Yes, Virginia, there are vaccine safety studies

yes-virginia

 

Antivaxers are still trying to tell us there are no vaccine safety studies! Wrong!  So, we need another meme.

More info here:

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Yes, HHS has safety studies

duckeric

 

I found this great meme and feel the need to share. If you need to know more, here are two posts for background info. My friend, Eric Chow, took the picture while at Toronto Zoo. I am not sure what kind of fowl this is.

 

http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/2018/07/alternative-facts-from-court-the-anti-vaccine-edition.html

 

https://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/anti-vaccine-ican-settles-hhs-meaning/

There are no vaccine studies with saline placebo?

Are there really no vaccine studies done with a saline placebo? This is a common comment from antivaxers. They think vaccines cannot possibly be safe unless they are tested against an inert substance, aka the saline placebo, and there are none in existence. Therefore, vaccines are BAD.

 

saline-di-trapani

What is a placebo and what is a saline placebo?  A placebo is a harmless pill, medicine, or procedure prescribed more for the psychological benefit to the patient than for any physiological effect. Saline is something impregnated with salt. A saline placebo is basically a dose of salty water in lieu of a drug. So, the idea is that one group of study participants should get the vaccine while the other groups has a shot of salty water and neither group knows who got which. This is what is meant by double-blind, saline-placebo.

The World Health Organization has a great document explaining how placebos work and why certain substances are chosen for vaccine trials.

“Randomisation and the use of placebo interventions are designed to control for confounding effects, such that significant differences in disease incidence or adverse effects between the vaccine and control groups can likely be attributed to the vaccine. However, randomised, placebo-controlled trial designs often raise ethical concerns when participants in the control arm are deprived of an existing vaccine. Furthermore, testing a new vaccine against placebo is scientifically and ethically fraught when the hypothesis being tested is whether an experimental vaccine is more efficacious than one already in use in the same or in other settings.”

WHO goes on to detail how it may be unethical to deprive a study participant of a vaccine when an efficacious one exists. Meaning, if they are testing a new vaccine it would be unethical to test it against saline when an older, proven safe version exists. So, they can use the older version as the placebo and, therefore, not deprive the study participant of the protection. It is also considered ethical to use an adjuvant in lieu of a vaccine when the vaccine being studied has that adjuvant in it. So, you can use an aluminum adjuvant as a placebo if the adjuvant has been around enough to have been studied for safety. This is a controversial topic, with some feeling that aluminum adjuvants don’t have a proven safety record to use as a placebo.  That is a topic for another blog post. This one is focused solely on saline placebo.

“Between these two poles, the use of placebo controls in vaccine trials may be justified even when an efficacious vaccine exists, provided the risk-benefit profile of the trial is acceptable. “

The rest of the document sets out a “framework sets out the conditions under which placebo use is clearly acceptable and clearly unacceptable in vaccine trials.”

That being said, this does not mean there are no vaccine studies which use a saline placebo. Many clinical trials use a saline placebo. Read inserts to learn more. And, PubMed, the online database of scientific studies organized by the USA’s National Institutes of Health, has many listings for vaccine studies which use a saline placebo.

Here are some vaccine studies which used saline placebo:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25371534
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29443825
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29239682
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29217375
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28720281
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28522338
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28498853
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28376743
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27895921
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26411885
I could go on. This was from only the first two pages of my PubMed search.

 

So, as you can see, there are very important reasons why a scientist might not use a saline placebo in a vaccine study but there are also many vaccine studies which do use a saline placebo. As usual, antivaxers are conveying misinformation. In fact, my online friend, Mike, came up with this and I turned it into a meme. This is exactly what they do, goal shifting!

no true scotsman

 

Remember to always verify claims!

 

Kathy

This post is dedicated to Bernadette for always giving me great ideas for blog posts

Racist keeps harassing Dr Pan

This racist, who actually is from Australia, keeps harassing California Senator Dr Richard Pan. Why? I have no idea. But, screenshots of this post, from about a year ago, were sent to her then employer, Rodan and Field, a skincare and makeup company, and they fired her. She no longer has this cover photo and goes so far as to deny she was ever employed by them. A friend saved this post because the internet remembers forever.

 

38541360_266601540819029_445648344958631936_n

And here is Rodan and Field’s response

38502520_215208872500620_3258546504419246080_n

 

You would think that losing her job for racist posts would have taught her a lesson but she still pops up on Dr. Pan’s Facebook page, from time to time.  Usually, I just do my thing, posting evidence to counter her misinformation.  Today, however, she contacted me by Facebook private message and so the gloves came off a bit.  At first, she posted some misinformation and I sent her links to prove her wrong. Then, this happened.

Here are her messages to me on Facebook where she denies this is her. But, it is the same profile!!

 

harvey1 copy

 

harvey2 copy

harvey7

I never lie. Ever. In my world, lying is the biggest sin of them all. I don’t normally get petty in my blogging but this horrible human had the gall to tell me my autistic child cannot possibly be healthy and then she sent me a slew of horrible private messages on Facebook. She is a liar and deserves to be outed. Here is the rest of her post to Dr. Pan, as of today. Dr. Pan’s page admin hides troll posts so it will likely be gone by morning.

Here is the original thread from Dr. Pan’s page, which was subsequently hidden from view by his page admin.

Screen shots live forever.

harvey3 copy.jpgharvey4 copy.jpgharvey6 copy

 

And, yes, my fully vaccinated autistic daughter is super healthy. Bite me if you disagree.

 

Why do people act this way? I honestly do not get this level of hatred for other people.  I am not a petty person. I don’t like ad hominem attacks. But, this woman keeps showing up on Dr. Pan’s facebook page, spewing the same racist and ableist and antivax nonsense, and I decided to make a lesson her. This type of person is not doing any group any favors. If this is representative of antivaxers, then you all are your own worst enemies. And, yes, I have seen many other racist, hate-filled posts from her. I only have a few screenshots.

 

Oh well, just shows what kind of people run in antivax circles.

 

Kathy

THE ADULT (ANTI) VACCINE PLEDGE

This is the latest viral list coming from antivaxers. It has gone viral on Facebook this week.  Let’s dissect these claims, shall we?  My comments are in blue.  Original comments are in black. 

2015 Adult Combined Immunization Schedule - United States

I Pledge to Follow the CDC’s Recommended Adult Vaccine Schedule and believe the following:

Belief is defined as trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something or an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists. Science, on the other hand, is the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. Do you see the difference? Science is not about belief. IT is about concrete data collected from the systematic study. 

1. I believe that vaccines are safe and effective, and I am fully aware that vaccinating can cause: Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Insomnia, Eczema, Allergies, Influenza, Vertigo, Arthritis, Earaches, Anaphylactic Shock, Bronchospasms, Multiple Neurological Issues, Vasculitis, Seizures, Myalgia, Fainting, Encephalitis, Thrombocytopenia, Hair Loss, Meningitis, Measles, Anemia, Agitation, Apathy, Hemorrhaging, Deafness, Tumors, Chickenpox, Tremors, Dermatitis, Alzheimer’s, SIDS, Herpes, Thrush, Pneumonia, Death and Many other Diseases.

I have not seen any evidence vaccines cause most of the things on that list. Certainly, anything can cause anaphylaxis but hair loss? Apathy? Deafness? Thrush? Are they kidding?  Here is the list of what vaccines actually cause. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/side-effects.htm

2. I believe that vaccines are safe and effective. However, in the case of injury or death, I am aware that I can NOT sue the vaccine manufacturer if the vaccine falls under a category of vaccines recommended by the CDC to children or pregnant women. I believe NOT being able to sue the manufacturer is justifiable and that any claim I may have will go before the Vaccine Injury Court which has already awarded $3.7 Billion to vaccine injured individuals.

Actually, according to the USA’s NCVIA (vaccine injury act), you can sue pharma companies for certain issues. But, why should vaccine makers be responsible for rare reactions? It is not their fault someone has a rare reaction. I didn’t get to sue anyone when Sulfa drugs caused me anaphylaxis or when Cipro caused me major GI upset.  Nope. I am just noted as allergic to both these antibiotics in my medical chart. The no-fault vaccine court process has compensated 6000 claims of injury, in USA, since 1986, during which time we have given out more than 5 billion doses of vaccines. That makes risk of vaccine injury literally 0.000011%.  

https://www.hrsa.gov/vaccine-compensation/data/index.html

3. I believe vaccines do not cause autism, despite a 2015 CDC-commissioned White Paper in which Subject Matter Expert Stanley Plotkin acknowledged that autism spectrum disorders, developmental disorders, learning disorders, and 41 other serious outcomes are BIOLOGICALLY PLAUSIBLE outcomes from exposure to the CDC schedule. I acknowledge the multiple vaccine-induced autism cases already awarded in court and the thousands of cases in line.

Not sure which paper they are referring to but Plotkin wrote a paper in 2009 wherein he specifically stated vaccines do not cause autism. “

Twenty epidemiologic studies have shown that neither thimerosal nor MMR vaccine causes autism. These studies have been performed in several countries by many different investigators who have employed a multitude of epidemiologic and statistical methods. The large size of the studied populations has afforded a level of statistical power sufficient to detect even rare associations. These studies, in concert with the biological implausibility that vaccines overwhelm a child’s immune system, have effectively dismissed the notion that vaccines cause autism. Further studies on the cause or causes of autism should focus on more-promising leads.”

https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/48/4/456/284219

4. I believe that vaccinated people don’t spread disease even though manufacturers, CDC, and FDA studies all show that most vaccines are not designed to prevent colonization and transmission, and live vaccines can shed, and protection wanes, and there are non-responders, and infections like mumps and whooping cough are being spread in and by fully vaccinated populations. I am aware that over 90% of people involved in “outbreaks” are vaccinated.

Again, I am not sure where they are getting these ideas. According to CDC, 80% of measles patients in USA are unvaccinated or no history of vaccine, since 2000.

   https://www.cdc.gov/measles/pubs-mmwr.html

As for vaccines shedding, that happens very very rarely and has never happened with MM or R. 

https://vaxopedia.org/2016/09/17/shedding-and-vaccines/

5. I believe that vaccines are so safe and effective that injecting aborted fetal DNA fragments into my body is totally acceptable, even though in other areas of science where human DNA is used insertional mutagenesis is recognized as a major problem. I believe this practice trumps other religious beliefs and it is our constitutional right to choose.

The constitution does not give them a right to chose not to vaccinate.  As the six lawsuits against California’s vaccine bill, SB277, have all lost their cases, clearly vaccine mandates which disallow religious exemptions are not unconstitutional. 

http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/california-sb277-vaccination-law-litigation-update-1/

The DNA argument is silly. It comes from a single, self-published study from Theresa Deisher, of Seattle, WA. Deisher is a pro-life activist whose work has not been replicated and was self-published in a very low-brow journal.  There is no reason to believe there is human DNA in vaccine nor that this causes any concerns. We eat, breathe, drink and are injected with foreign DNA all day, every day, for our entire lives. Having sex with men means you are injected with foreign DNA.  This argument is irrational. 

https://respectfulinsolence.com/2015/08/24/more-horrible-antivaccine-science-from-theresa-deisher/

6. I believe vaccines are safe and effective, even though they’re not tested for Cancer, DNA mutation, or infertility.

This comes from reading vaccine inserts, which are records of what was noted during clinical trials. There is a great deal of other research done on vaccines and ingredients. The studies on these topics can be found at the EPA IRIS database. 

https://www.epa.gov/iris

All vaccines go through preclinical (in vitro) testing for mutagenic, carcinogenic, and fertility impairment potential. If a potential is shown then they have to go through clinical animal testing to figure out the specifics and see if it can be avoided or the risk reduced. The part of the insert that says they have not been through testing is for clinical animal testing and it is actually a good thing that nothing is ever there.

7. I believe that injecting Weed Killer, Formaldehyde, Aluminum, Mercury, Monkey Kidney Cells, Salt, Glucose, Fungus, Acetone, Alcohol, Antibiotics, Disinfectant, Castor oil, E.coli, Guinea Pig Cells, Urine, Pig Protein, Canine Cells, MSG, Germicide, Yeast, Shark Liver oil, Human and Cow Blood, Tar, Methanol, Antacid, Chloroform, Acids, Vitamins and Aborted Fetus DNA into my body is completely safe.

This made me laugh. There is no weedkiller in vaccines. There is NO elemental aluminum nor elemental mercury. The person who made this list has chemophobia. They need to learn about dose toxicity. 

https://www.chop.edu/centers-programs/vaccine-education-center/vaccine-ingredients

8. I believe we should trust the CDC, an independent company that owns several vaccine patents even though they have been caught lying and falsifying documents.

This one is hilarious. The CDC is a non-profit, governmental agency that does research and holds patents on technologies it develops. They lease those patents out which generates more research revenue for them. They do not own patents for whole vaccines, because vaccines are made up of many technologies, and they have never been caught lying or falsifying documents. 

https://www.cdc.gov/od/science/technology/techtransfer/index.htm

9. I believe that vaccines are safe and effective, even though the Department of Health and Human Services has been sued (and lost) because they have not filed any vaccine-safety-improvement reports to Congress in the last 32 years –as they are required by law to do.

This one is a very ignorant statement. A group called ICAN filed a lawsuit with the Health and Human Services Department of USA when they had failed to reply to a FOIA (freedom of information act) request for records relating to vaccine safety reports. HHS agreed to a stipulation, meaning they did not lose the lawsuit, that there are not reports submitted to Congress. That does not mean there are not vaccine safety studies. Details here. 

https://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/anti-vaccine-ican-settles-hhs-meaning/

10. I believe the (maybe) two hours of vaccine education doctors receive in medical school is sufficient. I believe doctors lie and bully parents into vaccinating because deep down inside they really care. I believe that the $40,000 bonus their clinic receives for vaccinating patients is not a factor for them.

I have dealt with these claims before. Doctors learn a great deal about vaccines.  And the $40,000 bonus is bogus. 

11. I believe and trust our government is honest and transparent. I also believe that the media is never manipulating, and we can trust in those whom we can NOT hold liable, because pharmaceutical companies are the most honest, reliable, and benevolent companies on the planet, working only for the greater good, and never, ever put profits before health.

No vaccine advocate takes the government at their word. We read vast amounts of scientific literature to ascertain whether vaccines are safe and effective or not. This is not about zealotry, as the above statement implies, but concrete evidence. We agree that profits should not be put before health. Insurance companies like vaccines very much because they are much less expensive than outbreaks. Same with universal healthcare. Vaccines work at keeping infectious disease rates low. 

12. I believe that the vaccines my children receive “Save Lives,” so, therefore, I agree to do my part and get the 88 or more vaccines recommended for Adults by the CDC (in order to “catch up”).

Not sure where she is getting 88 vaccines. The CDC adult immunization schedule certainly does not recommend that many. 

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/adult.html

I acknowledge the 2011 U.S Supreme Court’s opinion declaring vaccines “Unavoidably Unsafe.”

Vaccines are an unavoidably unsafe product, but they are not unsafe. And, the Supreme Court never ruled vaccines unavoidably unsafe. These two links explain. 

https://injury.findlaw.com/product-liability/what-is-an-unavoidably-unsafe-product.html

http://momswhovax.blogspot.com/2013/11/vaccines-and-unavoidably-unsafe-products.html

 

As you can see, this list is silly and irrational and not backed by sound science.  Typical of antivaxers. 

 

Remember to always verify your claims,

 

Kathy