Questioning vaccines doesn’t make someone anti-vaccine.
Doing a poor job of it and making folks scared to get vaccinated and protected?
I’ll let you decide what to call them…
Slate Investigates the Gardasil Clinical Trials
So after an eight-month long investigation, a journalist for Slate thinks he has evidence that the clinical trials that helped get Gardasil approved by the European Medical Agency were flawed.
What was the problem?
The way that they recorded possible side effects after folks were vaccinated.
“To track the safety of its product, the drugmaker used a convoluted method that made objective evaluation and reporting of potential side effects impossible during all but a few weeks of its years long trials.”
What made the method convoluted?
“In an internal 2014 EMA report about Gardasil 9 obtained through a freedom-of-information request, senior experts called the company’s approach “unconventional and suboptimal” and said it left some “uncertainty” about the safety results.
Merck, which is known as Merck Sharp & Dohme outside the U.S. and Canada, did not address the EMA’s safety concerns.”
When you read the internal 2014 EMA report about Gardasil 9, it is clear that Merck has a thorough response to each and every question that the EMA asked.
And those other quotes?
The EMA does state that:
- “At all other time points in the study medical events were reported as “new medical history”. This is an unconventional and suboptimal study procedure.”
- “While it is considered that the required safety data eventually has been made available for assessment, this feature of the study protocol brings some degree of uncertainty into safety assessment.”
So the EMA got the required safety data they were looking for, which is likely why Gardasil was approved in Europe.
They also said that “As the AE reporting procedure as seen at the inspection sites was in line with the approved protocol, the inspectors did not comment on it in the inspection reports. It was discussed with assessors during the course of the inspections, as in the inspectors’ opinion it is not an optimal method of collecting safety data, especially not systemic side effects that could appear long after the vaccinations were given.”
But if it was suboptimal, how come they were able to record someone getting diagnosed with POTS 1,389 days after their third dose of vaccine?
I’m starting to understand why Dr. Yehuda Shoenfeld wasn’t quoted in the piece. He likely knew how it was going to be perceived…
“Imagining a link between HPV vaccination and CFS is not all that far-fetched, according to Dr. Jose Montoya, a professor of medicine at Stanford University and a CFS expert.”
Not far-fetched at all, which is why studies are done to see if there really is a link.
So even if part of the study design was suboptimal, the Slate piece shouldn’t have cherry picked those quotes and should have included these other big pieces of information:
- A study in the UK using the MHRA’s Yellow Card passive surveillance scheme found no increase in reports of chronic fatigue syndromes following the introduction of Cervarix (another HPV vaccine)
- In 2015, the EMA confirmed evidence that HPV vaccines do not cause complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)
- A large, nationwide register-based study from Norway found no indication of increased risk of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis following HPV vaccination
- A large cohort study of over 2 million young girls in France found no risk for autoimmune diseases (including neurological, rheumatological, hematological, endocrine, and gastro-intestinal disorders)
- A large cohort study of girls in Sweden with pre-existing autoimmune diseases found that HPV vaccination was not associated with increased incidence of new-onset autoimmune disease (49 types of autoimmune diseases)
- A review of VAERS reports that “did not detect any unusual or unexpected reporting patterns that would suggest a safety problem” with HPV vaccination
The Slate piece does mention two of these studies, but just barely. One gets a single sentence and the other, half a sentence.
We see page after page of anecdotes of folks with supposed vaccine injuries, but the evidence that shows the vaccine is safe is almost buried and easy to miss. Many of the other studies seem to be left out.
And just because these patients have agonistic auto-antibodies, it doesn’t mean that they are from a vaccine.
“Five of the 14 POTS subjects and 2 of the 10 “healthy controls” recalled a respiratory infection in the 6 months prior to onset of their symptoms or inclusion in the study for the healthy controls.”
Li et al on Autoimmune Basis for Postural Tachycardia Syndrome
Lastly, what’s with calling cervical cancer uncommon???
“Cervical cancer is the 4th most common cause of cancer death in women worldwide, with tens of thousands of deaths in Europe each year despite the existence of screening programmes to identify the cancer early.”
European Medicines Agency
Downplaying the risks of vaccine-preventable diseases, while trying to scare folks about vaccines – that’s what gets you labeled as anti-vaccine.
What to Know About the Slate Gardasil Investigation
Although the study design for Gardasil used for licensing in Europe might have been suboptimal, that doesn’t really come across in this Slate piece, as it seems clear that it didn’t result in safety data being missed, and as post-licensure tests have confirmed, Gardasil is safe.
More on the Slate Gardasil Investigation
- HPV vaccine side effects – unrelated to chronic fatigue syndrome
- Gardasil HPV Vaccine Safety Assessed In Most Comprehensive Study To Date
- HPV vaccines: EMA confirms evidence does not support that they cause CRPS or POTS
- EMA HPV Safety Review
- The media’s MMR hoax
- The MMR story that wasn’t
- WHO – Impact of rumours and crises
- Public Health Takes on Anti-Vaccine Propaganda: Damage done, Challenges Ahead
- How the Media Fed the Anti-Vaccine Movement
- The Autism-Vaccines Myth: The Impact of the Media
- How vaccine scares respect local cultural boundaries.
- How the Toronto Star massively botched a story about the HPV vaccine — and corrected the record
- Jabs “as bad as the cancer”
- Beware of false balance: Are the views of the scientific community accurately portrayed?
- Impartial journalism is laudable. But false balance is dangerous
- Facts vs. opinions: Beware of false balance in your reporting
- Study – The HPV vaccine and the media: How has the topic been covered and what are the effects on knowledge about the virus and cervical cancer?
- Study – Bivalent human papillomavirus vaccine and the risk of fatigue syndromes in girls in the UK.
- EMA to further clarify safety profile of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines
- Study – HPV vaccination and risk of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis: A nationwide register-based study from Norway.
- Study – Human papillomavirus vaccination and risk of autoimmune diseases: A large cohort study of over 2million young girls in France.
- Study – Incidence of new-onset autoimmune disease in girls and women with pre-existing autoimmune disease after quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccination: a cohort study.
- Study – Reports of Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome After Human Papillomavirus Vaccination in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.
- Study – Autoimmune Basis for Postural Tachycardia Syndrome
- The cranks pile on John Ioannidis’ work on the reliability of science
- Are Most Medical Studies Wrong?
- CDC – Possible Causes of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome