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Medicine Science

Gardasil Cleared of Anti-Vax Nonsense (slate.com) 508

New submitter Zane C. writes: A new study once again shows vaccines have no link with yet another batch of medical disorders. The vaccine in question is a relatively new HPV vaccine called Gardasil, mainly targeting preteens to reduce infection. Phil Plait has more on this, debunking anti-vax claims and explaining why you should receive the vaccine: "It’s another typical anti-vax call to arms due to a complete and gross misunderstanding of how reality works. To them, if something happens after something else, it was caused by that first thing. This is the classic post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy. But the Universe doesn’t work that way. And this kind of bad thinking has consequences. In the U.S. alone, 79 million people are infected with HPV. That’s more than a quarter of the entire population. Fourteen million new cases crop up every year. Gardasil can substantially cut those numbers back—it’s working, and working well, in the U.S. and Australia—but not if the fearmongering falsehoods by anti-vaxxers get traction."
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Gardasil Cleared of Anti-Vax Nonsense

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  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @02:09PM (#51279351)

    I loved working on my VAX systems - a great little healthcare OS.

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      I loved working on my VAX systems - a great little healthcare OS.

      Really, my VAX literally sucked.

  • The herd's moving (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wkwilley2 ( 4278669 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @02:11PM (#51279365)

    If you take a former playmate's advice on vaccinations, maybe the herd could do without you.

    • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @02:22PM (#51279531) Homepage

      Well, the problem with this is that the idiots refusing vaccines aren't just putting themselves at risk.

      If it was just they and their offspring would become ill? Hey, run wild. You've taken yourselves out of the gene pool and we don't care. That's your damned problem for a choice you made.

      But that isn't what happens. Someone else gets sick.

      Which means if you refuse to get vaccinated and then help to spread disease you should be liable for that. Like criminally liable.

      If it was as simple as the herd doing without the ones who wouldn't get vaccinated, it would be an easy choice. What they really end up doing is endangering other people.

      Which means they aren't solely the ones in danger by their own stupidity, and they should be refused access to places like schools and jobs so they don't make others ill due to their own stupid.

      • by Ambassador Kosh ( 18352 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @02:33PM (#51279677)

        It is even worse than that. If you provide a host population for a virus it will mutate over time. It could mutate around the vaccine the others have taken and become generally infectious again.

        One of the things many in medicine are worried about is that anti-vax people are going to provide a host population and something like measles will mutate and go back to killing millions of people. It is unlikely that we will come up with a new vaccine very quickly and even if the government makes this a crash project and devotes insane resources to it progress could still be slow.

        For many of these diseases that we can vaccinate against we have nothing else. The diseases are still deadly and we don't really have a way to treat them.

        The worst problem is that this outcome is inevitable if you have a host population. Anti-vax people put EVERYONE else at risk and it is just a matter of time until it happens.

        This is why vaccines should be 100% mandatory unless there is a valid medical reason. I don't care what your religion, personal beliefs etc are. If you are going to live around other people you have to be vacinated.

        • This is why vaccines should be 100% mandatory unless there is a valid medical reason. I don't care what your religion, personal beliefs etc are. If you are going to live around other people you have to be vacinated.

          I share this sentiment for easily communicated diseases (which is what I'm vaccinated against), but why should people be forced to take vaccines for diseases that are very easily avoided? I'm not going to lose sleep over sending my (hypothetical) child to a school where a bunch of children haven

          • Here's a hint as to why.

            Your (theoretical) child will have sex before you're ready for them to.

            If they get HPV due to not getting this vaccine, they are much more susceptible to several cancers and may die earlier.

            So I guess you're up for russian roulette for your child?

            • Your (theoretical) child will have sex before you're ready for them to.

              Not his precious snowflake.

          • by ranton ( 36917 )

            This is why vaccines should be 100% mandatory unless there is a valid medical reason. I don't care what your religion, personal beliefs etc are. If you are going to live around other people you have to be vacinated.

            I share this sentiment for easily communicated diseases (which is what I'm vaccinated against), but why should people be forced to take vaccines for diseases that are very easily avoided? I'm not going to lose sleep over sending my (hypothetical) child to a school where a bunch of children haven't taken Gardasil, as long as they've taken vaccines for anything they'd be likely to spew onto other children in the classroom.

            I hate to break it to you, but STDs are easily communicated diseases. You may think you will be some kind of perfect parent whose children would never go against your wishes, but that just shows how unprepared for parenthood you are right now. Over two thirds of teenagers have sex before they are 20, and only 3% of Americans save themselves for marriage. If you assume your children will be part of that very small percentage then I wouldn't trust you with heavy machinery let alone children.

          • HPV is not easily avoided,

            . However, the high prevalence of the infection among the virginal women indicated that transmission of HPV by nonsexual modes was common. Genital HPV infection is ubiquitous and in women is not exclusively a venereal disease. Is genital human papillomavirus infection always sexually transmitted? [nih.gov]

            ubiquitous (not comparable)
            Being everywhere at once: omnipresent.
            To Hindus, Jews, Muslims and Christia

        • Re:The herd's moving (Score:4, Interesting)

          by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @02:56PM (#51280011) Homepage Journal

          One of the things many in medicine are worried about is that anti-vax people are going to provide a host population and something like measles will mutate and go back to killing millions of people.

          Keep in mind that this is more of a risk because of vaccination, for two reasons:

          1: When the diseases were not vaccinated against, the diseases were still mutating and competing, and the most successful strains over time were the milder, which didn't kill the host, and allowed propagation. Lethal spreadable diseases are evolutionary dead ends compared to their less lethal cousins. With vaccines, we've eradicated the competition too, making it easier for a dangerous mutation to propagate.

          2: And on the flip side of the coin, before vaccination, the humans who had genes that made it more likely they would survive the disease would have more viable offspring. After vaccination, those genes no longer give an advantage, and others without the resistance propagate their genes just as much, leading to a population that is more susceptible to not surviving an outbreak.

      • Which means if you refuse to get vaccinated and then help to spread disease you should be liable for that.

        I think there's a bit of a difference between diseases that you can catch because someone else's third grader sneezed on yours, and diseases that are only transmitted through sexual contact.

        • Got news for you dude, sexual intercourse isn't the only way you can get HPV, if it were than virgins wouldn't have it. Sexual intercourse is the easiest way but not the only way; a lot of things that 3rd graders do can spread it, two people scuff their elbows on the same door frame running out to bus and it's transmitted; it's not like Johnny always washes his hands after peeing you know.

      • by DarkOx ( 621550 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @03:56PM (#51280707) Journal

        Yes but this is an STD. I mean you don't get HPV just being in the same room with someone. So by your logic everyone having monogamous unprotected sex is: helping to spread disease and ought to be held criminally liable.

        Actually doing so would probably go a lot farther to stopping the spread of disease more than forcing people to inject things into their bodies. If you are not going to regulate the bedroom than there is no compelling reason to force vaccination for STDs. Other than your own twisted moral reasoning some of us do not share.

        Personal I think the only ethical system is, "your health is your problem" if you don't get some horrible disease for which a vaccine exists get the vaccine for it yourself. Mind your own damn business and don't worry about what the rest of us are or are not doing. If you can't get vaccinated for whatever reason than you have to take alternative steps to protect yourself like partial isolation; to fucking bad we all play the hand we are dealt.

      • In the Army, they told us we could refuse a vaccine, however if we got the illness that the refused vaccine prevented, we earned ourselves a Court martial. I have no problems with charging Parents with Child Endangerment if their child contracts a preventable disease and they weren't vaccinated. It's against your religion, well if God didn't want you to go to Prison, He wouldn't have infected your child with a preventable disease.

    • If you take a former playmate's advice on vaccinations, maybe the herd could do without you.

      Well, HPV is sexually transmitted, so the vaccine makes sex safer, thus encouraging people to have sex. So her expertise may be relevant. But, seriously, some people actually oppose this vaccine because they think it encourages teenagers to be more promiscuous.

      • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @03:05PM (#51280117)

        Which is ridiculous. Which teenager needs encouragement? :-P

      • Those people usually think teenagers shouldn't have sex, so aren't having sex, so aren't realistic that they are having sex, at much higher numbers.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @02:18PM (#51279465)

    That's the big excuse of the anti-vaxxers. That's why they fearmonger us into buying their vaccines. They need our money and they want to get rich off us. No vax for me!

    Instead, let's all buy bleach at a few hundred bucks a gallon from an ex-scientology member. He sure ain't in it just for the money!

  • Anti-cancer (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Cow Ward ( 4161549 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @02:18PM (#51279473)
    Let's also not forget that HPV causes a number of different cancers - cervical, penile, throat, etc. This vaccine dramatically reduces your chances of HPV-caused cancer. The press most often focuses on cervical cancer when they talk about it, which is why the vaccine has been more targeted to women, but boys and men also get a direct benefit, as well as all the indirect benefits through herd immunity.
  • I'm glad it got cleared because this one vaccine might cut cancer rates in our children and their children by an enormous rate.
    • this one vaccine might cut cancer rates in our children

      I'm confused, is HPV implicated in childhood cancers?

      • There are around 150 strains of HPV, #16 and 18 causes the most human cancers, If a person hasn't been immunized by age 13, the chances are they are all ready infected, and will have an increased risk of getting a HPV cancer later in life.

        There was a strong association in genital HPV infection between husbands and wives as expected from a sexually transmissible disease. However, the high prevalence of the infection among the virginal women indicated that transmission of HPV by nonsexual modes was common. Ge

  • by russotto ( 537200 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @02:28PM (#51279605) Journal

    Believing that a vaccine is by nature safe. This article makes it out like it's ridiculous to believe that a vaccine could have serious negative side effects. It's not; being a vaccine doesn't make anything safe. Yes, the data show that Gardasil isn't the cause of the various things some suspected of it. But that wasn't a foregone conclusion.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Actually, it was, in context.

      These debates aren't over the scientific concept of whether you can absolutely determine if a thing is safe or not; rather, they're over simple claims like X causes Y. Frequently, they use analysis of anecdote (which is data; it's just not statistically-sound data--mostly, it's cherry-picked) or of non-qualified data.

      Most vaccines contain methylmercury compounds. Methylmercury compounds are absolutely toxic. They will kill you. They will damage your system. Pharma co put

      • Most vaccines contain methylmercury compounds. Methylmercury compounds are absolutely toxic. They will kill you. They will damage your system.

        I think the mercury compound used was generally ethyl mercury, which doesn't bio accumulate as badly as methly mercury.

        Neither are to be confused with dimethly mercury which is wildly, insanely toxic, to the point where a few drops spilled on a latex glove with your hand inside will kill you.

        • Uncertain. Methyl mercury doesn't bioaccumulate as far as I know; it's in tuna, and gets pissed out when eaten.
      • by jratcliffe ( 208809 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @03:59PM (#51280747)

        Most vaccines contain methylmercury compounds.

        Actually, none of them do. Some USED to contain ethylmercury (Thimerosal) until the anti-vaxxers went nuts over it and it was removed, making vaccines much more expensive for developing countries.

      • Ah no, a few vaccines contain Thiomersal when supplied in multidose vials, or as a trace contaminate during manufacture, single dose vials don't contain thiomersal other than as a trace. Thiomersal dose breakdown in the body to ethyl-mercury, a shot with thiomersal in it gives a person about 2.5% of their daily tolerable mercury dose.

    • That's now how I read the article. The article is about Gardasil specifically, not all vaccines generally. He doesn't sound like it would be ridiculous to assume that even Gardasil specifically might have serious negative side effects, he is refuting the claims that it is (not might be; that it actually is) directly related to death or other syndromes, where the evidence specifically shows that it is not related.

      Yes, the data show that Gardasil isn't the cause of the various things some suspected of it. But that wasn't a foregone conclusion.

      That's true, it was not a foregone conclusion. But the major problem with the anti-vax moveme

  • by MarkvW ( 1037596 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @02:34PM (#51279685)

    Call them what they really are: Hosts.

  • Legal Immunity (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sam36 ( 1065410 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @02:50PM (#51279923)
    Big pharma lobbied for legal immunity against any vaccine damage claims decades ago. Claiming they don't have time to fight lawsuits since they are too busy "saving the world". I'll start using vaccines when they are able to actually take responsibilities of their own products.
    • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @04:44PM (#51281285)

      I'll start using vaccines when they are able to actually take responsibilities of their own products.

      I hope you contract a disease we had all but eradicated 20 years ago.

      It's one thing to claim with a completely unscientific basis that a vaccine is dangerous because you don't understand scientists, but quite another to consider it dangerous because your government has some law regarding who is liable for side affects and reactions which will statistically occur in a very very small percentage of a population. It's one of the fewer sane laws in a country which sues for millions of dollars when someone so much as hurts someone else's feelings. That kind of law is the reason that these drugs can be afforded in the first place.

      On behalf of civilised society, from all of us I extend a hearty FUCK YOU.

  • If antivaxxers paid heed to evidence or thought critically there wouldn't be an antivax movement. They'll probably go a bit quiet about gardasil for a bit and start harping on about mercury or something else. Then that claim will be debunked (again) and they'll move onto something else ad nauseum. It's like whack-a-mole but with idiots. Most denialist causes employ remarkably similar tactics to deal with evidence to the contrary - cherry picking, straw men, quote mining, compiling lists of "experts", pseudo
  • To them, if something happens after something else, it was caused by that first thing. This is the classic post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy.

    .

    Sounds like computer IT support. "My computer was working fine until YOU did (whatever)"

"Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love." -- Albert Einstein

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