reply to post by RogerT
And frankly, I don't think you get it. I am not interested in defending the pharmaceutics companies, the FDA, or how drugs are marketed here or
elsewhere. I'm pretty sure I've said that before, but maybe it bears repeating.
I am interested in
a) whether vaccines work
b) whether they are necessary (though I prefer "useful" since I think very little in life is "necessary")
c) whether they are safe.
I say that the Rotarix vaccine works because it does what it says it's supposed to. There was simply not enough information in that study to make
any conclusion about whether or not it was responsible for the increase in pneumonia cases, but that wouldn't affect whether it works, but whether it
is safe. Please bear in mind that the breakdown into three statements was yours, not mine.
It looks to me like the other rotavirus vaccines have been associated with less than 110 cases of intussusception - 74 in the case of the vaccine
withdrawn in 1999 and 28 in the case of RotaTeq, which as far as I can tell is still on the market. 28, incidentally, is no more than would be
expected in the same population without vaccination. This is not "thousands of deaths" -- no deaths have occurred due to intussusception after
vaccination with RotaTeq.
Anecdotal evidence certainly points to the measles vaccine decreasing the chances of getting measles during an outbreak -- which backs up my common
sense, if not yours. The question of whether measles exposure is better in the long run is certainly a good one. There, though, you get into that
tricky "well, that's cold comfort for the parents of the child who dies" territory.
You're right, I do believe in science and in the scientific method. Because my earlier training was as an anthropologist and historian, I also
believe in anecdote and human wisdom.
For now, I'm on the fence about the safety of vaccines. I'm in luck, since I don't have kids I need to make the decision for immediately -- if I
did, you'd better believe I'd be doing the reading. From sources that provide the raw data, not just the spin.
OT for this debate, but interesting to me: I ran across
. It's by an autism-spectrum
parent of an autistic child, and in this post he evaluates data produced by a study run by an anti-vaccine group. They did a phone survey trying to
establish the link between vaccination and ASD (autism-spectrum-disorders). Unfortunately, the results showed that unvaccinated children were
slightly more likely than vaccinated children to have been diagnosed with ASD. So they added in ADHD as a "ASD-like neurological diagnosis" in
order to report a link. He points out clearly that the study had no scientific validity to begin with, but the fact that they were willing to skew
the results to report the result they were looking for puts them on the same side of truth as the Big Pharma companies in my book.
It's been interesting, RogerT. I suspect we'll be seeing each other around