Flu Vaccines Quackery

[BPSDB]Mike Adams of Natural News is still banging on about the UK seasonal flu vaccine shortage. He makes his case by completely misunderstanding UK health care provision and invoking Andrew Wakefield’s fraudulent research.

After months of urging everyone to get vaccinated (and blaming non-vaccinated people for skipping out on their “public health obligation”), UK health authorities announced last week that “healthy people” were to blame for causing a vaccine shortage

Actually, the health authorities have been urging people in the “at risk” groups to get vaccinated. And they are criticising those “not at risk” not “healthy people” for buying private vaccines when supply is short.

The seasonal flu vaccine delusion looks even more ridiculous in light of the new marching orders from UK health authorities who, just three days ago, announced that seasonal flu mass vaccination programs for children should be halted.

As the vaccine is in short supply, it is reserved for the most at risk groups. Children are deemed less at risk than other groups (not a decision I would like to have to make) so they are not being vaccinated. This is not the same as saying that they don’t need it.

Now, what we really know about the vaccine industry is that the marketing motto goes something like this: When vaccines are in short supply, only sell them to people who need them. When vaccines are in abundant supply, sell them to people who don’t need them.

Here we see Adams airing his ignorance of UK healthcare. Doctors do not sell vaccines to their patients. Vaccination is free at the point of demand on the NHS.

That original decision to vaccinate all children was derived from vaccine-propaganda “research” published in The Lancet — the same medical journal that pushes an aggressive vaccine agenda while simultaneously pursuing a modern-day witch hunt against Dr Andrew Wakefield, the researcher who demonstrated a correlation between vaccines and autism.

Lots of wrong here. Wakefield is not a doctor – he was struck off by the GMC – which is not run by The Lancet. And he did not demonstrate any such correlation. His paper was based on 12 pre-selected case studies so would not have been proof even if the research was genuine. But it was not even genuine, it was fraudulent. To demonstrate a correlation, you would need something like the Danish cohort study which studied over half a million children (of whom 82% had received the MMR vaccination) – and showed that there was no correlation between the MMR jabs and autism. Incidently, far from orchestrating a campaign against Wakefield, The Lancet came late to this particular party – possibly they were embarrassed about publishing his original dodgy paper.

This is the sort of person Wakefield is:

Who perpetrated this fraud? There is no doubt that it was Wakefield. Is it possible that he was wrong, but not dishonest: that he was so incompetent that he was unable to fairly describe the project, or to report even one of the 12 children’s cases accurately? No. A great deal of thought and effort must have gone into drafting the paper to achieve the results he wanted: the discrepancies all led in one direction; misreporting was gross. Moreover, although the scale of the GMC’s 217 day hearing precluded additional charges focused directly on the fraud, the panel found him guilty of dishonesty concerning the study’s admissions criteria, its funding by the Legal Aid Board, and his statements about it afterwards.

If he were criticising someone he opposed, at this point Adams would be looking for conflicts of interest. Wakefield had a patent on a single vaccine which would be very profitable if MMR was discredited but for some reason Adams fails to mention this.

Anyway – back to flu. Adams is trying to use pro-vaccine research to discredit vaccination in a kind of judo argument*

Mass vaccinations don’t work well, even according to vaccine proponents While all this is going on, a new theoretical approach to stopping the spread of seasonal flu has emerged from the field of quantum physics, where three physicists from Michigan State University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem devised a new vaccination approach that
accelerates the “natural extinction” of the virus through what they call “selective vaccination.”

They found that the practice of mass vaccination is scientifically unnecessary (and that’s even if you believe that seasonal flu vaccines work at all).

I had a look at the article to which Adams links. At the bottom of the page I read:

Meerson and colleagues have yet to model their periodic vaccination scheme using real-world data. But they say their calculations show that vaccinating just a few percent of the population could reduce the time it takes to eradicate a disease from, say, five months, to between three and four. The researchers hope to continue refining their work on this phenomenon.

Quite apart from misgivings about invoking “quantum” outside of sub-atomic physics, it is quite clear that this research is a long way from proving that which Adams wishes it to prove.

The real reason for the shortage is that demand is much higher than expected. Adams is clearly not happy that people actually want vaccination and claims that this is due to us being duped by the mass media:

The mass media, which of course is funded in large part by the pharmaceutical industry, is going along with the demonization of vaccine opponents

The mass media is not “funded in large part by the pharmaceutical industry”. This assertion is an example of making shit up. And as for “going along with the demonisation of vaccine opponents”, would that be the same mass media that lionised Wakefield, was chock full of stories linking MMR to autism and has latterly moved on to scares about the HPV vaccine? If Big Pharma finance was behind this, they should ask for their money back.

*This term was coined by Isaac Asimov, who was describing the way some Young Earth Creationists cherry-pick scientific research in an attempt to discredit evolution.

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11 Responses to “Flu Vaccines Quackery”

  1. dt Says:

    Nice one JQH.

    Thak’s for picking up the dog mess with your bare hands on this one for the sake of the rest of us – I can’t be bothered to look at Natural News – it’s so full of batshit crazy I’d just start frothing at the mouth.

    It appears Adams is doing the usual “horses for courses” argument-

    When “evidence” is needed for the vaccines-cause-autism notion, Wakefield’s paper is pulled out as incontrovertible proof.
    But when Wakefield is left exposed like a newborn kitten in a hurricane, with the tatty remnants of his fraudulent study blown to all points by the wind, the antivaxers change tack and suddenly it’s: “Oh, but that was just a tiny case series which was never meant to conclude anything about MMR and it only called for more research, so…. vaccines still cause autism!”

    What’s worse is that I have seen some antivaxers hold both these points of view about the paper simultaneously.

    PS. Wakefield is still a medical doctor, that cannot be taken away from him, only his license to practice can.

  2. jaycueaitch Says:

    Rebutting all the wrong on Natural News would be a full time job for a team. I just do some of the worst examples.

  3. Majestic Says:

    There is no way to prove the media is funded by pharmacy or not. So why rebut Mike Adams on the claim if you have no proof of the converse?

    I will tell you there is one very good indicator that the media is funded by the establishment crowd. Take a look at how they demonize Ron Paul. I even wrote a full article on it: http://usmc2119133.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/ron-paul-at-cpac-2011/

    Try this one on to: the flu vaccine isn’t efficacious in its protecting you from the flu. Ask one doctor and they will all give you the same “quackery.” “well of course the flu shot works” is what they will tell you. Reality tells a different story. Prove the flu shot works Skeptic.

    All you do is whine and complain with no real proof. Lamo.

    • jaycueaitch Says:

      Adams claims that the media is funded by Big Pharma. It is up to him to prove his allegation.

      The flu vaccine isn’t 100% effective, no vaccine is. With flu vaccine there is also the problem that insufficient people are vaccinated to create herd immunity, so epidemics can still take hold. You are still better off being vaccinated than not. And in case you are wondering, I have had the flu shot myself – my employer offers it for free.

      You might want to look at this

      Two hundred and fifteen of 299 fatal cases with available information (72%) were in one of the CMO-defined clinical risk groups for vaccination. The leading reported clinical risk factors for severe disease for those with information were underlying respiratory disease including asthma (n=76) and cardiovascular disease (n=54). Of cases with available information on immunisation history, 91 of 127 (72%) cases had not received the 2010/11 trivalent influenza vaccine this season. Thirty-nine of 41 (95%) of cases with available information had not received the monovalent pandemic influenza vaccine last season.

      BTW I’ve had a quick look at your linked article. Sod all to do with vaccinations as far as I can see. If you’re making the point that Fox News is untrustworthy – you’ll get no argument from me on that but it is not relevent to this discussion

      • Majestic Says:

        It is up to Mike Adams to prove those kind of allegations I agree. I think he does a nice job in his interview with Dr. Blaylock in Aspartame_Truth.pdf, for example. The answers are there for those who have an open ear. You are too critical of Adams.

        I have not had the flu shot in case you are wondering. I have never had the flu shot. Have I ever gotten the flu? No. So why should I get the flu shot when there is no compelling evidence and no independent study that says it is even 10% efficacious.

        Yeah, Fox News is no better than CNN or any of the media jokers. If you are going to be consistent about distrust of one media outlet why not distrust them all?

      • jaycueaitch Says:

        He does not prove that the media is funded by Big Pharma – he merely asserts it as fact.

        To answer the question in your last sentence: Not all media outlets are as bad as Fox News. A clever man believes only half of what he hears. The wise man knows which half to believe.

      • Majestic Says:

        if you assert that a study was paid by a certain pharmaceutical company, or that a doctor on a show gets his money from xyz chemical company then go look it up and prove him wrong. you are so lazy and trained by the media of your choice that you need someone to do all of the research for you.

        here is what I mean though in regards to doing the research yourself.. Chertoff made it big as head of homeland security, gee thanks bush for more government I know. Then he resigned and becomes a foxnews contributor and tells everyone that the full body scanners are a great idea, yadda yadda. Fox News ONLY lists his title as former head of Homeland Security. What they don’t tell you is that he is also now a huge player involved with a company that is making the scanners. Guess how much money he makes every time one sells? Kind of misleading isn’t it? Of course he is not going to say anything bad about the scanners!! That is what the drug companies do with all of their studies.. that is what all of the doctors who are dependent on money from these drug companies do! They say what is safe so that they don’t lose their jobs!

        Read up on Chertoff: http://www.nowpublic.com/world/full-body-scanner-lobby-michael-chertoff-rapiscan-2552674.html

        Do a little research on any doctor who is on tv or in the media and who is supporting a drug or study. Look for his connection to the companies. Look at the FDA and CDC honchos! Everyone of them is a former drug company or pharma executive or salesman!! That is called a conflict of interest!

        Mike Adams is calling for you to get off your lazy butt and do the research. Yeah, its tough to have to work for information, but oh its worth it. It is very easy to simply be a skeptic. To pick up all the pieces takes more work.

        If you don’t know how give me one example where Mike Adams says Dr. So and So gets his money from pharma and I will show you how to look it up.. or the latest study on the FLU was done by pharma and I will show you.

      • jaycueaitch Says:

        You are the one alleging that doctors are funded by pharma and Adams is the one asserting that the media are funded by pharma. It is not up to me to prove them wrong, it is up to them to prove their allegations. As it would be up to anyone to prove it if they were to claim that you were being funded by some Alt. Med firm. It would not be up to you to prove them wrong.

        BTW, I do look things up. That’s how I know Adams is talking rubbish.

      • Majestic Says:

        i was using “if you” as a global term.

        it IS up to you to prove it a lie. that is the whole point of truth. if it is a lie as you say then prove it.

        i’ve seen nothing scholarly on your blog to show me you do your own research or even get your news from anything but the boobtube.

      • jaycueaitch Says:

        So in your view Adams can spout whatever crap he likes and doesn’t have to prove it? By that token, if someone were to place an allegation about you on the internet it woul be down to you to prove the allegations false. Do you really want to go there?

        I’ll take your ad hom argument as evidence that you have nothing better to offer.

  4. A Fourth Year of Steam « Letting Off Steam Says:

    [...] started with fisdkings of Mike Adams’ misunderstanding of the UK health care system here and here. He also demonstrated his limited comprehension abilities in his misunderstanding of the 10:23 [...]

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