Why this vaxed v. unvaxed study is not valid: Update: Study retracted AGAIN.

Update: This study has been retracted for the second time. 

 

For the last few days, people opposed to vaccines have been posting a link to a study called Pilot comparative study on the health of vaccinated and unvaccinated 6- to 12- year old U.S. children. The lead author is Jackson State, MS, University professor, Anthony R. Mawson. This study is not valid and here is why.

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First of all, I need to explain what is meant by validity and reliability, with regards to science.  The University of California, Davis, has a very good synopsis. “In order for research data to be of value and of use, they must be both reliable and valid.” Reliability refers to how well the findings of the study can be repeated. If a study was done in a manner that is objective and well-executed, then other scientists should be able to repeat (or replicate) it and get the same findings. Validity refers to the believability of the research.  How well do the findings answer the study hypothesis.  There is internal validity, which refers to how well the procedures in the study measured what they were supposed to measure. And, there is external validity, which refers to how well the findings can be generalized.

So, in an ideal study of children’s health, we would not need to take the researcher’s word for anything. The data would be reliable because all claims would be verified. For example, if the the study claims that 5% of children got colds twice a year or more, it would be reliable data if the researchers used the children’s medical records to determine how many colds they had a year. We would know that the data had been compiled by the children’s healthcare providers and analyzed by the researchers. Nothing would be left to interpretation.

But, if we just ask parents, how many colds a year do you think your child has had, those answers are not necessarily reliable because parents don’t always know the difference between a cold and influenza or allergies. And, they would not be basing their answers on data they collected but rather memories. Memories are notoriously inaccurate.

That brings us to the Mawson study.  First of all, you need to know that there was an attempt to publish this study last year but the methods the study used and the fact that there were only two peer reviewers ( one being a chiropractor) caused alarm in the scientific community. The journal pulled the study before publication.  Many of us found out this was happening from Retraction Watch, a very interesting source to follow if you like reading about how science works and how studies are monitored.  Based solely upon the abstract, the study was criticized by many, including Respectful Insolence blog.

I must take a moment to point out that I homeschool one of my children so I am not biased in any way towards homeschooling. 

At Respectful Insolence blog, ORAC (aka Dr David Gorski, oncologist) rightfully criticized the methodology of the study as well as the fact that a chiropractor was used to peer review an epidemiology study. Chiropractors are not the peers of epidemiologists. ORAC also noted that this study was funded by Generation Rescue, a notoriously antivax group.

These are problems. Real problems. So, the original journal, Frontiers, took note and pulled the study.

Now, months later, the study has been published in a pay-to-publish journal online called Open Access Text. Reputable scientists don’t pay to publish their studies. Journals like Pediatrics or Vaccines or The Lancet don’t require authors to pay and they are considered far more respectable when it comes to considering authors for professorship positions. Scientists know these facts. They know that publishing in a predatory journal is not a good career move.

So, what happened after this study was pulled by Frontiers? It was submitted to Open Access Text, a predatory, pay-to-publish online journal, and published this week. And it is being spammed everywhere as a valid study.

It is not valid and here is why.

One: It was funded by two known antivax groups, Generation Rescue, Inc., and the Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute (CMSRI).  Both are well know to be opposed to vaccines. CMSRI is funded by the Dwoskin Foundation, who are big money behind a lot of antivax operations. This does not negate the results, by any means, but it does beg the question – what was the motivation for the study. By the same token, I would look very skeptically at any study published by a pharmaceutical company.

Two: Read the introduction. The authors went into the study assuming vaccines cause grave harm. ” The aims of this study were 1) to compare vaccinated and unvaccinated children on a broad range of health outcomes, including acute and chronic conditions, medication and health service utilization, and 2) to determine whether an association found between vaccination and NDDs, if any, remained significant after adjustment for other measured factors.”  That is serious bias.

Three: The study design was flawed. “The study was designed as a cross-sectional survey of homeschooling mothers on their vaccinated and unvaccinated biological children ages 6 to 12. As contact information on homeschool families was unavailable, there was no defined population or sampling frame from which a randomized study could be carried out, and from which response rates could be determined. However, the object of our pilot study was not to obtain a representative sample of homeschool children but a convenience sample of unvaccinated children of sufficient size to test for significant differences in outcomes between the groups.”  Right from the start, Mawson, et al, admit that they aren’t really able to do a good, quality study.  “A number of homeschool mothers volunteered to assist NHERI promote the study to their wide circles of homeschool contacts.”   This is also problematic. They had participants promoting the study to their own friends. How did they account for bias? They did not.

Four: Methods were flawed. The authors categorized the children as unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or fully vaccinated based only on word of the mothers. They did not consult medical records. Mothers were then asked to indicate which illnesses their child had had but no medical records were consulted. This data was analyzed statistically but how can they analyze data they have not verified as accurate? They purposely did not use medical records because they said that would have led to low participation.

Five: The limitations. Oh my, the limitations. “We did not set out to test a specific hypothesis about the association between vaccination and health.”  So, this was not even science.

So, what does all this mean? It means we cannot validate the information the mothers gave is accurate or real. It means none of the data in this study means anything, because no one would ever be able to completely replicate it. They would never be able to go back in and find all the same anonymous mothers and guarantee the same answers from them. This kind of survey does not add anything of value to the body of literature on children’s health. Honestly, I could have done better as a freshman in college, in my introduction to research methods and statistical analysis class.

If you want a real, valid, reliable study on vaccinated versus unvaccinated, the KIGGS study is the place to go. Because the researchers used not only a parent survey but also a “standardized, computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI) of the accompanying parent by a doctor,” this data can be verified as authentic. That is reliability. This study could be repeated. Children’s vaccination status was documented. “The questions about diseases were followed by data collection on the basis of medical records in the vaccination card, about data concerning the administered vaccinations and the timing of the vaccination”  So, everything was verified. KIGGS is everything this new study is not. There is no reason whatsoever to think this new study is anything but bunk.

Remember, always verify claims and always think for yourself,

Kathy

Updated2: Other bloggers have been tackling this study and since their blogs are just as good as mine, I would like to share. Please check them out.

 

KidNurse: THE TRUTH ABOUT VACCINATED VS UNVACCINATED

Respectful Insolence: A boatload of fail: Were two horrendously bad zombie “vaxed/antivaxed” studies retracted—again?

Respectful Insolence: The Mawson “vaxed/unvaxed” study retraction: The antivaccine movement reacts with tears of unfathomable sadness

Respectful Insolence: The check must have finally cleared, or: Mawson’s incompetent “vaxed/unvaxed” study is back online

Snopes: ‘First Ever’ Study Comparing Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Children Shows Harm from Vaccines?

Science Based Medicine: Two (now retracted) studies purporting to show that vaccinated children are sicker than unvaccinated children show nothing of the sort

I Speak of Dreams: About Those “Homeschooled, Unvaccinated Children are Healthier” Studies.

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136 thoughts on “Why this vaxed v. unvaxed study is not valid: Update: Study retracted AGAIN.

  1. Your point number 2 above – exactly how is that showing bias? I don’t see an assumption that vaccines cause harm there. I see a statement of intent to determine whether or not there’s a difference between vaccinated and unvaccinated in terms of health. So you might want to clarify that point. I fear this article of yours plays into the paranoia about suppression of vaccine insight.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Um, you write for a blog called “vaccinesworkblog” but I’m sure you’re not biased. Isn’t the purpose of a study to determine whether an assumption (hypothesis, theory, idea, hunch, etc.) has validity? Isn’t that what medical science should be doing? Why is this the FIRST study to get published, even in a pay-for-play journal comparing vaccinated and non-vaccinated? Are you aware of any other studies of this nature? If not, how has it taken this long for a study to be conducted, and why is the study being conducted by what you imply are biased charlatans with an agenda instead of more established medical scientists who conduct the study as you would want it to be conducted for it to be “valid”?

        Liked by 5 people

      • This is not the first vaccinated v. unvaccinated study to be published. A friend and fellow blogger keeps a running list of others, here.

        https://thoughtscapism.com/2015/04/10/myth-no-studies-compare-the-health-of-unvaccinated-and-vaccinated-people/

        As for my bias, I am opened minded about the idea that vaccines could cause more harm than good. For 14 years, I have been asking “show me a study demonstrating vaccines have greater risks than benefits.” No one has ever found even one. And, does it not show my open-mindedness that I read these studies and watch these videos, that come from known antivax groups? I did not just summarily dismiss it outright. I carefully considered it’s methodology and findings.

        Liked by 2 people

      • You state in your blog that the very act of asking the question is a major point that renders the study invalid. Now you say you have an open mind about such things. Which is it, and are you going to remove point 2 from your analysis?

        Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you for coming clean. The moment you are maneuvered into admitting you are being deliberately dishonest, credibility drains away. That could be the case with the people who did this study, but it is also the case with you. You have an absolute belief based on faith – you evangelize for your beliefs. No science insight here.

        Liked by 2 people

      • No, I am not going to remove point two from the analysis. It’s perfectly valid. One should consider the motivation of the authors any study, as part of the analysis.

        This is not about faith.

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      • All one has to do is read the headline of this blog post to know that it is and nothing more than the slander and lies that we are all accustomed to when vaccines are questioned. The headline itself is a lie. The study was never published before and therefore could never have been retracted. You are lying and have no idea what you’re talking about.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I like my unscientific study. My healthy grandson gets vaxed within hours his temperature shoots to104 for about one week, he loses verbal skills stops eye contact becomes withdrawn plus so many more it make me sick to recall. I know I know at this point brain washed / “educated” are per programed to parrot, “Correlation is not causation”. Nah na na nah na. Tell me you “think” the for profit Pharma cartel fully understand ALL the ramifications’ of tampering with God’s immune system? Enough to force you against your will to partake????

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      • “within hours his temperature shoots to104 for about one week,”

        What were his parents told when they took him to the emergency room? A temperature that high is 911 worthy. Failing to get real medical help at that time is pure negligence.

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  2. I think it would be helpful to clarify your definition of predatory journals, as it is standard to pay a fee associated with publishing papers even in high impact factor journals, including nature, Science, PNAS, and the Lancet (which is about $5000). Predatory journals rely on this to legitimize charging researchers to publish, and can lure researchers in with promising quick peer review turn around times, but instead of doing an actual peer review or having an editor read an approve of the paper, they just take the money and publish everything online as is (which lead to some hilarious publications- like this: https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/australia-news/2014/nov/25/journal-accepts-paper-requesting-removal-from-mailing-list ). This is a problem most researchers are very aware of, and it is pretty easy to tell if a journal is legitimate. For instance, if it’s a journal you’ve heard of and have read high quality papers from, it’s safe. There are also published lists of known predatory journals that could come in handy if there is any doubt.
    As for the publication fees for actual journals- there was a really great editorial about it (and why it is ridiculous) in the American Society for Cell Biology newsletter this winter, you can find it here:

    http://www.ascb.org/newsletter/novemberdecember-2016-newsletter/on-publishing-and-the-sneetches-a-wake-up-call-november-december-2016-newsletter/

    I hope you find this helpful and constructive!

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  3. “Reputable scientists don’t pay to publish their studies”

    They sometimes do. There is a pay-to-publish way to publish in Nature Communications, for example.

    Like

  4. If you look at the results, the numbers of kids with illnesses are amazingly high.y first conclusion in the paper would have been that homeschool kids have an exceptionally high rate of chronic illnesses!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The study is worthless, BUT, check out how much does Frontiers charge for publication! Your description on publishing science in 21st century is inaccurate (euphemism), in addition to predatory journals’ presence.

    Like

    • I am sorry but I don’t understand your comment. Can you please elaborate?

      “Your description on publishing science in 21st century is inaccurate (euphemism), in addition to predatory journals’ presence.”

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  6. If vaccines were harmless, the pharma companies that make them would not need protection from lawsuits, as they now have in the U.S. And there would not be a taxpayer funded vaccine court which has paid out billions in damages to families with vaccine damage.

    If you don’t like this study, then try to find someone who is insulated from the pressure to conform to do a better study, because the government and the health agencies are not wanting any study that might question the safety of vaccines.

    In case it has escaped your bias, there has been no attempt by government to determine whether the whole schedule of vaccines required and time frame has had any bad consequences. When they fear the results so much that they won’t fund the studies, then questions have to be raised. Also, the Institute of Medicine has said this should be studied.

    Why don’t you find some other subject on which you are less biased to write about?

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    • No one ever said vaccines are harmless.

      Here is the history of our vaccination injury compensation program.

      https://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/articles/vaccine-injury-compensation-programs

      “In case it has escaped your bias, there has been no attempt by government to determine whether the whole schedule of vaccines required and time frame has had any bad consequences. ”

      What you are asking for is for a large-scale study to be done on a group of children for a long time, where part of the group is purposely not vaccinated at all and the other half of the group gets the whole schedule of vaccines. That would be unethical because we don’t leave children purposely vulnerable to disease. So, this study will never happen, not anywhere in the world. Meantime, there are many studies of vaxed v unvaxed, done in ethical manner.

      thoughtscapism.com/2015/04/10/myth-no-studies-compare-the-health-of-unvaccinated-and-vaccinated-people/

      Like

      • “What you are asking for is for a large-scale study to be done on a group of children for a long time, where part of the group is purposely not vaccinated at all and the other half of the group gets the whole schedule of vaccines. That would be unethical because we don’t leave children purposely vulnerable to disease. So, this study will never happen, not anywhere in the world. Meantime, there are many studies of vaxed v unvaxed, done in ethical manner.”

        This reads like religious dogma – incredible.

        Like

      • You are playing at words. I don’t appreciate games like that. It is universally agreed upon by all scientific organizations the world over that it would be unethical to run a long term study where a group of children would be unvaccinated on purpose and their parents would not know that until the study is done.

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    • My friend, Dorit, who is an attorney, went thru the charges a while back here. You can also read the case. We need to wait for a decision, before we pass judgement. The claim is that the vaccine is not as effective as advertised but it is still very effective. I will reserve judgement for when the court makes a decision. It’s just impossible to know what the truth is, right now.

      http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/merck-vaccine-lawsuit-implausible-narrative-bad-law-facts/

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      • “The claim is that the vaccine is not as effective as advertised but it is still very effective.”

        ON WHAT BASIS CAN YOU SAY THAT?!!!!

        When Merck is accused of falsifying their data, how can you possibly trust it?! Unless of course, you are an employee for Merck or a shill.

        Anyway, that is the wrong case. An easy mistake since Merck have a lot of lawsuits against them. I was talking specifically about this one – http://probeinternational.org/library/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/chatom-v-merck.pdf

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      • Read the report again! Top of page 30.

        “Astoundingly, 84 percent of the young adults who contracted the disease had been vaccinated with two doses of the [Merck] Mumps Vaccine”

        That doesn’t sound like the “78% effective” quote you gave. Where did you get that figure from?

        Merck were caught out lying to governments all over the world, the CDC and families. They even tried to artificially-create a testing methodology to yield a 95% efficacy rate and failed.

        Just admit it – you’re a shill for Merck and can say nothing in support of them without lying yourself. Any figures you quote of theirs simply cannot be trusted.

        Like

      • Immunogenicity and Vaccine Efficacy

        Mumps vaccine produces an inapparent, or mild, noncommunicable infection. Approximately 94% (89% to 97%) of recipients of a single dose develop measurable mumps antibody. Seroconversion rates are similar for single antigen mumps vaccine, MMR, and MMRV. Postlicensure studies determined that one dose of mumps or MMR vaccine was 78% (49% to 92%) effective. Two dose mumps vaccine effectiveness is 88% (66% to 95%).

        https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/mumps.html

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  7. I notice that the German study that is being referred to as evidence that vaccines result in no difference in disease prevalence between vaccinated and non-vaccinated children has two categories for the subjects of the study: A. no vaccinations or B. at least one vaccination. In general, the number of vaccinations which are required in European countries is far fewer than the number required in the U.S. I believe that France has only 3 required vaccines, if I am not mistaken. Thus, the German study does not provide enough information on the number of vaccinations to allow us to conclude that the study is an any way relevant to U.S. vaccination experience.

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  8. According to the document below, “immunization in Germany is voluntary”. Thus, parents in Germany can choose how many vaccines that a child will receive. This means that we have no idea, based on the German study, what the average number of vaccinations is for the study participants who are in the class of those who received “at lest one vaccination”. Thus, this study does not tell us anything at all about what might be expected for disease prevalence among U.S. recipients of vaccinations.

    http://venice.cineca.org/documents/germany_ip.pdf

    Like

    • This is a vaccinated v unvaccinated study. If it does not meet your ideals, that is not my problem.

      I have always said I would like to see a large HMO like Kaiser or Group Health do a similar study of their patient records.

      Like

      • I think this is what everyone is saying–we need the science! Parents are frustrated because doctors don’t give them any information at all. Then when a “pilot” study is done, folks like you say it’s flawed and worthless. Well, duh. It’s a pilot study–and the data was collected in the same way the Germans did it, by questionnaire. Furthermore, the German study didn’t look at as many types of outcomes. Only allergies. What folks are most worried about are neurological. My youngest son developed seizures after a shot at twelve months. Well, vaccines are great. But don’t give them to infants which underdeveloped immune systems and incomplete blood-brain barriers. Big pharma isn’t interested in doing these studies, and neither is the CDC. When folks do a flawed study, maybe other folks should design a better one.

        Like

      • The KIGGS study verified medical records. The recent Mawson study, out of Florida, did not. That is the difference.

        Vaccines can trigger a genetic seizure disorder. So can an illness or a loud noise or a trauma. The trigger is not the cause.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Here is a study that you can participate in that may help discover the reason for your child’s seizures:
        https://sparkforautism.org/portal/page/faqs/

        I would love to participate because my son had neonatal seizures, and more seizures when he had a now vaccine preventable disease. Plus he has a genetic heart disorder, and has been diagnosed with autism.

        Unfortunately since he is an adult (hence he suffered from a disease before its vaccine existed), he needs to do the survey himself. He is not so disabled that we have guardianship, but he disabled enough that we have durable power of attorney. He is simply not going to do it.

        But if you really want to participate is a very very large study, this is your chance. Good luck.

        Liked by 1 person

      • “So can an illness or a loud noise or a trauma. The trigger is not the cause.”

        So can just being born. My kid had seizures when he was just two days old. You cannot blame a vaccine because the HepB for newborns was not given to those who are now almost thirty years old.

        Seizures (or epilepsy) have been around for centuries. In the last five years genetic research has determined some (not all!) genetic sequences that cause certain issues. But not all… it needs more study. So if you have child under the age of eighteen please help to find those genetic sequence gaps.

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  9. Your statement that:

    “Germany gives children vaccines for 13 diseases, before age 2, and USA gives 14” is false. Germany has a recommended vaccination schedule, but as stated above, immunization in Germany is voluntary.

    For those who may wish to learn more about the evidence for the harms that vaccines can cause, there is a highly informative video series called “Vaccines Revealed” that is available for free viewing via:

    http://www.vaccinesrevealed.com/

    Like

  10. There is a highly informative analysis of the scientific article by Dr. Mawson which can be found at the website address below. Lending credibility to the study is the fact that it reports that children who did not undergo the complete recommended schedule of vaccinations had side effects that were intermediate between the unvaccinated and the fully-vaccinated children. In other words, there is a dose dependence – the more vaccinations a child receives, the higher the likelihood of having poor health.

    http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/are-we-asking-right-questions-about-vaccination-and-children-s-health

    Like

    • I have learned, by experience, that Greenmedinfo doesn’t print much that is truthful. They like to take a study and twist the facts to meet their agenda.

      You should not get your healthcare information from blogs that sell you products to replace the science they are condemning. No reputable medical professional sells products like that.

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      • “…You should not get your healthcare information from blogs…”

        /me looks at the name of the poster…yup checks out.

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      • So, she wrote stuff in a blog. I am sure she does not expect you to get healthcare information from her. Just like you don’t learn history from reading a daily newspaper.

        You need to learn to figure out how to interpret anything you read. That is why there are now classes on that subject:
        http://callingbullshit.org/

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      • Yes, that is my point. I do not give out healthcare information. I don’t tell anyone to vaccinate or not. That is a discussion you should have with your healthcare provider. I merely debunk antivax lies with good, sound science.

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      • That article on Greenmedinfo was written by Merinda Teller, MPH, PhD. It gave 24 references to support claims. You linked to a few fake news blogs. If you don’t mind, what are your qualifications?

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      • Nothing about the Mawson study is valid. The data was never verified. Did Dr Teller mention that? No. Why?

        She quotes VAERS “According to the U.S. government’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), the system “receives reports for only a small fraction of actual adverse events.”21”

        Which is not what her own link actually states:

        “Underreporting” is one of the main limitations of passive surveillance systems, including VAERS. The term, underreporting refers to the fact that VAERS receives reports for only a small fraction of actual adverse events. The degree of underreporting varies widely. As an example, a great many of the millions of vaccinations administered each year by injection cause soreness, but relatively few of these episodes lead to a VAERS report. Physicians and patients understand that minor side effects of vaccinations often include this kind of discomfort, as well as low fevers. On the other hand, more serious and unexpected medical events are probably more likely to be reported than minor ones, especially when they occur soon after vaccination, even if they may be coincidental and related to other causes.”

        https://vaers.hhs.gov/data/index

        She says “Post-licensing studies also tend to be short-term and do not necessarily focus on adverse events” But she does not mention the Vaccine Safety Datalink studies on adverse event reports. Does she not know it exists?

        She says vaccine injuries are compensated to the tune of $200 million a year but does not mention that a great portion of that is legal fees, win or lose, and that the number of injuries represents a tiny fraction of number of Americans vaccinated. $3.5 billion paid out for 5400 claims in 30 years, during which more than 3 billion vaccines were given is an injury rate of 0.000016%. Much lower than any VPD risk.

        She says ” In a large study involving over 300,000 pediatric managed care organization clients, half (49%) of children were undervaccinated for any reason at 24 months, and a sizeable proportion (at least 13%) were undervaccinated because of parental choice.23 Children in the parental choice subgroup displayed several indicators of superior health, including significantly lower emergency department utilization rates and fewer outpatient visits—both overall and for acute illness—when compared with children vaccinated according to the standard schedule.”

        She failed to mention that it is because under and unvaccinated children have parents who take them to the doctor less often
        “Rates of health care utilization differed between the cohort study arms (Table 4). Undervaccinated children had lower outpatient visit rates than children who were vaccinated on time (IRR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.89-0.90). Undervaccinated children also had lower rates of well-child visits and encounters for specific minor acute illnesses in the outpatient setting. The utilization differences generally increased as the decile of undervaccination increased. ”

        She concluded that undervaccinated children are healthier when the actual study authors concluded “Children who were undervaccinated because of parental choice had lower rates of outpatient visits, lower rates of ED encounters, and no significant difference in inpatient admission rates compared with age-appropriately vaccinated children. These results suggest inherent health care–seeking behavioral differences between the 2 groups of parents. For example, published survey data31,32 have shown that parents who choose not to have their children vaccinated are less likely to trust health care professionals and more likely to use complementary/alternative medicine providers than are parents who have their children fully vaccinated. It is therefore possible that parents who delay or refuse immunizations are less likely to use the traditional health care system when their children contract minor acute illnesses but will seek medical care when their children become seriously ill. ”

        In essence, she misread and misconstrued both the Glanz study and the Mawson study. And the Hong Kong study. The vaccinated children in that study had lower risk of flu but had more minor respiratory infections. I would gladly trade flu for a cold.

        Do you get the idea? Greenmedinfo does this all the time. They mislead people because they bank on you, unlike me, not reading the links.

        Liked by 1 person

      • “It gave 24 references to support claims.”

        Which were cherry picked.. including the two retracted Mawson studies. Seriously, my community college statistics instructor would have failed him for the idiotic biased sampling.

        Oooh… by an MPH! Do tell! There is an annoying homeopath named Dana Ullman. And another whacko MPH by the name of Jake Crosby. Um, yeah… they seem to defy reality. So we ignore them. It looks like we need to also ignore Ms. Teller, because there is absolutely no way to confirm her expertise, other than the nonsense she wrote.

        Please, in the future stick to PubMed indexed by qualified reputable researchers.

        Liked by 1 person

      • When you say “cherry picked” you mean used peer reviewed research to support their claims? Yes, I suppose linking to other unreferenced blog posts is more credible. Thanks for pointing that out.

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      • “If you don’t mind, what are your qualifications?”

        This includes the ability to understand the difference in quality of life conditions between North America and one of the poorest nations in Africa, Guinea-Bissau. Seriously, why did you think an over thirty five year old study in a country without basic infrastructure (sewers) on a vaccine no longer in used had anything to do with childhood health in twenty-first century North America? Are you that disconnected from reality?

        And, yes, I will continue to bring that up until you produce some evidence of actual substance.

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      • Now you’re quoting subjective opinions:

        On the other hand, more serious and unexpected medical events are probably more likely to be reported than minor ones, especially when they occur soon after vaccination

        The key word there is “probably”. In other words, they don’t know.

        It seems that it’s ok for you to make assumptions when it support the point you want to make. Yet Mawson’s study isn’t valid because parents can’t reliably recall the acute and chronic health of their child. BUT, similar research by the CDC is absolutely fine.

        Mawson put this findings in the right context when he states:

        “Although the cross-sectional design of the study limits causal interpretation, the strength and consistency of the findings, the apparent “dose-response” relationship between vaccination status and several forms of chronic illness, and the significant association between vaccination and NDDs all support the possibility that some aspect of the current vaccination program could be contributing to risks of childhood morbidity.”

        “First, additional research is needed to replicate the findings in studies with larger samples and stronger research designs. Second, subject to replication, potentially detrimental factors associated with the vaccination schedule should be identified and addressed and underlying mechanisms better understood. Such studies are essential in order to optimize the impact of vaccination of children’s health.”

        Your reasoning for discrediting this study comes across as totally bias.

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      • The CDC used the same design here:

        https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr087.pdf

        Considering Mawson et al paper is a pilot study, I can’t see why this is not valid.

        Moreover, I think it’s fair to point out your own bias. As a mother of two elementary school-aged girls, I would assume they’ve been fully vaccinated. You can’t change that decision, and this paper along with further research challenges that decision. On paper nobody could disagree that your objectivity could be compromised. Then again, you have a blog called VaccinesWorkBlog. Need we say more.

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      • “Yet Mawson’s study isn’t valid because parents can’t reliably recall the acute and chronic health of their child. BUT, similar research by the CDC is absolutely fine.”

        It is also the sampling bias. Choosing a small section of the population is not good practice in statistics. That is what is covered the first couple of weeks of a freshman level statistics class.

        The CDC studies use the Vaccine Safety Datalink. It includes VAERS and the digital medical records from several health maintenance organizations. There is still a bit of selection bias, but much less than choosing only families who home school. Plus they have access to actual anonymized medical records, so that eliminates the lack of reliability from parent recall.

        Also, the number of papers that used the VSD is much much more than 24 cherry picked papers:
        https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/ensuringsafety/monitoring/vsd/publications.html

        What makes Teller’s references cherry picked is not only the inclusion of Mawson’s retracted “studies”, but also research done in Guinea-Bissau (one of the poorest countries on this planet), the entire VAERS database, the NVICP statistics without calculating the ratio of given vaccines to compensated claims, and other papers that show small effects but ignoring many other papers that had opposite results (many of which are in the above link).

        And example of the latter would be ignoring the following paper:
        Environ Health Perspect. 2015 Jun;123(6):579-89. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1408257. Epub 2015 Feb 18.
        Examination of the safety of pediatric vaccine schedules in a non-human primate model: assessments of neurodevelopment, learning, and social behavior.

        It was paid for by SafeMinds, but they don’t like the results. Hence they don’t want anyone to know about it, but would push other dodgy papers instead.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ClickProfits: “The CDC used the same design here:”

        Where in that study do they say the study was only on home schooled students?

        Liked by 1 person

      • So you are laughing at sampling bias? Good for you. Did you fail freshman statistics or are you a shill for Big Hospital Supply?

        You deserve a break! Please move to Guinea-Bissau with with a generous stipend of $1600 per year. Have fun!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Here’s an interesting vaccinated vs unvaccinated study in African babies receiving DTP resulting in a 10x increase in mortality hazard ratio. Author conclusion: DTP was associated with increased mortality.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28188123

    In a world that seems hell bent on mandating vaccines, why would anyone be opposed to more rigorous vaccine safety science?

    Like

      • Your post reviewed a study that linked the vaccine schedule with impaired immune function. A similar result found in the DTP/OP study I shared. Instead of acknowledge the findings and limitations of the study, as the author did:

        “study findings should be interpreted with caution. First, additional research is needed to replicate the findings in studies with larger samples and stronger research designs”.

        Your post suggest it should be ignored. No further research required.

        Like

    • How do conditions almost forty years ago in the one of the poorest countries on this planet compare to Europe and North America in 2017? How would you fare if you had to take care of your kids there with only the average income of its population?

      From the CIA World Factbook on Guinea-Bissau:
      GDP – per capita (PPP):
      $1,600 (2016 est.)
      $1,500 (2015 est.)
      $1,500 (2014 est.)
      note: data are in 2016 dollars
      country comparison to the world: 216 (out of 230, Somalia is at the bottom, by comparison the USA is $57,300, over 35 times greater)

      Population below poverty line:
      67% (2015 est.)

      Median age:
      total: 20 years
      male: 19.5 years
      female: 20.5 years (2016 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 190

      Maternal mortality rate:
      549 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 7

      Infant mortality rate:
      total: 87.5 deaths/1,000 live births
      male: 96.9 deaths/1,000 live births
      female: 77.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 5

      Life expectancy at birth:
      total population: 50.6 years
      male: 48.6 years
      female: 52.7 years (2016 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 223 (out of 224 nations, only Chad had a lower average life expectancy)

      Like

  12. Kathy,
    I am pro-science and pro-vaccine.
    I read your entire essay here with much interest, formed my own opinions of it, and then read the comments.
    I have to agree with one commenter above that your Point 2 isn’t convincing. Either I don’t understand something about it (which is certainly possible), or else you haven’t done a great job of explaining how this indicates bias. I would sincerely like a more complete explanation of this point.

    (Or, suggest that you remove Point 2 from this essay; because as-is it weakens the overall effect.)

    Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This study does have some limitations. Medical records would make the study more reliable. However, if medical records were in place I don’t see a problem with studying the homeschool population. This is where you are going to find the highest population of unvaccinated kids. However, even in the homeschool group, there are more vaccinated than unvaccinated. And to compare them to unvaccinated kids in the school system would not make sense as you would be comparing apples to oranges. Kids in public school are more likely to be around people that can pass disease to them. I wish that I could see more studies that were on the subject that are funded by a variety of elements; but honestly I don’t see that happening currently. I don’t see the debate as settled. I feel more information is needed. The study you provided is in no way statistically significant either. Yes, it has a large sample size. But only .5-.9 percent were unvaccinated of the total. How can we really have a true view when the amount of unvaccinated is so small it is unavailable to properly study? The smaller the sample size, the easier it is to lose an effect.

    Like

    • Are you suggesting a parent might forget their child has ASD. Or state that they do when in fact they do not?

      First the study isn’t valid because it isn’t based on health records. Then, other similar methods are valid without health records as long as the study design includes an interview with a doctor.

      I guess this National Health and Statistics report is valid for the same reason?

      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr087.pdf

      The authors conclusion states:

      “the study findings should be interpreted with caution. First, additional research is needed to replicate the findings in studies with larger samples and stronger research designs.”

      Do you agree that additional research is needed to replicate these findings? Or would you disregard these findings completely, due in part to your reason that the parents memory isn’t reliable on matters of chronic illness suffered by their child?

      Lastly, it would help if you linked to an online version of the study.

      http://www.cmsri.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/MawsonStudyHealthOutcomes5.8.2017.pdf

      Like

      • It should be done with much less selection bias. This is something that is taught during the first couple chapters of a freshman level statistics class. Mawson’s study was comparing self selected homeschooled children, which has little comparison with the general population.

        It is kind of like comparing child health in the USA with those in Guinea-Bissau.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Hello!
    From KIGGS (the German reference study you recommend):

    “Data on sociodemographic characteristics, vaccine preventable diseases, and infections were collected from a parent questionnaire. From the data submitted by parents on their own school education, professional qualifications, job positions, and net household incomes, the social strata index by Winkler (10) was determined (“high,” “medium,” or “low”). Lifetime prevalence calculations for pertussis, measles, mumps, and rubella were based on the question: “Has your child ever had … ?” The parent questionnaire also collected data on the following infections: cold/flu-like infection, tonsillitis, herpesvirus infection, bronchitis (not when asthma was present), gastrointestinal infection, cystitis and/or urethritis, purulent conjunctivitis (bacterial conjunctivitis). The parents of children up to age 11 years were also asked whether their child had ever had croup. From these data, the median number of infections for the preceding year was calculated for every study subject.”

    Is this questionnaire more scientific than the one you reviewed? Maybe because it has a “social strata index”?
    My regards

    Like

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  19. This point, supposedly showing that the study is not valid, is bogus. ‘Two: Read the introduction. The authors went into the study assuming vaccines cause grave harm. “The aims of this study were 1) to compare vaccinated and unvaccinated children on a broad range of health outcomes, including acute and chronic conditions, medication and health service utilization, and 2) to determine whether an association found between vaccination and NDDs, if any, remained significant after adjustment for other measured factors.” That is serious bias.”

    The only bias revealed here is that of the authors of THIS paper. There is here no evidence that “the study assum(es) vaccines cause grave harm.”

    Like

  20. Your point 2 of serious bias is invalid.

    The text says: ‘…and 2) to determine whether an association found between vaccination and NDDs, if any, remained significant after adjustment for other measured factors…’. In using the limiter ‘if any,’ the authors acknowledge that such associations may not be found, but if any are, they will be analysed for significance.

    This is standard wording and entirely appropriate.

    Most other criticisms are accommodated by the fact that the study was a pilot study, and thus not meant to be definitive or conclusive. With that in mind, would you care to reconsider your entire post?

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Your point 2 of serious bias is invalid.”

      So how is choosing just from a self-selected population of home schooled children not biased? It is very bad statistical sampling.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The sample was a convenience sample, a standard research mechanism aimed at generating ‘first-cut’ hypotheses, and fully consistent with a pilot study design.

        The question everyone on this blog should ask is why is such a critical Phase 4/post-marketing surveillance issue as vaccine safety not more vigorously pursued. If ‘vaccines work’, there should be no hesitation in this.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That is not a bad question. The Vaccine Safety Datalink does do a good job with their objectives and is more neutral, by far, than pharmaceutical clinical trials.

        To conduct research on important vaccine safety questions in large populations
        To conduct vaccine safety studies that come from questions or concerns in the medical literature or from other vaccine safety systems, like VAERS
        To monitor possible adverse events when new vaccines are licensed or when there are new vaccine recommendations
        To provide information to committees who make recommendations for the nation

        https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/ensuringsafety/monitoring/vsd/

        Like

    • No. Since the study has been retracted three times for similar reasons as in my post, I think I am in the clear here. I will be updating this post, this week, to link to all the other posts about this study and it’s multiple retractions.

      Like

  21. Were your skeptical ires raised after hearing the author of an influential study declare that he and his coauthors lied to hide a devastating safety problem? Are you deeply troubled by the many pharma-funded studies, published in pharma-supported journals?

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you are talking about Thompson, he never said they lied. He said that they had a disagreement about how to use data. And, remember, that Brian Hooker recorded William Thompson without permission and Andy Wakefield used those highly edited tapes in Vaxxed, also without permission. The analysis Hooker did on the data was retracted a shoddy. Hooker failed to note that some of the children in the study were vaccinated after being enrolled in the study. In other words, they were already diagnosed as autistic or other developmental issues, as part of The Metropolitan Atlanta Developmental Disabilities Study (MADDS), but to continue on in the DeStefano study they had to be vaccinated fully. So, does that mean that being autistic caused them to be vaccinated? No, but the point is Hooker and Wakefield don’t tell you that part in Vaxxed. They also don’t mention that numerous studies of autism rate by race do not find more autism in African American children. Hooker’s analysis claimed 250% more autism in African American boys. Reality does not bear this out as true.

      Since most immunization science is NOT pharma0-funded and most journals are not pharma-funded, I do not buy into any “big pharma” conspiracies.

      Like

  22. I’m curious, exactly how could the respondents fiddle the results? I’m trying to work this out… they receive a message from their Homeschooling association asking them to participate in a survey. Then, without knowing the purpose of the study, those that a fully vaccinated answered honestly (or did they answer by overstating their child’s chronic sickness?). Then, the unvaccinated parents, not knowing the purpose of the survey, saw it was a perfect opportunity to stick it to big pharma and under report their child’s health report. Oh the conspiracy of it all…

    Like

    • Go find your nearest community college. Sign up for their introductory statistics course. Attending for the first two to four weeks should answer that question.

      Liked by 1 person

      • On what planet do you think basic statistical sampling are conspiracy theories? Seriously, go to your local community college and take an introductory course.

        Oh, wait. I did that. Plus I took a class in biology. During the first few weeks the concept of “acid” and “alkaline” was introduced. One older student (well, older than me) piped up that her naturopath had explained that lemons were alkaline. The instructor told her that was wrong, and it was time to continue on.

        She never showed up again. She also never actually withdrew from the class. Very weird. At that point she could have been refunded a portion of her tuition. Apparently her mind was too closed to absorb the information from a class she actually paid for!

        Were you that older woman who did not understand basic chemistry, nor how to gracefully withdraw from a class? Or even open your mind to actual facts?

        By the way, the community college system in the state where Kathy and I live rocks! All three of my kids got high school credit by taking classes there, and the youngest entered the university as a sophomore because she participated in Running Start.

        By the way, Kathy, the family who ran my son’s speech therapy program (and whose kids were on younger son’s soccer teams coached by dear hubby) home schooled their kids. It was mostly because they were both from a the tiny mountain town of Naches, WA (um, which is kind of where my family is from, very long story… not really, it is why I was an Army brat). Anyway, their oldest kid (friend of younger son) surpassed their math ability, so they got him into “public school” so he could get the math they could not provide through Running Start. By the way, both of their kids participated in the public school band program.

        (For others: around our state of blatant independence in the far upper northwest of the contiguous USA: homeschooling is not always about religion, but lots of other criteria… so there are “home school coops” and actual programs sponsored by the local public schools, including an online program that allowed a friend’s autistic child with high social anxiety to complete high school (though that young twenty something person is actually now taking community college classes, yay!).

        Personally, home schooling was not my cup of tea. My goal each night was to make sure the kids were alive, home schooling would have fatally skewed the odds… to be clear.: that is a joke. But I do love the community college system!)

        Like

      • Chris, you keep replying to me, but I’m barely even reading your comments. I’m guessing you’re a spouse/friend… who cares really, I tuned out from your bias dribble ages ago.

        Like

      • Obviously your closed minded lack of literacy is why you fail to understand the basics of bias in statistical sampling. It is your loss.

        Like

  23. Pingback: First Ever Study Of Unvaccinated Vs. Vaccinated Kids, Pulled From Journal, Erased From Internet – Counter Current News

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  29. When I read this post it seems that the author is only criticizing a pilot study where ordinary people are informed about the risk of vaccinations. May I ask the question to the author of the post: “Are you paid from the Pharma-Industry to write this “un-scientific”-post against the research from Dr. Anthony R. Mawson?” I can not answer that question but it would be interesting If yes: “How much you received” Good criticism brings an alternative (-study). Further, is Dr. Anthony Mawson not informed enough how to conduct a study like that? Are you a researcher with a similar study to judge it? Would it not be better that you make a better study with a better source, better statements, better… I feel really sorry that you lobbyist are good in criticizing but not good in helping people to get better information’s about that issue. Even that study might not be the best scientific study, but it is the first pilot study on that issue. So, scientists could coupe on that information’s and develop it! But this will not be happen! Further, no lobbyist is truthful enough to face the challenge for a comprising study on that issue! The Pharma-Industry market is a big business from about 1.5 Trillion US Dollars annual, why they should welcome a study like that! “Remember, always verify claims and always think for yourself!”

    Like

    • I am curious if you read the post carefully. Did you see the link to the KIGGS study, which is a better study. That is how I would run a study. I would like to see Kaiser or Group Health or some other HMO survey parents as well as analyze medical records, from their patient pool. That would be valid. If this study had done that, it would have had more validity and might not have been retracted twice.

      Like

  30. Hey Vaccinesworkblogger,
    Do you know what statistical significance is? The German KIGGS study claims there is no difference in atopic disorder prevalence in the vacc. vs. unvacc. group – yet, p is between 0,3 and 0,8. That means, there is no statistical significance, thus their claim is simply false. Further, in a comment on the KIGGS study they write: “Dr. Schlaud and Dr Poethko-Müller have received financial support form Sanofi Pasteur and GlaxoSmithKline” (at least once). That are the same companies that are selling the vaccines and are being sued for fraud and bribery!
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/erikakelton/2013/07/29/is-big-pharma-addicted-to-fraud/#42484e2315fe

    Like

  31. Pingback: 10 Things I Want Parents Who Don’t Vaccinate Their Kids To Know | vaccinesworkblog

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  35. One of the key issues here is questioning the inherent biases of the home schooling mothers when answering the survey. But just as importantly, as someome married to an anti vaccine mum, I can only speak for my own experience, but they are a lot more careful in terms of using organic, pesticide feee products and avoiding traditional medicine generally to create what they perceive as a “healthy” natural household. So even if we take the replies of these mums at face value and even if (which is a big if) we accept the results indicated by the so called pilot study, there could be a whole lot of other reasons explaining the differences all the way from the home cleaning products they use, to whether they drink tap water or use charcoal toothpaste. They are also more likely to minimize the stress of learning and hours studied each day as distinct from those vaxed home school mums who may in fact have the opposite goals – that is, believing that the school system does not push their kids hard enough. So they may produce kids with higher anxiety and stress. It is of course just speculation. The anti vax home schooling mums may have got it right somewhere and produced healthier kids or kids with less NDD issues, but by ignoring all these factors which are obvious to most people who have spent time with anti- vaxxers, seems this study is pretty much useless.

    Like

    • It was a self-selected survey. Anyone who has taken a basic college freshman statistics course will know why the sampling is biased, and therefore not scientific.

      Also, your generalizations of one subset of parents is not supported by any actual data. I could tell you about a couple of homeschooling parents who did vaccinate and got real medical care for their children (like the nursing student and a speech/language pathologist).

      Liked by 1 person

    • That is all true. Or, they could have completely different ideas about illness. I have seen countless antivaxers claim their children never get sick but then, later, state they’ve only been to the ER a few times and overcame pneumonia without antibiotics, etc. In other words, they lie.

      Like

  36. Without a major research center and some serious funding doing a well researched, trustworthy study comparing the health outcomes of vaccinated and unvaccinated children will be less than ideal.
    I completely agree with having the highest of standards regarding scientific study. Unfortunately the scientific method and high ethical standards never been met when developing researching and trailing vaccinations. I’m sure someone so passionate and proficient in these processes such as yourself would have to agree

    Like

  37. Thank you so much for this post! My partner was legitimately concerned about vaccination after hearing about this study. I read it and tried to explain the importance of peer review and random samples, but I’m afraid I was too passionate and seemed condescending.

    Then I found this post and shared it with him. You’ve explained the problems with this research well! My partner now understands the issues better. Your work empowered him to make an informed decision.

    Thank you for your work! Well-meaning, intelligent, loving parents who just want to do what’s best for their children get tricked by anti vaxxer propaganda. This is a great resource for those who want to understand the issue!

    Liked by 2 people

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