[SaneVax: The Australian Academy of Science recently published a pamphlet called The Science of Immunisation. The question is – are the statements made in this ‘educational’ pamphlet firmly grounded in verifiable science, or is this simply an attempt to pat medical consumers on the head and tell them there is nothing to worry about?]
Reducing the incidence of grand claims
By Greg Beattie
This is the second post in our series critiquing the new booklet “The Science of Immunisation”, from the Australian Academy of Science. Here Greg Beattie takes a look at the opening statement from the summary.
“The widespread use of vaccines globally has been highly effective in reducing the incidence of infectious diseases and their associated complications, including death.”
– The Science of Immunisation (Australian Academy of Science)
The claim here is that vaccines reduced cases of infectious disease, and therefore, associated death and disability. This sounds good. It may or may not be true, but it certainly sounds good. One would expect it to be backed with solid evidence. Let’s have a look.
A good part of this has already been dealt with in a recent post by Meryl Dorey. Death-rates in Australia from some of the diseases we vaccinate against were discussed in the post, however, much more Australian data can be viewed in the following four posts I made to a debate on the issue:
Death graphs for USA and England can be found HERE, as well as HERE.
But what about developing nations? Well, it’s a bit trickier. Where Australia, USA, England, and Europe have meticulously recorded all deaths (and their causes) since the mid 1800s, the story was entirely different in the developing world. Deaths were rarely recorded. Even when they were there was virtually no information on what caused them. The World Bank overcame this missing data to an extent by conducting sample surveys over the past half century. These surveys estimate the infant mortality rate and the under-5 mortality rate. Here’s what they show in Africa and India:
Read the entire article here.