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Wakefield: Proquad claims. Liar or incompetent?

(235 Posts)
noblegiraffe Sat 20-Apr-13 12:32:00

This just came up on another thread, and I thought it was worth wider publicity, given Wakefield's apparent continuing influence, and the current measles outbreak.

I was discussing whether 'vaccine overload' had any basis in science, or any evidence for it. (No, btw).

I was directed to the claim that giving a 4 in 1 jab against measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox (called the MMRV) doubled adverse reactions. I found an interview with Wakefield where he claimed this showed that giving extra vaccinations at the same time was dangerous. He said:

"If you just take for example, MMR and you add in the varicella vaccine, the chickenpox vaccine, MMRV as ProQuad what happens is you double the rate of convulsions as an adverse reaction. So just adding one and not 999,000 but just one extra vaccine in, you double the rate of an adverse, a potentially serious adverse reaction. To the extent that that ProQuad vaccine had to be withdrawn. So the notion that you could give a child a hundred thousand vaccine antigens on one day is utter nonsense. And what is extraordinary, what is telling I suppose is that no other immunologist or vaccinologist or any other person with any credible standing has stood behind Dr. Offit and said yes, you can go for it."

2 points need to be made
1) Proquad has not been withdrawn. It is still licensed for use. The advisory body in the US did amend their recommendation in light of the extra adverse reactions (4.3 extra febrile seizures per 10,000). ProQuad used to be their preferred injection for both initial and booster jab, now it is just recommended for the booster jab.

2) Wakefield suggests that it was giving an extra vaccine that caused the extra adverse events (vaccine overload), however the comparison of adverse events was not between the MMRV and the MMR (4 vaccines versus 3) but the MMRV versus the MMR plus the chickenpox vaccine given on the same day (4 versus 4). Nothing to do with an extra vaccine, and he is trying to use this to make a point which simply isn't valid.

Now Wakefield still has an agenda regarding spaced out single vaccines (as recent headlines show).
Was he lying when he made these easily researched incorrect claims about ProQuad, or was he simply too thick to correctly assess the information widely available?

Now if he wanted to discuss why there were more adverse events to the 4 in 1 versus the 3+1, he might have a point (I'm not sure they contain exactly the same vaccines) but he didn't. He made a completely false point, one which is proudly featured on an antivax website.

Please treat anything Wakefield says with the caution it deserves.

CatherinaJTV Sat 04-May-13 18:09:35

thank you coorong - I do agree with that.

Beachcomber, I am also quite tired of the "when did you stop beating your wife" kind of argumentation, so it is probably for the best to stop the discussion here.

Tabitha8 Sat 04-May-13 18:44:28

Just to clarify, Dustin Barton won his case, did he not?
Unfortunately, it looks as though you've all gone away from this thread.

CatherinaJTV Sat 04-May-13 19:03:04

I linked to the case decision, Tabitha8 - the answer is yes as far as I can see.

Tabitha8 Sat 04-May-13 19:05:09

Thanks. That's how I read it, right at the end of the paper.

Cheers! smile

Beachcomber Sat 04-May-13 23:03:04

Whatever. like I said this thread makes me sick.

Carry on and good luck to you.

<hides thread and concentrates on something fruitful>


Emperor Sun 05-May-13 19:41:18

Beachcomber, you made a good choice. Talking to people who are not willing to listen is throwing pearls before swine.

CatherinaJTV Mon 06-May-13 10:04:15

wonderful - keep working on the image of vaccine-refusers by calling your opponents "swine", E. hmm

LaVolcan Mon 06-May-13 10:44:12

Matthew 7:6
"Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces."

CatherinaJTV Mon 06-May-13 13:02:13

Inspirational hmm

coorong Mon 06-May-13 15:45:16

Actually, the biblical links are interesting.

You can find a myriad of old and New Testament quotes than anti vacc people use to justify their superstitions. In the states a religious belief is one of the reasons to refuse vacc (other religious groups have similar beliefs about organ donations, blood transfusion, etc). But it is the same philosophy used by some extreme religious groups to suppress women, admonister gays and justify racism.

But calling someone swine because you don't agree with them is simply employing the "ad hominem" device. It is fallacious and merely undermines your own position.

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