker et al., 1987) of SIDS among immunized children.

    The evidence does not indicate a causal relation between DPT vaccine and SIDS. Studies showing a temporal relation between these events are consistent with the expected occurrence of SIDS over the age range in which DPT immunization typically occurs.”

    Fancy that. No difference w/respect to DPT vaccination and in fact, DPT may be protective against SIDS.
    Of course, to the delusional anti-vaccine death cultists these reports are all a giant gub’mint konspiracee to kill our baybees!!!!!!11!!!!
    As the number of vaccines given children increased the rate of SIDS decreased:
    Well looka’ that. SIDS rate in 1980, the halcyon dayz of low vaccination, was 153 and in the bad modern high vaccination year of 2010 it was 51.6.
    That’s a reduction of 2/3rds. The new vaccine schedule is associated with a SIDS rate 33% of the 1980’s rate but the anti-vaccine death cultists want to go back to 1980.
    Of course the delusional and crazy anti-vaccine death cultists, including Jade McGaff, ignores this obvious fact and still claims vaccines cause SIDS.


    As a dedicated anti-vaccine death cult member, Dr. Jade McGaff undoubtedly showed the completely dishonest chart of mortality rates due to diseases while claiming the “diseases were disappearing” before the vaccine introduction.
    This is a complete and utter lie.
    All that a lower mortality rate indicates is that deathly ill people were kept from dying by improved medical care. Reduced mortality rate obviously does not measure the number of cases of a disease… that is called the incidence rate.
    She merely showed we got better at keeping sick people alive. Think about polio. If you caught polio and the paralysis involved the diaphragm you died because you could not breath. Then they invented the iron lung and those folks did not die.
    The reduced mortality did not indicate polio was going away. It merely indicated medical science had invented the iron lung to keep folks from dying.
    This anti-vaccine death cult meme of “The diseases were already going away” is completely dishonest. It is a lie.
    Dr. Jade McGaff is either a liar or an ignoramus… or both.
    She should have her license pulled by the state for being too ignorant to safely practice.
    Why do anti-vaccine death cultists constantly lie?

  7. KonaDude December 21, 2018 9:53 am

    The “Death of Expertise” is a great book, it explains all of this crazy stupidity in this country( . Y . )

    1. KonaLife December 21, 2018 10:29 am

      Thanks for recommendation. Looks like a good read.

  8. Rock108 December 21, 2018 4:00 pm

    Friend of mine’s grandma got the flu….we all got vaccinated, so we’re all healthy. Now the baby (who didn’t get a flu shot) gets it from grandma, and we’re just wondering “why didn’t grandma get the flu shot”?

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