At lest they aren’t claiming autism is worse than death this time. But the argument rests on at least as sloppy an understanding of science.
I saw this link on my Facebook News Feed today- The Murdering of Our Daughters | Dave Hodges – The Common Sense Show. The blurb on Facebook said 1/912 deaths. That seemed pretty damn high. I’m pretty sure the Skepchicks would be raising hell if there was a vaccine pushed for young girls that had a death rate this high for a disease that only kills 1/40,000.
So, the first link I go to is to this ABC article. Regarding the death rate, I find this:
As of June 1, 2009, the CDC reported that over 25 million doses of Gardasil, which is recommended for women between ages 9-26, have been distributed in the U.S. and there was an average of 53.9 VAERS reports per 100,000 vaccine doses. Of these, 40 percent occurred on the day of vaccination, and 6.2 percent were serious, including 32 reports of death.
32 reports of death in over 25 million doses? Let’s see… we’d expect somewhere north of 2,000 deaths if we were looking at a 1/912 death rate from Gardisil. Maybe I’m the dumb one, but last I checked, 32 was a lot less than 2,000.
Ok, let’s see what the study they linked to said. Maybe ABC reported on a poorly chosen sample population?
From a Merck study that these nutters seem to find credible, we see
Across the clinical studies, 40 deaths (GARDASIL N = 21 or 0.1%; placebo N = 19 or 0.1%) were reported in 29,323
That’s… actually worse. That’s 1/733 if I’ve done the math right. Ok, how did these people die? If it’s a credible study, they’d have looked into the cause of death of their study participants so they know how it affects the results.
The events reported were consistent with events expected in healthy adolescent and adult populations. The
most common cause of death was motor vehicle accident (5 individuals who received GARDASIL and 4 individuals who received AAHS control), followed by drug overdose/suicide (2 individuals who received GARDASIL and 6 individuals who received AAHS control), gunshot wound (1 individual who received GARDASIL and 3 individuals who received AAHS control), and pulmonary embolus/deep vein thrombosis (1 individual who received GARDASIL and 1 individual who received AAHS control). In addition, there 9 were 2 cases of sepsis, 1 case of pancreatic cancer, 1 case of arrhythmia, 1 case of pulmonary tuberculosis, 1 case of hyperthyroidism, 1 case of post-operative pulmonary embolism and acute renal failure, 1 case of traumatic brain injury/cardiac arrest, 1 case of systemic lupus erythematosus, 1 case of cerebrovascular accident, 1 case of breast cancer, and 1 case of nasopharyngeal cancer in the group that received GARDASIL; 1 case of asphyxia, 1 case of acute lymphocytic leukemia, 1 case of chemical poisoning, and 1 case of myocardial ischemia in the AAHS control group; and 1 case of medulloblastoma in the saline placebo group.
Note the italicized bit. These deaths are what would be expected anyways in the survey population. Also, note the bolded parts. That’s a lot of control and placebo people. 19 of the 40 deaths did not receive Gardisil at all. 21 did. Of those 21, all had clearly defined causes of death that are caused by quite a few things. While I don’t have the knowledge necessary to untangle all of them, the top three groups seem pretty clearly not at all related to Gardisil. We’re looking now at 13 deaths that, with my knowledge of medicine, could possibly be related. How many in this study took Gardisil? Still on Page 8(nice of the nutters to tell us exactly where to look), 15,706.
13/15706 = 1/1208. We’re now becoming a good bit safer than the nutters allege. And keep in mind, while I don’t personally have the medical knowledge to rule out a role of Gardisil in the remaining 13 deaths, I do know enough to know that all of these things have many known causes that have nothing to do with Gardisil or any vaccine. And again, back to the italics- these deaths, in number and cause, were what would be expected in a group of this size of these demographics that was not involved in the study.
And this is the very study the nutters trust. Playing by their rules, using their sources, they are completely full of shit. Credit where credit is due, though, they did cite their sources, and that made it much easier for me to figure out if I should take them seriously or not.