By Helen Petousis Harris 29/08/2015 47


The quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine called Gardasil is putting on a bloody good show and NO, it doesn’t cause THAT!

Despite strong evidence demonstrating effectiveness against a range of cancers and genital warts and robust data supporting its safety a bunch of silly rumours threaten to derail efforts to get our young women vaccinated. By the way boys should also be vaccinated but in NZ funding has not yet been provided for all our young blokes so most have to pay for it privately, inequitable yes – but that is another story.

So where does the evidence on effectiveness and safety stand in August 2015?

Gardasil is a very effective vaccine

As we know Gardasil performed extremely well in clinical trials, effectively preventing pre-invasive cervical lesions, and the results suggested it would have a dramatic effect on cervical disease and genital warts. While it is still very early days to be looking at cancer outcomes there are already reductions in cervical disease, such as cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), being observed.

Q: So now that it has been in use in various countries, what impact in the real world is it having?

A: Rates of cervical dysplasia are decreasing. Some examples below.

  • Californian data show a reduction in leisions caused by HPV16/18 classified as CIN2 or worse of 53.6% to 28.4% in vaccinated women who received at least one dose of vaccine. There was no reduction observed among unvaccinated women. The effectiveness increased as the time between vaccination and diagnosis increased.
  • Canadian data show a relative reduction in cervical dysplasia of 44% in young women who were vaccinated.
  • Australian data show any number of doses associated with a reduction in rates of high and low grade dysplasia and this effect gets bigger as more time goes on.

Q: What about warts?

A: Rates of genital warts are dropping in female cohorts eligible for vaccination and their sexual partners. Here is a recent systematic review.  And Australia have almost eliminated them.

Gardasil is a very safe vaccine

Now that around 180 million doses have been distributed what is the safety profile of HPV vaccine?

It is fair to say there is now a vast body of evidence about the safety of HPV vaccines. When I say vast here are some numbers.

  • Years of study – Clinical studies began ~2002 and are on going = 13 years
  • Number of studies since the vaccine was licenced – 9 years
  • Number of post licensure safety studies (2006 onwards) as of mid-2015 – 15 studies
  • Number of individuals in the studies – over one million
  • Who has been studied? – males and females aged 9 years to 45 years including people with special conditions such as pregnant women.
  • What are the risks from the vaccine other than minor stuff? Fainting is a real risk as is anaphylaxis

The bottom line is that when vaccinated people are compared with unvaccinated people there are no increased risks for serious adverse events. Put another way, receipt of 4-HPV vaccine does not increase your risk for a serious adverse event over and above your risk without having the vaccine. I think I have said this until blue in the face.

Blue in the face

Despite the now vast body of safety data there continue to be some pretty outrageous rumours that circulate – usually recycled rhetoric. Here are some of the myths around the safety of HPV vaccine and reasons why these claims are fallacious in some way.

Falsehoods about the safety of HPV vaccine – no it doesn’t cause that

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).

CRPS can follow a minor injury. There are case reports in the literature of CRPS following needle related procedures including venipuncture and injections such as immunsiations. It is certainly important to be aware that even though rare, CRPS can occur after immunisation and also that young adolescent girls appear at highest risk. Some cases from Australia were published in 2012 and the authors provide a considered discussion on the matter, also noting that the cases responded to treatment and further doses were recommended and well tolerated.

However, this issue appeared to take on a life of its own in Japan leading to wide spread loss of confidence in the vaccine mid 2013 following highly publicised claims about adverse events. The public discussion grew with vocal anti vaccination proponents gaining control of the conversations and coordinating activities. Some medical professionals have also added their voices to the dabate, despite the fact there is no evidence that the vaccine has anything but a rare role in this syndrome. While the Japanese government no longer actively recommends the vaccine it is still available. The events in Japan are well documented in this report from the CSIS Global Health Policy Centre. and a source of great disappointment for the Japanese Ministry of Health.

Many major international newspapers and magazines are running stories about girls experiencing a range of neurological symptoms after receiving the vaccine. The Independent is one such example that has made waves here in NZ.

There is currently nothing to substantiate a significant causal relationship between HPV vaccine and CRPS other than the potential for minor needle related mechanical injury which, in rare instances, may result in CRPS in the arm. This letter to the Archives of Internal Medicine highlights the points nicely.

Studies that have assessed neurological events following HPV vaccine include a register based cohort study from Denmark and Sweden including 997,585 girls aged 10-17 of whom 296,828 had received a total of 696,420 doses of Gardasil. You would think that if this vaccine was the cause a bunch of CRPS it would show up here. But it does not. 

Commentary by CDC authors and summary of US passive safety surveillance data find no patterns to suggest an association. And, The Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety have investigated and reported on all safety concerns that have been raised. They have found no evidence for CRPS (or any other conditions).  And finally, The European Medicines Agency are about to review the matter.

A review summarising the safety of Gardasil from 2006 – 2015 concludes:

Conclusions: These results, along with the safety data from the prelicensure clinical trials, confirm that the HPV4 vaccine has a favorable safety profile. Key policy, medical and regulatory organizations around the world have independently reviewed these data and continue to recommend routine HPV vaccination.

So while it appears to me that there is the fairly rare potential for needle related procedures to induce a CRPS the current rumours about HPV vaccine induced CRPS seem blown out of all proportion and effectively constitute a public health menace rather than a useful contribution to science-based evidence.

Aluminium adjuvant

A particularly wacky theory is that the aluminium adjuvant in the vaccine somehow colludes with viral DNA and/or viral proteins and/or yeast, crosses the blood brain barrier and/or induces an inflammatory reaction leading to ….death and disability. I have previously written about this [here] and will not go into it again here HOWEVER, the barn door most basic question you have to ask yourself is this: If the vaccine ingredients conspire to induce death and disability then surely we would see more death and disability in vaccinated people when we compare them to unvaccinated – after all presumably this will not happen in the unvaccinated? Wouldn’t ya think???

Surely that should be the end of the conversation. Risk the same regardless of vaccine exposure.

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)

POTS is basically a condition that gives you a racing heart when you stand up. It can sometimes be associated with a viral illness. Some case reports have appeared in the literature following HPV vaccine, a couple of bottom level dwelling evidence examples below.

In 2013 a report of 6 cases was published, onset 6 days to 2 months following HPV vaccine. An autoimmune aetiology was proposed. In a 2015 report 21/35 women tested for suspected POTS fulfilled the diagnostic criteria. The time to onset of symptoms ranged from 0 – 30 days following HPV vaccine and a mean time to being tested for the condition 1.9 years. An autoimmune aetiology was proposed. Mmmm. Personally I find the whole autoimmunity argument a bit of a catch all for anti-vaxers as it is hard to argue against the possibility of biological plausibility no matter how improbable.

However…

Like the CRPS discussed above these are simply case reports which are hypothesis generating – we could pose a research question and then test it based on these case reports. That is called science.

And right now the actual real science says that no more bad stuff happens in people who have received HPV vaccine than happens in people who have not. 13 years down the track of HPV vaccination and the scientific evidence supporting the safety of Gardasil only got stronger. Unfortunately so did the wave of unsubstantiated rumour and scaremongering.


47 Responses to “HPV vaccine Gardasil – seriously good data reinforce its safety”

  • Hello Helen. I really appreciate your blog. It is refreshing to read material which focuses on the veracity of key vaccine related issues. Nevertheless, may I say, that I do find one aspect of your blogs somewhat unsettling; the manner in which you belittle any authors, publications, professionally published material with which you disagree. Frankly –
    to me at least – it undermines your credibility. Understanding, of course, that it is your personal blog, and you are perfectly free to write in whatsoever manner of style you wish!

    The truth around safety, efficacy, neurotoxin adjvants, suppressed test results, adverse effects and such, really does seem to be masked by a range of agendas. The extent to which say, Gardisil has been subject to the push and pull of agendas is surprising. The thing is, that parents, want valid information of high integrity in order to make informed decisions. And this requires balance i.e. the good, the bad – and the ugly. It is not sufficient (for some of us) to simply believe the statement “that Gardisil is a very safe vaccine”. True informed consent requires more than this I believe.

    A good example, is this article from ‘Childrens Medical Safety Research Institute’ – which throws decent balance to a couple of your sweeping statements. See below. “Death rate from cervical cancer in 9-20-year-old girls is zero and long-term benefits are yet to be proven,” say the immunologists. They cite unusually high adverse event reports with the vaccine, including cases of many autoimmune diseases such as paralyzing Guillain Barre syndrome, multiple sclerosis and transverse myelitis and state that “short-term risks to healthy subjects can prove to pose a heavier burden than cervical cancer.”

    Perhaps there is not sufficient resource to maintain healthy assessment to all new research (within Government departments). Perhaps the weight of money from within the Pharma industry is overwhelming. I dont have sufficient insight to know. What I do know, is that there is not sufficient balance, credence or worthwhile public debate given to the Downside risks associated with vaccinations .. Sincerely

    http://info.cmsri.org/the-driven-researcher-blog/on-vaccines-adjuvants-and-autoimmunity

    • Hi David,
      It is true I am scathing of certain material, something i will not apologise for because of the damage to public health such material can do (extreme example Wakefield). However, it is not because I disagree with the material per se but that it is dishonest and misleads. The link you provide is a perfect example. The Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute is an anti vaccination group, not a science group. The funder has been known to state “Vaccines are a holocaust of poison on our children’s brains and immune systems” Science plays no role here, in fact the science advisory board includes some well known pseudoscientists. Some of the research has been retracted from journals, some is published in journals on which the authors are editors (not necessarily a problem but it is a theme here rather than an exception. Here is a link to a discussion about the source of some of this material from the CMSRI, saves me from saying much the same thing. What is the difference between this antivax funded ‘research’ and big pharma funded research you may ask?

      There are many vaccine studies funded by industry and if all vaccine studies were funded by industry that would not be good. Just as well they are not. The industry funded studies are subjected to peer review from conception, ethical approval, progress reporting, and publication. However, the most important thing is that the findings are reproduced by studies funded by non-industry/non-profit entities such as public good and regulatory agencies. The antivax funded studies are not, they are generated by the same people over and over again.

      To directly respond to your comment “Death rate from cervical cancer in 9-20-year-old girls is zero and long-term benefits are yet to be proven,” say the immunologists. They cite unusually high adverse event reports with the vaccine, including cases of many autoimmune diseases such as paralyzing Guillain Barre syndrome, multiple sclerosis and transverse myelitis and state that “short-term risks to healthy subjects can prove to pose a heavier burden than cervical cancer.”

      Of course the death rate from cervical cancer in 9-20 year olds is virtually zero! They need a persisting infection with HPV for years to develop cancer, this is what the vaccine prevents. Quite frankly this is an issue for epidemiologists and oncologists anyway. The claim that the vaccine causes these terrible adverse events is just plain wrong and I will shamelessly launch attacks on those who deliberately mislead on this matter. How on earth can you hold up a poorly conducted laboratory study or voluntary online survey as evidence in the face of global population cohort studies and randomised clinical trials that include millions and repeatedly and robustly say otherwise? Obviously no scientist would.

  • Thank you for your reply Helen. You provide interesting perspective.

    Your comment that Children Safety Medical Research material is “dishonest and misleading” is interesting, in that the article I linked to also referenced several other organisations and (quite a bit of) peer-reviewed research. I wonder whether (or not) you read the articles, or pursued the referenced material.

    By proxy, you also besmirch the ‘Journal of Pharmacological Research’ and ‘Zabludwicz Centre for Autoimmune Diseases in Tel-Hashomer, Israel. And, you are sullying a number of other reputable institutions referenced in the article. Was this intentional? I am referring to these references:

    http://www.cmsri.org/global-research/ and
    http://www.cmsri.org/cmsri-funded-research/

    I respectfully suggest, that all the papers pertaining to adverse effects of adjuvants cannot all be “dishonest and misleading’. Indeed, I find intriguing that you (appear to) consider yourself a senteniel, with a mission to decry or denigrate any published research or material, which does not align with the position “that vaccines are very safe.” Speaking personally, I think that it undermines your credibility.

    I wonder whether (or not) you grasped my main point: that ” that parents, want valid information of high integrity in order to make informed decisions. And this requires balance i.e. the good, the bad – and the ugly. It is not sufficient (for some of us) to simply believe the statements such as “Vaccines are very safe”.

    We know that there are risks to vaccines, and that there are serious hospitalisation cases and life-changing events to a (small) number of people. Heck, the vaccine inserts acknowledge that much. We also know that the CDC itself acknowledges that only a small percentage of serious, adverse effects are recorded in the VAERS database. And, we know the history associated with the Smallpox and Polio cycles, and that the concept of ‘herd immunity’ only operates for some diseases. And, we know that there is immense pressure from Pharmacy advocacy and money to promote vaccines favourably.

    You see, we also know about the (Gardisil) scandals in Japan, Denmark and Australia. This stuff is public knowledge – and, goes against some of your (very public) proclamations.

    I respectfully contend that some of us have more insight than you presently give us credit for. To think otherwise is insulting. In order to uphold the principle of ‘informed consent’ in New Zealand, we require levels of integrity and transparency of the highest order.

    Sincerely, David Bernard

  • David – Some questions.

    “You see, we also know about the (Gardisil) scandals in Japan, Denmark and Australia. This stuff is public knowledge – and, goes against some of your (very public) proclamations.”

    Who is “we”?

    What event is it that you refer to as a “scandal”?

    Why did you choose the word “Scandal”?

    How does this paragraph stack up with your carefully (but obviously) contrived position as an honest broker?

  • Ashton. Greetings. Who is “we” ? Myself, and other intelligent parents, striving to peel back the layers of half-truth, pseudo science, fact and fiction, in order to arrive at a level of understanding, which allows us to make informed decisions.

    Why did I use the word “scandal” ? Because, the events I allude to, give appearance to satisfactorily full filling the definition of scandal: “an action or event regarded as morally or legally wrong and causing general public outrage”. I am happy to detail (but am giving you a quick response for now).

    Not quite sure what you mean by “How does this paragraph stack up .. honest broker”.

    The truth is, that I have growing admiration for Dr Helen, as I read her historic blogs. Perhaps she does indeed have a role as “Sentinel of knowledge”. Notwithstanding, in this whole matter of informed consent, parents such as myself are simply seeking factual, evidence based knowledge; the good, the bad, and the ugly – in order to make informed decisions. It aint easy !

    • Hi David.

      So we is an undefined group of people with limited (or no) medical background but a level of hubris that takes some beating, who are attempting to second-guess a group of professionals that numbers in the thousands.

      The only “scandal” I can find in your examples of countries and their reaction to Gardasil is the scandalous misinformation from the anti-vaxx lobby. Here is a neat and easy reduction of the facts vis-a-vis Japan.

      Ashton. Greetings. Who is “we” ? Myself, and other intelligent parents, striving to peel back the layers of half-truth, pseudo science, fact and fiction, in order to arrive at a level of understanding, which allows us to make informed decisions.

      https://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/japan-bans-gardasil-debunking-myths-hpv-vaccine/

      “parents such as myself are simply seeking factual, evidence based knowledge; the good, the bad, and the ugly – in order to make informed decisions. It aint easy ”

      Its actually pretty easy – there are many countries with reliable and well resourced medical research bodies, and they concur – vaccination is the best method we have for reducing or eliminating public health problems. They don’t concur because of shady backhanders, or a lack of insight. They concur because, dammit, its a fact.

  • David,

    If you are “simply seeking factual, evidence based knowledge”, then, mayhaps, you should first investigate the integrity, funding and veracity of CMSRI before professing your belief in their assertions.

    After all, that’s simply a small part of what scientists do when somebody, or some group, makes claims that are unsupported by the scientific consensus.

    After all, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

    Undoubtedly, you will disregard any research provided by pharmacological companies that supports the safety of vaccines (whilst, of course, wholeheartedly endorsing any research by them suggesting any degree of risk provided by those vaccines), but you appear to be unable to reverse the procedure.

    You do not seem to impart the same level of criticism to “research” funded by anti-vaccine agencies as you do to that funded by vaccine manufacturers.

    Yet the scientific method requires that you apply the same degree of scepticism to both sources of evidence.

    Please do so.

  • David,

    Helen told you that CSMRI is an anti-vaccine group, and why.

    I pointed out that whatever the source of evidence you use, the scientific method requires that you impart the same degree of scepticism to each source.

    I didn’t respond to your “key points”, since you can readily find others that can do so better than I am able. I responded instead to your statement that you are “simply seeking factual, evidence based knowledge” and advised you how using the scientific method allows you to do so.

    You should apply the same scientific standards to CSMRI that you apply to pharmaceutical companies.

    May I recommend a trio of books from Ben Goldacre for examples of how the scientific method can ensure you are finding “factual, evidence based knowledge”? “Bad Science,” “Bad Pharma” and “I think you’ll find it’s a bit more complicated than that” are all excellent books although allowances have to be made for their UK orientated content.

  • Firstly, thank you Ashton and Stuartg for your responses. Particularly, for the suggested ‘Ben Goldacre’ reading.

    I have realised that there is much to learn – and, indeed, from Dr. Helen’s archived, blog material.
    I have also realised that, not being a scientist, I am probably participating on the wrong blog.
    There is much ‘crazy stuff’ out there;

    https://worldmercuryproject.org/

  • You’re participating on the right blog. How you think about these things matters too, though.

    You need to genuinely consider that what you’re repeating really is “dishonest and misleading”! 🙂

    Well meant advocacy groups are rather good at fooling themselves. (Shades of Carl Sagan here, another author you might read – try The Demon Haunted World; I’ve got a blog post here with quotes from that, too!)

    A word about intellectual (dis)honesty might help. Intellectual dishonesty is not accusing people of deliberately lying or ‘cheating’. It’s about not holding up a proper care of duty in studying a thing. (I have a post on Sciblogs that touches on some of this, sparked by the retraction of one of the papers on aluminium adjuvants.)

    There are relatively few papers that claim a link between aluminium adjuvants and ‘harm’. Some groups exaggerate how many they are, unfortunately. Also, a closer look shows the arguments these papers offer aren’t nearly as good as these (advocacy) groups make out.

    As an extreme example, you might aware that Shaw and Tomljenovic’s work is often used to support a link between aluminium adjuvants in vaccines and autism. Are you aware that their latest paper has been retracted owing to ‘creatively edited’ images in the paper?

    Citing the vaccine inserts as ‘evidence’ is a common thing encouraged by some advocacy groups. There’s a lot to this, but the nutshell is that they can’t be taken simplistically. As a simple example, the Gardasil vaccine inset reports 40 deaths — from road accidents, drug overdose/suicide, gunshot wound, etc. The catch is that in large studies there will always be some deaths because people die all the time, and if you take a large enough group some will die.

    There are more subtle points, too. Correlations don’t imply the first thing caused the second, they only indicate they coincided. You have to do more work to show cause. It’s worth noting that a few ‘side effects’ were rarer in the vaccinated v. the placebo controls. It’s the nature of statistics have a few either way, just due to randomness.

    As an example, if you were “obliged” to take the Gardasil vaccine insert naïvely, you’d be obliged to conclude that Gardasil has a preventative effect against inflammatory bowel disease — that Wakefield so infamously tried to link to the MMR vaccine. (And perhaps it does – but you’d need more than what the insert shows.)

    There are studies looking into these things more closely. Bottom line is there are very few cases of serious harm (for want of a better term) that can be confirmed. That’s not to say these things never happen, but the effect is claims about them are too often exaggerate in at least two ways. One is to make out there’s more instances of harm caused than there is. Another is to over-simplifiy to “the vaccine what done it”, leaving out all the rest of the biology (and statistics!)

    A deeper problem is that the meaningful comparison for safety is NOT against no harm at all, but comparing against the harm the disease causes. Better the disease or the vaccine? Literally everything in life has hazards and risks (two different things). There isn’t a single thing you do that you can ask there is absolutely no hazard (or risk). Asking for that is asking for something impossible. Some advocacy groups ask for the impossible because tactically they know it’s unachievable. That’s intellectually dishonest, too. (Comparing against no harm at all is an ideal – we’d all like that, but we do have to remember we live in a real world!)

  • Thank you for your comment and insight Grant. Perhaps I cannot compete with you intellectually. And, I have no particular desire to be shot down in flames by Dr Helen. However there is what seems to be a chasm between, shall we say, the plethora of generalised statements in, say, the Immunisation Advisory facebook page, and the steady stream of (what certainly appear to be) an ever increasing number of research papers raising concerns on the downside risks of vaccines. Of particular concern (to me personally) is the matter of aluminium and related adjuvants. Demonising anything to do with the subject as “wacky theories” does not cut the mustard. They cannot all be brushed aside as being factually incorrect; there are too many – and they are growing in number.

    In the interests of Informed Consent, there must surely be a place for balanced, informed, factual discussion. I realise, of course, that this is Dr. Helen’s personal blog. And I must respect that. I also feel that this is an ideal place to (try to) get the message across, that intelligent parents seek balanced and informed factual discussion on which to base decisions, in addition to lambasting response sessions. There does not appear to me – and to a several of my friends with kids – a forum with the balance of information we are seeking.. Sincerely

  • Helen on what basis was your (passing) comment “that boys should also be vaccinated” please. Do you still favourably suggest? Why? Regards David

  • Helen. Your material, together with the Mayo Clinic Web site, has given me somewhat greater insight. Thank you for that.

    This is a Science blog, but I have some related concerns.

    I went on to compare the FDA Gardasil insert to the material on the IMAC website, and was surprised to find that they were quite different. The implication is that the IMAC website downplays the Responses to Gardasil: Rare responses = Severe pain and swelling at injection site, and anaphylaxis. And thats about it.

    Specifically, there is no mention of any of the more serious disorders listed on the FDA Gardasil insert, under “Post Marketing Experience”. Disorders such as: “ Blood and lymphatic system disorders: Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders: Pulmonary embolus. Gastrointestinal disorders: General disorders and administration site conditions: Asthenia, chills, death, fatigue, malaise. Immune system disorders: Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders: Nervous system disorders: Guillain-Barré syndrome, motor neuron disease, paralysis, seizures, syncope Vascular disorders: Deep venous thrombosis.

    I also note that ‘Death’ is on the FDA insert, but not on the IMAC website (or Gardasil insert). One wonders why not.

    I see the International Symposium for Gardasil victims in Japan has been and gone. It focused on “ The current status of Worldwide Injuries from the HPV Vaccine”. The joint Statement, 2018 – which may be read and downloaded here – https://healthimpactnews.com/2018/global-joint-statement-from-5-nations-meeting-in-japan-exposes-injuries-and-discrimination-against-hpv-vaccine-victims – makes compelling reading. It seems that many different countries have parallel experiences of adverse events following HPV vaccinations.

    But, apparently, in New Zealand, “a bunch of silly rumours threaten to derail efforts to get our young women vaccinated. in New Zealand – whilst The World Health Organisation’s global database reports more than 305,000 AEs for HPV vaccines, which is far higher than for any other vaccine. These cannot all be a coincidence. (from press release)

    One wonders: why do the ‘downside risks’ of Gardasil appear to be down-played here in New Zealand?

  • David,

    There are typing errors in your second-t0-last paragraph — there should two quotes, not a single quote mark. The second quoted passage should be “The World Health Organisation’s global database reports more than 305,000 AEs for HPV vaccines, which is far higher than for any other vaccine. These cannot all be a coincidence.”

    But you don’t say that that is from an anti-vaccine lobby group. As worded it reads as if it’s from a WHO press release—it’s not. Similarly the conference it (and you) refers to is run by a scare-mongering ‘vigilance’ group. (They’ve also tried to garner false credibility, implying they are ‘sound’ and are ‘science’ because their meeting was hosted on a university grounds.)

    I have to ask you this: how many times do people have to say to you that you MUST use better sources before you do?

    It’s difficult to respect your ‘questions’ in your blog post hopping efforts here if you continue to use—to be very polite—dubious sources (saying dubious things!) after you’ve been encouraged to use better sources.

    Anti-vaccine groups say all sorts of unfortunate nonsense. I have no doubt that they sincerely believe them, in the same way that people believe all sorts of things, but that nonsense that is seriously unhelpful, and will harm people (sadly ironic given how they pitch themselves as ‘watchdogs’ and ‘caring for the people’).

    I might put up a Q & A post on my own blog on your various claims (no promises, my priorities are elsewhere), but a quick note on your latest “concerns” in the meantime —

    Firstly, reports are just that – reports. ‘Reported’ events are not ‘this caused that’, they are just reports.

    These databases are not collections of things confirmed as being caused by a vaccine or drug, but a collection of things that might be caused by the drugs or vaccines, if further work shows there is in fact a casual relationship.

    This is basic knowledge, and something I’m sure I have pointed out before. I’m equally sure Helen has mention this many times in her blogs.

    Secondly, all the nonsense & hype anti-vaccine groups spread results in people ‘reporting’ things on the vaccines that these groups emphasise/target. (It also becomes a circular thing.) It’ll be very likely that the high count of reports mostly say something about the extent these groups whip up fears.

  • David,

    One more, quickly —

    “One wonders: why do the ‘downside risks’ of Gardasil appear to be down-played here in New Zealand?”

    Ever stop to think that they are not down-playing at all – and that it is the anti-vaccine groups over-playing, and you falling for their over-playing?

    (You’re also insinuating and putting your conclusions ahead of checking if you’re right. Start with checking your sources and their claims are sound, perhaps.)

  • David,

    “I went on to compare the FDA Gardasil insert to the material on the IMAC website, and was surprised to find that they were quite different.”

    Why the surprise? The two documents are different because they contain two different sets of information, were written by two different sets of people, and were written for two different purposes.

    The content of the insert is specified by the FDA, among other government agencies, and so is written by lawyers to fulfil legal requirements.

    IMAC is written by health workers to give information and advice to users and has nothing to do with legal requirements.

    Obvious, really, when you think about it.

  • Thank you for your responses Grant. You are quick to categorise Medwatch as an “anti-vaccine lobby group. I wonder whether (or not) you read the material. I spent some time analysing their material, and came to a different conclusion; that, far from being anti-vaccine, Medwatch appear to be genuinely consumer advocacy minded. Which is a good and noble thing in this multi faceted world

    Certainly, the Indian Journal of Medical Credence gives them credence. http://ijme.in/articles/lessons-learnt-in-japan-from-adverse-reactions-to-the-hpv-ei

    At the beginning of this blog, Helen used the term “a bunch of silly rumours .. Gardasil “ Unfortunate wording – which we are all guilty from time to time – but victim Class actions in Japan, Columbia, Spain, UK and Ireland hardly qualify as contribution to “a bunch of silly rumours” do they ..

    I maintain that organisations such as Ministry of Health, Medsafe and such, are in a battle for hearts and minds. If my own journey for knowledge and ‘truth’ is anything to go by, there really is a murky area of (seemingly) conflicting ‘half and incomplete-truths’ between the realms of ‘the science’, evidence, ‘old school dogma’ – and right-wing anti-vaxxers.

    Which brings me to my main point. Grant has actively – and rightly – encouraged me to “use better sources” and to “not to dubious sources saying dubious things”. And, I absolutely agree. So, lets ask the question: Specifically, what sources of information are recommended as veritable – other than NZ Ministry of Health and CDC? How does one identify / classify unbiased, ethical, information sources? How does one distinguish between creditable and rogue research. Which international organisations / bodies the same (other than the formal, Health Government sites) ?

    Lets also ask: what work is being done in New Zealand, to identify analyse, validate and otherwise follow-up on Adverse Effects, to establish whether NZ adverse effects are in fact caused (or not) by the drugs or vaccines. What work is being undertaken to establish whether (or not) in fact, there are casual relationships. And by whom? Perhaps some of the ‘victims’ are in fact genuine victims of Gardasil adverse affects? How – if at all – are these persons assessed, and by whom, under which framework?

    And my final point: It is not at all obvious as to why the FDA Gardasil inserts should be different from the NZ Gardasil ones, and the IMAC website information. Why the surprise Stuart ? It certainly is not obvious why they might be different for legal and informational purposes; not at all. And, why is this so in a country where Informed Consent is foremost.

    Some of the issues I have raised here – and recently elsewhere on Diplomatic Immunity- are examples of vaccine related issues which help fuel mistrust towards the medical fraternity (which it doesn’t want or deserve).

    Perhaps an over-reliance on drug industry grants and support is a contributing factor. Whatever the case, there are very real thorns which the medical fraternity to overcome, in order for more people to better understand the issues, the benefits and downside risks of vaccines. All in the name of informed consent.

    I trust my posts have been useful. The various responses from Helen, and sentinels Grant Jacobs and StuartG have been appreciated. Thats me: I am off to the gym..

    • Kim, you accuse a respected scientist for being corrupt and serve up a you tube clip of an activist who is well established subscribe to long discredited vaccine denial claims such as MMR and autism. Youtube is not the best source of evidence to back a claim such as this.

  • David,

    I will try collate my replies, and some comments I haven’t had time to respond to in a blog post later, looking at anti-vaccine memes and tropes. (Your comments here provide a useful range of examples of them.) That will take time, and assumes I have time to complete it. In the meantime, a few words on your latest –

    You are quick to categorise Medwatch as an “anti-vaccine lobby group.

    I didn’t. This shows you haven’t checked your sources, and haven’t read what I wrote carefully either. Your quoted passage is from AHVID, not Medwatch. I checked the source before I wrote.

    AHVID are a UK-based lobby opposed to the HPV vaccine — that’s AHVID’s own stated position, not a “characterisation” of mine. (Incidentally this has you characterising me—I was not “quick to categorise” at all, that’s a characterisation.)

    I described Medwatch as “a scare-mongering ‘vigilance’ group”, which reflects what they do. Others have described them as anti-vaccine; they may know more than I do, and may be right. Something you might try check, rather that merely defend.

    I wonder whether (or not) you read the material. I spent some time analysing their material, and came to a different conclusion; that, far from being anti-vaccine, Medwatch appear to be genuinely consumer advocacy minded. Which is a good and noble thing in this multi faceted world

    Ironic and revealing. You seem to have no idea who you are quoting, which reveals that you did not check your sources, as I did, or even read carefully, yet try point fingers at me… This in turn suggests you read slavishly, and uncritically.

    I have repeatedly pointed out your need to read from better sources, and to critique what you read, but this seems to be beyond you – you’ve had plenty of chances to actually do it eh?

    Certainly, the Indian Journal of Medical Credence gives them credence.

    Sigh

    It’s the Indian Journal of Medical *Ethics*, your link is broken, and it’s clear you haven’t bothered to check what the piece is. It’s written by “All the authors are members of Medwatcher Japan. Masumi Minaguchi and Masato Sekiguchi are Lawyers for the plaintiffs in the HPV vaccination lawsuits.”. C’mon, it’s right there in the paper. Or did you just blindly cut’n’paste the link from some website you were reading?

    You can’t cite this as independent evidence that Medwatch is sound or credible as the authors are Medwatch! Also, lawyers rark these things up, sometimes for financial gain at that. Similarly, that there is a class action doesn’t make their claim is right, or even honourable.

    I maintain that organisations such as Ministry of Health, Medsafe and such, are in a battle for hearts and minds.

    Travelling a circle, but now you’re flip-flopping. Those who strongly oppose vaccines are a small minority, etc. (can’t be bothered repeating it all)

    If my own journey for knowledge and ‘truth’ is anything to go by, there really is a murky area of (seemingly) conflicting ‘half and incomplete-truths’ between the realms of ‘the science’, evidence, ‘old school dogma’ – and right-wing anti-vaxxers.

    The “journey for knowledge and ‘truth’” is a journey of confirmation bias if you only work from sites and sources that confirm to your bias. You’ve shown no evidence that you read the science, or the reading suggested to you by several people here.

    … encouraged me to “use better sources” and to “not to dubious sources saying dubious things”. And, I absolutely agree.

    So why haven’t you? Instead you’ve (repeatedly!) continued to read fairly obviously poor sources, and now try (badly) to defend a fairly obviously dubious source.

    Many links to better articles and sources have been provided to you. You don’t appear to have read them; you haven’t said anything about them, only paid lip service that doesn’t engage with them. Perhaps you might try prove yourself sincere by the doing, not pleading?

    So, lets ask the question: Specifically, what sources of information are recommended as veritable – other than NZ Ministry of Health and CDC? How does one identify / classify unbiased, ethical, information sources? How does one distinguish between creditable and rogue research. Which international organisations / bodies the same (other than the formal, Health Government sites) ?

    I’ve written on this several times, and, if I recall correctly, pointed you to some of it earlier. I’ve previously mentioned the problem of taking a horse to water too… You need to make an effort yourself. (Grandstanding doesn’t help either, by the way.)

    Why dismiss (select) government sources out-of-hand? They’re sources of information, and these are not parliamentarians but health specialists. Seriously, think about. Perhaps your sources discourage checking these sites because they know they show up what they offer as dubious and bad? Easier, and lazier, to not engage with the issue or evidence, and just dismiss.

    (PS: it’s ‘verifiable’, not ‘veritable’. Verifiable simply means what is said is backed by evidence. Helen’s statements have been backed by evidence, as you know.)

    Also: I am an “unbiased, ethical, information” source.* So is IMAC and the others you slight. You might want to consider that in dismissing these you’re playing to a straw man others have set up. (*I’m an independent consultant.)

    Furthermore, as I’ve pointed out before, you want to consider both sides of this, your sources too. How about considering, riffing off your words, if the groups you are reading are biased, unethical, and with misinformation?

    Try look at the ground you stand on, too.

    But groups opposed to vaccines like to say that people are “supporting the companies” or some other nonsense, and characterise us that way. Helen has written about have vaccines are controlled and end up on the public health schedules. What vaccines are used are not selected by the companies, they only manufacture them; the choices are made by regulatory agencies and health professionals.

    Lets also ask: what work is being done in New Zealand, to identify analyse, validate and otherwise follow-up on Adverse Effects, to establish whether NZ adverse effects are in fact caused (or not) by the drugs or vaccines. What work is being undertaken to establish whether (or not) in fact, there are casual relationships. And by whom? Perhaps some of the ‘victims’ are in fact genuine victims of Gardasil adverse affects? How – if at all – are these persons assessed, and by whom, under which framework?

    Less grandstanding, would be better?

    Helen has previously written on this, too, and, I think, pointed some of it out to you. Again you appear to be begging without making an effort on your own part. Also horse, water, etc.

    So many oppositional groups (re vaccines, GMO, water fluoridation, etc) ask that there be “NZ” studies. Why? Vaccines (GMOs etc) are international things, and humans elsewhere on the planet are just like humans here. The studies done elsewhere apply to NZers. A thought: asking for “NZ” studies is a specious call, special pleading to try ignore evidence they don’t like rather than face up to it. It’s also stalling, trying to tie up other’s time.

    It’s already been pointed out to you that possible adverse effects are checked.

    And my final point: It is not at all obvious as to why the FDA Gardasil inserts should be different from the NZ Gardasil ones, and the IMAC website information. Why the surprise Stuart ? It certainly is not obvious why they might be different for legal and informational purposes; not at all. And, why is this so in a country where Informed Consent is foremost.

    Stuart wasn’t surprised, he asked why are you surprised, read it carefully: “David, […] Why the surprise? The two documents are different because they contain two different sets of information, were written by two different sets of people, and were written for two different purposes.”.

    The reason would have been obvious if you had made an effort to check, and to learn. There are plenty of posts out there explaining why the vaccine inserts are not something to freak out over, and why they are not the same as confirmed side effects.

    For what it’s worth, I was going to point out the same but decided my earlier comment was long enough. The Adverse Reactions section of inserts cover everything that ‘might’ happen so that no-one can sue the companies by saying they weren’t warned. Given the money invested and slim margins, it’s not unexpected really even if it is exploited by some to mislead.

    Here’s one (long) post explaining vaccine inserts: https://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/vaccine-package-inserts-debunking-myths/

    The key paragraph related to your claim is,

    so the Adverse Reactions section is a laundry list of observed events that probably have nothing to do with the drug (or vaccine) but remain there so that the pharmaceutical company is covered in case of a lawsuit.

    (As I was saying.)

    A word about associations. Associations are not causes. Things that occur during the trial period might be attributed to the vaccine — but you have to check further before you can know what actually caused them. As one simple example, if you take a very large number of people and study them, a few are likely to die during the course of study simply because people die. You can’t say the vaccine caused their death simply because they died while the trial was running.

    Association studies are not looking for if something occurred. They try identify if something occurred more often in the population treated than in the population without the treatment. Those opposed to vaccines (etc) often point at ‘that’ something occurred, leaving out comparing how often they occur without the treatment, which is incorrect. Pointing at the ‘Adverse Reactions’ list in this way has the effect of (deliberately) misrepresenting the data.

    It’s easy to exploit because they can point at it and (mock) gasp, leaving out the real context…

    Perhaps you now need to be more skeptical and wary of the claims you are reading?

    Perhaps an over-reliance on drug industry grants and support is a contributing factor.

    Straw man (& characterising). Academic studies aren’t at the whim of companies, People who oppose vaccines (or GMOs, too) so often fall back to (empty) cries of ‘shill’, again and again. It’s easy to instil this in people, as online groups and websites do, but it’s an empty and cheap straw man, really.

    Or try this, riffing off your words: Perhaps an over-reliance on poor information sources is a contributing factor to your stance.

    Try critique what you’re reading, too, not just point fingers at others.

    Can you see how you’re only pointing fingers, not critiquing what you are reading?

    Until you start actually critiquing this you’ll never know if you’re being hoodwinked by other’s claims. Think about it. Just repeating things you’ve read doesn’t check if they are right does it?

  • Grant. Well, you have really pulled me apart – sorry, objectively critiqued what I have said this time. I shall take time to thoroughly ponder what you have said and suggested.

    Hopefully some of the matters I have raised have – in some small way – been of some value. To someone.

    Thank you for your time. I wish you wisdom. Regards David

  • Why do you feel the need to waste these people’s time, David? You’ve established that you’re very firmly against vaccination, and you’re clearly trying very hard to be taken seriously by ‘Health Ministry professionals’ , even though you seem to have little to no background in science.

    Grant just replied to you with an extremely detailed post breaking down your arguments and called you out on lazy citation. Look up the Dunning-Kruger effect and confirmation bias, because unfortunately there’s no vaccine for people who suffer from either of those. Not that you would take it, of course.

    Also, stop trying to brigade this website. Your echo chamber of a facebook group are on average even lazier than you are, and they suffer from the same cognitive biases.

    This is a thinly veiled attempt at brigading David (https://imgur.com/a/D4Ec07g) and it demonstrates just how much you yearn the validation of the rest of the hive so you can justify your actions. You should be grateful that any of these ‘Health Ministry professionals’ give you the time of day. Frankly, what you’ve been doing is despicable and I would have a long hard look at myself if I were you.

    I do not represent anybody else here and I am speaking only on my own behalf as a student studying medical science, but even I know bad citation when I see it, and you need to be called out on it.

  • Hello Emily. Again, you have drawn attention to me having posted in ‘Anti Vacination Australia’. Only, this time, I am not displeased or embarrassed that you have.

    You say : “That I have established that I am very firmly against vaccination”. Not so: I am seeking a deeper understanding of the multiple layers of facts and truths about vaccines. I have found that there are more layers than I ever imagined.

    Yes, Grant has spent valuable time responding to me. Which I appreciate. And yes, he has called me out regarding citations, and corrected me on a couple of minor matters, with respect to Medwatch, Notwithstanding, I do hope he actually read the paper. In case you did not, here it the link again. Please read it slowly, and with an open mind ..

    http://ijme.in/articles/lessons-learnt-in-japan-from-adverse-reactions-to-the-hpv-ei

    You say that you find me “despicable”. Really? I am sorry to hear that. Perhaps it is because I have written in an ‘Anti Vaccine’ blog – of which you are a participant. Naughty Emily. Perhaps it is because I challenged people to “venture outside the safety of the group”? Cant be that. Or, it may be because I said “You may prefer to just read the science blogs; who knows, you may learn something new”. No, it cant be that either. Or it just might be, because I charged people “to be open minded”. No, it is surely not that.

    This leaves me wondering just why you a) reckon that I am despicable and b) bothered to write thus. Could it be that you, yourself are after some attention Emily. If so, then you have achieved your goal.

    Believe it (or not), I really do value the responses StuartG has provided. It has given me stuff to ponder. Honestly.

    Give it some thought Emily; some of the very matters I have raised, could actually be quite valuable to those who write the formal IMAC and such public material. Why? Because it gives insight into material which could / should be covered in the public material, in the battle for hearts and minds, and in the interests of transparency and informed consent.

    A final thought for you: You may not have noticed that StuartG did not cover – or respond to my secondary point (questions). I asked: “what work is being done in New Zealand, to identify analyse, validate and otherwise follow-up on Adverse Effects, to establish whether NZ adverse effects are in fact caused (or not) by the drugs or vaccines. What work is being undertaken to establish whether (or not) in fact, there are casual relationships. And by whom? Perhaps some of the ‘victims’ are in fact genuine victims of Gardasil adverse affects? How – if at all – are these persons assessed, and by whom, under which framework?”

    I am hoping for an authoritative answer of this at some point.
    I contend that these are important questions – which are not covered in any of the Ministry of Health of IMAC public material.

    I assume that you do not take my point about Helens blog; the mention of “silly rumours” ? Well, I can tell you, that there are real people out there, who are not leading normal lives nay, are leading ‘wrecked” lives as a direct result of Gardasil. Forget the bollocks about all adverse effects being explained away as coincidence, or as meaningless stats. I have personally met such a person, and I feel for her deeply. Yes, these people do actually exist. And, I am pretty sure that it is Helen’s “bunch of silly rumour comments” that they would find despicable. Not mine.

    I wish you well with your studies.

  • David: I agree with Emily please stop wasting our time.

    I’m sorry for your friend but I suggest you check out the “Post hoc ergo propter hoc” fallacy, in addition to the explanations Grant and Helen have made on the adverse effect report processes in New Zealand and internationally.

    I’ve a story to tell. My daughter received her Gardasil vaccinations on schedule and she is healthy just like her friends who also received the vaccine. And now she and they is much less likely to develop cervical cancer.

  • Aaaaah, and now we get to it:

    “I assume that you do not take my point about Helens blog; the mention of “silly rumours” ? Well, I can tell you, that there are real people out there, who are not leading normal lives nay, are leading ‘wrecked” lives as a direct result of Gardasil. Forget the bollocks about all adverse effects being explained away as coincidence, or as meaningless stats. I have personally met such a person, and I feel for her deeply. Yes, these people do actually exist. And, I am pretty sure that it is Helen’s “bunch of silly rumour comments” that they would find despicable. Not mine.”

    Its the old “my survey of one outweighs all else, and anyway the doctors are hiding the truth, it was the vaccine I tell you” position.

    So, out with it – what ghastly ailment has your aquaintence got and how is it linked to the vaccine?

  • My previous comment(s) aren’t a matter of (paraphrasing David’s words) “really pulling David apart”. It’s a matter trying to get through to David that his whole approach has fundamental flaws.

    David has (tried to) dismiss this as, “corrected me on a couple of minor matters,” The misrepresenting me is hilarious in some ways, but that he is ‘stuck’ isn’t. I have a lot of empathy for people who get ‘stuck’ on these things, but the flaws in his approach are not a couple of minor matters. It’s his whole approach that is wrong.

    Wanting ‘something to blame’ is very human, but also badly flawed. It might be emotionally satisfying to hold that (contrived) position, too. But that’s not going to get to what really happened. (Bear in mind some medical cases are never resolved; you have to consider that, too.)

    Excuse the third person in this comment, it’s just that I’m replying to everyone, including ‘silent’ readers, and including anyone from the group David called these posts out to.

  • Hi David,

    It’s understandable to want to be aggrieved and lash out at someone, or some organisations, but it’s not their fault. Being angry at others, or trying to make out they are to ‘blame’ will not help you. Nor will it resolve what actually happened.

    You could have simply asked about what might have affected your acquaintance from the get-go without months of angst and bluster.

    I’m sure it’s more emotional satisfying to rant, than quietly resolve. By wanting to project someone’s illness on others you’re missing that it’s got nothing to do with them, and missing the opportunity to resolve what did happen to your acquaintance?

    But about particular things you’ve said –

    In trying to ‘diss’ Emily—you haven’t considered that it could be you holding the wrong approach to things. (See my earlier long comment, too.)

    Again, you have drawn attention to me having posted in ‘Anti Vacination Australia’

    This is sidestepping. That you wrote there is not the point. What you did there was. (Try re-reading her comments more carefully, perhaps?)

    Besides, Ashton noted late last year, “your carefully (but obviously) contrived position as an honest broker?”. How you present here has been noted for a long time. We’ve just been polite in the face of it.

    As a practical matter not being straight-foward with people blocks them from helping you.

    Because it gives insight into material which could / should be covered in the public material, in the battle for hearts and minds, and in the interests of transparency and informed consent.

    This leaves out that if the claims are wrong-headed, the only thing that could be said is that the claims are wrong-headed. (If they’re not based on anything sound, there’s not much more you can say.) One solution is to just point what is sound—which is what they do.

    A final thought for you: You may not have noticed that StuartG did not cover – or respond to my secondary point (questions). I asked: “what work is being done in New Zealand, to identify analyse, validate and otherwise follow-up on Adverse Effects, to establish whether NZ adverse effects are in fact caused (or not) by the drugs or vaccines. What work is being undertaken to establish whether (or not) in fact, there are casual relationships. And by whom? Perhaps some of the ‘victims’ are in fact genuine victims of Gardasil adverse affects? How – if at all – are these persons assessed, and by whom, under which framework?”
    I am hoping for an authoritative answer of this at some point.
    I contend that these are important questions – which are not covered in any of the Ministry of Health of IMAC public material.

    Interesting, if silly. You’re fairly obviously trying to work around that I answered this in my earlier comment, and repeat yourself as I hadn’t replied. That’s copping out, isn’t it?

    (This seems to be a theme of your reply to Emily!)

    I assume that you do not take my point about Helens blog; the mention of “silly rumours” ?

    Erm, circling back to this is silly, isn’t it? ‘Silly rumours’ is a pretty mild way of putting it. Have you stopped to think how many people going to get cancer because of those rumours? That makes those rumours a lot more than ‘silly’, really.

    Well, I can tell you, that there are real people out there, who are not leading normal lives nay, are leading ‘wrecked” lives as a direct result of Gardasil.

    Notice how you’ve put your preferred answer into the question. It’s called begging the question; look it up. Basically it insists the conclusion be true before you’ve begun, rather than test if the conclusion might be true or not.

    Forget the bollocks about all adverse effects being explained away as coincidence, or as meaningless stats.

    You can’t ignore how studies work if you want to get to the bottom of what they can or cannot show. (See also my earlier comment esp. re association studies, and testing for causation.)

    I have personally met such a person, and I feel for her deeply. Yes, these people do actually exist.

    Completely understandable to feel angst and want to project that somewhere, but surely it’s better to realise other’s are not to blame, and trying to project your anger on people who might help is at best counterproductive.

    (Also the second sentence begs the question.)

    And, I am pretty sure that it is Helen’s “bunch of silly rumour comments” that they would find despicable. Not mine.

    Playing to an echo chamber isn’t going to help your acquaintance or resolve what happened.

  • Thank you for your responses, and input to my questions Grant.
    I dont regard our engagement as hand to hand combat.
    I shall spend time re-reading your key-point responses.
    Who the heck is Maurice.
    Ben GoldAcre is next on my reading list.
    I do appreciate your time.
    Sincerely: David

  • I dont regard our engagement as hand to hand combat.

    My point that you’re lashing at people (and organisations) isn’t about me, and hardly could be. Your comments on this blog very obviously tilt at IMAC, MoH, and Helen. Also, you said quite clearly on the Australian anti-vaccine group that you thought you were ‘fighting’ Helen.

    You’ve indicated it’s because you think someone you know was ‘damaged’ by Gardasil. It’d have been much better to have asked about that instead of spending months lashing out at people and organisations eh?

    I shall spend time re-reading your key-point responses.

    You could also respond to Ashton re “what ghastly ailment has your aquaintence got and how is it linked to the vaccine? (I made a similar call.) It looks as if you need to deal with what got you on your bandwagon in the first place.

    Who the heck is Maurice.

    Giving the benefit of doubt that you’re not being dismissive (your statement—there is no ending question mark to make it a question—reads that way), he’s someone who wrote to you in this comment thread.

    I’d suggest you take his advice and look up the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, and how adverse effect report processes work. (I explained some of the later to you. Hint: they don’t show the vaccine (etc) caused the adverse effect reported.)

    Ben GoldAcre is next on my reading list.

    FWIW, Bad Pharma has a bit of a rap as not being such a good read in a review Sarah-Jane wrote.

  • David,

    I think the “lessons learned in Japan” are covered in this article.
    https://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/hpv-vaccine-adverse-events-anti-vaxxer-codswallop/ It seems that Japanese lawyers are trying to create a court case against HPV vaccine without any scientific evidence.

    Why do you require scientific studies from NZ? You don’t limit your anti-vaccine sources to those from NZ, do you? As Grant pointed out, and I’m paraphrasing, the biology of human beings doesn’t change from country to country. Results from studies on HPV vaccines in Europe, Japan, or the USA, or indeed anywhere else, are equally applicable in NZ, or you wouldn’t be able to mis-reference non-NZ anti-vaccine sources in support of your beliefs, would you?

    That same article will also refer you to plenty of good studies on millions of people worldwide demonstrating the extremely low risk of side effects from the HPV vaccine. Even if you’re not going to read them – confirmation bias and all that – others who genuinely want to know may like to see the primary sources.

  • Grant,

    I agree about “Bad Pharma”. It’s a struggle to get through, nothing like as readable as the other two books from Goldacre. Nevertheless, it’s worthwhile if you can manage it.

  • I wondered what happened in Japan.

    “Why Japan’s HPV vaccine rates dropped from 70% to near zero
    And how one doctor is fighting back. Riko Muranaka, of Kyoto University, was awarded the 2017 John Maddox prize for her work uncovering the pseudoscience at the heart of widespread fear in Japan about the HPV vaccine”.

    The links to the Nature archive, the WHO information and other reputable sources work and the article is accurate. It is a sad tale because of the harm done, especially to Japanese women.

    https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/12/1/16723912/japan-hpv-vaccine

  • Grant. You pointed me to a ‘Skepticalraptor link, which pertained to vaccine-packages (as below). This is the first time that I have ever read worthwhile material, explaining in any detail, the distinction between the FDA insert and vaccine inserts. https://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/vaccine-package-inserts-debunking-myths/

    Thank you for this.
    Could somebody link me to mentioned “explanations Grant and Helen have made on the adverse effect report processes in New Zealand and internationally” please.

    I shall very likely share the Skeptical Raptor (and perhapsa the Grant / Helen ) explanation with an ‘Anti Vaccination Australia’ facebook group.
    Why would I do this? Because I believe that it will give insight into an area which is little understood by a lot of people. Which, might assist to fill in an area of ignorance for some of them – as it has me. Hopefully.

    To mention: I looked up “Post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy”. Very interesting indeed!
    Cheers: David

  • Could we hear you say that your pointing at vaccine inserts was wrong-headed, please. An explanation of why you think that would help.

    I can’t speak for others, but I think it’s time you admit to your errors or move on, really. You’ve been persisting with this for months, occasionally “thanking” people for information, but never indicating you’re moving forward. Often you’ve dismissed what someone has written, or just not responded at all. You’ve posted a lot of incorrect statements here, but we’ve seen nothing from you taking them back.

    “To mention: I looked up “Post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy”. Very interesting indeed!”

    It’s not “very interesting indeed”. It’s a key error you make; that’s why he pointed you to it. An actual response showing understanding might be to say when you used the fallacy, that you erred in using it, and why.

    Could somebody link me to mentioned

    Could you find these yourself? I (or others) could, of course, but can’t you do your own homework for once? You seem quite capable of finding junk “science”… or Helen’s posts, for that matter.

    Or are you just going to on several more months of this, never actually admitting you’ve got it wrong?

    This isn’t a case of something subtle that’s being missed. The so-called “evidence” of HPV causing harm is shoddy as it gets, and there are very large, through surveys showing benefits from the vaccine with, and no higher rate of reactions compared with people who didn’t get the vaccine.

    If you look at the article Maurice linked to, you’d see straight-out shoddy claims if not outright fraud were used to scaremonger parents in Japan. (Is your Medwatch group still looking good?)

    For what it’s worth yet another large study has just been reported, finding the HPV vaccine is safe and effective: https://www.sciencemediacentre.co.nz/2018/05/09/review-finds-hpv-vaccine-safe-effective-expert-reaction/ (As Helen said in the article above that you are protesting about, this study also finds that the rate of adverse reactions is the same whether or not the patients got the vaccine; the HPV vaccine did not cause a higher rate of adverse reactions. See also my explanation of association studies that you haven’t noted, starting “Association studies are not looking […]”)

    Also, are you going to look at what you say put you onto all this, this acquaintance of yours that you claim was “vaccine damaged”? As I wrote earlier, it seems you could have simply asked about what might have affected your acquaintance rather than spending months tilting at people and organisations.

  • As I said Grant: I don’t regard our communication as hand-to-hand combat. So let’s leave it there .. Regards

  • Actually thanks David you motivated me to write a blog supporting vaccination (>1000 people following)

    Tell Stories: HPV Vaccine, What I want you to do.

    I summarized what happened in Japan and the single most important action we can take in New Zealand to keep immunization rates high.

    So what do I want you to do.

    I think there is an important task for us. As well as having our shots and making sure our children get theirs too. We must talk about vaccination. Tell the story, “My daughter received her vaccine last week, she’s healthy and happy. Isn’t it wonderful that she will stay healthy to old age”. (Substitute grand-daughter, friend’s daughter as appropriate). We can all spread that message. If we did that, we would be inoculating our communities against the misinformation and those who spread it.

    We can spread the message for the boys too, when they get their HPV vaccines. I’ll will talk to my son about getting his; he is 21 so not immunized yet as not given at school. His partner was.

    Here is the HPV Immunisation Programme for New Zealand: Available to everyone (Young men and women now) here under 18 and residents up to 26.

    https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/preventative-health-wellness/immunisation/hpv-immunisation-programme

    Interested readers can find my blog by searching up sustainabilityandbeauty and wordpress.

    Have a good day.

  • It may be that the fuss in Japan may start moving back to sanity. A key paper behind the fuss has finally been retracted: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/05/journal-retracts-paper-claiming-neurological-damage-hpv-vaccine

    This news has received a lot of attention in Japan, if Japanese tweets are anything to go by.

    Japan has a bit of a history of “dropping” vaccines (only to have put them back in place). I often use Japan for examples how effective vaccines are; e.g. dropping the whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine left everyone vulnerable, and a few years later they had an epidemic of 13,000 cases with 40 deaths. Even if you choose to ignore the deaths, 13,000 cases would swamp the hospitals.

    Knowing how WordPress names blogs, you can find Maurice’s blog it’s at: sustainabilityandbeauty (dot) wordpress (dot) com 😉 Might put up a link to it in a later comment (if I don’t get distracted with other writing!)

  • Maurice greetings. I am pleased to have provided a measure of motivation. Are you up for comment, regarding your key message ?

  • My message is that of Helen, Grant, my Doctor, the WHO and has vast evidence to support it (See Helen’s blog above).

    No, I don’t have any reason to give you further opportunity to spread miss-information here.

    The answer is no.

  • Alright. But Maurice, please reread your key message. In the interests of misinformation, it Is, in itself, misinformation!