According to new research, there appears to be no link between several adult vaccines and multiple sclerosis flare-ups.
The 100 year old BCG vaccine, which prevents tuberculosis, may be useful in treating cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and type 1 diabetes.
The Epstein-Barr virus is one of the most ubiquitous viruses that infect humans. Around 95% of humans are infected by the virus, so it is probably the most common virus, at least for humans. However, I bet most people haven’t heard of it and are unaware that they have the virus floating around in their bodies.
How did you catch it? It spreads through the saliva, so it could have been from your mother when she shared some of her food with you. Or it could have been from sharing a milkshake while on a date. Or maybe you got it when you kissed your date. In fact, if you caught the virus in this last scenario — as a teen or young adult — then the Epstein-Barr virus may have triggered mononucleosis, or the “kissing disease,” in which a massive immune response against the pathogen causes weeks of sore throat, fever, and debilitating fatigue.
The Epstein-Barr virus is so pervasive, and the outcomes are so minor, you might be wondering why we need a vaccine. The problem is that the outcomes aren’t all that minor — rare, but very serious, outcomes are frequently observed because so many individuals are infected by the disease.
This article will examine what the Epstein-Barr virus is, and why it is so dangerous. Hopefully, it will be obvious why we need a vaccine.Read More »Epstein-Barr virus — why we need a vaccine for it
Despite a lack of evidence that HPV vaccines are related to any neurodevelopmental disorder, the tropes and myths about the vaccine endure. To refute those false claims, we now have two new systematic reviews that show that there is no link between the HPV vaccine and multiple sclerosis. Let’s hope that more real scientific evidence will convince parents that the HPV vaccine is very safe.
I’m not naive, I know no matter how many real studies are published, the anti-vaccine religion will cherry-pick awful studies in predatory journals to make their case against the cancer-preventing vaccine. And they will ignore the two studies I will discuss that shows a lack of a link between the HPV vaccine and multiple sclerosis and other neurological diseases.
Parents have so few choices to protect their children against cancer in the future – forcing them to drink gluten– and GMO-free blueberry kale smoothies are not one of them. Bringing your kids to a real physician to get them the cancer-preventing Gardasil vaccine is one of your best choices to prevent cancer.Read More »HPV vaccine and multiple sclerosis – not linked according to studies
We keep reading false claims about Gardasil, like some link between the HPV vaccine and multiple sclerosis. It is important that we, those who support vaccines, keep focusing on the huge studies that support the facts about the safety of the vaccine.
Despite the established effectiveness of the HPV vaccine in preventing the HPV infection and subsequent HPV-related cancers, the internet rumors about the dangers of the vaccine sometimes feel like it wins the day.
Remember, despite what you read on pseudoscience website or from anecdotes on the internet, there are really only a few ways to prevent cancer. Don’t smoke. Don’t drink alcohol. Stay out of the sun. Keep a very healthy (read low) weight. And get your HPV (and hepatitis B) vaccines.
This post is going to discuss a seminal article about the safety of vaccines – an epidemiological study of over 2 million young women to determine the incidence of neurological disorders in HPV-vaccinated vs. unvaccinated groups. This powerful study tells us one thing – that the continued claims about Gardasil causing all these weird neurological issues is not supported by unbiased, scientifically analyzed, peer-reviewed articles. And head’s up, there appears to be no evidence supporting a link between the HPV vaccine and multiple sclerosis.
There are so many anti-vaccine religious tropes about the safety of vaccines, that it is often hard to keep them all straight. One of the current ones is that vaccines cause autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Does scientific evidence support the hypothesis that vaccines cause multiple sclerosis?
Well, I have written about whether vaccines cause multiple sclerosis before, and based on the scientific evidence (see here and here), there simply was no link between them. Of course, with the anti-vaccine religion, evidence be damned, they will stand by their claims. All I can do is repeat myself with more and more evidence, refuting their claims.
There is a new review of the evidence of whether vaccines cause multiple sclerosis, and once again, they found nothing. And once again, I will review the evidence to see if there is something to the claims of the anti-vaccine religion. I should give a spoiler alert, but you all know what’s coming.Read More »Vaccines cause multiple sclerosis? No link found in a large scientific review
On 21 June 2017, the European Court of Justice ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in a case that examined whether Sanofi-Pasteur’s hepatitis B vaccine caused multiple sclerosis (MS) in a patient. Although the ruling might, on the surface, be considered bad for vaccines, we need to look more carefully at that European court vaccine ruling.
There are several questions that we need to answer. First, what did the court actually rule? What can courts say about science? And, is there any evidence that the hepatitis B vaccine causes multiple sclerosis?Read More »European court vaccine ruling – the vaccine deniers think they won
On June 21, 2017 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) decided a product liability case (N.W. et al v. Sanofi Pasteur MSD SNC, C-621/15) described by news articles as allowing plaintiffs to be compensated for alleged vaccine harms, even when there is no scientific evidence of a causal connection (in the most extreme versions, “with no proof”). This description is incorrect. More nuanced analyses were provided by Orac and Steve Novella, but I think they, too, did not exactly capture what the decision does. This post explains the European court vaccine decision.
Three take-home points are important:
- If there is no scientific consensus as to whether a vaccine causes a particular kind of injury, member state courts can allow plaintiffs to use circumstantial evidence to prove a vaccine injured them. Defendants, of course, can use scientific evidence to counter the plaintiff’s circumstantial evidence. This decision does not mean that science doesn’t matter in the courts or that anti vaccine activists can win even when the science is against them.
- Member courts cannot treat circumstantial evidence as creating a presumption of causation. The plaintiff bears the burden of proving the vaccine cause the injury, and each case must be examined on its facts. For example, a temporal connection alone does not automatically mean there’s causation.
- In a referral like this, the ECJ does not reexamine the facts. It is answering the specific questions of law, and basing its decision on the description of the facts sent up from below. The ECJ was acting on a mistaken premise that the science, in this case, was unclear. That premise came from the lower courts, and the ECJ did not err in following it: it did not reexamine the facts, and did not decide the case in front of it, it only addressed a specific legal question. In the lower courts that now will be expected to rule according to the ECJ’s decision, Sanofi Pasteur – the defendant – should provide the scientific evidence, and we can hope the court, as did the Court of Appeals who ruled on the case last, will follow it. It’s unclear how the case will end.
This is a complex decision. To explain it, I will start with some background on product liability law and European Union law with respect to the European court vaccine decision. Then I will address this case, and then the ruling itself. If you are short of time you can skip the background and go directly to the case, but I think those who want to really understand this will benefit from it.Read More »European court vaccine decision – a legal analysis
I have frequently stated that the breadth and depth of vaccine research, which provides solid evidence on the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, overwhelms the misinformation, logical fallacies, and conspiracies pushed by the Society for Promotion of Vaccine Preventable Diseases (that is, the antivaccine cult).
In other words, there is so much evidence, published in generally respected, high quality journals, that it is the basis of a pure, 24-karat gold scientific consensus about vaccine safety and effectiveness. Using just one search parameter, vaccines + efficacy + safety, there are over 4200 articles published over the past 55 years on vaccines. Other search parameters show even more results.
As I’ve said time and again, the only thing that matters to science is the quality and quantity of repeated evidence derived from a broad range of different studies. We’ve got that.Read More »The breadth and depth of vaccine research
This is Part 6 of a series of six articles discussing various medical uses for cannabis or marijuana. In this part, I summarize all of the five previous articles into some bullet points so that you have quick and fast access to some scientific information about medical uses for cannabis or marijuana.
In case you missed them, here are the first five articles in this series:
Maybe you don’t agree with the science about marijuana’s role in medicine. But that’s not how science works. The evidence should lead you to a conclusion (actually, the acceptance or rejection of a hypothesis). One shouldn’t form an a prior conclusion, then go hunt for data. That’s not how it works.
As new systematic or meta reviews bring more clinical evidence of the benefits of the medical uses for cannabis – this takes time – maybe evidence based medicine can incorporate marijuana into the armamentarium of medical practice. But only real clinical evidence matters.
So let’s review where the evidence leads us.Read More »Part 6. Medical uses for cannabis – the TL;DR version