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"The One Study to Rule Them All" and why it would never work

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 

I saw this on a vaccine facebook site and thought they did a good job of explaining why the kind of study some NVers want is not feasible or possible.  This is a public facebook post and not a copyright violation.  Also, I have changed some of the wording to fit in with the new forum guidelines. 

 

Quote:
 Multiple studies in multiple countries using multiple research models and multiple research groups, with multiple funding sources, have found no link between vaccines and autism. This is also true for a link between vaccines and ADHD, asthma, diabetes, auto-immune disorders, and the various other conditions that anti-vaccine propagandists attempt to link to vaccinations.

Every one of these studies has been dismissed by those anti-vaccine propagandists as having the wrong funding source, the wrong research design, the wrong focus, not separating out antigens from other vaccine ingredients, separating antigens from other vaccine ingredients inappropriately, not testing this, or that or something else. 

http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/study-rule-all-the-vaccine-deniers-dream/

 

Mod note: edited by Viola to 100 words of original article and to insert link for the remainder.

post #2 of 49

You should credit the page where you got that. 

 

I think this is a very good explanation of study design. 

post #3 of 49

If my standard for giving a newborn a prophylactic pharmaceutical is xyz - you either meet the standard or you don't.

 

Perhaps you think my standard is too high?  Too bad - these are my children and I make the call. 

 

Explaining why you will not or can not reach the standard is pointless.  

 

As per "it is not one study - it is all the studies" I would agree.  I would also add that the vast majority of people have no interest or ability in sorting through all the studies.  It comes down to trust - do we trust the government and pharmaceutical companies to carry out and interpret studies in a way that is unbiased and has the safety of individuals at the forefront?  I think the answer is no.  Some of you may think it is yes - feel free to vax away and I won't.

 

Have a nice day.

post #4 of 49

That was a very long post. I didn't read it all, but this stood out to me. "You cannot use pre-existing groups who selectively vaccinate or do not vaccinate at all, because research has shown that these parents have certain differences from other parents, and those pre-existing differences would be a confounding variable in the study."

 

Studies are done on nurses all the time. Nurses are a group that are set apart from a completely random population selection. For example, they all have a certain level of education.

 

There are different reasons people don't vaccinate their kids. Many are for religious reasons. For the people who do it for health reasons, we all have our different levels of health consciousness. There are some very smart researchers who are able to take all these things into consideration. It's done all the time, actually.

 

NVIC is tired of waiting for the government to fund a vaccinated/unvaccinated study. I believe they are working on funding one themselves.

post #5 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by ma2two View Post
 

That was a very long post. I didn't read it all, but this stood out to me. "You cannot use pre-existing groups who selectively vaccinate or do not vaccinate at all, because research has shown that these parents have certain differences from other parents, and those pre-existing differences would be a confounding variable in the study."

 

Studies are done on nurses all the time. Nurses are a group that are set apart from a completely random population selection. For example, they all have a certain level of education.

 

There are different reasons people don't vaccinate their kids. Many are for religious reasons. For the people who do it for health reasons, we all have our different levels of health consciousness. There are some very smart researchers who are able to take all these things into consideration. It's done all the time, actually.

 

NVIC is tired of waiting for the government to fund a vaccinated/unvaccinated study. I believe they are working on funding one themselves.

Yeah, but if the pre-existing groups are used, some non-vaxer is still going to not like the results for the reasons stated in the original post. 

 

Although no matter how much research is done, somebody is still not going to think it's enough, or throw it out the window because they don't trust the industry that did it. shrug.gif

 

To me, the overall point seems to be that some non-vaxers are never going to be satisfied with the data. Which Kathy demonstrated very aptly in her post. 

post #6 of 49

Of course not every person is going to be satisfied with any study. That doesn't prevent studies from being done.

post #7 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by erigeron View Post
 
To me, the overall point seems to be that some non-vaxers are never going to be satisfied with the data. Which Kathy demonstrated very aptly in her post. 

:yeah

post #8 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by erigeron View Post
 

 

 

To me, the overall point seems to be that some non-vaxers are never going to be satisfied with the data. Which Kathy demonstrated very aptly in her post. 

My mind is fairly made up.  I am a "decided."  The reasons I do not vax do not only come down to studies.  I know a fair number of pro-vaxxers I would say are "decideds" as well (although some of them deny this). 

 

I would never say "never" btw - I hope to live another 50 years or so  - and who knows what I will think decades from now?

 

It is not primarily about me, though, it is about the undecideds and those who choose to vaccinate.  They deserve better studies, and a more trustworthy process of vaccine approval.

post #9 of 49
Thread Starter 

 Or as Craig Egan put it  "The truth is that most AV'ers don't actually want the One Study. They want the One Excuse. They move the goalposts so many times (It's the mercury! Oh, they took that out? It's the aluminum! It causes autism! No? How about diabetes?) that they need a magic place to park the goalposts that nobody can ever get to. It's the equivalent of only accepting that vaccines are safe and effective if we test them on unicorns." 

post #10 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by teacozy View Post
 

 Or as Craig Egan put it  "The truth is that most AV'ers don't actually want the One Study. They want the One Excuse. 

Funny, teacozy, I felt the post you linked was one big EXCUSE as to why they would not do decent testing.

post #11 of 49
nm. 
post #12 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
 

Funny, teacozy, I felt the post you linked was one big EXCUSE as to why they would not do decent testing.

 

It's not an excuse. It's the reality of how a study that the NVers want would have to be conducted. 

 

It would take hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years. You would be dead, your children would be dead, your grand children would be dead, your great grandchildren would be dead your great great great grandchildren would be dead before there would be results.

 

It would be impossible to find enough children with willing parents to include in this study.  It would never pass ethical standards because children would be exposed to diseases. I mean would you let your child be in this study?  Parents who believe vaccines protect their children would want them to get vaccines and parents who believe vaccines might harm their child would want them to get the saline. They wouldn't want their child to be in the group that gets the formaldehyde or aluminum etc. That's not the scientists fault. I certainly would never allow my child to be in this kind of study. I want him to be as protected against VPDs as he possibly can be. 

post #13 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by ma2two View Post
 

That was a very long post. I didn't read it all, but this stood out to me. "You cannot use pre-existing groups who selectively vaccinate or do not vaccinate at all, because research has shown that these parents have certain differences from other parents, and those pre-existing differences would be a confounding variable in the study."

 

Studies are done on nurses all the time. Nurses are a group that are set apart from a completely random population selection. For example, they all have a certain level of education.

 

There are different reasons people don't vaccinate their kids. Many are for religious reasons. For the people who do it for health reasons, we all have our different levels of health consciousness. There are some very smart researchers who are able to take all these things into consideration. It's done all the time, actually.

 

NVIC is tired of waiting for the government to fund a vaccinated/unvaccinated study. I believe they are working on funding one themselves.

 

It's not about the two groups being different from each other, it's about the two groups being different from each other.  The vaxed/unvaxed study wouldn't be like comparing one group of nurses to another, it would be like trying to determine if a certain supplement prevents wait gain by giving it to a group of nurses and giving a placebo to a group of programmers and having them all eat the same diet and seeing how much on average each group has gained/lost at the end.  When it turns out that the nurses are doing better for losing weight/avoiding weight gain, is it safe to conclude that the supplement could be working?  Or could it have something to do with one group being on their feet all day at work while the other sits in front of a computer?

 

You can't conclude much about an individual by knowing if they vax or not, there are certainly some non-vaxers who sit their kids in front of a TV all and feed them nothing but junk, and there are plenty of vaxing on schedule families who only have healthy food in the home, eat all organic, limit screen time and get their kids outside playing.  However, most people vax, including both those otherwise cruchy families and those families whose kids sit in front of the TV eating candy all day.  There is a certain ideology that goes along with anti-vaxing, and in general I think we'd find that anti-vaxing famillies are more likely than the general vaxing population to have a parent at home, limit screen time, limit junk food, keep their kids fairly active, etc. 

 

So, if the unaxing group do end up having, say, less hayfever, is that because they don't get vaccines?  Or is that because the kids in this group on average happen to spend more time outside breathing fresh air and have more exposure to animals? If one group shows to be slightly ahead in learning, is that because of the vaccine, or because one group has less screen time and more parental involvement in reading. 

 

When you randomize things, you hope that these variables will be fairly balanced between the two groups.  When one of the group is a group because they have a different lifestyle in general than the public, it is difficult to tell what difference one small part of that lifestyle makes and what is caused by other aspects. 

 

Who would be willing to sign their kids up for this study?  I doubt it would be easy to find anti-vaxers to agree to have their kids injected with substance they don't know what is, and most people who are already satisfied that the current science shows vaccines to be safer than disease are going to be reluctant agree to let their kid possibly get a placebo rather than a vaccine and end up with a disease that could have been prevented. 

post #14 of 49

I have to investigate this as a potential copyright violation.  I didn't see the source linked, so we can't tell if the author gave permission for the work to be freely copied.  I am going to lock this thread for now.

 

Update:  I did edit the content for length, and also inserted a link where the author is credited.

 

The article did appear on Dr. TenPenny-the Woo is not Enough site, and he said feel free to share, but I am thinking he meant share his page.  It also appeared on a blog, which makes the source clearer and which I inserted in the OP's post.  It was written by Allison Hagood who may be a contributor to the facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/DrTenpennyTheWooIsNotEnough/posts/368768039905393

In any event, you can visit either link to find the full text.
 

post #15 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pers View Post
 

 

It's not about the two groups being different from each other, it's about the two groups being different from each other.  The vaxed/unvaxed study wouldn't be like comparing one group of nurses to another, it would be like trying to determine if a certain supplement prevents wait gain by giving it to a group of nurses and giving a placebo to a group of programmers and having them all eat the same diet and seeing how much on average each group has gained/lost at the end.  When it turns out that the nurses are doing better for losing weight/avoiding weight gain, is it safe to conclude that the supplement could be working?  Or could it have something to do with one group being on their feet all day at work while the other sits in front of a computer?

 

You can't conclude much about an individual by knowing if they vax or not, there are certainly some non-vaxers who sit their kids in front of a TV all and feed them nothing but junk, and there are plenty of vaxing on schedule families who only have healthy food in the home, eat all organic, limit screen time and get their kids outside playing.  However, most people vax, including both those otherwise cruchy families and those families whose kids sit in front of the TV eating candy all day.  There is a certain ideology that goes along with anti-vaxing, and in general I think we'd find that anti-vaxing famillies are more likely than the general vaxing population to have a parent at home, limit screen time, limit junk food, keep their kids fairly active, etc. 

 

So, if the unaxing group do end up having, say, less hayfever, is that because they don't get vaccines?  Or is that because the kids in this group on average happen to spend more time outside breathing fresh air and have more exposure to animals? If one group shows to be slightly ahead in learning, is that because of the vaccine, or because one group has less screen time and more parental involvement in reading. 

 

When you randomize things, you hope that these variables will be fairly balanced between the two groups.  When one of the group is a group because they have a different lifestyle in general than the public, it is difficult to tell what difference one small part of that lifestyle makes and what is caused by other aspects. 

 

Who would be willing to sign their kids up for this study?  I doubt it would be easy to find anti-vaxers to agree to have their kids injected with substance they don't know what is, and most people who are already satisfied that the current science shows vaccines to be safer than disease are going to be reluctant agree to let their kid possibly get a placebo rather than a vaccine and end up with a disease that could have been prevented. 

 

:yeah

 

Also "Who would be willing to sign their kids up for this study?  I doubt it would be easy to find anti-vaxers to agree to have their kids injected with substance they don't know what is, and most people who are already satisfied that the current science shows vaccines to be safer than disease are going to be reluctant agree to let their kid possibly get a placebo rather than a vaccine and end up with a disease that could have been prevented. " 

 

I'm curious as well.  Would anyone here sign their child up for this study? If not, then you see why this is kind of study could never happen. 

post #16 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by teacozy View Post
 

I'm curious as well.  Would anyone here sign their child up for this study? If not, then you see why this is kind of study could never happen. 

 

I've never heard or read of an "anti-vaxer" or a person questioning vaccines asking for such a study to be done. The only discussions of that type of study have been from pro-vaxers using it as an excuse for why the health of vaccinated and unvaccinated children has not been compared in a large study, and should not be compared in a large study, and can never be compared in a large study.

post #17 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by ma2two View Post
 

 

I've never heard or read of an "anti-vaxer" or a person questioning vaccines asking for such a study to be done. The only discussions of that type of study have been from pro-vaxers using it as an excuse for why the health of vaccinated and unvaccinated children has not been compared in a large study, and should not be compared in a large study, and can never be compared in a large study.

 

Agreed.  I don't think most people expect parents to let their children to be assigned to random groups with regard to vaccines.  

 

 It is assumed the unvaxxed children in any such study will be unvaxxed by parental choice. 

 

This whole idea that scientists should not do a study becasue a rather small percentage of the population will not accept it is preposterous.  It sounds remarkably close to an abdication of authority; it is not an arguement I would be making if I were a pro-vaxxer. 

post #18 of 49

I do see the occasional call for a double-blind, randomized study on vaccines, which is the process described in teacozy's post.  It's definitely true that you can't do a study by comparing routinely vaccinated children to children who are unvaccinated due to parental choice, because other lifestyle factors will confuse the results.  Personally, I wouldn't accept randomization to a group that might not be vaccinated, and couldn't have access to injected medications outside the study.  Being in the study at all would take away my ability to be selective about what vaccines we did and didn't get, and there have been some local outbreaks of VPDs where I'd want to know whether my kids were vaxed or not.  For example, there were a few local cases of measles, and if my kids had potentially been exposed, I would absolutely want to know whether they were vaccinated.

 

Generally, if you're doing a medical study, and you discover that the thing you're testing has either a definite benefit in the study, you're supposed to call a halt to the double-blind process, tell the patients whether they received the study drug or not, and offer them the study drug if they would benefit from it.  This was a major issue with HIV treatments.  If you discover that the thing you're testing causes definite harm, you can't just carry on, you have to stop the study, disclose to the patients, and stop treatment.  If you believe that vaccines cause harm, you wouldn't, ethically, be able to administer them to *any* children.  Conversely, if you believe that vaccines cause benefit (look how few cases of diptheria there are these days!), you can't deny the vaccines to a portion of the children.

 

So the randomized, double-blind studies will never happen.  Other studies have happened, and more other studies will happen.  I agree though, that no matter how much evidence is amassed, some people will never accept it.

post #19 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
 

This whole idea that scientists should not do a study becasue a rather small percentage of the population will not accept it is preposterous. 

I agree. Nobody was arguing this though. Studies aren't done to make particular impressions on non-scientists. And nobody is using the fact that this One Study can't exist as an excuse to avoid doing further research. This post was an attempt to explain to non-scientist non-vaxers why certain types of studies cannot be conducted. (I would assume that non-vaxers who have a background in science would be aware of these principles already.) And it's not just about randomization, either; even if you did a study comparing kids of non-vaxers to the kids of pro-vaxers who otherwise have similar lifestyle choices, it's also the issue of this additive vs that additive vs saline vs any shot at all. It's also the issue of ethics; it is not considered ethical to withhold the standard of care from patients, and vaccines are the standard of care. It's also the issue of the size of groups necessary to show a difference between groups. It's a whole lot of different issues. That is the point of this original post: to outline the different issues. To try to give a little insight into what is involved in scientific research. Set your personal standards wherever you want as to what evidence you will accept, but if you choose to set them in a place so high that scientific research can't reach, it's disingenuous to blame science because you can't understand or don't want to understand or just don't care about how research is conducted and its limitations. 

post #20 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by erigeron View Post
 

I agree. Nobody was arguing this though. Studies aren't done to make particular impressions on non-scientists. And nobody is using the fact that this One Study can't exist as an excuse to avoid doing further research. This post was an attempt to explain to non-scientist non-vaxers why certain types of studies cannot be conducted. (I would assume that non-vaxers who have a background in science would be aware of these principles already.) And it's not just about randomization, either; even if you did a study comparing kids of non-vaxers to the kids of pro-vaxers who otherwise have similar lifestyle choices, it's also the issue of this additive vs that additive vs saline vs any shot at all. It's also the issue of ethics; it is not considered ethical to withhold the standard of care from patients, and vaccines are the standard of care. It's also the issue of the size of groups necessary to show a difference between groups. It's a whole lot of different issues. That is the point of this original post: to outline the different issues. To try to give a little insight into what is involved in scientific research. Set your personal standards wherever you want as to what evidence you will accept, but if you choose to set them in a place so high that scientific research can't reach, it's disingenuous to blame science because you can't understand or don't want to understand or just don't care about how research is conducted and its limitations. 

Blame science?

 

I was saying the original post read like an excuse as to why certain types of studies weren't done and you say it is not an excuse, it is limitations.   

 

The bottom line, though, is…it doesn't matter.

 

Do you really think non-vaxxers or even many selective/delayeds are going to go "Oh, I get it now - it can't be done!  Sign me up for vaccines!"  Doubtful.  Lack of information is still lack of information.  

 

As an aside, the "can't understand" thing is insulting.  I am not sure if you are talking to me or talking in general - but it is insulting either way - and somewhat beneath you.    


People can interpret and focus on different things in a post - that does not mean they "can't or don't understand."  The initial post was hardly rocket science.  

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