can causation be established where vaccinne reactions are concerned? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 07-31-2014, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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can causation be established where vaccinne reactions are concerned?

My hunch is "no."

There is no definitive test that clearly shows a vaccine reaction.

Statements such as "correlation is not causation" are frequently made on MDC. On face value it is true - correlation is not causation. Everybody but the most green noob (said with love) knows this.

When you analise the statement, though, one realises how simplistic and borderline wrong it is.

1. It implies correlation is nothing - which is not true. There are strong and weak correlations, many scientific breakthroughs in medicine were first noted as correlations, etc.

2. It implies that causation is the important thing - the bar - the standard. Here is the catch, though: causation in many disciplines, and probably vaccine reactions, is impossible to prove.

Those who have set the bar at causation or even "proof" for vaccine reactions have set the bar at a level that is unreachable.

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#2 of 19 Old 07-31-2014, 06:12 PM
 
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This site is by young women with their stories! No babies but those who can and do speak about their reactions - http://sanevax.org
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#3 of 19 Old 07-31-2014, 08:08 PM
 
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So why should the bar for declaring vaccine reactions be set high?

I'm also wondering if drug reactions are being denied, too? In Pharmageddon, David Healy mentions that it is getting harder to publish case reports of adverse effects from drugs. He points out that this is actually harmful to pharma, as many uses for drugs were actually originally identified as adverse reactions...
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#4 of 19 Old 07-31-2014, 08:11 PM
 
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This debate is very interesting. WHO is redoing their rules about how adverse events are recognized and various doctors are challenging the new rules as making it IMPOSSIBLE to ever identify an adverse event in a developing country. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2...m24021304_2587
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#5 of 19 Old 08-01-2014, 02:17 PM
 
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There is a double standard. Correlation does not equal causation--except when we're selling pharmaceutical products such as medications and vaccines.
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#6 of 19 Old 08-01-2014, 05:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Taximom5 View Post
There is a double standard. Correlation does not equal causation--except when we're selling pharmaceutical products such as medications and vaccines.
I've actually seen examples of that in the real world.

outbreak of whooping cough. Rates rise (lots of diagnoses, big noise, big vaccine push). Please remember that the incidence of whooping cough goes up and then it goes down. Please also note that doctors are more likely to diagnose whooping cough when they are being reminded that it is going around and less likely to diagnose it when they are told that the rate is ebbing.

Okay, now that I've laid the groundwork, the year AFTER such an outbreak you'll see articles claiming that vaccines played an important role in causing the decrease in whooping cough in the following year. Generally, in such articles, there won't be a mention of the fact that this is a cyclical illness.

Correlation sure doesn't equal causation unless it supports vaccines as a solution to the problem.
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#7 of 19 Old 08-01-2014, 05:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Deborah View Post

Correlation sure doesn't equal causation unless it supports vaccines as a solution to the problem.


Such a double standard! I also like how they warn against the use of vitamins and alternative therapies, as if they were more dangerous than pharmaceuticals.

 
 
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#8 of 19 Old 08-01-2014, 07:00 PM
 
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Dr. Puliyel, of India, is very concerned by the idea that for an adverse event or death to be acknowledged you have to understand the mechanism. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2...2584_3553:eek:
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#9 of 19 Old 08-02-2014, 06:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I read both the link in post 4, as well as post 8 - and I encourage others to do the same. It paints quite the picture.

In post four the link says that WHO is proposing a new algorithm for establishing causality after an adverse event. In post 8, Dr. Puliyel expands on how the new algorith will not pick up on adverse events the way the older one did:

"Williams and colleagues Williams SE, 2013 suggest that the first step in the general approach to evaluating serious AEFI is to establish a clear diagnosis using Brighton Collaboration case definitions.
The second step is to consider known biological mechanisms.
Neither of these would have been evident when the intussusceptions signal was picked up by the old scheme (and the vaccine was withdrawn expeditiously preventing unnecessary distress to thousands of babies). Even today although a case definition has been developed for ‘intussusceptions’, the biological mechanism is not clearly defined and so the second step described by Williams et al cannot be completed.
It was reported recently that Pentavalent vaccine (DPT co-administered with measles vaccine (MV) and yellow fever (YF) vaccine) is associated with increased mortality compared to MV + YF alone Fisker AB, 2014. It is pertinent to mention that the biological mechanisms involved are not understood.
Neither is the biological mechanism for increased female mortality in recipients of the high-titer Edmonston-Zagreb vaccine known, although this was first noticed 2 decades ago. < PMID: 8237989>, Aaby P, 1993."

Both posts are a great read, as are the comments underneath them.

It may seem, that at least on a global scale, the intention is to make the declaration of an adverse reaction harder to make rather than easier.

Dr. Puliyel cocludes with a request to keep the old assessment scheme until a better one can be found, and says this:

"For all these reasons it would appear that the new algorithm is not a comprehensive means to assess serious adverse events. Its use will delay withdrawal of vaccines that result in serious AEFI and in the end it will erode confidence in the entire immunization programme and those who administer it."
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#10 of 19 Old 08-02-2014, 06:12 PM
 
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...and in the end it will erode confidence in the entire immunization programme and those who administer it.
Which is exactly what is occurring in the US with the continual downplaying of vaccine reactions, to the point where people are actually attacked for describing a vaccine reaction.
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#11 of 19 Old 08-03-2014, 05:01 AM
 
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I think you are on the wrong track here. Some of what you say is easy to refute. Saying correlation is not causation does not imply that correlation is nothing, correlation is something else. Causation is not impossible to prove. Causation is not unreachable. After all, vaccines cause immunity in most cases, immunity is a reaction to vaccines in many of the vaccinated.


I think you were on the right track with the precautionary principle and how as a practical matter the best policy is to sometime rely on evidence that falls short of proof of causation. We use different standards of evidence in different situations.


can causation be established where vaccinne reactions are concerned?


Immunity is a reaction (a reaction that happens in many or most cases) than can be established. Causation of a skin puncture and red spot for a shot can be established.
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#12 of 19 Old 08-03-2014, 08:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by tadamsmar View Post

1. I think you are on the wrong track here. Some of what you say is easy to refute. Saying correlation is not causation does not imply that correlation is nothing, correlation is something else. Causation is not impossible to prove. Causation is not unreachable. After all, vaccines cause immunity in most cases, immunity is a reaction to vaccines in many of the vaccinated.


2. I think you were on the right track with the precautionary principle and how as a practical matter the best policy is to sometime rely on evidence that falls short of proof of causation. We use different standards of evidence in different situations.


3. can causation be established where vaccinne reactions are concerned?


Immunity is a reaction (a reaction that happens in many or most cases) than can be established. Causation of a skin puncture and red spot for a shot can be established.
Numbered for ease.

1. You didn't refute my position. You simply made contrary statements. In order to know whether or not vaccine reactions can be listed as causal and whether vaccines can cause immunity, we need to apply criteria.

Hills criteria:

"Sir Bradford Hill established the following nine criteria for causation (does factor A cause disorder B). Although developed for use in the field of occupational medicine, these criteria can be used in most situations.

Strength of the association. How large is the effect?

The consistency of the association. Has the same association been observed by others, in different populations, using a different method?

Specificity. Does altering only the cause alter the effect?

Temporal relationship. Does the cause precede the effect?

Biological gradient. Is there a dose response?

Biological plausibility. Does it make sense?

Coherence. Does the evidence fit with what is known regarding the natural history and biology of the outcome?

Experimental evidence. Are there any clinical studies supporting the association?

Reasoning by analogy. Is the observed association supported by similar associations?

http://meds.queensu.ca/medicine/obgy..._causation.htm

2. Agreed.

3. I think you might be able to prove causation with puncture=red dot but I disagree (rather strongly) that you can prove vaccination causes immunity. You might be able to show strong correlation between reduction in a particualr disease and vaccination, but that is not the same thing as causation. I kind of doubt you can prove causality between a vaccine and disease reduction, but if you want to take a crack at it using Hill's criteria (which hopefully everyone accepts, at least for the purpose of this thread) go for it. I might try myself a little later today.
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#13 of 19 Old 08-03-2014, 08:06 AM
 
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The philosopher David Hume argued that cause was really nothing more than correlation.


Of course, part of what we mean when we say we are establishing the cause is to reduce things to a more fundamental explanation in terms of (for instance) physics or chemistry. But Hume argued that even at the level of physics, the concept of cause amounted to nothing more than observations that one thing followed another.
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#14 of 19 Old 08-03-2014, 09:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by tadamsmar View Post
The philosopher David Hume argued that cause was really nothing more than correlation.


Of course, part of what we mean when we say we are establishing the cause is to reduce things to a more fundamental explanation in terms of (for instance) physics or chemistry. But Hume argued that even at the level of physics, the concept of cause amounted to nothing more than observations that one thing followed another.
As a student of history, I've observed that those who control the narrative control what most people believe.

Hence the very loud noise about the benefits of vaccines and the equally loud noise about the "safety" of vaccines. But of course I can't actually demonstrate that the vaccine enthusiasts control the narrative, because all that we have is that one thing follows another...
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#15 of 19 Old 08-03-2014, 02:32 PM
 
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As a student of history, I've observed that those who control the narrative control what most people believe.

Hence the very loud noise about the benefits of vaccines and the equally loud noise about the "safety" of vaccines. But of course I can't actually demonstrate that the vaccine enthusiasts control the narrative, because all that we have is that one thing follows another...

I think communicable disease controls the narrative ultimately.
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#16 of 19 Old 08-03-2014, 02:33 PM
 
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I think communicable disease controls the narrative ultimately.
Mono and lice comes to mind for me, but ultimately I think it's more about FEAR overall that controls the narrative.
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#17 of 19 Old 08-03-2014, 04:25 PM
 
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I think communicable disease controls the narrative ultimately.
People influence communicable disease in a myriad of ways.

Overcrowding...can usually be controlled.

Malnutrition...if you exclude wars and famines this has to do with economics and social structures which human beings can change if the will exists

Circulation of illness...hand-washing to quarantine, there are plenty of ways to reduce the spread of infectious illness

Throughout most of history, more people died of infectious illnesses in time of war than were killed by combat. Two factors that are really obvious--large numbers of people moving around spread illnesses into less immune populations AND war means malnutrition and overcrowding.

Vaccine deficiency isn't really what it is all about, even when you are talking morbidity and it definitely isn't all that important when you are talking mortality.
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#18 of 19 Old 08-05-2014, 02:49 PM
 
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For any individual case? No, not without a shadow of a doubt. I mean, fever is a known reaction to vaccines, so if your kid gets a fever shortly after a vaccine, it's probably safe to assume that it was from the vaccine. But at the same time, not every kid gets a fever after every vaccine, and kids do get fevers from other causes which are not going to stop just because they got a vaccine for something else, so some of those fevers must be coincidental and not caused by the vaccine at all. No real way to know which ones though. But still, while we may not know for any individual case for sure if it was the vaccine or not, we still do know that vaccines commonly cause fevers.

Looking at large groups and finding out if reactions are more common after vaccinations than at other times can give you an idea if vaccines can actually cause something. Like say, if a study were to look at infants who had unexpected seizures the week before getting a vaccine compared to the week after, and if the number was significantly higher the week after, that wouldn't be absolute proof that a vaccine was causing them, but it would be a strong clue that there is a connection. (that actual study would be flawed though unless it figured out a way to account for a seizure before the week of a vaccination causing the vaccination to be canceled or delayed).

This was a big problem with the H1N1 vacine and miscarriages. Miscarriages are very common. Identify a very large group of pregnant women in the first trimester, and you can be certain some will start miscarrying later that day and more will in the near future. If those women would have been given a vaccine instead of just being identified, of course they are going to be wondering if the vaccine caused it, when reality is they would have anyway. Just hearing reports of women who had the vaccine and then suffered a pregnancy loss is very sad, but it doesn't tell us anything at all about the safety of vaccines - you need to be able to compare numbers and find out if the group is actually having more miscarriages than expected. A number of studies have shown they were not.
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#19 of 19 Old 08-08-2014, 11:14 PM
 
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I actually tend to exercise healthy skepticism when I hear of a reaction. I don't assume it was vaccine-induced, nor to I deny that a vaccine-induced reaction is a very real possibility.

Then a story like this comes along: http://fox6now.com/2014/08/07/the-on...year-old-girl/

Quote:
“She got her first HPV vaccine at around 10:30, 11 o’clock that morning,” Rebecca Prohaska said.
At some point, Rebecca Prohaska says she remembers getting a handout about possible side effects.
“Thirty minutes later she was trying to sleep. I kept waking her up,” Rebecca Prohaska said.
By 3:30 that afternoon, Rebecca Prohaska went out for a half-hour to get food.
“I came back and I found her on the floor,” Rebecca Prohaska said.
I'm sure that the denialists are all over this one, calling the spontaneous demise of a vibrant, healthy 12-year-old--with severe symptoms setting in a half an hour after the shot--a freak coincidence. What kills me is that the staunchest vaccine pushers likely won't even consider the vaccine as at least a *hypothesis!

Notice that the article quotes a physician *who wasn't even her own* glibly spewing out the one-in-a-million marketing goblety gook. He's not even quoted as paying condolences or acknowledging a tragedy. At this point, it's not about a human life. Just damage control.

What concerns me is that the way the WHO is redefining everything, vaccines won't even be considered a *hypothetical* cause of a reaction, as something worth investigating. To paraphrase another MDC member, I'm sure that they're looking for the real cause of Meredith Prohaska's mysterious death just like detectives are still looking for Nicole Brown Simpson's real killer.
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