For those of us who have made a career in debunking anti-vaccine claims, one of the most annoying is that vaccine clinical trials do not include a placebo. This claim is wrong on two levels — first, many vaccines are tested against a placebo, and second, in some cases using a placebo in a vaccine trial would be highly unethical and irresponsible.
You can find a lot of claims on social media about vaccine testing versus placebo, but I’m going to focus on a letter to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from Del Bigtree, the producer of the fraudmentary Vaxxed, who has approximately zero credibility on vaccines. He, and his anti-vaccine organization, Informed Consent Action Network, is just a front organization for anti-vaccine nonsense pushed by Bigtree and his minions. Again, no credibility.
The aforementioned letter is an 88-page, yes, 88-plodding-pages, treasure trove of cherry-picking, pseudoscience, appeals to authority, other logical fallacies, lies, ignorance, misinformation, and delusion about vaccines. This letter is a follow-up to a response from HHS to Bigtree’s original laughable letter to HHS from January 2018.
I’m not going to deal with all of his ridiculous points in the letter, I’m just going to focus on a small part, that is, his claim that vaccine clinical trials do not include a placebo for comparison. As I said in the introductory paragraph, Bigtree is completely wrong.Read More »The anti-vaccine “it’s not tested against a placebo” trope (2023 update)