Sunday, October 11, 2009

Vaccination Predictions

My "Got My Flu Shot" entry has received some interest, mostly from those content in their belief that vaccines don't work and cause harm. The discussion that followed chronicles a science v. antiscience exchange that illuminates the bogus foundation of their claims.

Maybe it would be fun to look forward. It is often more telling to take a guess and see how it plays out, rather than ex post facto analysis.

For example, anti-vaccination nut and author David Kirby predicted in a 2005 New York Times interview:

"Because autism is usually diagnosed sometime between a child’s third and fourth birthdays and thimerosal was largely removed from childhood vaccines in 2001, the incidence of autism should fall this year."

Of course, that would not be a temporary change, that autism rates would continue to decline after thimerisol, the causative agent by his accounts, was removed from most (if not all) of the vaccination schedule.

This week it was reported that autism rates have hit their highest levels. I guess Kirby was wrong (actually now he has now shifted autism blame mostly to farming practices and away from vaccines. When you deal in pseudoscience you can move the goalpost when it does not fit your bogus suspicions).

So what about predictions going forward? There is a recombinant protein (e.g.made by GMO!) that will be injected as an adjuvanated vaccine to confer resistance to malaria. GSK has developed this and it should be deployed in the near future, especially in developing countries.

The vaccine increases production of antibodies toward a life-cycle target of the pathogen, and it works like a charm- at least in a lab in heterologous systems. In the study presented here in PLoS One (a solid journal)the vaccine conferred resistance to malaria in baboons at a very high rate (93%). Pretty cool!

Malaria kills one million people a year, so scientists see this as an amazing opportunity to save lives. What about the anti-vaxers? What do you predict?

Not to put words in your mouth, but I might expect that the response will be

1. Since vaccines don't work, there will be no change in malaria
2. Immunized children will all die from the vaccination
3. There will be a huge surge in autism in vaccinated populations
4. Massive outbreaks of autoimmune disease will occur
5. GSK will get massively rich off of the proceeds

Please chime in. What do you predict will happen, say one, five and ten years after mass vaccination?


Kevin M. Folta said...

I say that you'll see a drop in malaria morbidity and mortality, decreased range of the disease and a Nobel Prize in medicine for the scientists that created it.

Wendy said...

No Kevin, the Nobel Prize will be given to Obama for just existing. He is that wonderful. mmm mmm mmm Barack Hussien glad I homeschool so my kids don't have to learn that song. said...

Oh and one more thing...autism rates will not fall until the mercury is removed. David Kirby took big pHARMa at its word and thought they would actually remove it from the vaccine schedule before he made that prediction.

Wendy said...

1. Since vaccines don't work, there will be no change in malaria
5. GSK will get massively rich off of the proceeds

x24 said...

wENDy you homeschool your kids? You do know that "the Flintstones" is not a documentary right?

Wendy said...

WHAT!!! We watch that everyday for our history lesson!