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Deborah 12-20-2015 07:11 AM

The big pile of good science supporting vaccines
Which is supposedly out there somewhere and supports the presumed overwhelming consensus in favor of vaccines...

Cochrane has done a big survey on the research on MMR and was quite critical of the quality of the science supporting the vaccine although they came down strongly in favor of its continued use.

Same thing on influenza--looked at thousands of studies and said that there were almost zero good ones.

That seems to undermine the belief that there is:

1) A lot of good, independent science supporting vaccines and vaccination

2) That there is a scientific consensus around vaccines which is based on the independent science which is supposed to be out there somewhere.

I'll find the exact quotes from Cochrane and supply the links tonight if no one beats me to it.

Deborah 12-20-2015 06:42 PM


The design and reporting of safety outcomes in MMR vaccine studies, both pre- and post-marketing, are largely inadequate.
Oh well. Those silly anti-vaxers who don't understand about the high quality science supporting vaccination with MMR might be worried, but no one else will.


The methodological quality of many of the included studies made it difficult to generalise their results.
Oh well. Just another detail for those fussy anti-vaccine crazies to wonder about.

There is a big section reviewing the degree of risk of bias of each category of study.

Deborah 12-20-2015 06:44 PM

So, there is a lot of science around the MMR. Thousands of studies.

Only a tiny slice of all that science made it into this Cochrane review and almost all of it had problems.


Now I really understand the meaning of consensus.

Deborah 12-20-2015 06:48 PM

Nabbed one of the Cochrane influenza vaccine reviews.


The real impact of biases could not be determined for about 70% of the included studies (e.g. insufficient reporting details, very different scores among the items evaluated). About 20% of the included studies (mainly cohorts) had a high risk of bias. Just under 10% had good methodological quality.
Authors' conclusions:
Influenza vaccines have a very modest effect in reducing influenza symptoms and working days lost in the general population, including pregnant women. No evidence of association between influenza vaccination and serious adverse events was found in the comparative studies considered in the review. This review includes 90 studies, 24 of which (26.7%) were funded totally or partially by industry. Out of the 48 RCTs, 17 were industry-funded (35.4%).

Of the studies that were not industry funded, how many got government funding? Governments seem to have totally committed to pushing the flu vaccines, which seems to me to result in a possibility of bias in research.

Nemi27 12-21-2015 12:33 AM

Perhaps this is just a common theme in medical practices vs. evidence of positive outcomes from good research. Interestingly, I think this comes from the fact that the industry creates treatments that are used as miracle cures until something better comes along. However, it doesn't mean that the initial treatment was effective. Another example from the Cochrane Reivew is GBS postive moms and antibiotic use in labor which is a pretty standard practive, probably even considered a lifesaving measure. However, their review found that the evidence didn't support this practice because outcomes were not that different and because of the possibility of negative affects.

I don't think vaccines are alone in this,...

teacozy 12-21-2015 09:30 AM

Haven't been on in a while and am not at all caught up on threads (going out of town for the holidays and my MIL does not have internet) but a couple points about the MMR.

From your link in the Authors' Conclusions section:

"Implications for practice

Existing evidence on the safety and effectiveness of MMR vaccine
supports current policies of mass immunisation aimed at global
measles eradication and in order to reduce morbidity and mortality
associated with mumps and rubella.

As it was put elsewhere "At this point I’ll point out what I see as a false dichotomy. The discussion is not between “should vaccination continue” and “are the studies adequate” as some have framed it. Clearly Cochrane has called for both continued immunization *and* more research. This includes research into “assessing whether the protective effect of MMR could wane with the time since immunisation”, something which could point to the need for booster shots."

For the Wakefield defenders and members/lurkers who might still think the MMR causes autism, @Deborah 's link says this:

"Currently, this is the only review covering both effectiveness and safety
issues of MMR vaccines. In agreement with results from other
studies and reviews a significant association between autism and
MMR exposure was not found.
The study of Wakefield (Wakefield
1998), linking MMR vaccination with autism, has been recently
fully retracted (The Editors of The Lancet 2010) as Dr. Wakefield
has been found guilty of ethical, medical and scientific misconduct
in the publication of the paper; many other authors have moreover
demonstrated that his data were fraudulent
(Flaherty 2011).
A formal retraction of the interpretation that there was a causal
link between MMR vaccine and autism has already been issued in
year 2004 by 10 out of the 12 original co-authors (Murch 2004).
At that time (1998) an excessive and unjustified media coverage
of this small study had disastrous consequences (Flaherty 2011;
Hilton 2007; Offit 2003; Smith 2008), such as distrust of public
health vaccination programmes, suspicion about vaccine safety,
with a consequential significant decrease in MMR-vaccine coverage
and re-emergence of measles in the UK."

Bolding mine. :thumb

teacozy 12-21-2015 09:34 AM

Also, I feel like we've discussed the cochrane review on the flu vaccine here fairly recently so I won't get into that again right now. But I'm glad that your link demonstrates that the vast majority of the studies are indeed not industry funded :)

Deborah 12-21-2015 11:00 AM

All, and I emphasize ALL, that I was demonstrating was that the QUALITY of the science around vaccines isn't highly rated when someone takes the time to look at it critically.

I was not arguing that vaccines cause autism.

I was not arguing that no one should ever vaccinate again.

Just to put the argument back into the actual context.

kathymuggle 12-21-2015 12:04 PM

Are most vaccine studies built on a foundation of cards/sand? I don't know the answer to this question. It would be a heck of a job to quantify.

If they are, then any value consensus may have is pointless.

I will say I am suspicious around vaccine studies. One can thank groups like Cochrane for that, with their detailing of bias and quality. Editorials on mainstream publications like BMJ that highlight issues around conflict of interest and industry based studies certainly add to my concerns.

People may think I am suspicious of vaccine research - which is true - but I am suspicious of all pharmaceutical research, really.

I think the system of research, development and promotion of drugs might be broken in terms of accountability.

Deborah 12-21-2015 12:49 PM


Originally Posted by kathymuggle (Post 19187841)
Are most vaccine studies built on a foundation of cards/sand? I don't know the answer to this question. It would be a heck of a job to quantify.

If they are, then any value consensus may have is pointless.

I will say I am suspicious around vaccine studies. One can thank groups like Cochrane for that, with their detailing of bias and quality. Editorials on mainstream publications like BMJ that highlight issues around conflict of interest and industry based studies certainly add to my concerns.

People may think I am suspicious of vaccine research - which is true - but I am suspicious of all pharmaceutical research, really.

I think the system of research, development and promotion of drugs might be broken in terms of accountability.

I think at this point they are getting away with whatever they can get away with, which is a lot. Which doesn't mean that all pharma products are either dangerous or useless or both. But it is a buyer beware situation at this point.

95191 12-21-2015 06:43 PM


Originally Posted by teacozy (Post 19187585)
Haven't been on in a while and am not at all caught up on threads (going out of town for the holidays and my MIL does not have internet) but a couple points about the MMR.

Hard to belive a plagiarist!

We know, it's hard when you copy & paste (plagiarism) isn't it Mr. Green?

95191 12-21-2015 06:47 PM

@Deborah plagiarism in the PRO movement seems alive and well! :grin: hard to buy any of the PRO Agenda stuff when "I" see such deceit! Richard Green, a "mom" of 2! Trust those to lie to you!

Deborah 10-04-2016 07:04 PM

Is there really a big pile of unbiased research over many years from around the world supporting vaccines?

Hope springs eternal, I guess.

And when someone makes a contrary point, expect the argument to go to polio, smallpox or that autism is not caused by vaccines.

My real point in this thread was never addressed. Really.

Deborah 10-05-2016 06:37 PM

I'm also noticing, since I read so many press releases about vaccine studies, so many abstracts and even actual studies, that a significant number of studies are not vaccine science. They are about marketing vaccines. Boosting uptake. Finding out which messages go over best with particular populations. And so on.

Are they counted in that big pile of vaccine "science"?

Deborah 10-10-2016 08:55 PM

Amused myself by looking at some old science on vaccines and found this gem

It is about an attempt to vaccinate against the common cold. In England during the 1920s.

The authors discovered that the vaccination process made colds more frequent and a bit nastier.

Perhaps some of the older vaccine science is of higher quality than current vaccine science >:D

Deborah 10-10-2016 09:28 PM

Found this in an old thread, a series of VAERS reports of people who were exposed to shedding CP vaccine and proceeded to develop shingles a week to two weeks later.

I've come across stories about this and I'm really wishing that some brave scientist would stick their neck out and do a study.

There is an assumption that vaccine virus acts the same way the wild virus does except for reduced virulence, but is that assumption correct? For example, in the case of the vaccine version of the poliovirus, there have been situations where the virus "escaped" and not only became more virulent but mutated into a new strain. The wild poliovirus seems to be pretty stable, on the other hand. So there is one example of the vaccine virus doing something unexpected.

Deborah 10-16-2016 09:39 AM


Originally Posted by Deborah (Post 19555698)
I'm also noticing, since I read so many press releases about vaccine studies, so many abstracts and even actual studies, that a significant number of studies are not vaccine science. They are about marketing vaccines. Boosting uptake. Finding out which messages go over best with particular populations. And so on.

Are they counted in that big pile of vaccine "science"?

I think this is also a marketing study although it is pretending to be real science about the costs of skipping vaccines.


The flu was the most costly disease with a vaccine available, accounting for nearly $5.8 billion in health care costs and lost productivity in 2015. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 42 percent of U.S. adults received the flu vaccine during the 2015-2016 flu season. Other notable diseases with significant economic burdens include pneumococcal disease, such as meningitis and pneumonia, which is associated with nearly $1.9 billion in costs, and herpes zoster that causes shingles rounding out at $782 million.
What I'd like to see is a study looking at actual vaccination rates in relation to actual health care costs. If an increase in vaccination causes a reduction in health care costs, this should be visible in real numbers, ya know? Not just plugging a bunch of numbers into a spreadsheet and then generating estimates.

I think this study is designed to get more doctors to push adult vaccines.

Deborah 10-30-2016 02:41 PM

One interesting bit is that mainstream articles constantly mention "research" but hardly ever provide links or lists so that people can see the research for themselves. I think this is part of the "big pile" tactic, along with the hostile comments that come with articles calling anyone with questions stupid, etc.

or they talk about marketing research rather than actual vaccine research.

Edwards said research points to a few main reasons why parents question vaccines: They wrongly believe that the diseases the shots protect against aren’t serious, they question the safety of vaccines or they think any requirement to vaccinate is an infringement on personal rights.
this mother supposedly did some research, but doesn't present any actual examples.

...leading her to start researching scientific papers on the topic.

Deborah 01-18-2017 12:14 PM

This is where doctors are being sent -- no need to study vaccine science -- just to learn how to manipulate parents into compliance.


The number of parents questioning the safety of vaccines, the ingredients used, and the expanding 70-dose CDC schedule is growing, and medical organizations are trying to understand why. Numerous studies have been conducted to learn the reasons more parents are selectively refusing vaccines and what tactics may work best to overcome their doubts. Proponents of mandatory vaccine laws are now hosting medical conferences on how to use the right sound-bites to persuade parents to follow the full vaccine protocol without question.

Deborah 01-20-2017 07:56 PM

And yet another marketing study, this one on how to convince pregnant women to get jabbed.


The influenza vaccination coverage of 46% falls way below Healthy People 2020 goals of 70% for adult flu vaccination coverage. The report concludes that additional studies should assess barriers to vaccination coverage among women in different demographic groups to better formulate effective strategies. The CDC encourages implementing better measures to improve prenatal care to address the gaps in vaccination rates among women in different demographic groups.
This will be counted by the pro-vaccine as part of the big pile of good science supporting vaccines, of course.

Deborah 04-12-2017 05:29 PM

This article discusses some actual vaccine science, but points out that the supporting references don't actually support the premise.


So, to be able to say that vaccination reduces the risk of this cancer, they must have studied incidence of leukemia in children who received the Hib vaccine versus children who did not, right?
Did they?

The main point of the study seems to be the generation of press releases designed to up vaccine compliance.

Deborah 04-17-2017 02:05 PM

AAP asked to provide scientific literature to support claims it made at a press conference. Fails.


The AAP argues in its press release against the formation of a federal commission, but its argument would apply to any public debate about the safety and efficacy of vaccines. By the AAP’s logic, like the IOM’s, also unnecessary are any discussion about it in the media and any further scientific inquiry.
But as Daniel Sarewitz observes, “as science approaches the cutting edge, it tends to raise as many questions as it resolves, so there is always room for debate about what the science is actually saying.”
Parents dubbed “anti-science” by the media are naturally curious why that label doesn’t seem to apply to those calling for no further inquiry into pertinent questions.
Parents aren’t just asking legitimate questions about vaccines. They’re doing what most doctors haven’t and spending a lot of time researching vaccines themselves. And they’re not just going to “anti-vaccine” websites to research it. They’re organizing, sharing information, and digging into the medical literature for themselves.
Parents can see the fundamental contradiction between public health officials and the media constantly insisting that vaccines are harmless even while the government grants legal immunity to the vaccine manufacturers on the grounds that vaccines are unavoidably unsafe and while the government manages a Vaccine Injury Compensation Program in order to shift the costs for damages and keep the vaccine manufacturers profitable — all to maintain public policy.
I think that there are good reasons for all the effort being expended to shut down discussions about vaccines.

Deborah 04-17-2017 02:07 PM

Also came across this article, which claims that the FDA gives vaccine manufacturers a lot of latitude when it comes to testing vaccines.


According to the FDA, the word “placebo” can get bandied about on vaccine safety studies. A placebo for vaccines is not the same placebo used in drug trials. Vaccine makers are not obligated to use a real placebo, like saline, since guidance gives them an option and not a firm standard to follow. This leeway allows Big Pharma to use an “active comparator” vaccine, such as another similar vaccine or the clinical trial vaccine with the deactivated disease removed, as a “control” instead of a true placebo (saline).
Worse, the FDA allows — perhaps encourages — vaccine makers to freely use the word “placebo,” when in fact they should be forced to use the word “control” when they use the comparative vaccine during safety trials. But time and again, when one reviews the literature, such as the 28-page Gardasil package insert that states only “320 people” were given the saline placebo, or less than 9% of the control group, with the only reactions monitored for the true placebo group being mild, local reactions, such as redness or swelling.
So the Gardasil clinical trial is a sham. Out of the 3,690 “controls,” only 320 received the saline placebo. That meant 3,370, or 91.33%, were jabbed with the comparative vaccine, which was laden with aluminum at “double the amount in every other vaccine.”

Deborah 04-21-2017 03:03 PM


One of the authors of that letter was New York University nutrition researcher Marion Nestle. She’s been tracking industry-funded studies on her blog and found 156 of 168 reported results that favored the funders’ interests. That’s more than 92 percent.
Nutrition isn't the only area of research with this problem. Researchers have found that studies supported by industry — from pharmaceuticals and medical devices to weight loss aids and sugary drinks — are more likely to return results that are favorable to the funders. With all the discretionary decisions that go into designing, conducting, and interpreting research, it’s not entirely surprising that this happens.
It will be great to have the info on PubMed. although I'm sure it won't be retroactive unfortunately.

Deborah 04-30-2017 07:04 PM

I think I've heard about this initiative before, so if it was on this board, my apologies for the double info.


"In the last year, problems in reproducing academic research have drawn a lot of public attention, particularly in the context of translating research into medical advances. Recent studies indicate that up to 70% of research from academic labs cannot be reproduced, representing an enormous waste of money and effort," Iorns said in the announcement. "In my experience as a researcher, I found that the problem lay primarily in the lack of incentives and opportunities for validation — the Reproducibility Initiative directly tackles these missing pieces."

Deborah 05-01-2017 08:19 AM

Just came across this interesting analysis of a MMR doesn't cause autism study published in 2015

So yet another study has been done to try and disprove any link between the MMR vaccine and autism. Before we get into the details I have to point out that they are awfully focused in this link. Why pour so much money into doing these “studies” if the science was already so robust?

I’m not going to try and prove a causal link between the two, however I am going to do a detailed commentary of this study.

Autism Occurrence by MMR Vaccine Status Among US Children With Older Siblings With and Without Autism JAMA. 2015;313(15):1534-1540. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.3077

Design, Setting, and Participants A retrospective cohort study using an administrative claims database associated with a large commercial health plan. Participants included children continuously enrolled in the health plan from birth to at least 5 years of age during 2001-2012 who also had an older sibling continuously enrolled for at least 6 months between 1997 and 2012.”

So the numbers are coming from the private files of an insurance company… Isn’t this a violation of privacy laws?

The restriction of an older sibling rather than any sibling who also received the MMR is interesting.

Deborah 05-05-2017 03:17 PM

Bumping up this thread because the critique of an MMR study didn't get any response.

Why in the world should I keep on participating in these one-sided discussions where pro-vaccine people have free rein to attack any vaccine critical study and no need to ever defend any pro-vaccine study. Because the "science" is "settled."

Such BS.

Deborah 05-07-2017 09:57 AM

This article talks about the history of vaccine research

The author is strongly, even fanatically pro-vaccine. At the same time, the author mentions that a good deal of the scientific research underlying vaccines was performed in unethical ways.

However, the most interesting bit, to me, was this:


Yeah, well the industry was virtually created by the combination of the Bayh-Dole Act and the Chakrabarty decision, because suddenly university researchers were incentivized to commercialize their inventions because part of Bayh-Dole said, not only can the university have title in this, but as a condition of that they have to direct some of the proceeds back to the individual researcher personally. That was attractive. So researchers were asked to do this 180 degree reorientation: they went from, “you should only work for the greater good in science,” and then they were asked to suddenly become scouts for the next commercial opportunity. Today it’s like sort of a badge of honor if you’re out there spinning off a company based on your “university-funded research.”
How much of the research currently being done on drugs and vaccines is disconnected from the hope of making a big pile of money? Not much, I suspect.

In terms of conflicts of interest, the money available from vaccine critical foundations and donors is very tiny compared to the money available from the NIH and the drug companies. Any researcher who commits the crime of performing research that shows vaccines or drugs in a bad light has doomed him/herself to poverty and even potential unemployment. I would think that a "conflict of interest" that destroys your finances and career isn't a big temptation...

Deborah 06-12-2017 07:43 PM

In case someone dares to start talking about the huge amount of unbiased science supporting vaccines.

Deborah 06-24-2017 03:10 PM

This is an interesting bit of framing.


The proposed recommendation that sparked the debate would change the wording of the previous recommendation for pregnant women to receive a seasonal inactivated vaccine (IIV) to “any licensed, recommended, and age-appropriate, trivalent or quadrivalent IIV or RIV [recombinant influenza vaccine] may be used.” Steve Mann/Thinkstock

Members of the committee were hesitant to introduce this new wording, concerned that the language was too strong for the uncertainty some of the committee felt about the safety of including a recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV), Flublok, among those recommended.

“I think there’s a subtle, but important difference here between making what would appear to be an affirmative statement that RIV is safe in pregnant women, versus just staying silent on it, and saying ‘we’re not saying you shouldn’t use it, but we don’t have enough data to affirmatively say it is safe,’ ” said Cindy Pellegrini, senior vice president of Public Policy and Government Affairs at the March of Dimes Foundation.

In response, members of the committee pointed out that the responsibility of determining safety lies with the Food and Drug Administration, which has already licensed the Flublok trivalent vaccine with expectations that the quadrivalent vaccine soon will follow.
Okay. Here is the difficulty. The FDA may have decided the vaccine is "safe" but unless actual research has been done on the use of this vaccine during pregnancy, there is no evidence that the vaccine is safe. Those members of the committee leaning on the FDA's determination are leaning on something that doesn't exist in this context.


• Pregnancy:
Pregnancy outcomes in women exposed
to Flublok during pregnancy are being monitored.
Contact: Protein Sc
iences Corporation
by calling 1
7871. (8.1)
From the package insert dated 2017

The FDA basically has "approved" use of this product in pregnancy and is asking women who get the vaccine while pregnant to enroll in a study. Normally, when someone enrolls in a study there is an informed consent process. In this case, the vaccine is being given and THEN, if the person giving the vaccine happens to think of it, they can pass along the info about the study and the contact phone number.

What is wrong with this picture?

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