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:
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:
Yes, there is a minor spike in 2003, but it is:
- not nearly as dramatic as @steemtruth's graph shows
- just the usual noise and
- 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
Fig 27 conclusion
With or without vaccination, the total number of children dying from SIDS increases with every passing day.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.