The cervical cancer vaccine saves lives, actually.

Didn’t we all feel horrible last week, on hearing the news that 14-year-old Natalie Morton died a matter of hours after receiving the HPV vaccine at school? How long would it be before we’d hear whether the vaccine actually caused her death or whether something else did? Not long, as it turned out. Three days later, an inquest was told that she’d died from a large and previously undetected tumour in her chest that could have killed her at any moment.

But by that time, it was too late. Taking their lead from an ill-informed explanation by the school’s headmistress that Natalie had suffered a rare  reaction to the jab, newspapers soon whipped up a frenzy, ably catalogued by a poster on the online journalism blog, who points out that, as a result of the widespread inaccuracy of the coverage, “Google’s results will give parents second thoughts about letting their daughters be vaccinated, even though the injection will save hundreds of lives a year.”

To counteract this, he suggests concerned bloggers post link-heavy pieces to sites that give sound information on the cervical cancer vaccine , otherwise known as the cervical cancer jab and to include a link to this cervical cancer vaccine Q&A page.

OK, done.

36 thoughts on “The cervical cancer vaccine saves lives, actually.”

  1. Knobby, shouldn’t an FDA document be hosted by the FDA? It’s great to see you cite sources, but you shouldn’t say FDA document if what you mean is “opinions of my favourite quack”.

    Here’s what the FDA says about it:

    As you can read there, this vaccine was tested in double blind, placebo controlled trials (still thinking there aren’t any?).

  2. Grow up, idiot.

    I have responded to you at length on the other thread.

    For the benefit of anyone else reading, I will repeat what I said there:

    I take particular exception to your infantile habit for adopting user names that incorporate insults to other posters here, especially when they have been perfectly civil to you. You have the option of choosing a non-insulting name and sticking to it or using the one I have chosen for you. Which is it to be?

    Just to make it absolutely clear, if you continue to keep changing your name, I will prevent you from continuing to post here.

  3. Knobby, I’ve skimmed through that piece you linked to. It’s about the quality I would expect from a website like naturalnews. Seriously, how does one conclude “most infections (by HPV) are short-lived and not associated with cervical cancer” means that HPV infections don’t cause cervical cancer? It’s like saying smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer because the lifetime risk for a smoker to develop lung cancer is only about 15 % (for non-smokers it’s about 1 %).
    If Mike Adams wasn’t able to understand that this quote doesn’t support his conclusion, all he had to do was read on and he would have discovered another, more detailed quote: “Most women who become infected with HPV are able to eradicate the virus and suffer no apparent long-term consequences to their health. But a few women develop a persistent infection that can eventually lead to pre-cancerous changes in the cervix.” In other words: while HPV infection doesn’t always cause cervical cancer (because most women heal), if the infection persists for a longer time it can cause cervical cancer.
    If there was a way to find out which women will develope that persistent infection when infected, it wouldn’t be necessary to vaccinate as many young women as possible. Unfortunately there’s no way to know beforehand; getting vaccinated before you are infected with the virus (it is likely that you will get infected) lowers your risk of developing cervical cancer.

    @Skepticat: when I read that comment about you changing knobby’s name I was a bit puzzled, but then I realised the name appearing in the rss-feed is the name knobby chose, not the one you gave him/her. I had already thought about asking whether you could somehow indicate which comments are knobby’s because it was getting a bit confusing, but couldn’t think of a good, easy way to do that, lol.

  4. Knobby, obviously you don’t know what an rss-feed is, but I wasn’t talking to you so there’s no need for you to understand that part of my comment. I guess Skepticat understood my comment just fine. btw: The name she chose for you seems quite fitting.

    The document you linked to is not by the FDA, it’s a petition the FDA received. I looked through it anyway, and it confirms what I said before: while most HPV infections heal on their own, some persist and these can lead to cervical cancer. It is known that vaccination of already sero-positive individuals increases the risk to develope cervical cancer (quacks didn’t discover that, peer reviewed studies did), so it is important to vaccinate before being infected (which is why I’m not vaccinated but my younger cousins are; if one day I have daughters you can bet your ass I will let them get that vaccination).

    I don’t think you know what peer review is – trials aren’t peer reviewed, it’s the publications that get peer reviewed. And yes, I think peer review is important, what would be the alternative if we want to make sure that papers are scientifically sound – quack review? If you think scientific studies aren’t real evidence I wonder why you’d cite the FDA (OK, you didn’t actually cite the FDA, but you said you did) – they base their decisions on scientific studies and expert opinion.

  5. I’ve just noticed that two of the idiot’s comments are duplicates.I’m getting a bit tired of being falsely accused of deleting stuff.

    Idiot, understand this: Until you stop changing your user name, I am moderating all comments. None of them are censored or deleted. I do not sit at a computer 24 hours a day so it may be some time before your – or anyone else’s – comment appears. If you stick to one non-offensive user name and let me know your choice, I will stop moderating comments before letting them through.

    In the meantime, try to control yourself because, as someone else said, you sound completely deranged. I’m beginning to wonder if your hatred of vaccines is down to your belief that you yourself have been vaccine-damaged in some way. Brain-damage perhaps?

    Edited for clarity.

  6. It’s on FDA headed paper, it is a clear statement of their postion regarding known facts about the subject.

    The document you link to doesn’t contain a single page of FDA headed paper. If you want to use the FDA document as an argument, link to the FDA document.

    Vicky I hope you are going to get your potential daughters pre tested as know you know this evidence you may be at risk of producing an Ashfar result.

    My potential daughters will know that you should get the vaccine before you’re sexually active and that whatever they tell their physician will between them and him/her, so even if they don’t feel like they can be honest with me about their status they can still be totally honest with their physician. I don’t live in the UK so I don’t know how much information patients get there, but when I was a child my mother was made aware of the possible side effects of vaccinations before I got them. When I got the MMR shot (at age 12 in school), my parents got a leaflet detailing the risks of that vaccination and had to sign a consent form before I could get it, and later when I became of age and could choose for myself, I was told about both the risks and benefits of the vaccinations I was about to receive. I don’t think that has changed over the years.

    Does it not interest you to know why most women with HPV don’t develop cancer? Or do you prefer the mystic magic of the disease of cancer that appears for no known reason and may strike us down randomly?

    Sure, I’d like to know why, but since we don’t know yet the best thing we can do is prevent infection. Research shows vaccination is one way of preventing those persistent infections; I wouldn’t recommend to rely solely on vaccination, but that goes for all preventive measures. What makes you think I believe in magic? Controlled trials aren’t magic, quite the opposite.

    Oh and Vicky if the ex editor of the BMJ is on record as saying you can’t believe anything written in a medical peer reviewed journal your idea of evidence would seem to be firmly in the camp of quack.

    Huh, is that what he said? I thought he said that even with peer review scientifically poor studies are published, so he thinks the “filter then publish” system doesn’t work as it should (that’s quite different from saying you can’t believe anything written in a peer-reviewed journal, isn’t it?). He proposes a “publish then filter” system, I happen to disagree.

    I never said (or even implied) we shouln’t try to find out what makes those “few” women who develope cancer different, but that doesn’t mean we should wait and do nothing until we can predict who will develop cancer. Newer studies imply that vaccinating males is beneficial (for those males), too, therefore I even support vaccinating males.

    So yes, I think it’s OK to vaccinate “the whole population” if it safes those unlucky ones who’d develop cancer. (I also think it’s OK to vaccinate everyone against other diseases that lead to permanent damage in “only a few cases” – like measles.)
    Treatment and subsequent monitoring of “those few” who get cervical cancer isn’t cheap, by the way, you can buy a lot of vaccine for that money.

  7. The data from the US showed that the vaccine put the cervical cancer rate up in those who pretested HPV positive. That fact alone is a disaster. There are no long term studies in humans (apart from the BCG disaster that showed it caused TB), that show against a control group of those choosing not to vaccinate that the cervical cancer vaccine even works, there is no pretest system in place in the UK so why knowing this would you even consider it an option? What evidence is there that it has any benefit at all?

    The best way to prevent this idea of ‘infection’ is to understand why some do and some don’t get cancer per se. Then no one needs to be put at risk from an out of date idea.

    What is this magic evidence or belief that you seem to have in this proceedure? Because I and a lot of other people just can’t find it.

    Want to see what a comparitive trial between vaccinated and non vaccinated produces as a result? Have a read of this.

  8. You should look at the Cochraine review on the 96 season study for flu vaccine if you want more orthodox evidence that vaccination is all hype and marketing. In healthy adults the vaccine was ‘effective’ in less than 6%, this is worse than placebo which is widely accepted to be 20%!

    Vaccination uses the same flawed idea that provoking ‘aquired immunity, and we will leave that chesnut alone for a while’ somehow provides priming protection for all vaccine production. So if we find one proper long term view that ‘it doesn’t work’ it is logical to assume none of them work. Fact is we find more and more evidence every day that the whole procedure is a dud. So why are you so into it?

    In a review of 51 studies involving more than 260,000 children, including 17 papers translated from Russian, researchers concluded that there was “No evidence that injecting children 6-23 months of age with flu vaccines is any more effective than placebo.”(3)

    For healthy adults, the results were similar. A total of 25 studies were reviewed that included more than 60,000 study participants. Again, The Cochrane Group found that vaccination reduced risk of influenza by a meager 6% and reduced the number of days missed from work by less than one (0.16) day. Researchers concluded,”Universal immunization of healthy adults was not supported by the results of this review.”(4)

    For the elderly population, the prime target group for flu shots, The Cochrane Group reviewed 64 studies and chided that, “The runaway 100% effectiveness touted by proponents [of the flu shot] for the elderly was nowhere to be seen. What you see is that marketing rules the response to influenza, and scientific evidence comes fourth or fifth.” (5)

    With this much evidence that flu shots are ineffective, why would anyone proceed to inject three viruses and a load of toxic chemicals into their body in an attempt to avoid the flu when Vitamin C and hand washing will no doubt be more effective?

    (3) The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. “Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy children.” 1-(2006).

    (4) The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews “Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy adults.”. 1-(2006)

    Article Source:

  9. Want to know what the % of aquired immunity to any disease is according to the Pasteur institute? 2% yes 2 %

    So even if it worked, and there is no evidence it does, you got 2% for risking a whole load of unknowns.

    The rest is non specific that is sweating, vomiting, diah, fever. And guess what proper doctors do when any of the preceeding happen? Try to stop them with meds!

  10. We’re discussing the HPV vaccine, and I’m waiting for that FDA document. You told me that I “NEED TO READ THE ACTUAL FDA HEADED DOCUMENT!”, so where is it? Don’t think you can send me on a runaround reading stuff that is either not relevant (“Tracheal injury caused by intubation for compressive endothoracic goiter.” WTF?) or a theory that has little to no recognition in mainstream medical science (“vaccinosis”).
    Yes, flu vaccination doesn’t seem to be beneficial for everyone. I’d hazard a guess and say that’s why it’s not recommended for everyone. There’s also not “the” flu vaccine but a different one every year, so it’s not really comparable to other vaccines. The same review that found vaccination of under two years old children was no more effective than placebo found efficacy for children aged two years and older.
    Please, no more diversions.

  11. From that article’s abstract:

    So far only one controlled study of an experimental animal model has been published, in which the possible causal relation between vaccines and autoimmune findings has been examined: in healthy puppies immunized with a variety of commonly given vaccines, a variety of autoantibodies have been documented but no frank autoimmune illness was recorded. The findings could also represent a polyclonal activation.

    From the article (shortened):

    For the general population, vaccines are a safe and a beneficial procedure […].
    There are subjects who, subsequent to vaccination (apparently), have developed diseases that they may not have developed had they not been vaccinated. […]
    Would those subjects who acquired autoimmune illnesses after immunization, have acquired those illnesses had they been exposed to the infection? They may have, or they may not.

    So vaccines overall are a safe and beneficial procedure and while apparently some people develope autoimmune diseases after being vaccinated it’s not clear if there’s a causal link.

    It doesn’t matter whether the Pasty institute is pro or anti they said that aquired immunity only represents 2% of any immune reaction to any disease.

    Sorry, I won’t take your word for that – how do I know that you didn’t misunderstand what they said? Link please (to a Pasteur Institute document of course, not some random website).

    And while you’re at it, that FDA document I have to read, would you please link to that, too?

  12. Yawn.
    You were the one saying that the mere presence of antibodies proves nothing – now you’re saying if there are antibodies it proves the presence (or developement) of autoimmune diseases? I think you’re the one struggling here; I didn’t cherry pick and I didn’t search hard – all I did was read the review you suggested I should read.

    Still no link to the FDA document, and no link to the Institut Pasteur one – can I expect to see them anytime soon? Nah, forget them, I’m bored now. Chances are you misrepresented them anyway, as you did with the BCG vaccine. I checked, Germany didn’t ban BCG, they just stopped vaccinating against TB. You can still get vaccinated, but since 1998 it isn’t one of the recommended vaccinations. Wanna know why? Because there are so few TB cases that the adverse effects – as few as they are – outweigh the benefits. That’s the “magic way” scientists decide which vaccines to give: weigh pros against cons.
    Find some good scientific evidence that shows you’re right about the HPV vaccine, and I’ll be happy to discuss it, but I won’t let you sidetrack this discussion to other vaccines you think you know more about. The topic is HPV vaccination, and “vaccine XY is only 50% effective” says nothing about the HPV vaccine.

    As I already said, I’m bored with this conversation. Most of what you say is either demonstrably false (like that there are no placebo controlled tests of vaccines) or only half-true(yes, Richard Smith thinks peer-review should be abandoned; no, he doesn’t think you cannot believe anything written in peer-reviewed articles).
    I won’t waste more of my time chasing after the grain of truth that’s hidden in your claims, so any claim without link to scientific evidence (you know, the kind you find on PubMed, not “” and “naturalnews”) will be ignored.

  13. I’m not sure what you mean by “your” seasonal flu jab. I’m not in any of the at-risk groups recommended to get it.

    Edit: I would have got it when I was the main carer for my dying mother if anyone had thought to mention it to me. But at that time (five – seven years ago) I got the impression from my GP surgery that it was only recommend for old people.

    Sorry I haven’t had to time to read the other posts of the last few days. I’ll try to catch up soon. xx

  14. a) We’re discussing the HPV vaccine. You still owe me that FDA report. Told you I’m not going to let you sidetrack the discussion.

    b) Again, claims without adequate sources, how lame is that.

  15. The Cochraine review on the seasonal flu jab showed that it has absolutely no impact on carers in care homes provding protection at all.

    Reference please? I’ve checked the Cochrane database and this review you speak of doesn’t appear to exist.

    The only people it ‘works’ on are fit healthy people…

    What makes you say that? The Cochrane review on the flu jab in healthy adults suggests its of very limited use in healthy people.

    which in laymans terms means it is a placebo!

    It means nothing of the sort.

    Did you have a swine flu jab skepticat?

    Why do you keep asking irrelevant personal questions? No, I haven’t.

    I do with you’d learn to argue properly and not make stuff up.

  16. Nobby, as I said before: even if the flu vaccine didn’t work, that wouldn’t imply other vaccines also don’t work.
    That said, you’ve decided to cite only half of what the review summary said, let me refresh your memory:

    Vaccination had a modest effect on time off work and had no effect on hospital admissions or complication rates.

    Emphasis mine; from Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy adults
    So it’s not that there’s no effect, just too little to recommend vaccinating healthy adults.
    You’re claiming it “doesn’t work in old people”, but you were either unable to check the Cochrane Library carefully enough, or you were just turning a blind eye to the review that looked at that very question – Vaccines for preventing influenza in the elderly:

    We included 75 studies. Overall we identified 100 data sets. We identified one RCT assessing efficacy and effectiveness. Although this seemed to show an effect against influenza symptoms it was underpowered to detect any effect on complications (1348 participants). The remainder of our evidence base included non-RCTs. Due to the general low quality of non-RCTs and the likely presence of biases, which make interpretation of these data difficult and any firm conclusions potentially misleading, we were unable to reach clear conclusions about the effects of the vaccines in the elderly.

    Sure, one RTC isn’t enough to draw firm conclusions, but this one it seems to show an effect. More good quality studies need to be done, no question about that, but the review isn’t saying it doesn’t work for old people.
    There’s another Cochrane review you either didn’t find or chose to ignore, and it suggests the vaccination might also be beneficial for children over two.
    Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy children:

    From RCTs, live vaccines showed an efficacy of 82% (95% confidence interval (CI) 71% to 89%) and an effectiveness of 33% (95% CI 28% to 38%) in children older than two compared with placebo or no intervention. Inactivated vaccines had a lower efficacy of 59% (95% CI 41% to 71%) than live vaccines but similar effectiveness: 36% (95% CI 24% to 46%). In children under two, the efficacy of inactivated vaccine was similar to placebo.

    The authors note that there was only one trial in children under two.
    Not only was I able to read those summaries, I was also able to understand them (and post a link to them so others who might someday read this conversation don’t need to believe me but can read them for themselves).

    Now, let’s get back to the HPV vaccine, where’s the FDA document? You made it sound so very important, as if it said something to suggest the HPV vaccine was useless. I do want to read things that show a specific vaccine doesn’t work, I just want to read them myself and refuse to take your (or Mr “Health Ranger” Adams’) word for it.

    1. I’m waiting for two things from you, nobby.

      1. the FDA document
      2. the reference for “the Cochraine review on the seasonal flu jab showed that it has absolutely no impact on carers in care homes provding protection at all”.

      Please don’t turn up without them.

  17. If you don’t think Cochrane Reviews are reliable you shouldn’t have brought them up, but you have so it’s perfectly fine for me to argue that if they find effectiveness for the seasonal flu vaccine this vaccination is efective. It’s also untrue to say that healthy children “don’t go down with flu” – people of all age groups get flu, and both children and the elderly are at higher risk for complications, which is why vaccination is recommended for them.

    by the way: The best way for a layman to understand what they say is to read the conclusions because a) as a layman you don’t have the full text, so you don’t have the data to interpret and b) even if you did, you’re not qualified to interpret that data. What makes you think that you’re in a better position to make conclusions than the authors of a review? I’m able to look at data, but I’m also able to understand that I have no expertise in epidemiology, so I rely on experts to interpret data.

    Finally, we’re back on topic, but still all you produce is hot air. Why don’t you just admit that you can’t link to this FDA document because there is no FDA document that supports your position? You’re either a moron or a liar, pretending to link to an FDA document (more than once) when in fact you’re linking to a petition the FDA received that you obviously either didn’t read or didn’t understand. This petition cites the FDA as saying that there is a link between persistent HPV infection and cervical cancer, and the FDA does in fact recommend vaccinating, so there’s little reason to expect that they don’t think there’s a link. Gardasil is a vaccine, of course they wouldn’t recommend it as a diagnostic (are you even reading what you write?), but – let me repeat it – they recommend vaccinating!

  18. @Skepticat: let’s drop this flu vaccine discussion, nobby is only using it to divert this conversation from the HPV vaccine and from the fact that s/he has made untrue claims. Whatever the effectiveness for a flu vaccine (which is against different strains every year, so the effectiveness is likely to vary anyway) is, it’s not possible do infer the effectiveness of a HPV vaccine from that.
    There are studies about the HPV vaccine, and they show the vaccination works, i.e. lowers the risk of getting infected considerably. They also show that a prior infection with the HPV strains the vaccine contains is a counterindication, so the vaccine should be given prior to the first contact with those HPV strains – as infections is almost exclusively from sex, that means it’s best to vaccinate before first sexual contact. As a result of these studies, many countries now recommend the vaccine for girls, and I expect that in the future they will also recommend it for boys.

  19. @Vicky: I agree it is a diversion. I am simply highlighting the fact that Nobby has failed in what should have been a supremely easy task to provide the references to two papers he claims to have read. I am satisfied that neither paper exists and that Nobby is a lying toad.

  20. So girls it took that long for you to admit that:

    “They also show that a prior infection with the HPV strains the vaccine contains is a counterindication”

    This is amazing use of weasel words. What are your plans to make sure that pre infection with HPV is highlighted, the girls in the USA who were pretested were tested at the right time to exclude sexual transmission, they just ‘had it’.

    If pre infection puts the cervical cancer rate up by 44% when one is given the vaccine, considering it is only supposed to prevent what is it 1% it would only take less than one girl given the vaccine in what you call a contra indication to erase that stunningly negligible effect. Again massaging stats the vaccinators friend raises it’s head again.

    Considering, like with all vaccines, there is no long term study (this vax has only been out what 2 or 3 years) to show that the vaccined group against those that don’t have it either prevents mythical HPV pathways to cervical cancer you can’t claim it works either.

    Like the way you dropped the flu jab conversation that was showing up your lack of ability to support the mythology of vaccination.

    It’s ok for you to have a go at one homeopathic remedy and then imply that the whole of homeopathy is wrong, why is vaccination any different?

    I wonder why you didn’t have a flu jab, we were all told that swine flu attacks the most fit, that’s why according to history only the fit and young died in 1917 19. According to the scribes the virus turned their own immune systems inward!

    If you look at the demographic of age of death from that time you will see old and young people didn’t die it was young ‘fit’ men generally aged 15 to 35.

    So the at risk group means that those in prime of life should have queued up for a shot, old people were not at risk, or maybe using fear from that time but reversing the at risk group made better commercial sense? I notice from the few septic sites where this came up a complete shy away from admitting that no one had gone for it? How’s that for belief in proper doctors.

    Funny when I stop posting your site grinds to a halt.

  21. “by the way: The best way for a layman to understand what they say is to read the conclusions.”

    Not true Vicky, and that is the big issue with all vaccination. The full text and in some case the non disclosed findings of these systemic poisons is what reveals the lack of real evidence for efficacy.

    The conclusion is for people like you, who choose to put their faith in ‘proper doctors’, the full text is made to be difficult to read because that is where the real data is. and if, as I hope, drug companies are to be forced by law to disclose all research data rather than cherry picking for profit.

    It’s not good enough to run a trial that shows an intervention is dangerous and then conclude with the mantra ‘of course we all know vaccines save lives’. This statement is always an anecdote, HPV vaccine is no exception, how can they say that when the damn thing has not been around long enough to draw that conclusion? Suppose it must be faith, to be honest I have tired of talking to religious septics.

  22. Sorry it’s not prevent 1% of those given the vaccine it was prevent 1 case in …………… guesswork really on their part but it looked good in advertising ‘will you be the one!’

  23. What makes you think you’ve been banned you idiot?

    Oh, perhaps you don’t realise we’re onto a new page – lol! Try the link that says, ‘newer entries’, moron.

  24. I’m sorry to say it, but you ARE a moron. I never questioned that a prior infection is a counterindication, I even told you that I am not vaccinated because of a prior infection! I also told you that we know this from scientific studies.

    You’re still banging on about the flu vaccine, even though I have made clear that
    a) the reviews you cite contradict your claims as they say the vaccine is effective
    b) the effectiveness of a flu vaccine varies because they’re using different influenza strains every year
    c) the effectiveness of the flu vaccination doesn’t tell us anything about the effectiveness of other vacciations.

    With all the talent of interpreting studies you’ve shown so far I don’t think anyone believes you can review scientific trials in a meaningful way. The full text is not “made to be difficult”, it’s just precise and therefore contains “technical language”, if you’re unable to fully understand it you’re probably not qualified to interpret it. I also don’t believe you have the full texts and suspect you’re simply talking out of your arse, but that’s my personal view.

    By the way: you’re not banned as your moronic repeated posts make clear.

  25. Ben Goldacre ASKED Dr Harper, hard to see how his bias could have influenced her position on HPV vaccines.

    Again, flu vaccines don’t fail (as the reviews you cite – but don’t link to – tell us), but they’re not useful for everyone. They’re not recommended for everyone, so there’s no contradiction in that.

    I feel like I’m talking to a stubborn child. You’re citing reviews that don’t support your position, you claim the lead researcher in the developement of HPV vaccines spoke out against vaccination even though she complained to the Press Complaints Commission about those reports and while you haven’t cited one decent source, yet you declare yourself the “winner”. To win an argument, you have to cite evidence.
    I’m still waiting for that FDA document.

  26. Yeah, it’s so unusual that there’s no answer for two days you’ve definitely won this debate! O_o

    The study you linked to (about IMR and vaccines being correlated) has been deconstructed by David Gorski back in May, so no, I’m not impressed with the correlation they found (and, you know, correlation doesn’t imply causation).
    You could read his blog post over at sciencebasedmedicine:
    Vaccines and infant mortality rates: A false relationship promoted by the anti-vaccine movement,
    but I’m pretty sure you won’t, so I’ll summarise it for you.

    They’re counting vaccines rather arbitrarily – while they claim to count per “shot”, they in fact counted the antigens – this is easily verifiable as they used publicly available data. For Sweden, they count 12 shots, while their source shows that DTaP, IPV and Hib are given as one shot, so Swedish children get six shots in their first year (they actually claim to count DTaP as three shots – that would mean the Swedish vaccination schedule calls for 18 shots, but I guess they just couldn’t remember what they were counting as one shot).
    They made some mistakes in their counts (based on their count of the Swedish schedule): Finland, the way they count it (per antigen, except for DTaP) would have 15 shots (+2), Malta would have 10 shots (-5), Slovenia 10 (-5), Germany 22 (+4), Switzerland 14 (-4), Italy 13 (-5), Czech Republic 20 (+1), UK 17 (-2), Spain 15 (-5), Portugal 15 (-6), Luxembourg 21 (-1), Ireland 19 (-4), Greece 21 (-2), Netherlands 16 (-8!). They counted correct for Sweden, Norway, Denmark, France and Austria. (I only checked the data they extracted from and made sure the schedules hadn’t been changed since 2009; the data for countries outside Europe is probably just as creatively counted).
    Why did they choose this data set? If there’s a true correlation, including other years and other countries would not change that. Why did they only choose the countries that are “better” than the USA? Why not compare all the countries of North America with all European countries? (Hungary, for example, has only 12 shots in the first year, 10 of them mandatory, yet their IMR is 7.86, worse than that of the US! Does that mean more shots mean less infant mortality?)
    IMRs is counted differently in the US and in other countries (with the US definiton of live birth being the broadest), so it’s shaky ground to compare U.S. infant mortality with reports from other countries, even if the rest of their data wasn’t flawed.

    The average “naturalhealth” reader will no doubt be impressed with this study (it confirms their beliefs), the scientific community (and the scientifically minded layman) isn’t.

    Tom Jefferson wrote that BMJ piece in 2006; in 2010 he was one of the authors of the Cochrane review you cited (and then, when I pointed out their conclusion, dismissed). It’s a good example of the difference between science and pseudo-science: if new evidence suggests a previous conclusion was wrong (or premature), the conclusion changes. There’s no doubt that policy isn’t always based on scientific evidence only, yet it seems with more scientific trials the case for influenza vaccines is getting stronger.
    Here’s the newest review on the effectiveness of influenza vaccination that is available (it’s still in pre-publication state):
    A systematic review of the evidence on the effectiveness and risks of inactivated influenza vaccines in different target groups.
    This is the last time I’m discussing influenza vaccination here as it has still got nothing to do with the effectiveness of HPV vaccines.

    If you want me to read blog articles, you should link to them. Please note that I’m still not interested in quack websites (such as naturalnews,, mercola, …).

    By the way: Where’s the FDA document? I’m waiting.

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