Non-polio enterovirus linked to respiratory disease, not vaccines

non-polio enterovirus

With the appearance of a polio outbreak recently, I wanted to clear up some misinformation (from anti-vaxxers) regarding non-polio enterovirus linked to an outbreak of children’s respiratory disease. There is no relationship between the polio outbreak and the outbreak of non-polio enterovirus, and there is certainly no relationship between either and vaccines.

For this article, I’ll focus on the non-polio enterovirus. There is a lot to this situation, so stay tuned for some science.

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Anti-vaxxer blames COVID-19 vaccines for death of Queen Elizabeth II

queen elizabeth vaccines

Yes, an anti-vax MD, Peter McCullough, in a crass and disgusting Twitter post tried to blame COVID-19 vaccines for the death of Queen Elizabeth. Anti-vaxxers will take any opportunity, without regard to morality and civility, to produce propaganda about vaccines. They have no shame. They have nothing supporting their claims, so they use this type of repulsive post to lie about vaccines.

Dr. Peter McCullough, who has a history of promoting misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines, should not be considered a source of anything related to vaccines. And he has no clue about the cause of Queen Elizabeth’s death.

Because the Royal Family is always tight-lipped with news, we may never know the actual cause of death. But Queen Elizabeth II was 96 years old, which has nothing to COVID-19 vaccines, mandated or otherwise. She lived an incredibly full life, devoted to service to her country.

At 96 years old, her life expectancy is around three years, so there’s nothing mysterious about her death. What does Peter McCullough think? That Queen Elizabeth’s next 50 years were cut short by COVID-19 vaccines? His ridiculous, unfounded, and unsupported statement would be laughable under normal circumstances, but this is a repulsive disrespect for someone who has just died.

Furthermore, there is a huge volume of evidence that COVID-19 vaccines do nothing that he claims. They are demonstrably safe. And there is NO evidence that the vaccines did what he claims they did to anyone on the planet, let alone Queen Elizabeth.

Oncogenesis? No.

Autoimmunity? No.

Senescence? I don’t even know what that means with regard to vaccines.

Subclinical myocarditis? What?

Thrombosis? Extremely rare with the JNJ vaccine, which she probably didn’t receive since it’s not approved in the UK.

I thought I couldn’t get any more disgusted by the anti-vaccine world. But they do things that bring it to the next level. The anti-vaxxers jumped on the death of Queen Elizabeth to pass along lies about vaccines. Just how low can they get?

New Oxford malaria vaccine shows strong safety and effectiveness

Oxford malaria vaccine

Although it may seem like all we talk about are the COVID-19 vaccines, there is a new malaria vaccine developed by Oxford University that has shown a strong effectiveness and safety profile in phase 1/2b clinical trials. Control of malaria has been a goal of scientists for a long time, a potential malaria vaccine is something that should be celebrated widely.

If all goes well, the Oxford malaria vaccine could be approved by late 2023, saving children in many parts of the world from this scourge.

A new paper has been published that provides details of the clinical trial, which I will review below.

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The misleading claims of anti-vaccine Steve Kirsch — a review

Steve Kirsch

This article about misleading claims from anti-vaccine activist Steve Kirsch was written by Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law (San Francisco, CA), who is a frequent contributor to this and many other blogs, providing in-depth, and intellectually stimulating, articles about vaccines, medical issues, social policy, and the law.

Professor Reiss writes extensively in law journals about vaccination’s social and legal policies. Additionally, Reiss is also a member of the Parent Advisory Board of Voices for Vaccines, a parent-led organization that supports and advocates for on-time vaccination and the reduction of vaccine-preventable diseases. She is also a member of the Vaccines Working Group on Ethics and Policy.

I have not previously discussed posts by Mr. Steve Kirsch, of the new generation of antivaccine activists, because they are not generally related to law or regulation, and they have been well debunked by those that are in the field, such are Dr. Jeffrey Morris, Dr. David Gorski, and others more suited to address his statistical errors. 

But his recent post, “Silenced healthcare workers speak out publicly for the first time,” is sufficiently jarring that I would like to address it. Mr. Kirsch’s claims have been getting increasingly more extreme, and this post is a good example of some of the problems with his views that you do not need an extensive background in statistics to address. (I do not link to anti-vaccine posts, but with the title and author they should be easy to find, should anyone wish to). 

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Safety and effectiveness of the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine

Monkeypox vaccine safety effectiveness

I’m probably going to have to write about the safety and effectiveness of the monkeypox vaccine several times in the future. But I’ve been reading a lot of misinformation about the new vaccine (I’m shocked, are you?), so I thought I would write about what we know as of today.

Believe it or not, we know a lot about the vaccine. It has been through clinical trials, so we have as much information about the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness as we knew at the launch of every other vaccine. Despite the claims of vaccine deniers all over the world, clinical trials provide us with a lot of good information about vaccines.

Let’s take a look at what we know today about the safety and effectiveness of the monkeypox vaccine.

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VAERS facts — contradicting anti-vaccine claims and beliefs

VAERS facts

This article about VAERS facts, literally a FAQ, was written by Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law (San Francisco, CA), who is a frequent contributor to this and many other blogs, providing in-depth, and intellectually stimulating, articles about vaccines, medical issues, social policy, and the law.

Professor Reiss writes extensively in law journals about vaccination’s social and legal policies. Additionally, Reiss is also a member of the Parent Advisory Board of Voices for Vaccines, a parent-led organization that supports and advocates for on-time vaccination and the reduction of vaccine-preventable diseases. She is also a member of the Vaccines Working Group on Ethics and Policy.

Some of the new generation of anti-vaccine activists appear to have built their careers on misrepresentation of VAERS. One example is Dr. Jessica Rose, who apparently started her career as a legitimate young scientist, but at some point became a devoted anti-vaccine activist. Dr. Rose’s background is described by Orac thus:

Her background is more in the sort of computational biology that looks at protein structures and bioinformatics related to DNA sequences than it is to the sort of mathematical and statistical skill set necessary to delve into VAERS with any credibility. A perusal of her curriculum vitae, which is included on the profile, confirms my assessment, particularly her publication record, which includes a lot of molecular biology and virology, but nothing in the way of epidemiology.

In 2021, Dr. Rose joined the anti-vaccine organization IPAK as a research fellow, and she has published several papers in IPAK’s own publication, named Science, Public Health Policy, and the Law, whose editorial board is comprised of leading anti-vaccine activists.

Dr. Rose’s specialty appears to be doing bad analyses of VAERS and claiming, based on them, that COVID-19 vaccines are dangerous.

On August 9, 2022, Dr. Rose published a “Question and Answer” “facts” about VAERS, titled “A question and answer document on the subject of VAERS as a pharmacovigilance tool”. It is highly misleading. But it gave me an opportunity to provide information based on actual facts about VAERS.

If you want to see how it’s misleading, jump ahead to question 3 (and I hope you then go back and read the long discussion in questions 1 and 2).

I will repeat each question, answer it, shortly summarize Dr. Rose’s claims, and explain why they are misleading. Note that this discussion is limited to the mRNA vaccines and the J&J vaccine, which are the ones used in the United States and subject to reporting to VAERS – Novavax is newer and is not the subject of most of the misinformation from the anti-vaccine activists misleading people about VAERS. 

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Pfizer-Valneva Lyme disease vaccine to start phase 3 clinical trials

Pfizer lyme disease vaccine

We have some good news today, the Valneva Lyme disease vaccine, which will be distributed by Pfizer, is going to commence phase 3 clinical trials in the USA and Europe. For those of you who live in areas where Lyme disease is endemic, I’m sure you can’t wait.

This article will quickly review Lyme disease, the new vaccine, and how you might be able to volunteer for the clinical trials. Yes, you might be able to volunteer for the phase 3 clinical trials.

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Monkeypox vaccine effectiveness — we don’t know much

monkeypox vaccine effectiveness

There’s a lot of information on various news sites about the effectiveness of the monkeypox vaccine. They often claim it’s 80% or higher. Unfortunately, I accepted those numbers as a “scientific fact,” so I decided to dig into what supported the claims of the effectiveness of the monkeypox vaccine. I was surprised by what I found.

I think when something like monkeypox, or the novel coronavirus two years ago, we jump on early data without analyzing it properly. And that’s where we stand with the monkeypox vaccine — exactly how safe and effective is it?

I’m not going into the safety of the vaccine at thiscause I don’t have good data to give you. In fact, I don’t have really good data to give you about the vaccine’s effectiveness, and that’s my point.

So, let’s take a look at the evidence that has been published on the effectiveness of the monkeypox vaccine.

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Settlement of lawsuit about COVID vaccine religious exemptions

COVID-19 vaccine religious exemption

This article about the settlement of a lawsuit and COVID-19 vaccine religious exemptions was written by Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law (San Francisco, CA), who is a frequent contributor to this and many other blogs, providing in-depth, and intellectually stimulating, articles about vaccines, medical issues, social policy, and the law.

Professor Reiss writes extensively in law journals about vaccination’s social and legal policies. Additionally, Reiss is also a member of the Parent Advisory Board of Voices for Vaccines, a parent-led organization that supports and advocates for on-time vaccination and the reduction of vaccine-preventable diseases. She is also a member of the Vaccines Working Group on Ethics and Policy.

Headlines about a settlement between healthcare workers and their employer related to COVID-19 vaccine religious exemptions led people to ask what is the relevance of that settlement. This post explains this settlement and puts the issue in context.

Three points need to be made:

  • First, this is not the first time an employer settled a claim for denial of religious exemption.
  • Second, sometimes the settlement is the result of an employer making mistakes in handling religious exemptions and having a really bad case, and settling is the right thing.
  • Third, in legal terms, the settlement has no relevance to any other case. In practical terms, though, it can be used to put pressure on other employers, even when those employers are on legally solid ground.
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COVID vaccination lowers cardiovascular and stroke risk

COVID vaccination

Complete vaccination against COVID-19 was linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular events such as acute myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke as secondary complications of a COVID-19 infection. These results were published in a peer-reviewed journal recently.

This is another huge benefit of COVID-19 vaccination that should be convincing evidence that the vaccine has both short- and long-term benefits.

As I usually do, I will review the study and results so that you can use this paper as further evidence that COVID-19 vaccination saves lives.

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