posted on Dec, 29 2012 @ 10:26 AM
Ok, where to begin here...
First off, one of the PIs is a well known anti-vaccine activist. It's also unrealistic to establish causal relationship based on VAERS. It is true
that infants are inundated with vaccines, which is out of necessity. What these "researchers" have shown through lazy statistics is that when more
infants are hospitalized, rates of mortality are higher.
Outright it looks legitimate to someone who is not familiar with the dangers of using a passive reporting system like VAERS to establish clinically
relevant correlations. The fact that these researchers used only VAERS for their data is the first issue. The largest (among many) problems with this
study is that their conclusion is in no way related to the study. Not even slightly. They analyzed submissions to a safety reporting database, then
suggest that the cases of infants receiving larger numbers (but not the largest number, 9+) of vaccines had reports with higher rates of
hospitalization or death. Thus, they conclude, infant mortality and hospitalization are increased by increasing numbers of vaccines.
(reports of hospitalization and death) / (total reports) is meaningless if the database does not capture enough events to approximate actual outcomes,
and thus has zero clinical/societal significance. Billing data, SEER, and plenty of other databases allow one to produce high quality retrospective
studies of this type, but this is total fluff.
They also state that their results were statistically significant without giving a lot of their methodologies. Their correlations are awful and have
data points all over the place. They were able to get a statistically significant correlation by throwing out data points (like infants that had only
1 vaccine or infants that had more than 8 vaccines). They actually say that including this data messes up their results, so they discarded it and then
list some phony assumptions about why these data points were "outliers."
They then bash legitimate clinical studies and cite themselves multiple times and do the typical tactic of making the legitimate medical professionals
look like evil conspirators in some plot to vaccinate children.
Finally, neither author is an actual scientist. They are journalists looking for a story. They publish a poorly done article using a passive database
that provides unreliable data and then cherry pick the data to make it look like there is a correlation.
The final nail in the coffin of this study is that it was funded by the National Vaccine Information Center, which is a source of anti-vaccine
propaganda and pseudo-science designed to steer parents away from vaccinating their children.
These researchers are simply looking for data that agrees with their agenda. It is not science and it is not honest. These kind of studies are the
ones that these well meaning parents read and on which they make so called informed decisions.
I am critical of these things. As a Med Student I'm all for vaccines when they are indicated because I care about patients and am confident that I
understand the evidence in their favor. I do not get compensated more for vaccinating or not vaccinating. I am sick of these illegitimate studies that
try to blanket legitimate scientists and practitioners as evil doers. If a well done study is published and it is established that vaccines are
causing more harm then good then I will gladly accept that because that is how science works.