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What is the proof that vaccines work?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

I get that it sounds like a silly question. It seems a simple answer:

 

1. Disease rates go down when vaccination rates go up.

 

2. Vaccinated individuals contract VPD's much less than a non-vaccinated person.

 

Is there any more to it? I am aware of antibody testing as well. I guess what I'm looking for is the evidence that you and I can tell they work. Is there more evidence than the above two statements?


Edited by littlec - 7/20/12 at 10:25am
post #2 of 24

I am sure , there are a lot more , but even those to facts are good enough for me thumb.gif

post #3 of 24

I'm not sure what sort of evidence beyond that you would be looking for?  

 

New vaccines are tested against a placebo in randomized double-blind tests.  That really  fits under your second point of evidence that vaccinated people get the disease less often, but it's a bit more controlled than surveillance studies and investigation of outbreaks, I guess.  

 

Or, it still fits under your second point, but testing of animal vaccines go a step beyond that by deliberately exposing animals to the disease.  This can also be done, to some extent, with vaccines for diseases that can be passed back and forth between animals and humans.  The 2009 pandemic H1N1 vaccine was tested this way in ferrets.

post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by pers View Post

I'm not sure what sort of evidence beyond that you would be looking for?  

 

New vaccines are tested against a placebo in randomized double-blind tests.  That really  fits under your second point of evidence that vaccinated people get the disease less often, but it's a bit more controlled than surveillance studies and investigation of outbreaks, I guess.  

 

Or, it still fits under your second point, but testing of animal vaccines go a step beyond that by deliberately exposing animals to the disease.  This can also be done, to some extent, with vaccines for diseases that can be passed back and forth between animals and humans.  The 2009 pandemic H1N1 vaccine was tested this way in ferrets.

 

Very well said.

 

 

And in addition to this,  non-vaccinated person are more at risk when their is an occurence of a disease that could have been prevented if they had been vaccinated.

post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by pers View Post

New vaccines are tested against a placebo in randomized double-blind tests.  That really  fits under your second point of evidence that vaccinated people get the disease less often, but it's a bit more controlled than surveillance studies and investigation of outbreaks, I guess.  

Really? Are you sure about that?

 

What kinds of things do they use for the "placebos?" Do the tests show that the people getting the "placebos" get the disease at a higher rate? Can you provide links? These types of clinical trials don't last very long. So I don't see how, without purposely exposing the people to the disease, which they wouldn't be allowed to do, that they could determine the "unvaccinated" people get the disease more often.


Edited by ma2two - 7/22/12 at 11:08pm
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlec View Post

I get that it sounds like a silly question. It seems a simple answer:

 

1. Disease rates go down when vaccination rates go up.

 

2. Vaccinated individuals contract VPD's much less than a non-vaccinated person.

 

 

 

I thought correlation did not equal causation?  At least, that's what vaccine defenders say when a parent says that their child regressed developmentally immediately after vaccines and was later diagnosed with autism.  

 

If you argue that autism rates have gone up as vaccination rates have gone up, then how can your assertion #1 be a valid argument?

post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bokonon View Post

 

I thought correlation did not equal causation?  At least, that's what vaccine defenders say when a parent says that their child regressed developmentally immediately after vaccines and was later diagnosed with autism.  

 

If you argue that autism rates have gone up as vaccination rates have gone up, then how can your assertion #1 be a valid argument?

 

Correlation does not equal causation - it requires a plausible physical explanation as well. With vaccine trials, the plausible explanation is there. Scientists understand the mechanism by which vaccines can induce an immunity reponse without getting the person sick, and that this "trains" the immune systems to react more vigourously when exposed to the full disease. 

 

Time again it has been shown there are ways to develop autism without vaccines, and that autism rates are not well correlated with vaccination take up (e.g. different rates in different countries with similar vaccination programs). So the physical link does not exist.

post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by prosciencemum View Post
Time again it has been shown there are ways to develop autism without vaccines, and that autism rates are not well correlated with vaccination take up (e.g. different rates in different countries with similar vaccination programs). So the physical link does not exist.

Also , when saying , that autism rates have gone up , we always have to remember , that the way children are being checked for problems , have really advanced and many children , that may have been considered simply " misbehaving " ( I am not just talking about autism now ) a few years or decades ago , are now being looked at from a totally different angle

post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 

 If  disease rate declines and the fact that vaccinated individuals come down with the VPD less frequently than unvaccinated are accurate assessments of vaccine effectiveness, then I think it's safe to conclude the Pertussis vaccine no longer works. If I'm wrong, please help me understand.

 

 

From the CDC Pink Book:

Pertussis incidence has been gradually increasing since the early 1980s. A total of 25,827 cases was reported in 2004, the largest number since 1959. The reasons for the increase are not clear.

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/pert.html

 

I'm not familiar with this site, but I read most of the links- they are just news reports discussing pertussis outbreaks among vaccinated individuals and areas with high vaccine coverage:

 

http://www.dailypaul.com/167931/a-collection-of-mainstream-news-reports-and-studies-exploding-the-whooping-cough-vaccine-myth

 

 

Our results indicate that children ages 5-6 years and possibly younger, ages 2-3 years, play a role as silent reservoirs in the transmission of pertussis in the community. More studies are needed to find the immunologic basis of protection against infection and colonization and thus an effective way to eradicate pertussis.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/414768_3

 

Vaccination Coverage over the last 30 years or so shows that the coverage has been high, between 94-96% since 1994:

http://apps.who.int/ghodata/?vid=80100

 

 

Disease Rates:

http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/surv-reporting.html

 

Year Reported Cases*
2000 7,867
2001 7,580
2002 9,771
2003 11,647
2004 25,827
2005 25,616
2006 15,632
2007 10,454
2008 13,278
2009 16,858
2010 27,550
2011** 15,216

*Total reported cases include those with unknown age.
**2011 data are provisional

post #10 of 24

As I understand it, Pertusiss is a complicated case. It was a challenge to make the vaccination for, and makes us sick with a lot of different triggers than (e.g.) diptheria, or other bacterial toxins (this was covered in one of the videos of that vaccine course I watched earlier today). I have also heard it's changing fast, and it's hard for the vaccine researchers to keep up. Dropping uptake of the vaccination in certain areas is not helping either (nor is totally to blame). It's not exactly the poster child for success of vaccinations, but the vaccination at least appears to be better than nothing in terms of protecting against pertussis. 

 

At least that's how I understand the situation with pertussis. 

post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ma2two View Post

Really? Are you sure about that?

 

What kinds of things do they use for the "placebos?" Do the tests show that the people getting the "placebos" get the disease at a higher rate? Can you provide links? These types of clinical trials don't last very long. So I don't see how, without purposely exposing the people to the disease, which they wouldn't be allowed to do, that they could determine the "unvaccinated" people get the disease more often.

 

 

Yes, I am sure about that. Here is a page that describes the vaccine development process and the phases of vaccine trials.  As the page mentions, while the placebo can be something innocuous such as saline solution, often it is tested against another vaccine.  I understand why people may object to this for safety testing since the other vaccine could be causing the same bad reactions, but when testing for efficacy, it doesn't really matter much whether the placebo is saline or the rabies vaccine unless we're going to consider that the rabies vaccine is magically protecting against HIV or some disease it wasn't designed to - extremely unlikely.  

 

For very rare diseases such as tetanus and rabies, yes it would be hard to test them against natural exposure.  I'm not  sure how those are handled, but I'm guessing evidence supporting them relies mainly on animal tests,  tests of antibodies after vaccination in humans, and long term observation of vaccinated populations.  These are the only two vaccines I can think of off the top of my head for which this would be a problem. Oh, and smallpox vaccine, if they ever try to make a safer one.  

 

For most vaccines though, the diseases were common enough pre-vaccine that reasonably large studies could have enough exposure to see a significant difference (or lack there of) of disease between the vaccinated group and the placebo group. 

 

I am talking about vaccines for diseases not previously vaccinated for, by the way.  A new measles vaccine would be tested against existing measles vaccine (still in double-blind tests) as it is considered unethical to give a placebo when there exists a vaccine known to be effective.  There have been relatively recent tests of different measles vaccines in areas where measles is still endemic... there has also been a fair amount of controversy over at least one of these tests as the parents of children enrolled may not have been fully informed :(   I think (but am not sure) that the procedure is also different for combination vaccines that combine vaccines that were already known to be effective rather than entirely new vaccines.  

 

A few examples:

 

Here is a really long but interesting paper on the creation and testing of the Salk vaccine, including background information on polio and other vaccine attempts.  Discussion of designing the trial begins on page 8, and description of the final design on page 13.  There were over 450,000 children in the double-blind placebo study.  There was also a non-blind study of over 560,000 children where 220,000 or so were given the vaccine and the rest served as controls.  The results showed that while cases of polio still occurred in the vaccinated group, the rate of infection was less than half the rate of infection in both the placebo and the control group.  Also, the disease was more severe in the control group - none of the vaccinated children died of polio, but there were fifteen fatal cases in the control groups.  The numbers are at the bottom of page 19 & top of 20.  The placebo used was a saline injection. 

 

Here is a brief description of the random  double blind trial for an HIV vaccine that unfortunately revealed that it was not effective.

 

Section 14 of this document describes pre-license trials of Rotarix.  

 

The clinical evaluation section of this gives a brief description a double-blind placebo trial of a HIB vaccine and its results.  

 

Abstract discussing a double blind trial of inactivated measles vaccine alone and inactivated measles vaccine + live measles vaccine against a placebo in the early '60s.  

 

Zostavax package insert (shingles vaccine). Section 14, which begins near the bottom of page 8, outlines the clinical trials.  

 

Prevnar7 package insert.  Clinical evaluation begins on page 3.  This one mentions that a MenC vaccine was used as the control in the US study and HepB vaccine in Finland.  

post #12 of 24

The short anwer is yes, what's not clear is at what cost.

post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaMunchkin View Post

The short anwer is yes, what's not clear is at what cost.

In other words, there is NOT clear and compelling evidence that the risks of vaccines outweigh the benefits. In fact, the opposite is true.
post #14 of 24

Quote:

Originally Posted by MamaMunchkin View Post

The short anwer is yes, what's not clear is at what cost.

 

Originally Posted by marsupial-mom View Post


In other words, there is NOT clear and compelling evidence that the risks of vaccines outweigh the benefits. In fact, the opposite is true.

 

It's also - not - clear that the benefits outweigh the risks.  Some of us are in the process of figuring out if 'the opposite is true' is true/false/unknown/unknowable at this point.


Edited by MamaMunchkin - 8/25/12 at 3:27pm
post #15 of 24

Actually, new vaccines are not tested against a placebo, they are tested against an existing vaccine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pers View Post

 

New vaccines are tested against a placebo in randomized double-blind tests.  That really  fits under your second point of evidence that vaccinated people get the disease less often, but it's a bit more controlled than surveillance studies and investigation of outbreaks, I guess.  

 

post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookietooth View Post

Actually, new vaccines are not tested against a placebo, they are tested against an existing vaccine.

 

Some have been tested against just saline or some against  a different non-vaccine such as an injection with just a bit of adjuvant so it will have the same sting to prevent the subject from being able to tell if they have had the vaccine or the placebo.  While I understand the objection to using another vaccine (or even the just adjuvant injection) for safety, as far as effectiveness testing goes, it functions as a placebo since unless somehow the rabies vaccine prevented HIV or whatever.  See my previous post in this thread just a few posts up from this one. 

post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by marsupial-mom View Post


In other words, there is NOT clear and compelling evidence that the risks of vaccines outweigh the benefits. In fact, the opposite is true.

For myself, my children, and thousands and thousands of others who have had serious adverse reactions to vaccines, the risks outweighed the benefits--and we can never, ever take back our foolish decision to vaccinate.

 

Neither can the 2000 people whose brain damage was admitted to be vaccine-induced by the US government, nor the 40+ people whose vaccine-induced autoimmune disorders were admitted by the US government to be caused by vaccines.  

 

Of course, as long as the pharmaceutical industry continues their massive effort to cover up the evidence of such reactions, there will be people who continue to believe that such reactions are rare and therefore acceptable.

 

They are not nearly as rare as you think, and they are not acceptable.

post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by pers View Post

 

Some have been tested against just saline or some against  a different non-vaccine such as an injection with just a bit of adjuvant so it will have the same sting to prevent the subject from being able to tell if they have had the vaccine or the placebo.  While I understand the objection to using another vaccine (or even the just adjuvant injection) for safety, as far as effectiveness testing goes, it functions as a placebo since unless somehow the rabies vaccine prevented HIV or whatever.  See my previous post in this thread just a few posts up from this one. 

As long as it contains ANYTHING that could (and does) have a harmful effect on a subgroup of people, it is not a placebo, and no amount of twisting the truth will make it one.  Saying that "it functions as a placebo" does not minimize the harmful effects; it just confuses people into believing so.

post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taximom5 View Post

As long as it contains ANYTHING that could (and does) have a harmful effect on a subgroup of people, it is not a placebo, and no amount of twisting the truth will make it one.  Saying that "it functions as a placebo" does not minimize the harmful effects; it just confuses people into believing so.

 

Once again, I understand the objections to testing against another vaccine in regards to vaccine safety.  But this thread was not asking if vaccines were safe, it was asking if vaccines work.  Is there any reason to believe or suspect that the rabies vaccine is any better than saline solution at preventing HIV, dengue fever, or any other disease unrelated to rabies?  Has it ever been used with intent to prevent or treat these things?  No? Then it can function as a placebo for testing how effective an HIV vaccine or dengue fever vaccine is.  

post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taximom5 View Post

For myself, my children, and thousands and thousands of others who have had serious adverse reactions to vaccines, the risks outweighed the benefits--and we can never, ever take back our foolish decision to vaccinate.

Neither can the 2000 people whose brain damage was admitted to be vaccine-induced by the US government, nor the 40+ people whose vaccine-induced autoimmune disorders were admitted by the US government to be caused by vaccines.  

Of course, as long as the pharmaceutical industry continues their massive effort to cover up the evidence of such reactions, there will be people who continue to believe that such reactions are rare and therefore acceptable.

They are not nearly as rare as you think, and they are not acceptable.

I 100% agree
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