Earlier this year, I wrote a post about a retracted HPV vaccine article, “Behavioral abnormalities in young female mice following administration of aluminum adjuvants and the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil,” published in the one of the top journals in the field, Vaccine. This article was authored by, among others, the leading lights of the academic side of the anti-vaccine movement – Christopher Shaw, Lucija Tomljenovic and Yehuda Schoenfeld. In particular, Shaw and Tomljenovic seem to have an obsession with the HPV vaccine.
After withering criticism across the field, especially since the article was published in a prestigious, high impact factor journal, the editors at Vaccine decided to withdraw the article:
This article has been withdrawn at the request of the Editor-in-Chief due to serious concerns regarding the scientific soundness of the article. Review by the Editor-in-Chief and evaluation by outside experts, confirmed that the methodology is seriously flawed, and the claims that the article makes are unjustified. As an international peer-reviewed journal we believe it is our duty to withdraw the article from further circulation, and to notify the community of this issue.
The paper no longer exists in chronicles of Vaccine – about the best outcome possible.
Unfortunately, despite the strong criticism of the HPV vaccine article’s methods, analysis and conclusions, another journal, Immunologic Research, published the article, with small changes, in July 2016. Nevertheless, the formerly retracted HPV vaccine article has the same issues that were discussed months ago. Nothing has changed.
Let’s take a look what the article said, what changes were made in un-retracting it, and what are still the valid criticisms.