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Vaccinations don't work, apparently.

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Vaccinations don't work, apparently.
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SpasmodicMonkPosts: 2Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:26 am

Post Vaccinations don't work, apparently.

Hello all. I've been aware of this site for some time but haven't joined up until now. I couldn't think of a better place to come to ask about a discussion I've been having with a friend.

Quite simply, I'm not informed enough to argue effectively with him about the particular topic we are discussing, so before responding to his latest statement, I thought I'd see if any of you could help me out.

So, without further ado, here's the issue.

I will repost his two messages, so far. I won't bother posting my replies since they basically consisted of "Can you provide evidence of this?"

Message 1: The news recently, with respect to the swine-flu vaccine, has been pretty messed up, eg. juxtaposing "ten pregnant women died after having the vaccine tested on them" with "doctors recommend pregnant women, children and old people get the vaccine as soon as possible". In that order.

And "our goal is to vaccinate a million people in Florida by the end of the month" juxtaposed with "vaccine-injecting nurses are being threatened with firing for refusing to have the vaccine themselves because they don't think it's been adequately tested."

On other new vaccines, if you check the numbers on the cervical cancer one it looks like a pretty crappy deal - it's something like 200 women dead and 14000 hospitalised-ill out of 100000-ish (250000 doses, it's a three-dose treatment) in one year, versus 4000 women dead and 11000 diagnosed with cervical cancer out of however many million in the US. Even if the vaccine *was* 100% reliable those numbers look pretty shitty, but when you combine them with the vaccine being of uncertain reliability and only working on 2 of over 100 of the HPVs and not all cervical cancer even being correlated with the HPV, the vaccine looks like a terrible idea.

This is why doctors recommend it for other people's families but not their own!

Message 2: The cervical cancer vaccine is actually an HPV vaccine (for two HPVs of many) but it's being marketed as a preventative thing for cervical cancer. No links for the swine flu stuff I'm afraid, it was all on TV news.

The figures for the HPV vaccine were from a bunch of google searching which you'd be as able to duplicate as I would. It took a while, a lot of the results are from very early tests when it was still single-digit deaths.

As for the MMR thing, I think the autism link tends to be used as a straw man by vaccination advocates to try to make vaccine-objectors look stupid. I'm sure there are some people who think it's linked to autism (and I wouldn't bet my own money that it isn't, since it's one of those "results agree with whoever paid for the test" things), but the vaccine-objectors that I know object mostly to side-effects and ineffectiveness. For a good anti-vaccination study, a graph of measles-deaths against time, with the introduction of the vaccine marked on the graph, is pretty funny. (and the same for polio). http://www.gaia-health.com/articles/000 ... Hoax.shtml is one link that summarises that stuff.

---

So that's what he has to say.

Despite his assertion, I really don't have the time to spend hours Googling for this stuff. I did do some quick Google searches and came up pretty empty handed. As for the article that he links to... well, I'm not quite sure what to say about that. It's quite an assertion they're making, yet they do reference an actual scientific journal.

I find it hard to believe that the entire scientific community and medical sector would have been lying to us as part of a big conspiracy, yet I lack the education and information in the appropriate areas to argue rationally with this person's assertions, nor do I have the time available to me to become fully informed.

Can any of you help me out?
Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:42 am
ImprobableJoeLime TordUser avatarPosts: 6195Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 3:24 pm

Post Re: Vaccinations don't work, apparently.

Yeah... call the guy a fuckstick and move on. :lol:

Part of the problem is that any conspiracy theory crackpot will reject 100% of the evidence you present as being part of the conspiracy. You might even be accused of being employed by the conspiracy to post lies on the Internet.
Come visit my blog! There will be punch and pie!
Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:03 am
Aught3ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 4290Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:36 amLocation: New Zealand Gender: Male

Post Re: Vaccinations don't work, apparently.

Just some quick points:

You're right to ask for the evidence, he's making some wild claims - pregnant women dying in swine flu vaccine trials (for example). I haven't heard of this occurring he could at least provide a link.

The two strains of HPV that the vaccine works against are types 16 and 18 which together count for 70% of cervical cancers. Gardasil also works against 2 other types of HPV but there are different versions of this vaccine.
Wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking.
Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:12 am
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Koss42User avatarPosts: 8Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 6:44 amLocation: 127.0.0.1, Texas, The United Colonies of America

Post Re: Vaccinations don't work, apparently.

Why not ask for his links? And then give him your opinions of his research. That way all you have to do is fact check against whatever study is being referred to.
Then give your current mindset of the topic, maybe even dig up some of your own references that has persuaded you to think in this way.

He seems to be downplaying the whole autism movement thing, which is fine. At least you don't have to deal with that! If the objections is regarding effectiveness, then all you can do is dig as deeply as you can with the drug company and see if they used authentic independent labs with double blind testing procedures, etc.
Some vaccines have more success rates then others I would assume. So I really don't see the link between, what was it measles, and current issues like h1n1 or the like.

Really it is always best to be honest and upfront with the amount of understanding on an issue. You should not feel bad for stating that you simply do not know. Or you do not have sufficient evidence to give an opinion on a subject. Even more so when you do not really have the time to delve in on a topic before hand.
For every fact there is an infinity of hypotheses. ~Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, 1974
Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:22 am
GiliellUser avatarPosts: 1218Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:29 am Gender: Female

Post Re: Vaccinations don't work, apparently.

Well, as I see it he's cashing in on some healthy scepticism about a billion dollar industry.

If you take a look at the Anti-Vax thread in the Pseudoscience Board, you'll see that I'm heavily in favour of vaccination, even of mandatory vaccination.
But that doesn't mean I'm going to buy anything they tell me.

The two examples, swine flu and HPV are, to me, perfect examples of very profitable and not very well tested vaccines.

I won't take the swine flu shot yet. I'm pregnant and will be nursing soon and the data, for me, isn't sufficient to justify the risk. The swine flu is still pretty seldom here and therefore the risk of contracting it small.
Yes, I play the "exception" card. There are people who, for medical reasons, shouldn't be vaccinated and at the moment I consider myself to be one of them.


HPV is another case where I'm sceptical about the benefit/risk ratio.
I don't doubt at all that it will do what it claims: to protect women from those two types of HPV.
What makes me sceptical is the huge amount of advertising and propaganda claiming that it would protect you from cervical cancer. It doesn't.
It reduces your risk.
So far, it's not even clear how much it will reduce the risk. They don't know whether the vaccination will last for a lifetime or for 10 years. They don't know whether other types of HPV will take up the role and still cause about as much cervical cancer as we have now.
And at that point I'm very, very sceptical about draining our funds (heavily) for something where they don't know that much about and personally think that we could do much more with a fraction of the money spent on better information and more regular check-ups.


BUT, being sceptical about those two particular vaccinations doesn't mean that I have any serious objections against vaccination in general or any point to make against them. Even if it was found out that those two vaccines are totally BS, it would not make any case against long-running, thoroughly tested, well working, low risk-high benefit vaccines like Polio or MMR.
Go to heaven, we don't want you in hell with us!
Most people don't object to discrimination and oppression as such, they only object to being at the receiving end
Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:21 am
MarcusUser avatarPosts: 284Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 2:26 pmLocation: NW England

Post Re: Vaccinations don't work, apparently.

I suspect that the reasons for the HPV vaccine being marketed as a vaccine against cervical cancer are to encourage its uptake. Firstly, "cancer" is well known and feared, whereas "HPV" isn't, and the only reason the vaccine is being widely funded is due to the secondary benefit of cancer prevention rather than HPV per se. Secondly, the vaccine is being marketed to parents of young girls, and going on too much about HPV would likely lead to lower uptake among some folk, since HPV is sexually transmitted. The same idiots who think abstinence only sex ed is a good idea also claim that immunising girls against HPV is legitimising underage sex.
"Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human. At best he is a tolerable subhuman who has learned to wear shoes, bathe, and not make messes in the house." - Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love
Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:19 pm
GiliellUser avatarPosts: 1218Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:29 am Gender: Female

Post Re: Vaccinations don't work, apparently.

Well, but I'm from Germany where we care much more about youngsters practising safe sex than about abstinence. So that can't be a reason here and it IS always said that the girls should get it very young before they've had their first sex (and the age of consent is 14).
But whatever may be the motive behind the "vax against cancer", it makes me suspicous.
In advertisement for choclate, I don't care about a bit of misinformation and exaggeration. But with propper healthcare I want propper information, else to me it makes the impression of not being a real, thoroughly tested thing.
And it almost seems like choclate adds have to be more truthful...
Go to heaven, we don't want you in hell with us!
Most people don't object to discrimination and oppression as such, they only object to being at the receiving end
Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:55 pm
stratosPosts: 141Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:55 am

Post Re: Vaccinations don't work, apparently.

studying the effectiveness of vaccination is (depending on the disease) pretty hard to do. They can't just go around injecting people with it to see if the vaccination worked :)

However, the WHO (world health organisation) has a lot of info on these kinds of things, and for the most part they are unbiased yet very well informed about the subject.

A small search on their site for Gardasil and Cervarix, the two main vaccines on the market results in numerous reports and studies about them.

Most notable would perhaps be this one.
HPV PP: grading of scientific evidence (Adolescent Girls)
Which is about Cervarix, in which they conclude that there is a moderate quality of scientific evidence to support HPV vaccination of young adolescent girls to prevent cervical cancer later in life.

Moderate might sound bad, but I think they call it moderate because in those studies they can't just cause cancer in the test subjects to see if the stuff actually works.

The only source your friend gave you seems dodgy to me. They proclaim they have a different take on health, well sorry, but I rather stick with the scientific approach to health, thank you very much.
Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:31 pm
GiliellUser avatarPosts: 1218Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:29 am Gender: Female

Post Re: Vaccinations don't work, apparently.

stratos wrote:Most notable would perhaps be this one.
HPV PP: grading of scientific evidence (Adolescent Girls)
Which is about Cervarix, in which they conclude that there is a moderate quality of scientific evidence to support HPV vaccination of young adolescent girls to prevent cervical cancer later in life.



Which is why I'm sceptic about the whole thing.
What bothers me is that billions and billions of healthcare money are spent on this, a whole generation of young girls is used as guinea pigs and alltogether it's nothing but publicly doing the task of the drug companies: testing the whole bloody thing.
Even if it turns out to be a medical failure it will still be a huge comercial success.
And in a world with finite means in public healthcare I can think of better ways to spend the money.
Go to heaven, we don't want you in hell with us!
Most people don't object to discrimination and oppression as such, they only object to being at the receiving end
Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:14 pm
ElegantUniverseUser avatarPosts: 12Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:57 pmLocation: Lancashire, England

Post Re: Vaccinations don't work, apparently.

This drivel is all over YouTube, and I have a friend who believes this, along with 9/11 and NWO theories, to the point where he won't talk to me because I reject them. What can you say? Stupid is as stupid does.
My youtube channel: http://www.elegantuniverse.co.uk

I am sure many of you will be disappointed to learn that I am a fan of Baudrillard, and Postmodernity as well.
I also think astronomy is cool, and anyone who disagrees can fuck off.
Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:09 am
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stratosPosts: 141Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:55 am

Post Re: Vaccinations don't work, apparently.

Now to be honest I was never a big fan of bill maher, but this really blew my mind, how can anyone who so often makes jokes about people not believing in science be so arrogant as to not believe in science himself over this issue.

Sun Oct 11, 2009 2:35 am
FingerUser avatarPosts: 354Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:13 amLocation: California

Post Re: Vaccinations don't work, apparently.

He's a comedian and comedy is subjective. Even if he comes out on the side of science on a given issue, his reasons for being on that side in the first place are often subjective. A lot of so-called rationalists are like that.
Artist for Red Oasis
Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:07 am
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ElegantUniverseUser avatarPosts: 12Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:57 pmLocation: Lancashire, England

Post Re: Vaccinations don't work, apparently.

I have also heard Maher come out on the wrong side of the swine flu issue. Occasionally he gets it wrong, but given the alternative is the Republican lunatic fringe, I think he's a safe bet for rationalists. He thinks clearly but occasionally is undone by a lack of knowledge. Well, if anyone here is not guilty of that let me know. I'll vote for ya.
My youtube channel: http://www.elegantuniverse.co.uk

I am sure many of you will be disappointed to learn that I am a fan of Baudrillard, and Postmodernity as well.
I also think astronomy is cool, and anyone who disagrees can fuck off.
Sun Oct 11, 2009 11:54 am
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stratosPosts: 141Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:55 am

Post Re: Vaccinations don't work, apparently.

Well I actually (again) have nothing really to say on this subject, but it just seems to randomly popup for some reason.

Just saw a blog which visualises some numbers about the HPV vaccine
How Safe is the HPV vaccine?

I'm blaming synchronicity.
Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:47 pm
ImprobableJoeLime TordUser avatarPosts: 6195Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 3:24 pm

Post Re: Vaccinations don't work, apparently.

ElegantUniverse wrote:I have also heard Maher come out on the wrong side of the swine flu issue. Occasionally he gets it wrong, but given the alternative is the Republican lunatic fringe, I think he's a safe bet for rationalists. He thinks clearly but occasionally is undone by a lack of knowledge. Well, if anyone here is not guilty of that let me know. I'll vote for ya.

I've heard Maher is a libertarian, which makes him even more dangerously stupid than Republicans. I hope it isn't really true...
Come visit my blog! There will be punch and pie!
Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:18 pm
Saukko31Posts: 16Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:53 amLocation: Finland

Post Re: Vaccinations don't work, apparently.

Michael Shermer wrote an open letter to Bill Maher about his anti-vaccine position:
http://richarddawkins.net/article,4465, ... el-Shermer

Shermer himself changed his opinion about global warming, lets hope that Maher does the same with vaccinations.
Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:52 am
NogrePosts: 451Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:08 amLocation: US

Post Re: Vaccinations don't work, apparently.

Well, I took the time to look into your friend's source, and let me just say it's laughable.

First of all, they dare to mention polio and small pox in an anti-vaccine article, and these diseases (which were terrible before eradication) were eradicated because of vaccines.

Second, if you look at the scientific article quoted by the source, the scientists gave a reason why mortality rates have risen (not in the conclusion, but as part of the results), and it was because of AIDS, and to a lesser degree, pneumonia and influenza in people over 65. Furthermore, if you search the full text of the article, the word "vaccine" appears once outside references, and it's in mentioning that polio was on the rise until the vaccine was lincenced in 1955. And "vaccination" is never mentioned. Furthermore, the study's conclusion is:

Even as the 20th century closes with much reduced death rates from infectious diseases, numerous episodes as well as recent trends remind us how dynamic the factors are that influence the emergence and reemergence of infectious diseases. Infectious disease mortality did not continue to decline as one might have predicted ... in 1980. And since there is no guarantee that future trends will be stable, it remains important to be vigilant over the threats posed by microbes.


And one would probably assume that they would advocate vaccines, as it's the currently accepted practice and they never object to it (and even mention it favorably the one time they do mention it). Just a word to the wise when someone quotes a scientific article and it seems wacky: try to find the article and just take some time to read the abstract. You'll usually be able to find that they've been using scientists' research without the scientists' conclusions, which is utterly stupid, as the scientists themselves are far better qualified to interpret experimental data than a lay person.

Third, the author of the article (from what i can tell on a brief search) has been a manager in order services at a corporation involved in medical engineering, an operations analyst in similar bussiness, and a market analyst in sporting goods. It says she got an education at a college of management. She's not a scientist or a doctor; she's a manager that seems to specialize in marketing that's merely worked in medicine-related fields, so everything she's personally saying about vaccines can be rejected without serious evidence, as she doesn't have credentials higher than a high school graduate in terms of science. You can even explain her bias, as she's seen the market side of it without seeing the clinical side of it.

So...I think that pretty thoroughly debunks the source your friend tries to use. :lol:

Anyway...trying to use a vaccine to prevent cancer just seems a little...off to me. Aren't vaccines exclusively anti-viral methods to let your body develop the anti-bodies to fight a virus without seriously infecting you? So how could they be used against cancer...anyone want to explain or point me to somewhere explaining that? And this still doesn't prove anything about vaccines against actual viruses, even if it isn't effective at reducing cancer risk.

I hope this helps.
I've been trying to think more and argue less. I think we all sometimes get too caught up in answering and making arguments and forget to step back and realize that the goal isn't winning a debate. It's establishing truth.
Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:16 am
Aught3ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 4290Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:36 amLocation: New Zealand Gender: Male

Post Re: Vaccinations don't work, apparently.

Nogre wrote:Anyway...trying to use a vaccine to prevent cancer just seems a little...off to me. Aren't vaccines exclusively anti-viral methods to let your body develop the anti-bodies to fight a virus without seriously infecting you? So how could they be used against cancer...anyone want to explain or point me to somewhere explaining that?
Some viruses cause cancer. HPV (human papillomavirus) types 16 and 18 together account for 70% of cervical cancers. Viruses enter a host cell to replicate their nucleic acid, once this is done it hijacks the host cell machinery in order to make more viral proteins. In the case of HPV two genes present on the viral genome are oncogenes (onco- meaning cancer), when expressed these genes cause the cell to multiply uncontrollably. HPV 16 and 18 seem to be the worst as they are able to immortalise cell lines though it does take an additional mutation in the host cell which means they will not cause cancer in every case. The virus causes the cell to divide because in an active state of replicating its genome for division the cell also produces new virus particle much more efficiently.

Also, vaccines can be made against toxoids (e.g., diphtheria vaccine) and bacterial polysaccharides (e.g., Hib vaccine) but I think most are designed to target viruses.
Wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking.
Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:52 am
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SpasmodicMonkPosts: 2Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:26 am

Post Re: Vaccinations don't work, apparently.

I would like to thank everybody who has commented on this. I am sorry it has taken me so long to reply but life-issues have come up and I've been busy with job hunting and (hopefully successful) interviews.

I very much appreciate those who have taken the time that I did not have to read the original scientific article on which my friend's link was based. I pretty much expected that the article's conclusions would not match the original scientific study's.

The way I see it is this - if vaccinations truly didn't work then any scientist with the evidence to back up that statement could probably make millions out of releasing that story to the press and spreading the information around. Yet not one scientist has done this. So either, the scientists who have such information are part of big a conspiracy that pays them shed-loads to keep their mouths shut or such scientists do not exist. I would suspect the latter to be the case because in the former case I would expect that at least one individual (and there would truly be many if vaccines didn't actually do what they say) would succumb to their own conscience, regardless of what it cost them.
Sat Oct 24, 2009 11:02 am
ImprobableJoeLime TordUser avatarPosts: 6195Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 3:24 pm

Post Re: Vaccinations don't work, apparently.

BTW, I just got the seasonal AND swine flue vaccines, one in each arm. Let's see if I die or magically become autistic.
Come visit my blog! There will be punch and pie!
Sat Oct 24, 2009 2:13 pm
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