I have said this before, and I am becoming slowly convinced of my opinion on the matter – the anti-vaccine religion has a particular hatred for the HPV vaccine, usually Gardasil, that far exceeds its abhorrence of most other vaccines. Recently, Slate, generally a reliable source for vaccine articles, published an anti-vaccine screed against Gardasil that seems to be based on a claim of faulty HPV vaccine clinical trials.
As a result of some expected negative comments made about the article, Slate took the unusual step of trying to explain itself. I am not sure that they have gotten very far, even if the author of the explanation claims that they would get the Gardasil anti-cancer again. But they really have concerns about the HPV vaccine clinical trials.
Well, I do not have those issues regarding the HPV vaccine clinical trials. First, the author of the original article is simply an amateur about science, clinical trials, and statistics. The author was trying to create doubt about the Gardasil vaccine based on misunderstanding, at best.
Second, the author fails to grasp that vaccines are constantly monitored by post-marketing studies that often include huge numbers of patients, which can find very rare instances of adverse effects. In these studies, nothing was found that tied Gardasil to anything serious, short of fainting by patients after getting the shot, a common occurrence with patients.
Third, the author relies on anecdotal evidence, which has zero value in scientific understanding. This is a serious issue that should have cause Slate to back off from the article.
But Slate didn’t. And here we are. We’re going to critically examine what they wrote, but mostly I’m going to focus on the numerous large patient studies that completely refute their claims. Slate’s anecdotes and misunderstanding of clinical trials versus scientific data – guess which wins?Read More »HPV vaccine clinical trials being attacked by anti-vaccine religion again