For some reason, Newsweek decided to ask the discredited researcher Andrew Wakefield for his views in the wake of a measles outbreak. To be fair, they’ve done their research and they do present the important facts (for example the retraction of his fraudulent paper). But: we all know what he’ll say (the same as he did last time there was an outbreak) and we all know how much weight we can give the word of a man who’s chiefly known for his misconduct. Read the rest of this entry »
The magazine What Doctors Don’t Tell You has this week issued a bizarre statement in response to a Times article by Tom Whipple. Among other things, they seem to be upset that the article claimed “that we’d told parents in our latest (October 2013) issues not to immunize their children with the MMR”. Read the rest of this entry »
In August 2012, I wrote about an ASA judgement on a complaint I’d submitted about Richard Halvorsen’s Babyjabs clinic. A new adjudication on a different website’s marketing of single vaccines is now available on the ASA website. The ASA received six complaints and investigated seven issues, all of which were upheld. Read the rest of this entry »
In an article on MMR and measles in the June issue of What Doctors Don’t Tell You (WDDTY), Bryan Hubbard reports on the DeStefano et al paper that found no association between autism and the number of antigens children receive from vaccination. That is what the paper actually found. What Hubbard reports is something quite different. I have no idea how Mr Hubbard manages to get it so wrong. I’d have thought pretty much anyone would be able to figure out what the researchers studied, but apparently not. Now, I’m no expert – far from it – but I think even an ignorant layman like me can work out what research question the authors were investigating. Read the rest of this entry »
Dr Hazir stated that more than 50% of the 550 patients with measles seen at a children’s hospital in Islamabad had previously been vaccinated (though he did not state whether they had received the recommended two doses or just one). NSNBC, quite unjustifiably, turned this into the headline “More than 50 % of those Diagnosed with Measles in Pakistan had been Vaccinated”. Read the rest of this entry »
Misnamed anti-vaccine website Child Health Safety posted a blog recently in which a number of surprising claims were made with great certainty. I thought these claims sounded very dubious and it turned out that they were. It’s taken me a few days to get round to posting this debunking partly because, unlike Child Health Safety, I like to check my facts before I publish. Read the rest of this entry »
Anti-vaccinationists have made a wide range of claims about the dangers of vaccines. In spite of the fact that they have generally had neither data nor a plausible mechanism for the claimed effect, several of their claims have been investigated by researchers.
As it turns out, the anti-vaccinationists are remarkably consistent. Time and time again, they are shown to be wrong. I’m not sure how many times a group needs to be wrong before people stop seeing them as credible. Perhaps people need to be reminded of how many times this group has been wrong? Read the rest of this entry »
The Daily Mail have this week published an article on the HPV vaccine. Remarkably, it’s actually quite good. Certainly better than those written by Rachel Porter, Paul Sims, and the anonymous (and ubiquitous) Daily Mail Reporter. (See here, here, here, and here for my thoughts on those articles.) The journalist in question is Fiona MacRae. The article is about girls being denied the “life-saving cervical cancer jab” because of the religious objections of schools. As I say, it’s actually quite good. The only quibble I have is that it includes the following sentence: Read the rest of this entry »
A guest blog post from a UK Doctor
New revelations and implications about Andrew Wakefield’s research work.
For anyone who doesn’t know about the ramifications of the Andrew Wakefield saga, here is a brief recap. In 1998 he published a paper in the Lancet journal along with 11 colleagues, detailing bowel changes found in a sequence of children supposedly consecutively referred to his department of Gastroenterology at the Royal Free Hospital in London. The suggestion was that these children’s parents had noticed behavioural or gastrointestinal abnormalities within a very short interval following MMR vaccination. The inference drawn was that MMR might damage the bowel, leading to neurological changes of autism. In a press conference called after the paper was published, Wakefield expressed no faith in the MMR vaccine, and called for single measles vaccines to be used as an alternative. Read the rest of this entry »