Investigating the truth behind @steemtruth’s “truth” - Part 3: Vaccines kill children?

in vaccines •  10 months ago

During the last weeks, @steemtruth has made a small fortune with a series of anti-vaccination posts, seemingly providing evidence for the complete failure of vaccines to immunize against illnesses and for their harmful, poisonous behaviour towards humans, especially children.

First off: I appreciate the guy.
Unlike many other vaccination sceptics, he seems to base his views on scientific studies and statistics – which makes his theories tangible, and opens the possibility for scientific evaluation.
So let’s do exactly that: Let’s take his posts, evaluate his key points and recheck his statistics and cited studies. After all, @steemtruth’s credo is: “Truth Fears No Investigation”.

So let’s investigate, for real. Read also the first two parts on:
"vaccines do not stop disease" (unless they do, as usually).
"Vaccines Increase Your Chances of Catching Infectious Disease"(they don't.)

Today, let's take a look at his final post:

Vaccines Kill Children - Here's Proof!

Again, he brings up a lot of graphs, as usual taken from here, so again we will do this step by step. Off we go:

Figure 25 statement: more vaccines --> higher children mortality



And this is the hilarious graph:

And while I understand that this might look impressive for anyone that didn't pass math in elementary school, everyone else should be able to spot the problem on sight:
You may never calculate a linear trend when your x-achsis is categorized!

This error would be serious enough to debunk the whole thing, but let's ignore it a second and look at the actual literature behind it. Indeed, there is a scientific study that correlates the number of routinely given (not mandatory!) vaccination doses with children mortality. Here is how the original graph looks like:

As you can see, that's a lot of noise in there, but they do have a correlation with an R=0.7.
0.7 is a correlation, but quite a weak one, far from being safe. You can correlate child mortality with almost anything with an R of 0.7, for example with car ownership, just as @alexs1320 did below one of his posts:

Fig 25 Conclusion

So what is it now that kills children? Is it vaccines? Cars? Weapon ownership? Number of inhabitants? The number of cows? Number of mountains? Or might the fact that the US has one of the worst health care systems (at least for those who cannot pay a lot extra) play a role?
We cannot say from a simple weak correlation.

@steemtruth, being the scientifically correct reporter as usual, knew this, and provided a second graph:

Figure 26 Statement: "Gov’t Mandated Flu Vaccines = Massive Spike in Child Flu Deaths"

At this point the situation stops being hilarious and becomes fraudulent. Because I found the numbers in the stated source, a CDC report, at page 37. And I just had to put the data in a graph to show you how it should really look like:

number of flu deaths.png.jpg

Yes, there is a minor spike in 2003, but it is:

  1. not nearly as dramatic as @steemtruth's graph shows
  2. just the usual noise and
  3. the rate of flu deaths clearly decreases after 2003, so the vaccine actually seems to help children to fucking survive!

Conclusion Fig 26

This is not just an erraneous reporting of data any more, the way this graph was prepared is fraud!
@steemtruth, your source changed the numbers and faked a graph, and you did not check its correctness before repeating it. At this point, you should have the balls to apologize to your followers!

Figure 27 statement: Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Vaccine is Linked to SIDS

I will not lose many words here, @alexs1320 has done it already. Bottom line: a) the source is unfindable, b) the graph is cumulative, which means he shows a constant baseline, and not an increase.

Fig 27 conclusion

With or without vaccination, the total number of children dying from SIDS increases with every passing day.
defunes.jpg
pic source

Figure 28 statement: vaccinated Children are much more likely to develop some Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD)

#

Yes, there is actually a study from 1995 that came to that conclusion. But it has drawn criticism right from the date of publication. In the same issue of the lancet, another researcher comments on this study, and I quote:

There were fundamental differences in the ways in which the study cohorts were recruited and interviewed, and in how their constituents were ultimately classified according to exposure and disease. The exposed (vaccinated) and control cohorts were drawn from disparate populations, with substantial differences in age, geographical location, and
other covariates that may have influenced the risk of IBD.
Vaccination histories and measles disease were well documented in the vaccinated cohort, and participants were asked
specifically whether they had IBD. The control group, by contrast, was assumed not to have been exposed to measles vaccine, with cases of IBD having been ascertained passively from a more general survey conducted for an unrelated purpose.
Although efforts were made to verify self-reported cases of IBD by conferring with the participant’s primary physician, no standardised criteria were used for diagnosis. None of these concerns negate the association found in the study, but they do raise the issue of misclassification and cause us to question the researchers’ assertion that "the only obvious difference between the cohorts was that one group only had received measles vaccine".

In the meantime, this was assessed in quite a few better studies, showing that there is no link beween vaccines and IBD. (example studies 1, 2)

my conclusion here:

There is a single old study that supports the hypothesis that the live measle vaccine could indeed enhance the risk to get inflammatory bowel diseases, however it seems that the study design was of poor quality. By 2018, we know from many better conducted studies that there is no link between vaccinations and IBD.

Figures 29&30 statement: "Vaccinated Children show more General Immune System Impairments"

The two graphs are NOT based on a scientific study, but on a questionnaire-based survey from NVKP, a vaccination-sceptical dutch organisation. The results are all one can find in the net, there is no further info on the methods by which the survey was conducted, and it was never published as peer-reviewed article.

my conclusion:

This is not a scientific study, the publisher has a conflict of interest and there is no documentation of the process that lead to the results, so it could be completely made up for all we know. Thus, from a scientific point of view, this is a worthless survey that can never be the base of an argument against vaccinations.

figure 31 statement: BCG vaccination leads to increased diabetes rates:

This statement is based on a actual piece of science, a epidemiologic study from the 1990ies covering several European countries, which was extremely interesting to read. Thanks for showing this to me, @steemtruth!
Indeed, it directly links a significant increase of diabetes mellitus with the vaccination of school children with BCG, a anti-tuberculosis vaccine that was already mentioned in my last post.
But again, @steemtruth left out half of the truth. The study surveyed the influence of the timing of the vaccination on diabetes rates, and it found that if BCG was given to babies directly after birth, they had a significantly reduced risk to get diabetes later on, as compared to unvaccinated children.

my conclusion on this:

It seems that depending on when the BCG vaccine is applied, it can have either positive or negative effects on diabetes development. I find that highly interesting and really hope this is considered in nowadays vaccination schedules.
Not too surprisingly though, @steemtruth was only interested in 50% of the story...

figure 32 statement: the pertussis immunization is increasing the incidence of diabetes

Again, that's based on an actual piece of science, a meta analysis (= a study reviewing already existing studies) from 2003, and it describes that juvenile diabetes is likely to occure in a window of 2-4 years after a pertussis vaccination.
Other researchers in the field were sceptic, becaused the original studies analyzed very small groups of children (a few hundred), what limits the informative value of a study.
Thus, a Danish group conducted a very extensive study. By monitoring more than 700,000 children over several years, and comparing non-vaccinated with vaccinated ones, they found no increased risk associated with single or escalating doses of the pertussis vaccine (amongst others).

conclusion figure 32

For real, there has been a suspicion that the pertussis immunization might be connected to diabetes in the scientific community, so they conducted broader and more intense studies to clarify that point.
I may quote Anders Hviid, the Danish author of that study:

The design and size of this study makes our results very robust,[...]I can't see how it's going to be conducted larger or better anywhere else.

and:

The scientific community should now move on to the most important tasks: identifying the genetic, immunologic, and environmental phenomena that are actually responsible for the development of diabetes and finding the means to prevent and treat this chronic disorder. (source)

figures 33-35 statement: Vaccines, in particular the MMR vaccine, cause autism.

fig33.jpg

Finally! He saved the best wine for the end!

So click here if you want to see how exactly vaccines cause autism!!!!

Sorry, but I waited so long for this.^^
Seriously now: There is no myth around vaccinations that has been so thoroughly debunked by science as the claim that vaccines would cause autism.
Because of course, there is a correlation of the amount of vaccines and an increasing onset of autism.
And so of course - and on contrary to what those who claim that science is just a puppy of big pharma will tell you - a possible link was thoroughly investigated in a load of studies including studies that compared large quantities (up to several hundred thousand) of unvaccined and vaccined children, and found no difference in autism incidence between those groups (study1, study2, study3).

autism conclusion

We don't know what caused the increase in autism rates, but there are several hypotheses around. It might be simply a false-positive effect due to improved diagnostic methods, or there might even be a link with the heavy use of anti-fever drugs like paracetamol (acetaminophen), as @sammy7777777 pointed out below my last post.

But we know with 99.99% (100% security does not exist in science) that it's NOT vaccines!
Correlation is not causality.

Total Conclusion

I'm almost disappointed that we reached the end already...
Over 3 posts, I have revealed the errors that @steemtruth - and others before him - have made with scientific data analysis, display, interpretation, the application of basic logic and elementary-school-grade mathematics. At some points their methods were erraneous, at some fraudulent and intentionally misleading.

In very view points, their claims proved to be correct - but if they were, they did not reveal the whole picture or even the full conclusion of either the full set of available studies or even a single study. By cherry-picking data like that, I could probably prove the earth is flat (wait, you don't believe that as well, do you?).

I want to end with a quote from the conclusion of @steemtruth's 3rd post:

It’s time that we had fair, transparent and intelligent conversations and debates at the local, national and global level.

Amen. I'm still waiting for your contribution, though.



Disclaimer: In my blog, I'm stating my honest opinion as a researcher, not less and not more. Sometimes I make errors. Discuss and disagree with me - if you are bringing the better arguments, I might rethink.


Want to know who I am? This was my introduction. Blogging about toxicology and related sciences.

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The internet LOVES conspiracy, and anti-vaxx falls right into that. Something about the perception that a malevolent force is attempting to cajole you and there are valiant internet freedom fighters who are the sole chink of light vs the incoming doom.

More often than not, the “truth” is perpetuated by those looking to gain from distorted lenses. Push it hard enough and it starts to embed.

Fundamentally, these people are dangerous.

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I agree.
There are harmless conspiracies like UFOs etc. etc.
But when it comes to health-related science, people will suffer. Just as this case...several diseases that were already eradicated in Western countries are back, thanks to the anti-vaxxers.

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It's the idea that you belong to a small group that knows something the rest of the world doesn't is what makes conspiracy attractive imo. So I totally agree with you.

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With that in mind, a blockchain based social media is a perfect home for this sort of thing. Create enough momentum, enough power, and you can ensure the ideal not only is locked in place, it can become prevalent without challenge.

When debunked by pieces such as this one, they feel like it is censorship, fake news, shutting down of “conversation about different opinions”.

In reality it starts to become a tiresome battle against a well drilled and galvanised element whose only desire is to profit from misinformation and deception.

I love this. I’m from Sweden, went to school here and studies science and been living in USA for 10 years. I seen the rise of faux science and it’s alarming, basic math and science skills or critical thinking is not fostered enough I think.
Funny enough I just became a father and I’m going to vaccinate my daughter in a couple of days. Never a question, I was born in Africa and without vaccinations many of my relatives would probabaly not have made it.
I resteem this with pleasure @bigapplebo

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Thanks!

I was born in Africa and without vaccinations many of my relatives would probabaly not have made it.

Yeah, especially in tropical developing countries the advantages ov vaccinations are so obvious. It's an irony that anti-vaxxers really just afford the luxury to refuse vaxxing because vaccinations eradicated many dangerous diseases in Europe/North America decades ago.

Thank you for writing this. It's so frustrating to see the anti vaccination movement gain any ground. Doctors, all medical professionals and just about anyone with a brain will tell you the insane benefits of vaccinations with little to no downside.

That someone makes money and a lot of waves over misinformation and can actually influence people is insane. To anyone reading this comment, if you are unsure about vaccines ask 10 different doctors and see what they will see. THESE ARE MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS WITH YEARS OF STUDY, not someone who makes a post with a few graphs.

Come on

wow, this is an amazing piece of work! I wonder how many hours it took you gather all this information?

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Thanks.

I am a professional researcher, so I'm used to that kind of work, and thus I think - without arrogance - that I am faster with that stuff than many others. But still, it's a shitload of work, you're right. Sadly, debunking BS is always much more complicated than creating and spreading it.
It's difficult to estimate the time I needed for this, as I was doing it in small pieces...I think on this post alone I worked about maybe 7-8 hours.

I really should invest in Steem, transfer to Steemit, powerup and then upvote your post. This is how good your article is and I've also had it with half truths, and pseudoscience. I will vote and resteem it!
Thanks a lot for dedicating your time to help others!

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Thanks a lot!

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I will power up eventually, I am only writing original content and I am here to stay :D
I feel like I can have an impact.

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nice to hear! I'm doing a split strategy between power-up and payout - until now, it has served me well. Atm, the price ration between SBD and steem is very good to power up.

Your blog looks interesting, I'll follow you.

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Thanks for the tips! I am nowhere near as thorough as you but it's my second week here.

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I kept my word but it seems that the first 15 steem you buy is spent to repay the initial 15 delegated SP. Good to know :)

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Uh, I didn't know that as well. Seems to be different for the internal market - when I changed my first SBDs to Steem I did not lose the delegation.

Thanks anyway!

I love seeing you getting the support that you really deserve @sco. Sadly, @steemtruth is getting even more support and it will be difficult to convince people who believe him to think/research for themselves.
Given the evidence you present, it would be great if some curation guilds could downvote his posts. I mean, falsifying data and calling it research is not reflecting the values of Steemit, and also kind of insults SteemSTEM and even the Science tag. Seeing @steemtruth spreading false claims like he does might actually be dangerous.
Sorry for being such a downer. Cheers!

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It's not about support quantity. ;-)
Ty.

Excellent - You are a prime example of a how good you can discuss when you know what you are talking and can back your arguments with facts!
Thanks once again!

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wouldn't have made it that far without your support (at least not so quick)! Thanks!

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He said he will answer withing a week, we will see what he has to say :)

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haha, just bring it on!

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No problem, those posts show me that it was absolutely right to support you!

I have linked to your post under his orginal post, let's see if he sticks to his own word and answers!

Bildschirmfoto 2018-01-22 um 12.30.22.png

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He didn't. Thanks @sco for your article though. I just stumbled upon the post by steemtruth and was glad to see a critical response in the comments.

Right now I regret that I did not buy a lot of SP mid December... I would really like to support "the hell out of your post". xD
Great job!
Best,
mountain.phil28

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thanks!

Nice work. It's actually tiring to read all the anti vaccine posts on here and seeing them make hundreds spouting false claims like they're privy to the health care field or experts because they read some bologny on the internet. Not only is it dangerous but irresponsible. Like any conspiracy group they're only worried about picking and choosing what information they want to believe and use in their posts. The information or substance isn't of any concern either it seems, if you make a antivax post you'll receive tons of powerful upvotes and trend. Fact is there's side effects to all medicines, Tylenol included but there's a reason vaccines were invented, to stop ppl dying of perfectly preventable diseases and there's tons of independent medical studies and years of proof to back up their benefit to society. Alot of antivaxers claim to want to protect the public and children with their rediculous claims but can u imagine all the innocent ppl that would die if vaccines didn't exist?

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can u imagine all the innocent ppl that would die if vaccines didn't exist?

I prefer not to...

Thanks for your supportive comment!

Great Blog, my opinion based on my personal experience is that there are no magic cures, such as Baking Soda cures XYZ, Colloidal Silver cures XYZ and so on hang on Apple Cider Vinegar cures XYZ and likewise the causes are all different we are all individuals. What I will say though is that what we put into our mouth is normally the cause, people getting Obese, diabetes and heart dieSeas coincides with the rise in plastic packaged, high sugar GMO corn syrup and a host of other shite we are not meant to actually eat. Even tins & tetra pacs are plastic lined both of which are subjected to ultra high heat after the testing on the food has been done, bam tinned tomatoes now have added plastic of course this is going to screw with our health...Add all the chemicals we breath and put on our skin,, lack of exercise, to much TV and internet and we wonder why the human race is getting sicker vaccines possible cause some harm, I guarantee the overuse of antibiotics & over the counter drugs is a major factor. Each person needs to take responsibility for their own health and stop blaming vaccines the government its your choice to eat, if your to lazy to chop a carrot we might be better off without you ok Rant over PS this is how we roll, im 52 and on no medications for anything:-)

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hey. somehow your comment seems to be hidden beneath the youtube clip. Would you care to post the text again?

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Thanks for the heads up, the video clip alone would seem out of context, Ive only been actively using STEEMit for the last month. Ive followed you as Ive had some massive health issues over the years, when I get a handle on my photography blog I shall start sharing my health experiences from a level headed view point based on my experience no re sharing something learned from a youtube video:-)

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yeah. Lifestyle changed a lot, and mostly not for the better. This is something that contributes a lot to the increase of different illnesses, I completely agree.

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What do you think of Mike Adams? "The Health Ranger" on youtube

You are as calm and patient as the Buddhist monk. I lost my nerves after only 3 false claims :D

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haha

First graph:

while I understand that this might look impressive for anyone that didn't pass math in elementary school,...

The one thing that kept me alive was my immortal taste for sarcasm.^^

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Like this sentence best!

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what I actually wrote before self-censoring myself sounded more like:

"while I understand that this might look impressive for anyone that didn't pass math in elementary school - which coulde well be mandatory for joining the anti-vaxxer community for all I know - ..."

but then I decided to stay halfway respectful for the greater good ;-)

I have heard a lot of conspiracies on vaccination but none managed to convince me that what they are telling is truth.
Our children are precious to us. We cannot put their lives at stakes because of some conspiracy theories.

Cant thank you enough for putting this post out there. Sad to see people making money off other ignorance and manipulation on science.

great idea friends....thanks for post and sairing @sco

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comment spamming is not seen positive by the steem community, please stop it.

i cant belive it. pharmashill bots in action as it seems.

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Debating ad hominem is a sure measure for the lack of arguments.

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