Thursday, October 29, 2009

How I Came To My Opinion of Vaccines

In my post on New Immunization Guidelines—Who Makes Them, I wrote:

“So far as I can tell, all the "evidence" in favor of vaccinations is epidemiological, that is, correlative, in this vein: "We gave this population the vaccine for X disease and the disease incidence declined, therefore the vaccine eliminated the disease." This is classic mistaking of correlation with causation, along with the fallacy post hoc ergo propter hoc, i.e. y happened after x, therefore x caused y. Lindlahr pointed it out more than 75 years ago.”

Some people may wonder how I could come to this opinion. I added this to that post:

“I formed my opinion after examination of evidence such as this graph posted at Child Health Safety :





This shows that vaccines for measles, pertussis, and diphtheria all got introduced during the natural waning of the epidemics, making it impossible for me to conclude that the vaccine had any dramatic benefit. Child Health Safety has similar graphs referring to other vaccines.

Further, if you look deeply into this, you will find that changes and fashions in diagnosis also influenced the "decline" of epidemics "observed" after vaccines. Before the vaccine for measles, physicians were on the lookout for measles, and so diagnosed it frequently (and often erroneously). After the introduction of the vaccine for measles, for example, physicians believed that the vaccine eliminated measles so they simply were less likely to diagnose an infection as measles (or test for measles). But doctors are notoriously bad at diagnosis. They overdiagnose or underdiagnose based on fashions, such as when the incidence of arteriosclerotic heart disease "increased" in 1948 after this diagnosis was added to the ICD.

And, I notice that if the incidence of infection goes down even in unvaccinated folks, rather than questioning whether the vaccination did the job, vaccine proponents attribute this to herd immunity conferred by vaccination. Its like giving treatment A to one group and a placebo to the other; both groups get better equally, so you conclude that treatment A works so well, it even helps people who didn't receive it by having a “herd” effect. In any other investigation, people would conclude that the treatment works no better than a placebo or no treatment. I understand the rationale given for this explanation in respect to vaccinations, but for vaccine proponents, it conveniently excludes the possibility of concluding that no treatment worked as well as treatment--a possibility necessary for scientific evaluation.”

9 comments:

Daniel said...

A quick read of the wikipedia page on the vaccine controversy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaccine_controversy) shows that your graphs of virus mortality over the years ignores rubella, polio, smallpox, and bacteria meningitis. That makes sense because those are the pathogens for which the graphs would not support your argument.

So why do anti-vaccine advocates selectively present data? Because, anti-vaccine advocacy is faith-based and not science-based.

The fact that inoculation and increased sanitary and nutritional conditions were co-causes of the impressive decline of the infectious diseases that you showed does not indicate that vaccines were not a co-cause.

Add the more favorable infectious diseases to your graph and the point you're trying to make is blunted to say the least.

Also note that vaccines are very effective in animal models in controlled experiments.

I don't consider the efficacy of all vaccines to be established, but it's not like you just discovered the smoking gun evidence that scientists have been ignoring. These topics have in fact been the topic of very sober academic debate for years and the consensus is that most vaccines are effective.

Don said...

Daniel,

I didn't claim to show all the evidence. I provided a link to another page with far more data. I simply gave one example of the data I used to come to my opinion. Here's one on smallpox:

http://childhealthsafety.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/uk-smallpox-1838-1890.gif

Smallpox vaccine did not reliably reduce smallpox mortality in the UK or in Sweden:

http://childhealthsafety.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/sweden-smallpox-1821-1852.gif

Polio death rate had declined by more than 50% between 1923 and 1953, before the introduction of the vaccine, first chart on this page:

http://www.vaclib.org/intro/present/index2.htm

It always intrigues me when people label vaccine skeptics as "faith-based." What exactly are you saying I have "faith" in? How, indeed, do you accuse a skeptic of "faith"?

It seems to me that if anything, vaccinators have the faith (in vaccines) and I don't. The November 2009 Atlantic article on flu vaccine highlights the dogma and "faith" in vaccines in the "scientific" community, such that they ostracize and ignore and defund people who produce solid evidence that vaccines don't work as promised.

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200911/brownlee-h1n1

Also, if vaccines are based on solid science, and really work, and you can demonstrate it, why the need to force people to take them? If you have a superior product, you should have no trouble getting people to take it voluntarily.

Vaccinators also ignore the natural history of epidemics. They talk as if viruses never lose virulence unless people are vaccinated, which history shows to be untrue. Scarlet fever and typhoid declined just as impressively as pertussis, even more so, without any vaccine.

http://childhealthsafety.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/us-uk-typhoid-1901-1965.gif

http://childhealthsafety.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/us-uk-scarlet-1901-1965.gif

For smallpox, polio, and meningitis the Wikipedia entry that you cite provides no evidence for its claims, no charts, but simply asserts that vaccination has eradicated them. I gave data for smallpox and polio above. I haven't any right now for meningitis but I doubt it is different. The pattern keeps repeating.

The graphs Wikipedia provides for rubella start in 1966 and 1980 . Talk about selective presentation of data, these only show 20-40 years of rubella incidence. That chart shows that we had only 24 cases per 100,000 in 1966 (which Wikipedia calls a "pandemic"-- huh, 0.042% of people having a disease is a "pandemic"?). You have to have a longer time line, like 100 or more years, as in the charts I provided, to get the full perspective.

By the way, I had German measles (rubella) when a child (about the beginning of the "pandemic") and it did not kill me. Even Wikipedia states: "This disease is often mild and attacks often pass unnoticed. The disease can last one to three days. Children recover more quickly than adults."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubella

The scare about birth defects appears overstated since 92% of rubella patients deliver normal healthy children. DANISH MEDICAL BULLETIN MARCH 1987 - WAVES Vol. 11 No. 4 p. 21. Even Wikipedia states that during the "pandemic" of 1962 to 1965, "In New York alone, CRS affected 1% of all births." 99% of all births were unaffected. Since this virus attacks the nerves, I expect the best non-vaccine prevention of CRS is a low carbohydrate diet (see my post on polio), as well as allowing childhood infection to occur.

RE animal models, show me the data.

"These topics have in fact been the topic of very sober academic debate for years and the consensus is that most vaccines are effective."

Consensus, maybe, but sober academic debate? No. You obviously have not read the Atlantic article on the flu vaccine. That article reports that debate about vaccines is taboo among "scientists."

Don said...

Also, it appears that the number of CRS (congenital rubella syndrome) cases during the 1964 "pandemic" is grossly overstated by vaccine proponents:

http://www.bmj.com/cgi/eletters/330/7500/1132#114367

Jerome said...

Don,

What do you think of this guy?

http://vimeo.com/6866611

Don said...

Jerome,

From what I can see on that video, I agree with him. Conventional medicine clearly operates as a monopoly and has many marks of religion, more than he notes. I recommend "Confessions of A Medical Heretic" by Robert Mendelson, M.D., former president of the Illinois Medical Association, for a enlightening comparison of modern medicine and religion.

Jerome said...

Whoops, I thought that video would talk more about his vaccine ideas. This interview is better:
http://vactruth.com/2009/07/21/dr-andrew-moulden-interview-what-you-were-never-told-about-vaccines/

I will definitely read "Confessions of A Medical Heretic" after I'm done with "Trick and Treat" by Barry Groves.

Marnee said...

On death rates from Polio. I am confused by this.

Merely surviving Polio is not a necessarily a good thing. It's kinda heart attack survival rates or cancer survival rates. Well that doesnt mean anything about heart attacks and cancer being less deadly or less common, it just means treatment is improved.

What was the rate of infection?

Don said...

Marnee,

Death is the worst possible outcome of infection. The worse the infection, the worse the result. Therefore, if death rates go down, this means the severity of infection went down. This means morbidity also went down. As Sandler showed in the rabbits, when they maintained normal blood sugar they maintained immunity.

Jerome,

It looks to me like Moulden has the best explanation I have seen for vaccine side effects. The photos clearly show the stroke-like effects of the vaccinations. Not really surprising, as he notes, since these viruses attack neurons. I urge everyone to take a look at his evidence.

Joanne at Open Mind Required said...

I've read about a strong correlation between the production of DDT and the incidence of polio. The polio vaccine was introduced long after polio had begun to wane, and given credit for it. But then all you have to do is diagnose it as meningitis and you have a whole new disease. Hurrah for vaccination!!!

http://www.vaclib.org/basic/polio.htm

A couple great books on the vaccination issue are The Sanctity of Human Blood: Vaccination is not Immunization by Tim O'Shea and The Poisoned Needle: Suppressed Facts about Vaccination by Eleanor McBean.