As a follow up to Sunday’s Gardasil documentary called “Going Viral” and my yesterday’s blog (which I posted on Sunday’s facebook page), this morning I received email notification of this reply.
All mistakes are his, not mine:
April 15 at 11:03am
As one of the Wellington High students in the piece, I'd like to tell you that I intended to receive the vaccine prior to even being approached for the story (and I'll have you know we were all well researched. We had just spent over half the school term researching the biological and ethical issues surrounding vaccines, and were provided with sources that were both pro and anti vaccinationing for several different controversial vaccines. We were then encouraged to come to our own conclusions from the material provided)*. Whether Dr Miller's cancer was caused by one of the strains protected against by the vaccine is actually irrelevant; the vaccine still protects against both genital warts, and several forms of cancer. The vaccine, like all vaccines, actually protects more than the individual if widespread enough (You seem well researched enough to know about herd immunity, so I don't need to explain the basic concept). The people most at risk of developing complications from an HPV infection are (bio-sex) females. HPV is a sexually transmitted infection (albeit not spread exclusively through fluids), and the majority of sexual interactions are between people of male and female sex respectively. By vaccinating males, the links between females are broken. It must be notes that genital warts are not much fun either, and Gardasil offers protection against that too. By not vaccinating males, the "gay" community (a term used very loosely here to include any person of male sex who interacts sexually with other people of the same sex) receives little protection from the viruses; a point made briefly in the story as well (condoms, as the story also points out, are not very effective against HPV). You bring up a good point, but push it too hard. That is more a flaw in the story than in our reasoning. (I'm sorry I haven't sourced claims. I'm typing on my phone in a Hotel in Japan right now.)(* It should also be noted that the interview was conducted in such a way that we were not being swayed by Ian Sinclair's opinion. In fact what is not obvious from the editing is that the majority of the questions were about sex amongst teenagers and how parents often aren't aware of what their child might be getting up to. Ideally I would have liked the story to focus more on the sexual health side, over the nosr cancer side)
Here is my reply:
Callum, thank you for your response.
You say that I bring up a good point, but that I push it too hard.
What is more important to you? Scientific truth, or defending your publicly stated choices?
I hammered the point home, because there are some core things which are truth and important.
Without knowing the TYPE of HPV in Dr Miller’s nose, any linking of prevention of it with a vaccine by you, Dr Miller or SUNDAY is completely unfounded. And they used Dr Miller and you as the poster boys. Therefore, repeating a fundamental truth several times is warranted.
Making a TV programme based on “some sort of wart virus” is like building a house on “some sort of” unseen shonky foundation. If the house foundations are faulty , then the rest of the house will be unstable. Would you want to live in a house with unsafe foundations? Different example but similar concept.
You say that you have just spent HALF a term, researching the biological and ethical issues surrounding vaccines, and *were provided* with sources that were both pro- and anti vaccination for several different controversial vaccines.
Interesting. Who exactly provided you with the anti-vaccine information? Were you given the “myths” documents put together by pro-vaccine IMAC?
I see you are now in Japan. As a different but comparative exercise, see if you can get hold of an English translation of the Japanese school text book which details the “history” of World War 2 AND Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Then compare that with your history text. Tell me. Who is right? The two versions are significantly different based on the justification of defended viewpoints The same applies to when pro-vaccine people “discuss” what anti-vaccine people say.
Where did you do your research? Or did you just discuss the material provided? Because if your information is based on someone else’s idea of what someone like myself, who has been studying the published medical literature for 33 years, has to say, then any conclusions you come to, are spurious, just as the whole SUNDAY programme was also spurious science.
So let’s have a look at some of your points:
You say, “The vaccine >>> like all vaccines <<<, actually protects more than the individual if widespread enough”
INCORRECT. There are many vaccines, which do not have herd immunity as a factor. The most obvious one is tetanus. The next proven one is the MenZB vaccine for which right from the start, it was admitted that after vaccine, the recipients carry and spread the bacteria concerned. It’s ironic that all the deaths after the vaccine campaign, were in the 80% vaccinated, not the 20% unvaccinated.
Whooping cough has never been anything but endemic in this country. The Ministry of Health data shows that the vaccine hasn’t even made a dent in cases. The lack of herd immunity with this vaccine, is why whooping cough continues to be endemic in this country. Even worse, the USE of the whooping cough vaccine is the reason for the emergence of the new mutant form of pertactin-negative pertussis. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25301209
How would a bacteria start selecting new strains to get around the vaccine? It could only do this, if on reinfection of a vaccinated person, only if it was able to live long enough to multiply and mutate.
The best study on this was in a primate model identical to humans, here. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=24277828 If you read that you will see that primates (people) who are re-exposed to the bacteria after they have had whooping cough naturally, throw out the bacteria immediately, so it doesn’t have a chance to stick around. The problem with the pertussis vaccine is that it creates “original antigenic sin” and affects the immune system so that the vaccinated have a shorter lived and skewed version of immunity. Because of the radical difference in vaccinated vs naturally convalesced people, vaccinated people, can’t throw out the bacteria on re-exposure, like those whose immunity is from the disease. The vaccinated people then harbour the bacteria for up to 7 weeks, allowing the bacteria to change into new strains which then evade the vaccine, and those strains are then spread to everyone else.
If the pertussis vaccine created herd immunity and vaccinated people never spread the bacteria, the development of new strains would never have happened because naturally immune people can’t “carry” the bacteria. That’s why, in the old days, pertussis was primarily limited to a very narrow age range of people with no immunity – usually ages 3 – 11. Very rarely did babies, adolescents, or adults get whooping cough. Now, it’s endemic throughout all ages, courtesy of a vaccine which skews the immune response to the bacteria, and as a result creates a climate in which the bacteria can mutate but only in the vaccinated.
You say, Gardasil provides protection against two wart viruses and several forms of cancer. Theoretically, that could be said. However, theory is different to practice. If you have studied HPV world wide you will notice that many countries with cervical cancer, have circulating HPV types which are NOT in the vaccine, but are found in pre-cancerous lesions. Yet these countries have been pushed to use a vaccine irrelevant to the strains in their country. Have a look at this study. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18684497
As part of your HPV research, did you ask the Ministry of Health to provide you with the research showing which strains of HPV are the main strains found in this country and more specifically in warts and cervix lesions in this country? That again, is a core foundation in order to know whether Gardasil will have a practice application based on core reality.
As to Gardasil, you mention the two wart strains. Did your research into HPV define for you HOW MANY wart strains have been listed as of 2015; how many are currently waiting for genetic analysis; and WHICH of these strains circulate in this country? If not, why not? As above, if the strains in this country aren’t relevant to Gardasil, then why take the vaccine? That same fact applies to the strains of HPV in other countries, like Japan. And on that note, since you are in Japan, while you are there, why don’t you ask around and research WHY it is that the Japanese Government has withdrawn their support for Gardasil? Find out what has happened to many Gardasil recipients over there.
You say, “HPV is a sexually transmitted infection”. This comment tells me that you have not accessed Pubmed at all. HPV doesn’t have a notice on its forehead saying “Only go from Cameron to his girlfriend – or vice versa – during sexual activity”. There are a large number of medical articles showing that HPV types in Gardasil can (where they circulate) be transmitted from mother to baby, father to baby, child to child, and family to family. There are articles showing that Gardasil types can readily be found in the tonsils removed from young children.
Therefore your argument surrounding “biosex” females, or any other sexual contact is also spurious. Dr Miller is actually right - HPV is not a sexual issue. The fact that promiscuous sex can suddenly amplify its spread ignores the fact that it’s there to start with. Were that not the case, HPV spread couldn’t be amplified. This is an example of where the Ministry of Health ignores medical literature. I am surprised that as a student body, none of you have asked the “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” question. The virus has to be there, in order for one or other of you to spread it.
Case in point. I have a friend whose 14 year old daughter tested HPV positive from a CIN3 smear pap. She had never had sex. Where did she get her HPV? How many of the children you talked about, who had already lost their virginity before 14, already had HPV from babyhood?
We don’t know. Why don’t we know? Because there is no testing for HPV at all in children or anyone pre-vaccine, even though the medical literature is clear on that issue. I wonder what your teacher would have said if you have taken all those full-text articles to school for discussion and debate? Especially the ones showing negative efficacy in vaccine recipients who were pre-infected with HPV.
In an ironic twist I am delighted that you boys are promoting Gardasil. Why? Because if you boys get the array of serious side-effects that afflict some of the girls, your fathers will (hopefully) not tolerate the medical profession fobbing you and your mother off, by saying that it’s all in your wimpy teenage neurotic heads. I don’t see too many fathers standing up for their daughters, but fathers will usually stand up for their sons, horrible though that may sound. So maybe when boys start keeling over like the girls are, you boys can help validate the girls’ very real concerns.
I could provide a counterpoint to most of the assumptive statements in your post to me. But for now will finish with this. I’m held up to the wall to justify myself, because I’m not a doctor or a scientist. My views are picked on, because I haven’t made the decision that they agree with.
But apparently you can be a teenager in college – a nurse mother, or a school nurse, or a journalist, and your science is valid because you’ve made a decision they agree with.
And that is another core fallacy in the whole discussion surrounding vaccines. I, and most intelligent people who choose not to vaccinate are not stupid enough to make important decisions based on “hysteria or misinformation” on the internet. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/news/print.cfm?objectid=11432909
I challenge you to come and stay with us and read my rooms full of medical articles and then tell me that your analysis of the information given to you has actually resulted in a fully informed choice. Continue Reading