Anti-vaccine activists consistently try to incorporate other groups’ slogans and statements, such as #MeToo, to increase legitimacy. Rarely, it gets some traction – for example, they have somewhat successfully convinced some Republican lawmakers that their demand to be able to send their children to school without vaccinating them are about “parental rights”, even though they have no parental authority over the classmates that could be put at risk by unvaccinated children.
More often, these attempts fall flat. For example, the anti-vaccine movement tried to build on the black lives matter movement with their own version, “vaccine injured lives matter” – with jarring, painful results, especially from the anti-vaxxer community that skews white and wealthy.
Recently, the anti-vaccine movement has tried to adopt two other slogans. First, it tried to claim that the “my body, my choice” statement used by pro-choice activists can be used to oppose school mandates.
The anti-vaccine movement consistently tries to incorporate other groups’ slogans and statements to increase legitimacy. Rarely, it gets some traction – for example, they have somewhat successfully convinced some Republican lawmakers that their demand to be able to send their children to school without vaccinating them are about “parental rights”, even though they have no parental authority over the classmates that could be put at risk by unvaccinated children.
More often, they fall flat. For example, the anti-vaccine movement tried to build on the black lives matter movement with their own version, “vaccine injured lives matter” – with jarring, painful results, especially from a movement that skews white and wealthy.
Recently, the anti-vaccine movement has tried to adopt two other slogans. First, it tried to claim that the “my body, my choice” statement used by pro-choice activists can be used to oppose school mandates. Second, it tried to claim that the #metoo movement means that it’s inappropriate to disbelieve mothers who claim their children were injured by vaccines.
Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI), previously known as premature ovarian failure, is one of those tropes pushed by the anti-vaccine religion – HPV vaccines cause POF. Although there is no robust epidemiological or clinical evidence of a link between the vaccine and primary ovarian insufficiency, the myth persists.
Her appalling article tried to convince the reader that the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine caused a decrease in their fertility. If this were a real article, I’d be appalled that it got published, but it was clearly a bad article with bad science, bad methodologies, and bad conclusions.
It failed basic scientific statistical analysis like accounting for confounding data. Furthermore, Gayle DeLong provided no convincing biologically plausible mechanism describing how the HPV vaccine could affect pregnancy rates. And her references were ridiculous – she cited Mark and David Geier, who can charitably be called charlatans who attempted to “treat” autistic children with a horrific and unethical procedure. And she actually mentioned Mark Geier in her acknowledgments.
Furthermore, she ignored the vast body of evidence, published by real scientists, not an expert in international finance, in real journals that the HPV vaccine is demonstrably safe. And in those huge studies, some with millions of patients, there was no detectable difference in fertility rates between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. This issue only exists in the mind of Gayle DeLong and other anti-vaccine activists.
I’ve read a bunch of anti-vaccine papers in my time, but this one may be one of the worst. All anti-vaccine papers are bad, that’s why they are rarely if ever, published in respected journals.
Of course, there is no plausible reason why the HPV vaccine could reduce fertility in men or women. In fact, HPV infections have been associated with reduced semen quality and lower pregnancy rates, so logically, we could assume that preventing an HPV infection would actually improve fertility in men and women. But facts rarely have any meaning to solid myth making.
Fortunately, there is a newly published study which actually provides us with evidence about whether the HPV vaccine affects fertility. Not to give away the ending, but it doesn’t, except in one group of women, where it actually increases it. Oh well, I gave away the ending. But please, read the rest of the article. Continue reading “HPV vaccine affects fertility? Another myth gets debunked”
The Washington Post dropped this provocative headline on its readers recently, “Researchers find a hint of a link between flu vaccine and miscarriages.” And you know what will happen next –every anti-vaccine website will claim that the flu vaccine causes miscarriages.
Of course, the evidence-based facts fail to support the future trope that the flu vaccine causes miscarriages. A careful reading of the Washington Post article is filled with nuance and hedging because the underlying published article does not actually provide robust evidence that any flu vaccine increases the risk of miscarriages.
The Washington Post made several points that are important to consider, and we’ll examine the underlying research in more depth. But the most important point they made is that,
The findings suggest an association, not a causal link, and the research is too weak and preliminary, experts said, to change the advice, which is based on a multitude of previous studies, that pregnant women should get a flu vaccine to protect them from influenza, a deadly disease that may cause serious birth defects and miscarriage.
Well, we don’t cherry-pick our evidence here, so we’re going to look at the broad body of evidence with respect to the flu, flu vaccines, and pregnancy. Because that’s how we roll here. And because we think pregnant women deserve the best information possible to protect themselves and their developing babies. Because that’s also how we roll here.
Empower the poorest, especially women and girls, to transform their lives.
Combat infectious diseases, especially those that affect the poorest.
Inspire people to take action to change the world.
As opposed to Trump, a pseudo-billionaire who thinks he’s entitled and has no particular interest in those who have to fight for their lives every day, Bill Gates is a real billionaire, whose products revolutionized our world, and who has made it his life’s mission to help those who need his support – the poor, especially women and children. Setting aside jokes about Windows or Microsoft, if we are to judge a person by what they do for those who suffer every day just trying to live another day, then they pass with flying colors. Continue reading “Gates Foundation birth control initiative – support women who lose it because of Trump”
Potential causes for cancer are numerous. Infections. Radon gas. Cigarette smoking. Sun exposure.Obesity. With over 200 types of cancer, each with a different pathophysiology, there may be an equal (and probably greater) number of causes for “cancer.” Although many causes of cancer can be easily avoided, such as stopping smoking, testing your house for radon, getting an HPV vaccine to prevent human papillomavirus infections, and wearing sunblock to reduce the risk of melanomas, the sheer complexity and number of types of cancer means that there is probably not going to be any simple panacea to preventing (or even curing) cancer.