Sunday, June 30, 2013

Idiot Comment of the Day

You also missed my entire point. Nobody should be forced to receive a vaccine that they do not want. It is not your right or anybody else's right insist [sic] upon this.

If I want to "die from cervical cancer" as you allege, that is my business.

You are obviously an idiot-Statis, an apologist for the destruction of individual freedom and human rights (to be left the hell alone, in case you need a primer).
From our own little corner of the Interwebs, even. The ranter brought up, then inveighed against the hypothetical situation of a mandatory vaccination for cervical cancer. He (and I think we can confidently assume it's a he) is strongly against said hypothetical mandatory vaccination. Because freedom!


  1. Gardasil protects against only a few strains of HPV. According to a U. Washington study (Winer, et al, 2006; see Table 2), most recent HPV infections with "high risk" oncogenic (cancer-causing) strains of HPV are strains that Gardasil does nothing to protect against.

    The U. Washington study made headlines because, unlike most other studies, they found that condoms somewhat reduce the risk of HPV infection. But the study's most important result never made the headlines.

    HPV types 16, 18, 26, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 53, 56, 58, 59, 66, 67, 68, 73, and 82 have all been identified as high-risk oncogenic strains, and Gardasil only protects against types 16 and 18. Those two types accounted for just 14 out of 78 high-risk infections detected in the U. Washington study.

    82% of the high-risk infections were with HPV strains that Gardasil does not protect against, and the vaccinated girls had higher overall rates of infection with high-risk types than did the unvaccinated girls.

    The relative prevalence of different HPV strains in the general population varies considerably, both by location and over time, and cervical cancer usually takes a long time to develop. Today's cervical cancer cases result from the HPV types which were prevalent decades ago -- and those are the strains that Gardasil is designed to protect against, not the numerous other high-risk strains which now cause most high-risk HPV infections.

    Gardasil is like the Maginot Line: a defense designed for the previous war, but inadequate for the current one.

    If young women who got the Gardasil vaccine before they became sexually active erroneously think that they are safe from cervical cancer, they may forgo PAP smears, and, paradoxically, be at greater risk of dying from cervical cancer than if they'd never gotten the vaccine at all.

    Women need to know the truth:

    1. Gardasil only protects against 2 of the 19 (so far) known high-risk strains of HPV,

    2. The great majority of high-risk HPV infections are with strains that Gardasil does not protect against, and

    3. Sexually active women are at risk for cervical cancer and other cancers, and still need to get regular PAP smears, regardless of whether or not they've been vaccinated with Gardasil.

    If people believe the myth that Gardasil vaccination prevents all high-risk HPV infections and reliably protects them from cervical cancer, some of them will die as a result.

    1. * groan *

      One of the oldest and stupidest anti-vacc'er arguments: "It doesn't work 100%!!! They're lying to you!!!"

      Typical, half-truth argument from an ideologically motivated denier. The "myth that Gardasil vaccination prevents all high-risk HPV infections" exists only in the mind of ncdave4life's straw man.

      If people avoid vaccination because of disinformation such as the comment above, some of them will indeed die as a result.

    2. Unfortunately, the myth that Gardisil vaccination prevents all high-risk HPV infections exists in many news reports. I did not make it up.

      For example, on 6/20/2013, on CBS This Morning, Dr. Holly Phillips reported that this vaccine can "eradicate" (her word) the disease, and that people who get the vaccine will never get HPV-caused cancers.

      That was a report about the CDC/Markowitz study released 6/19/2013, and published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases; you may read it here:

      Look a this graph (Markowitz's figure 1). You can see that, even before the vaccine reduced the incidence of types 16 & 18, most of the high-risk HPV infections were of other types, confirming Winer, 2006:

      From that graph, it appears that only about 19% of high-risk HPV infections were types 16 & 18 in 2003–2006, and only about 13% in 2007–2010.

      It is frequently claimed (by Merck & by various authors, including Markowitz) that approximately 70% of cervical cancer cases are caused by types 16 & 18. That suggests that a 50% reduction in 70% of cases would lead to an overall (0.5 x 0.7 = 0.35) = 35% reduction in cervical cancer cases. But that is almost certainly a false hope. It is based on very dubious assumptions:
      The study from which the 70% number comes (de Sanjose, et al, 2010) simply looked for the presence or absence of various HPV strains in preserved tissue samples from cervical cancer patients. They found that 71% of those patients were infected with HPV type 16 and/or 18.

      But that does not mean types 16 & 18 caused all those cancers! For one thing, many of those patients were also infected with other high-risk types of HPV, which presumably caused at least some of the cancers. Also, 15% of the cancer patients had no detectable HPV infection at all, which suggests that in a significant percentage of the patients with HPV infections the cancers might also have had other causes.

      So it is statistically incorrect to conclude from de Sanjose et al that 70% of cervical cancer cases are caused by HPV types 16 & 18.

      There is evidence that HPV types 16, 18 & 45 may have higher oncogenicity than some other high-risk types, because in women infected with those HPV strains cervical cancer seems to develop at a somewhat younger age. A higher oncogenicity would contribute to the high percentage of current cervical cancer patients infected by those strains of HPV.

      But it almost certainly is not the only reason. The changing relative prevalences of different HPV types may be a more important cause.

      Cervical cancer is typically diagnosed decades after the infection. So the prevalence of various high-risk HPV types decades ago is what largely determines the percentages of today's cancer cases caused by those types. The (different) prevalence of high-risk HPV types today is what will determine the percentages of different types that cause cervical cancer in the future. If types 16 & 18 were relatively more prevalent compared to other high risk types thirty years ago than they are today, then, like mediocre generals, we're building defenses for the previous war, instead of the next.

    3. But the news gets worse. Look at Markowitz's table 3:

      Look at the lines labeled "Vaccinated" and compare them with the lines labeled "Unvaccinated."

      Do you see it? It is the vaccinated patients who have the highest HPV infection rates!

      The overall prevalence of HPV among vaccinated sexually-active teens is 50.0%, but among unvaccinated sexually-active teens it is only 38.6%.

      The prevalence of high-risk HPV strains other than 16 & 18 is similarly skewed: 35.2% of vaccinated sexually-active teens are infected, and only 25.3% of unvaccinated sexually-active teens.

      Of course, vaccinated teens had much lower rates of type 16 & 18 infection than did unvaccinated teens, but that wasn't enough to offset the vaccinated teens' higher rates of infection with other high-risk types. Because most high-risk HPV infections are other types, a slightly higher percentage of vaccinated teens had high-risk HPV infections than did unvaccinated teens.

      Obviously, vaccination does not protect against infection with high-risk strains of HPV!

      Additionally, Gardasil has its own risks:

      The number of deaths and injuries is small compared to the number of patients, but it could eventually be dwarfed by the number of future cancer deaths, if some patients mistakenly believe that vaccination means they needn't get regular exams & pap smears.

      Gardasil cannot reliably protect them from cervical cancer. It will not eradicate that disease, nor even come close. The best we can hope for is a modest reduction in the number of cases, and even that is uncertain.

      Over-hyping the potential of Gardasil to combat cervical cancer could end up killing more patients than the vaccine saves.

    4. What a crock.

      Let us not advise people to wear seatbelts because they may mistakenly believe that it is possible to drive like a lunatic without consequences. On the other hand, we could advise young women who get the vaccination that they still need to get pap smears.

      Here is a recent article from the Australian Florey Institute which suggests that Dave Burton knows as much about HPV vaccinations as he does about sea level.

      The anti-vaxxers are almost as obnoxious as the climate cranks and just as scientifically challenged.

    5. Fighting for the right to be Typhoid Mary (look it up bunnies)

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  2. "ncdave4life" is the same Dave Burton ("dave123" from burtonsys software company) who has gained notoriety as a sea-level rise denialist politically active in North Carolina (you know, where they tried to outlaw SLR).

    I have no way of knowing if his opinion on HPV vaccination makes any more sense, in spite of his competent use of medical lingo --- but I wouldn't bet on it. Versatile, our Dave.

  3. I think I have really come on the right place for getting the perfect info.

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  4. He (if he's a he) is an odd one but perhaps not impossible. I on the other hand will never be in a position to choose to die from prostate cancer.

  5. Funny,

    You seem to be very keen on disparaging everyone else's expertise and calling them idiots. Yet you seem quite happy to pronounce on anything.

    Very little that you say makes any sense - especially when you are trolling.

    I'm surprised anyone takes your pathetic little blog seriously.

  6. My main problem with vaccines is that they make a profit, and to me pharmaceutical companies are much like fossil fuel companies and banks, in that the only thing that counts, is the bottom line (as that's what the system requires).

    I don't know if that's unreasonable. It's been a couple of years since I last looked into the vaccine issue.

  7. This blog, run by a nasty little troll called "Robert" should be renamed the "Idiot Magnet"

  8. Actually Neven, vaccinations are losers or low profit for pharma because you only need them once and the rare catastrophic reactions can be very expensive, which is why in the US there is a central government fund which covers bad outcomes from vaccination.

  9. Actually Neven, vaccinations are losers or low profit for pharma because you only need them once

    If that'd be true, Big Pharma companies wouldn't be producing vaccines. I don't think shareholders would allow it.

    It's also not true that you need vaccines only once. It depends on the country, but I think kids get around 10-20 shots, usually administered in cocktails. But they still have to go get shots 5-10 times. In fact, as adults they should get boosters periodically because not all of the vaccines offer life-time immunity. And then we have the flu shots, the FSME shots (which are pure, profit-making nonsense BTW),the HPV shots etc.

    I'm not that much against vaccines, and I certainly am not on the vague premisses of the religious and new age yuppies. I am, however, against a number of things:

    1) The profit motive. I'm against the Bayers and GlaxoSmithKlines of this world for the same reason that I'm against the Exxons, Shells, ADMs, Cargills and Monsantos. Their profit motive, spurred on by the need for perpetual GDP growth, is destroying everything.
    2) The cultural conditioning that a vaccine is just like an aspirine. It's not, it's a medical intervention, with consequences for a small percentage of kids.
    3) Except perhaps for polio, most kids' bodies can perfectly handle the diseases that they are vaccinated against, and then be immune forever. That is, if they're healthy and eat good food. Maybe that's something we should be striving for in society. But then again, that wouldn't be good for GDP growth.
    4) What also isn't good for GDP growth, is when parents need to stay at home to guide their children through a disease (which is a normal and necessary part of life). No, the herd needs to be dropped off at school or day care where they are exposed to multiple diseases.

    Diseases are a limit to how big a group can grow (one of the many limits to growth). Our fear of death will not allow this. And so we've opted for the route towards a 10 billion strong population of malnourished, addicted, fossil fuel and genetically modified junkfood gobbling people. And it's anathema to discuss the dynamics behind all of this. No, you're for vaccines if you're intelligent and level-headed, you're against vaccines if you're stoopid. Never mind the whole machinery behind it all.

    You can't just put climate denial and vaccine skepticism in one big demonization box, because there's a bigger picture here. In the end all you're doing is maintaining the status quo.

    I'm saying this at the risk of being labelled the WUWT-version of vaccine denial, but there you have it.

    1. "Except perhaps for polio, most kids' bodies can perfectly handle the diseases that they are vaccinated against, and then be immune forever."

      That's not true, Neven. The HPV, for example, is never cleared by the body, and carries with it a risk of cervical cancer, which kills five thousand American women by year.

      Diphtheria, a corynebacterium that causes a nasty URI, is virtually unheard of in vaccinated individuals. How dangerous is it? In the 19th century it killed three members of the British royal family in a matter of weeks:

      In November 1878, the Grand Ducal household fell ill with diphtheria. Alice's eldest daughter Victoria was the first to fall ill, complaining of a stiff neck in the evening of 5 November. Diphtheria was diagnosed the following morning, and soon the disease spread to Alice's children Alix, Marie, Irene and Ernest. Her husband Louis became infected shortly thereafter. Elizabeth was the only child to not fall ill, having been sent away by Alice to the palace of the Princess Charles, her mother-in-law.[68]

      "Marie became seriously ill on 15 November, and Alice was called to her bedside. However, she was too late; Marie had choked to death by the time Alice arrived. She was distraught, writing to Queen Victoria that the "pain is beyond words".[69] For several weeks, Alice kept the news of Marie's death secret from her children, but she finally told Ernest in early December. His reaction was even worse than she had anticipated, and at first, he refused to believe it. As he sat up crying, Alice broke her rule about physical contact with the ill and gave him a kiss.[70] At first, however, Alice did not fall ill. She met her sister Victoria as the latter was passing through Darmstadt on the way to England, and wrote to her mother with "a hint of resumed cheerfulness" on the same day.[70] However, by Saturday, 14 December, the anniversary of her father's death, she became seriously ill with the diphtheria caught from her son. Her last words were "dear Papa", and she fell unconscious at 2:30 am.[71] Just after 8:30 am, she died."

      One of our recent successes is the meningitis vaccine, which has dramatically reduced deaths from Neisseria meningitidis. Not only is that disease frequently fatal even when identified and treated with IV antibiotics, the inflammation reaction is so violent 40% of the survivors have permanent neurological defects.

      Now, I'm practicing thread necrophilia on my own blog here, but I didn't want to leave that last comment without an answer. Vaccines, like the rest of the medical establishment, are deeply entangled with our dysfunctional corporatist society. But they do, absolutely, save lives.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. I'm a bit of a necrophile myself, and so I re-read this blog post again, which thankfully is short. :-)

    He (and I think we can confidently assume it's a he) is strongly against said hypothetical mandatory vaccination. Because freedom!

    It's a bit like privacy. You know, having security cameras everywhere and the NSA archiving the Internets, is perhaps not so bad. Now. But if you have these things in place and a different kind of government takes over, you have made it real easy for them to go all totalitarian on the people.

    For me it's a bit the same with mandatory vaccinations. We can assume it's all done on good faith, with good intentions. But will it always stay that way? Take for instance that re-make they made of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (the one with Nicole Kidman). How do the Body Snatchers snatch bodies? Through mandatory vaccines. Not meaning to say that we shouldn't allow vaccinations to become mandatory because aliens will snatch our bodies! :-P

    But I don't think that western thanatophobia is a good reason to impose vaccinations on individuals. Because freedom, indeed.


    I never really thought much about vaccinations until my daughter was born. She had problems quite soon after birth, not sleeping, crying a lot, etc. Nobody knew what the cause was or how to solve it.

    At the infant welfare centre and the hospital they said it was probably just cramps (that's what they always say whenever there's a problem) and it would go away after 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months. But it didn't.

    This was before she had vaccinations, but our problem was that we were doing a lot of research ourselves and started reading about vaccines as well. Because her problem was so mysterious, we were afraid that after getting her vaccinated, we would get paranoid and start to think that it was somehow prolonged or made worse by a vaccine. And so we opted not to get her vaccinated, vowing to feed her the best food we could find and not put her in situations where diseases can be caught easily (like kindergarten).

    But I can tell you this wasn't well received. Not that friends and family members had any knowledge on the subject, but you know, you just have to do what everyone in the group does. It wasn't fun - especially because our kid was in pain and not sleeping and we didn't know why - but after a couple of years it helped me get my head around the workings of "our dysfunctional corporatist society". For that I'm grateful.

    Again, people will probably think of me as the WUWT version of vaccine denial, but I don't think the analogy is that strong, although I agree that vocal anti-vaxxers are pretty dim. The question revolves around more than just death or non-death, it's also about everything in between (disabilities because of vaccines, however slight), quality of life, teaching kids healthy lifestyles instead of just injecting stuff into them so we don't get bothered.

    In my world view AGW denial and unquestioning acceptance of vaccines are on the same side of the coin: growth at all cost, limits must always be overcome, live longer, buy more stuff.

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