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← An Open Letter to Bill Maher on Vaccinations

Dr Benway's Avatar Jump to comment 185 by Dr Benway

AlinMoraru,

The flu vaccine admittedly offers the greatest room for debate. But the matter has been well addressed elsewhere. Here's one example:

http://scienceblogs.com/effectmeasure/2009/09/seasonal_flu_why_i_got_vaccina.php

Few here have the background needed to participate in a technical discussion over the risks and benefits of flu vaccine, which I might point out is a *voluntary* vaccine. They must rely upon heuristics. Source quality is one heuristic. Scopie's law is one heuristic.

Here's another heuristic for those familiar with Bayes' theorem: the prior probability for any seasonal flu vaccine is effin' HUGE. It's so huge that the results of individual epidemiological studies hardly matters.

It might be fair to say that our understanding of vaccine mechanism of action trumps just about every other proposed mechanism used in medicine.

The CDC represents a consensus of hundreds of independent scientists. Why would you reject their opinion? Why would you presume to know more?

jrod: So called Dr Benway, smallpox was already on the decline prior to the introduction of the Salk vaccine in 1955. 35 cases per 100,000 in 1952 to less than 15 per 100,000 prior to the vaccine being introduced. Next...

jrod, you're just embarassing yourself with your own ignorance now. It's like watching a first grader trying to talk about calculus.

Mon, 19 Oct 2009 15:48:00 UTC | #406742