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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 To the extent that that ProQuad vaccine had to be withdrawn.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1) Proquad has not been withdrawn.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.

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.

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

Inspirational 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 10:04:15

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

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.

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>


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

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

Cheers! smile

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 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 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.

coorong Sat 04-May-13 16:24:39

These families were poorly advised. All class actions start with a test case and any lawyers worth their salt would roll out the most convincing to get things started. I think rather than focussing on this particular court case, proper peer reviewed random controlled trials on vaccines would be better.

Oh hang on, they've been done.

And these tens of thousands of children with febrile convulsions - who are they, what are their names, and if this type of reaction is so widespread, why has the daily mail not picked up on it? More to the point, I have nursery teaching friends, why hasn't this come to their attention?

"Thousands and thousands with brain damage from vaccines"? Where? Do you have trials showing before and after?

That statement alone makes Rosi7 claims about energy levels reasonable.

Beachcomber Sat 04-May-13 14:26:17

Why doesn't it surprise me that you would dismiss the lived experience of 5000 families as 'many many words' CatherinaJTV ? hmm

The standard of proof that the test cases were being held to does not exist in vaccine science today and certainly didn't then. (Mostly because doctors know that their careers are over if they rock that particular boat). Tough shit for those 5000 families hey! (and the thousands more throughout the world).

And their stories are very rarely of "totally healthy child goes to get her jab and comes out disabled" - it is a bit more complicated than that for most of them. What with them being real live human beings and all. Good way to dismiss them though. Well done.

Anyway, I'm out of this thread now I'm afraid, as the exchange with you, CatherinaJTV, is making me sick. Children are being denied appropriate medical treatment, care and help because of this.

Enough now.

CatherinaJTV Sat 04-May-13 10:07:20

Many, many words Beachcomber, but the fact remains: the plaintiffs in the Autism Omnibus case had 5000 kids to pick from to prove that vaccines cause autism. They did not manage.

That doesn't mean that vaccines don't cause neurological damage (GBS, MIBE in the immunocompromised, encephalitis - table injuries), but not in the tens of thousands and rarely (not never) in the "totally healthy child goes to get her jab and comes out disabled" sense that you seems to adhere to.

Beachcomber Fri 03-May-13 20:34:23

In years to come an side effect may come to light, but after FORTY years and BILLIONS of MMR doses, we simply don't have anything, anything to show a correlation(or indeed causation) between the vaccine and any side effect.

Actually Coorong, we do.

We have tens of thousands of families who report that their children suffered febrile episodes and then went on to show signs of brain damage. We have the clinical reports and the research of the doctors who examined these children.

It is positively inhumane to carry on dismissing them.

Thousands and thousands of children with brain damage - brain damage that looks remarkably similar to disintegrative psychosis which can be caused by measles virus .

The head in the sand Orwellian denial is absolutely incredible. And it will cost us heavily as a society. I despair I really do.

Beachcomber Fri 03-May-13 20:23:17

CatherinaJTV why were they having to pick test cases in the first place? Something that was entirely unprecedented in Vaccine Court which, despite its many failings, had up until then, admitted that children are individuals .

What on earth was that about?

They lumped this massive group of children together and then said 'prove 100% that vaccines cause autism' - something which is nigh on impossible and which actually goes against the ethos of Vaccine Court itself . Then they paid a bunch of professional expert witnesses a fortune to testify that the parents didn't know their own children and that the doctors who had examined them were crap.

That was what the test cases were decided on - paid for expert opinion that the parents didn't notice that their kids were autistic and that the doctors had crappy labs and bad methodology and that 5000 children getting fevers and seizures and brain damage and showing immune dysfunction following exposure to viruses was just one big coincidence .

Come On. Pull the other one.

And the lawyers chose Hannah Poling as one of the test cases and her case was compensated. Her case was compensated on the condition that it no longer be presented as a test case. What the actual fuck? How was that allowed to happen?

CatherinaJTV I've seen you on enough threads on here to see that you are pretty keen on vaccines and very convinced that they all have marvellous safety records. But surely even you can see the injustice done to 5000 families who never even got to present their case.

But then you know what, it had all been decided in advance, none of them were going to win anyway so there wasn't much point wasting time and resources by actually listening to them. It was all decided already.

Bit like how in the UK the families had their Legal Aid withdrawn because it was considered a waste of resources for them to get any funding to present cases that were never going to be given a fair hearing and that were never going to be conceded no matter what evidence was presented.

The US government's and its Vaccine Court's official stance is "vaccines never cause autism or brain damage that looks like autism, (except when they do)".

It is a sham and a lie.

The whole thing is a disgrace and a scandal and it makes me sick that people go along with it. Surely it is possible to think vaccines are worthy and great but retain one's humanity and empathy for families for whom vaccines didn't work out so well? Maybe not, the more time goes on and the more I read about all this, the less I think so. Chilling.

If 5000 children developed fevers and brain damage and immune deregulation after being exposed to measles, mumps and rubella in the wild would people think that was one big coincidence or would they consider that those children had most likely received a viral insult?

And give me a break on Hep B - if it was such a risk to newborns how come we don't vaccinate for it in the UK?

CatherinaJTV Fri 03-May-13 19:17:07

The lawyers had 5000 families from which to pick their test cases and did not manage to find one that was unambiguous? How did that happen?

CatherinaJTV Fri 03-May-13 19:15:22

HepB is also transmitted by saliva within normal contacts. The transmission of hepB between a shedding kindergartener and his care taker has been documented, for example. I don't consider it a huge risk, but infants, when infected, have a huge risk of developing chronic hepB, so I understand the US policy.

Beachcomber Fri 03-May-13 19:03:54

Yes I am unhappy with the outcome - 5000 families never got to make their case and yet it was conceded that Hanna Poling was hurt by her vaccines and that she developed 'symptoms of autism'.

How many other children were there like Hannah in the 5000? We will never know (unless the families have the resources to fight a civil case now that they have been kicked out of Vaccine Court).

Either vaccines never cause autism or they sometimes do. The government admits that they sometimes do because they have settled cases like Hannah's.

So how come the 5000 families never even got to their day in court? They never got to present the case of their children?

Not because vaccines never cause autism but because there were too many cases for Vaccine Court to be able to deal with .

How is that just?

5000 families who never even got to try for compensation for their child because there were too many of them . So the more children a vaccine damages, the less likely it is to be investigated?


No, I'm not terribly thrilled with that outcome.

Beachcomber Fri 03-May-13 18:55:30

Would I give my newborn HepB? No. But then, I did not have to go back to work within a week and that is not unusual in the US and you have no control over what your child gets exposed to then.

Are you suggesting that working mothers are exposing their babies to Hep B? hmm

Newborns are not given Hep B because they might actually be exposed to this disease which is sexually transmitted or transmitted through needle sharing.

coorong Fri 03-May-13 17:48:15

The reason the debate continues and why it's relevant to connect wakefield to smallpox and polio, is that he continued the long line of shamans pushing there own cure. Remember the controversy when the South African health minister denied the link between HIV and AIDS. The odd paper is not proof, it's consistent patterns that are relevant. To weight wakefield et ALS claims with the same merit at the Cochran review is poor science. It would be like weighting the single pro smoking paper against the weight of data showing clear links between smoking and lung cancer.

In years to come an side effect may come to light, but after FORTY years and BILLIONS of MMR doses, we simply don't have anything, anything to show a correlation(or indeed causation) between the vaccine and any side effect. The only correlation is that as vaccination rates rise, epidemics decline.

CatherinaJTV Fri 03-May-13 16:30:37

I think you are just unhappy because of the outcome.

Beachcomber Fri 03-May-13 14:32:14

But CatherinaJTV - the cases weren't heard

6 cases were heard and 5000 were dismissed on the basis of the 6 heard. The 6 cases that were heard were being held to an impossible standard of biological proof - a standard that does not exist in vaccine science.

The HHS failed to provide an alternative explanation for what happened to these children and they conceded the case of Hannah Poling on the condition that she no longer be considered a test case.

The Cedillo hearing was disgusting what with Bustin showing up at the last minute to give a shaky professional opinion (and one that wasn't even relevant to Michelle's profile), and failing to make the underlying data on which he based his opinion available for examination hmm. Then we had Fombonne (who has practically made a profession from testifying against sick children and their families) who tried to convince everybody that videos of Michelle running around as a toddler were completely consistent with the wheelchair bound Michelle who suffered multiple seizures most days. She was really sick before her vaccines - just her parents and doctors were too stupid to notice. Right.

The 5000 cases were never heard. All these families have been told they have no case without their cases even being heard.

The HHS admitted that Hannah Poling had been hurt by her vaccines and yet they dismissed 5000 other children without even examining their cases to see if they were like Hannah.

The Autism Omnisbus was a sham.

CatherinaJTV Fri 03-May-13 14:07:15

my 12 months old got DTaP, IPV, HepB, hib and MMR in one day, 9 "diseases" in 5 different syringes. After that, I became a one shot per visit person when possible (DS got hepA, typhoid and yellow fever in a day a couple of months ago). The American schedule is more like a acupuncture treatment plan, however, this is due 1. to the scarcity of combination vaccines and 2. to the fact that the US has 0 weeks of paid maternity leave so many kids are in out of home care from a few weeks old. The CDC has to propose a schedule that will reach and protect children from inner city New York as much as from rural Kentucky in a country of 310 million inhabitants. Given the US's diversity in health care access, they have found the best schedule for them. Would I give my newborn HepB? No. But then, I did not have to go back to work within a week and that is not unusual in the US and you have no control over what your child gets exposed to then.

CatherinaJTV Fri 03-May-13 13:57:44

Mind you, you seem pretty pleased that the 5000 families seeking to have their cases heard in Vaccine Court were dismissed.

I am rather pleased that they were heard, got a chance to present their case and ANY AND ALL witness they wanted. I read the Cedillo proceedings, all 2000+ pages of it and was content with the rigour of the hearing.

I can understand the frustration over anti-vaccine activism (as diverse as the motives may be - see the other thread).

Beachcomber Fri 03-May-13 13:55:43

And something that I find increasingly concerning is this constant talk of 'vaccination' as though vaccination is one thing.

It isn't.

'Vaccination' as a theoretical concept is one thing. Vaccination as a physical reality in yunno, real life, on real people is not one thing that one can be 'a fan of'. Every vaccine is different - some better than others, some safer than others, some more effective than others, some more justifiable than others, some more relevant to certain populations than others.

To roll all this up into one big ball called 'vaccination' and talk about it as though it is one thing is delusional. And to my mind, dangerous.

I'm always curious with people who do this - would they take their 15 month old to get DTaP, Hib, IPV, MMR and Varicella on one day as happens in the US? Nine vaccines in one day? Really?

Or how about Hep B on the day or birth? How many posters here would be happy with that for their newborns - babies about which we can have no idea if they have underlying conditions that could turn out to be contraindication to vaccination?

Vaccination is brilliant, life saving, rilly rilly safe and untouchable so I presume that the answer is 'yes'.

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